A house decked out in red to ward of evil spirits and bad fortune? Check. A full barrel of rice to ensure prosperity? Check. Lai-see envelopes passed out to young family members? Triple check! But how about a luxury-laden escape to take advantage of the long Chinese New Year weekend?! Well, boutique hotel-hunters Mr & Mrs Smith have that one covered; they’ve unearthed three Balinese boltholes with some impressive Sassy savings that are guaranteed to kick CNY off with more bang than a firecracker! A stay at these heavenly hideaways will banish thoughts of bad luck faster than you can order another G&T, so it’s time to slip into your swankiest swimmers and trot into the Year of the Horse.
Anantara Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Best for Upscale enclave, over-burdened urban shoulders
Style Balearic style in Bali
Setting Front-and-centre Seminyak
You’ll be forgiven for forgetting what day it is after a break at Anantara Seminyak, which boasts a breeze-blessed spa, wow-worthy ocean-facing balconies and an enviable position on one of Bali’s most popular beaches. Early mornings have never sounded so good at Anantara; the rustling coconuts, cooing birds and purr of lapping waves replace shrill alarms and ringing clocks to rouse you from a blissful slumber. Fitness fiends can work up a sweat with a yoga class or soft-sand beach jog – all the better for having an excuse to go back for seconds at the lavish breakfast buffet, we say! – before piling plates high with bircher muesli, perfectly poached eggs, just-baked bread and local honey scraped straight from a rack of honeycomb.
Culinary indulgences give way to nimble-knuckled hands at the Anantara Spa, a rooftop pampering palace where bodies are scrubbed, soothed and slathered with oils, elixirs and traditional beauty essences concocted from Balinese coffee beans, natural volcanic pumice, powdered spices and sweet woods. Opt to continue your pursuit of complete rejuvenation by wallowing in bubbles in your private Jacuzzi – complete with bath salts, incense and iPod dock – or adopt a giant beach and poolside daybed as your base for the day. Those seeking therapies of a retail kind can venture out for a post-massage exploration of Seminyak’s stylish shops, which include chic international designers and small local labels.
SASSY SAVING: Book a break at Anantara Seminyak over Chinese New Year to receive 20% off, valid until 24 December 2014.
Como Shambhala Estate
Best for Spa pampering
Style Well-heeled wellbeing
Setting Jungle wonderland
East meets West in the holistic Ojas spa, which nabbed Como Shambhala Estate the ‘Best Spa Hotel’ gong at the inaugural Smith Hotel Awards. Wellness is taken very seriously here, with expert health therapists hosting retreat weeks and a fleet of nimble-knuckled masseuses trained in ancient and modern holistic practices. It’s not all about lying on a massage bed, though – guests are encouraged to get their bodies going, with free guided walks and yoga sessions daily. Ashtanga and Pilates fans will be in seventh heaven, but if mystical bending and being told how to breathe is anathema to you, there are plenty of gung-ho muscle-testing options to tempt you off your sun lounger. Hike or bike along mountain trails on Mount Batu, clamber up and over boulders, ace a few sets of tennis, go white-water rafting on the Ayung river or push your calf, thigh, stomach and shoulder muscles on an outdoor training circuit.
Of course, we love the hotel for other charms beyond its body wraps and bath products (which, of course, smell scrummy). The food for a start: the tasty, locally sourced produce perfectly complements the wellness ethos. Kudus House serves Indonesian cuisine in a 19th-century Javanese villa; Glow is an all-day restaurant, with an open kitchen, offering local organic dishes with a healthy bent. At the Ojas spa and poolside, choose from a menu of snacks, sorbets and granitas. When it comes to bedding down, you can’t beat the Principal Suites. Go for the one in Tirta-Ening residence, which has a private entrance, terrace, waterfall pool, balé and Jacuzzi – oh, and a six-ton carved stone bath.
SASSY SAVING: To really get your glow on, book Como’s five-night vitality package, which includes a choice of dining, spa treatments or activities (as well as daily breakfast and lunch or dinner). This offer is valid for stays until 31 March 2014.
P.S. Check out Sassy’s full review of Como Shambala here
Best for Adults-only wonderland
Style Zen and sensibility
Setting Dreamy Nusa Dua
Cocooned within concrete walls, The Balé is a seductive white-stone maze laced with secluded villas, an award-winning restaurant and glistening water pools. Villas are window-lined sanctuaries, fringed by a sinfully large private swimming pool, sun-blessed daybeds and an open-side pagoda, where it is unsurprisingly easy to imagine spending days sipping umbrella-toting cocktails and gazing over paddy fields. In the main pool, the semi-submerged sun loungers combine sun-baking and languid laps without ever having to step onto dry land. Meanwhile, if you prefer squidging sugary sand between your toes, it’s a short walk to the beach club on Geger beach, where there are cushioned deck chairs for landlubbers and warm, gentle surf for leisurely paddles.
In the (highly unlikely!) case that cabin fever strikes, summon the private car service and be whisked to bargain-behemoth Bali Collection, a gated tourists-only shopping complex where kitsch wooden sculptures can be found alongside Ralph Lauren polo shirts. Come evening, Faces is a poolside eatery that features a flavour-filled, East meets West menu and open kitchen. Enjoy a pre or post-dinner cocktail at Fluid, the poolside lounge; with its soft lighting and Café del Mar-style soundtrack, its atmosphere is more relaxed than cat stretched out in sunlight.
SASSY SAVING: Stay at The Balé for a Chinese New Year-style sojourn to receive 30% off, valid until 23 December 2014. Indulge in exclusive offers such as ‘The Balé Experience Package’ and a ‘3 Day, 2 Nights Spa Package’ until 31 March 2014.
P.S. Check Chinese New Year availability for even more fabulous Smith hotels here!