Asia & South Pacific

Mesmerizing Retreats

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2011

Rates vary from $330 per night dbl for a superior room, to about $1,800 for a Como Villa. Rates are subject to a variety of peculiar local taxes, like a $65 “royalty fee” pp per day levied to keep the kingdom’s economy solvent.

Contact: uma.paro.como.bz

anantara si kao resort & spa Picture yourself sliding over waves on a catamaran off the coast of Trang in the Andaman Sea. The sun is so bright it hurts your eyes. The coast is a tropical landscape accented with palms and bizarre trees. Romance fills the air. Once the last brush stroke has been applied to that mental image, you’ll have an idea of what a Thailand honeymoon is like. A thrilling destination any time, Thailand morphs into magic when it’s a honeymoon backdrop—and the Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, a member of the Virtuosocollection of upscale resorts, will enthrall. This excellent destination is perfect for couples who want their marriage certificate illustrated by exquisite memories garnered in a place known for its laid-back luxury. It’s one of the highest rated hotels and resorts of theAnantara chain.

This tropical haven sprawls on a private beach just one hour removed from Krabi Airport in Thailand’s Si Kao District, separated from Phuket by an arm of the Andaman Sea. Thai Airways offers several daily flights from Thailand. This splendid 138-room resort makes the most of its natural surroundings through textures, colors and natural materials that blend pleasantly in Thai-inspired designs.

Active couples will enjoy sailing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, waterskiing and even swimming among sea cows. They can also learn the intricacies of Thai cuisine while preparing a full Thai meal in cooking classes led by a noted chef. Guests can also learn the art of kae-sa-luk, Thai fruit and vegetable carving. Si Kao is so full of first-rate amenities that there’s little need to leave the complex. Its deluxe garden terrace rooms have direct access to tropical gardens, while oceanfront accommodations have private balconies with views of the beach and Koh Mook Island looming in the distance.

Rates for a garden room run approximately $320 per night dbl; oceanfront accommodations cost about $400. A king suite on the water is around $1,000. Reservations made 45 days in advance receive a 25 percent discount.

Contact: sikao.anantara.com

six senses con dao Found on Con Son Island, about 145 miles from Ho Chi Minh City and less than one hour’s flight on Vietnam Airlines, the recently opened Six Senses Con Dao is perfect for couples seeking a remote tropical wonderland where nature blends easily with the resort’s atmosphere. Six Senses is a company that manages first-class resorts under different brand names in several countries. These are by no means cookie cutter, run-of-the-mill resorts. In Con Dao, luxury prevails.

The place is synonymous with elegance, with 50 villas featuring individual infinity pools and unobstructed views of the South China Sea. Its superb service will satisfy the most discriminating guest. The resort is named after a 16-island archipelago famous for crystal-clear blue-green waters, powdery beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs. With a half-mile private beach leading to shallow, warm waters and Elephant Head, an imposing mountain in the background, Con Dao has all the elements for a memorable time in an equally memorable location. It has seven classes of accommodations, ranging from intimate oceanfront villas to 4-bedroom suites, each designed to provide the utmost comfort. The remote location and the sense of privacy in a spectacular natural setting where more than 80 percent of the surroundings are a protected national reserve create the ideal place for a romantic interlude. The central focus of the resort is patterned after a traditional Vietnamese fishing village and marketplace. Wood seems to be its material of choice: lustrous reclaimed teak accents absorbing wall designs consisting of more than a thousand panels of antique wood, while a bamboo bridge leads across a stream amid rolling sand dunes to the beach where the villas and spa are located.

Rates are approximately $500 per night dbl for an oceanview villa, to about $950 for larger accommodations. Breakfast is included.

Contact: (800) 591-7480; sixsenses.com

the oberoi rajvilas An over-the-top retreat for honeymooners, The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, India, is located in the peaceful Rajasthani countryside. This is an elegant oasis set amidst 32 acres of beautiful gardens, pools and fountains, and framed in a fort setting, with spacious rooms, luxury tents and villas complete with private pools clustered around intimate courtyards. For honeymooners looking for a bit of the exotic, recommend the Luxury Tent accommodations. These fully air-conditioned tents, with Burma teak floors and simple but sumptuous embroidered interior canopies, boast a private patio and a garden that is enclosed by a mud wall, as well as a king-size bed, a dressing room with walk-in closet, and a bathroom with a double vanity counter, colonial-style, free-standing, claw-footed bathtub and separate shower. More unique amenities come in the form of the ancient blessing ceremony, which takes place at the 280-year-old Shiva temple presided over by the priest (pundit). Nestled on a small island amidst verdant greenery and redolent with the fragrance of exotic water lilies, the temple is located in the center of the resort and is connected to the rest of the hotel by a stone bridge. Following the blessing ceremony, couples can dine under the stars with a romantic 5-course dinner for two, overlooking the gorgeous pool and the Shiva temple with live classical Indian music, the mandolin and the flute as a backdrop.