By Genevieve Ananti
Banyan Tree Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand’s paradise island famous for its inviting sapphire waters and white beaches, offers a destination resort that combines pampering with tranquility.Overlooking scenic Lamai Bay, the resort is nestled in a series of cascading terraces on a private hill cove in the south-eastern coast of Koh Samui. With a pristine, rock-framed, private beach and 78 phenomenal villas, lazy days can be spent in Utopian luxury. Each villa has white walls that are punctuated with sliding glass doors opening to a large private pool and glass-railed patio, some with stunning views of the shimmering turquoise Gulf of Thailand.
Richard’s River Camp, Kenya
This casually luxurious eight-tent getaway is great for gatherings of up to 16 (and slightly larger groups upon request), replete with rounds of sun-downers and festive bush dinners under the stars. A nearby spring attracts a resident lion pride also looking for a cool drink. The families of the owners, Richard Roberts and Liz Fusco have been in Kenya for decades (Richard is a third-generation safari expert and conservationist); the couple built Richard’s Camp as a home away from home in 2006, which gives it the feeling of a private getaway.
Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico
Surrounded by emerald jungle, Rosewood Mayakoba is a Riviera Maya resort that defines a private world of rare luxury and refined beauty. Inspired by Mayan traditions, this 1600-acre resort enclave sits along a long stretch of white Caribbean sand, nestled just north of the picturesque waterfront town of Playa del Carmen. Designed to blend harmony with natural landscapes, Rosewood Mayakoba is an oasis of luxury offering 128 suites with private plunge pools, rooftop sundecks, garden showers, individual docks and the finest modern design and details.
Amaruya Bodrum, Turkey
A gorgeous bay on the Bodrum Peninsula is home to Amanruya, a tranquil and über-luxurious resort that is run by Aman, widely acclaimed one of the world’s most exclusive ultra-luxury hotel brands. Named after the Sanskrit word for peace, ‘aman’, and the Turkish word for dream, Amanruya is set on a peaceful hillside, offering breathtaking views of the sea and a winding pathway leading to a sheltered pebble beach. The resort offers 36 spacious and elegant pool terrace cottages, each with a private garden and grey-green marble pool. Designed to welcome and soothe, the cottages are gracious homes away from home and a cool air of sophisticated calm prevails.
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, part of The Luxury Collection by Starwood Hotels, is nestled in an award-winning conservation area where desert wildlife abounds, deep within Dubai’s magical dune landscape. The resort showcases the heritage and architecture of the Bedouins, while also offering a sense of desert adventure, with matchless hospitality in unparalleled comfort. The Bedouin tent-style suites are all lavishly decorated with authentic and handcrafted Arabian furnishings, antiques and artefacts. Bulgari bath products are present in the bathroom. Each suite comes with its own private chilled pool and offers spectacular views of the Arabian Desert as vast and far as the eye can see.
Como Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
COMO Parrot Cay, a favorite among celebrities, is an award-winning luxury resort set on its own private island of 1,000 acres with a mile-long powdery soft beach. This exclusive island hideaway delivers foot-in-the-sand luxury with COMO’s service ethic, holistic therapies, yoga, diving and world-class cuisine. All rooms and suites have whitewashed interiors furnished with soft, cotton-covered chairs, airy four-poster beds and teak furnishing. The real stars are the private villas, with their own pools, direct beach access as well as the 24-hour service of COMO’s acclaimed butlers.
Jade Mountain, St Lucia
Individual bridges leading to exceptional suites and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky make Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s 29 suites (called ‘sanctuaries’) are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of St Lucia’s twin peaks, the Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea. All sanctuaries (with the exception of the 5 Sky suites) come with private in-room infinity pools that stretch out to maximize the stunning views while you’re swimming.
Six Senses, Fiji
Six senses Fiji was opened in 2018 in the volcanic island of Malolo, ringed by turquoise water, white sand beaches, and palm trees. It is 100% powered by solar energy supplied by Tesla battery well complemented by the use of LED lighting keeps the energy consumption low. Six senses is a 35-minutes boat ride from Port Denarau, or you can take a 10-minute helicopter ride to reach the resort directly. There are 24 spacious pool villas and suites and also ten residences with private pools to spend time in ultimate exclusivity. They also have fully equipped kitchens. You can spend your time sunbathing and surfing, or at the yoga pavilion. There is sophisticated dining option with fresh South Pacific cuisine using ingredients from the gardens and farm of the island. You can also take away stone-baked pizzas to watch a movie at the outdoor cinema, or going snorkeling, fishing, or kayaking.
Jumby Bay, Antigua
Surrounded by dazzling beaches, Jumby Bay is a palm-studded private island off the coast of Antigua. The whole island is car-free and is accessible only by boat. It has 40 air-conditioned luxury guest rooms and villas that come with a romantic ambiance like wrap-around terraces, private outdoor gardens with rain showers and well equipped with all the modern amenities you require. The Red-roofed villas and houses provide extra luxuries such as private chefs, personal butlers, and swimming pools. You will get five-star service with world-class cuisine. The resort has three tennis courts, two pools, a spa, a beach stretching more than four miles, and club for kids. This all-inclusive island will no doubt keep you busy all day.
Soneva Jani, Maldives
Located on an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll, the Maldives’ most exclusive hotel is fringed by pristine beaches, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. Each one of the 24 water villas has a private lap pool that opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
On Koh Kood, which is still pristine, Soneva Kiri is among the most exciting resorts in Southeast Asia. Guests land on a private airstrip on neighboring speck Koh Mai Si and then arrive via motor launch to a jetty jutting into a pretty cove. The resort sprawls over the island’s northern tip, and butlers shepherd guests over the manicured grounds by electric cart. Virtuously constructed from sustainable eucalyptus logs, native bamboo, and treated pine, the 36 villas—some fronting a gorgeous private beach, others up on the hillside are actually multi-structured complexes spacious enough for an entire family. Chef Khun Benz spearheads the resort dining,including inside a bamboo “Treepod” served by a waiter on zip-line,which matches dishes with an impressive long wine list. Another pleasant surprise is the Cinema Paradiso, an open-air movie theater with dinner service.
By Genevieve Ananti