14 August, 2012

Get away from it all! Top three blissful escapes from hectic HK

14 August, 2012

As much as we love city breaks, there are times when we Sassy travellers want a holiday that just lets us switch off and kick back and get away from hectic HK. Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith suggest three stylish stays that promise off-the-beaten-track indulgence, including a private-island escape in Cambodia, a spa sanctuary in Vietnam and a beach-blessed getaway in Bali. Leave the heels and smart phone at home, slip into a kaftan, order a margarita, and relax!

Song Saa Private Island, Koh Rong Islands, Cambodia
Castaway luxury
Setting Duo of untouched isles

There’s something about being ‘stranded’ on a tropical island that simply forces you to chill out. At Song Saa Private Island, a luxury hotel in Cambodia, time slows the moment you step off the designer speedboat that ferries you from Sihanoukville to the Koh Rong Islands. In fact, as soon as you step onto the jetty you’re told to turn your watch back an hour – yes, that’s right, Song Saa operates in its very own time zone to better align with the best time for sunset cocktails! We could really get used to this…

Spread over two unspoilt isles in the Gulf of Thailand, this eco-chic hideaway is home to 27 ultra-luxe villas, nestled in the jungle, sitting on the shoreline or perched over the water. Each suite comes with a private pool and an effortless blend of thatched roofs, rustic timber beams, stone floors and marble walls. A dreamy day spa, coast-hugging infinity pool and water sports on tap will tempt you to leave your view-toting four-poster bed. And just because you’re on a deserted island doesn’t mean you’ll be suffering in the food stakes – with acclaimed chef Neil Wager at the helm, who’s cooked for the likes of David Beckham and the King of Spain, you can be assured this castaway experience is glam and gourmet.

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Eco-chic treat
Private peninsula

In need of a little rescue? Isolated in a crescent-shaped bay accessible only by boat, the rustic yet undeniably luxurious Six Senses Ninh Van Bay boutique retreat near Nha Trang, in central Vietnam, offers the weary a total reality break. Villas with decks over the sea, outstanding cuisine, butler service and the chance to dive, spa or simply laze will have you rejuvenated in no time. A dizzying array of abodes awaits at this haute hideaway, including the jungle-shrouded Spa Suites, split-level Beach Pool Villas and, our pick, the wow-worthy Water Villas, which boast a private plunge pool perched amid boulders, with a ladder leading directly to the sea.

Pampering is your prime reason for a stay here, so get yourself to the Six Senses Spa pronto. Reached by a sandy path through the jungle, the treatment villas are dotted along the hillside, with outdoor Jacuzzis and a host of soul-soothing massages, facials and scrubs. If you’re feeling sporty, try yoga, golf, cycling, windsurfing or catamaran sailing; more sedate distractions include cooking classes and sunset cruises with champagne. Choices are plentiful for dining, too, with Vietnamese favourites at informal eatery Dining by the Bay, light lunches at Dining by the Pool and fine fare at Dining by the Rocks. If it’s total seclusion you seek, arrange a romantic dinner à deux in the Wine Cave.

Amanwana, Moyo Island, Indonesia
Seductive safari tents
Reef-fringed marine reserve

Nothing says ‘getting away from it all’ quite like pitching a tent on a deserted beach, and singeing a sausage on the barbecue. While our pitching days may be behind us, we still love the idea of a nostalgia-inducing camping experience, albeit a five-star version, thanks to those savvy folk at Aman. Situated on just-remote-enough Moyo Island in Indonesia, an hour’s seaplane hop from Bali, Amanwana boutique hotel is the ultimate in ‘glamping’.

If you love Bali, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven when you set foot on wildly beautiful crowd-free Moyo Island, a nature and marine reserve in the eastern Nusa Tenggara archipelago. Meaning ‘peaceful forest’, Amanwana is the only hotel on this pristine isle, a serene spot covered in thick rainforest and fringed by coral reef. Its 20 tents enjoy striking views of the turquoise Flores Sea, a prime spot for beach-basking, diving and snorkelling far from the madding crowd. Don’t let the term ‘tent’ put you off though – here the suites come with solid walls, hardwood floors and soaring canvas ceilings, creating air-conditioned coves filled with net-draped beds and Indonesian artworks. An open-air jungle spa, cool freshwater pool and tropical-modern bar and restaurant round out Aman’s ever-luxe offerings.

To book any of Mr & Mrs Smith’s stylish boutique hotels, visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so sign up today to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 850 hotels and holiday houses around the world.

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