Stressed out by the smog and swagger of the city? Then head for the soft sands, sparkling waters and swaying palm trees of a soothing beach destination. Here are some superb beach escapes within easy reach of Hong Kong as recommended by the barefoot loving experts at Lightfoot Travel.
Wa Ale, Myanmar
After flying from Yangon to Kawthaung, guests take a two hour private yacht ride to reach the paradise island of Wa Ale. And it’s so worth the journey! Set on pristine white-sand, Wa Ale comprises 11 family-sized tented beach villas and three treetop villas with a boho-feel. As well as totally chilling out, practicing yoga and dining on sustainable seafood, you can explore the emerald waters, visit a local Moken fishing community or trek through the rainforest. Just when you think it can’t get any better, stay here and 20 percent of annual profits will go directly into the resort’s Lampi Foundation – an initiative supporting conservation projects and the local community. A holiday with a heart? We like!
Nay Palad Hideway
Nay Palad Hideaway is a speedy one-hour flight from Cebu to the island of Siargao, followed by a quick drive to the mangrove forests where the property and its ten villas are located. Positioned slap-bang on the beachfront, make a beeline for the ocean facing sun loungers or hanging day-beds by the pool. Also, put your wallet away as everything here is all-inclusive, from the food and drinks to the massages and excursions. Join a cookery class, go surfing, relax with a Filipino Hilot massage, catch a film at the open-air cinema – and we won’t judge if you engage in a sneaky jump on the on-site trampoline.
Samujana Villas, Koh Samui
a wow-factor view amongst manicured surroundings. Close the door behind you and you’ll be the proud owner of an outdoor kitchen, dining terrace, seawater infinity pool and – for some – a hot tub, private Samujana Villas is the ultimate holiday hideaway set in a stunning bay overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. Consisting of 27 privately owned villas and offering a range of three to eight bedrooms, each one comes with cinema and gym. And if you’re wondering who the people appearing seamlessly by your side throughout your day are, they’ll be your personal hosts, masseurs, and yoga, pilates and Muay Thai boxing instructors.
COMO Uma Canggu, Bali
This latest offering from the COMO group not only ticks all the boxes for a relaxing escape, it has watersports on tap too. Expect exceptionally stylish rooms, nutritious cuisine and spa treatments at the famous Shambhala Retreat. But what really gives this Bali bolthole extra star-quality is its beachfront location. Head for the exclusive Surf School that teaches guests of all ages and levels of ability how to catch the waves; then stick around and soak up the atmosphere at the beach club with its hip cocktails, resident DJs, and dance floor under the stars.
One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Super family-friendly, the One & Only Reethi Rah is a beachy paradise that provides parents with chill-time and children with play-time. The Duplex Beach Villas feature plenty of baby friendly facilities including cots, playpens and sterilisers, and all-important babysitters are on hand so you can do your own thing. Older children are kept out of trouble with activities such as tennis, swimming and sushi-making. The kids’ club (for ages four years and up) comes with its own pool, and there’s a dedicated area for teens to hang out in (without you cramping their style!).
Rosewood Phuket, Thailand
Overlooking Phuket’s Emerald Bay, this coastal beauty comes with pavilions and villas peppered throughout the forest and on the sand. Guests are treated to panoramic sea views at every turn; from the rooms that feature floor-to-ceiling windows, to the open-sided spaces that showcase the hilltops, lakes, wetlands and ocean. There are four different dining venues and the Asaya spa goes above and beyond with alternative therapies, hand selected ingredients, soothing rituals and lifestyle coaching.
Fusion Maia, Vietnam
This beautiful beachfront spa resort in Da Nang puts indulgence, pampering and wellbeing right at the top of its priority list. It offers a portfolio of revitalising programmes, from raw food detoxing to yoga and couples escapes, so guests can enjoy the ultimate escape alongside a minimum of two daily spa treatments, chilling by their own pool, and optional shopping, golf and cultural experiences in nearby Hoi An. We may be grown-ups, but we’re totally jealous of the children’s club, Mini Maia, offering the likes of yoga, cookie decorating, cucumber facials, dancing and singing.
The remote island of Pamalican in the Philippines caters for those who mainly want to laze their days away, but like a little optional activity on the side. Amanpulo offers cosy casitas designed as modern versions of traditional Filipino houses; think wooden floors, rattan furniture and subtle finishings. When you’re not laying horizontally under a shady palm tree, you can make the most of the hotel’s four dining options and gym, or embark on some hiking, kayaking, tennis or windsurfing.
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This article first appeared in the City Guide 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.