It’s destination villa if you want to fully escape into a tropical paradise for some much needed rejuvenation and pampered seclusion.
Our relentless modern-day life means there is always a need to get away from it all. Luckily there are quite a few places within a reasonable plane ride from Hong Kong that offer vast open spaces, sunshine on tap and everything else you need for total body and mind rejuvenation.
There is no better way to do this than a few days secluded in the ultra luxurious confines of a high-end property, while indulging in the myriad of amenities and activities that such spaces offer. When coupled with their spectacular location in a tropical paradise, it will be a dream holiday come true.
It is no wonder that a host of islands with luxuries villas are now flying up the ranks of top destinations for the jet-set generation. There is one to suit any desires, whether it is a private beachfront enclave, or hillside retreat with spectacular panoramas.
Here are the five best tropical destinations for a villa vacation within an easy flight from Hong Kong to tickle your imagination.
Phuket: discreet island vibe
Long-time haunt of the discerning traveller, Phuket is the luxury seeker’s dream given its array of top-end neighbourhoods.
In recent years, Thai authorities have placed an emphasis on regaining control of their beachfronts so many white-sand stretches have returned to their pristine best: no longer hidden beneath rows of sun-loungers with touts selling their wares, beaches such as those in the region of Kamala once again offer unadulterated bliss with crystal-clear waters in which to swim and kilometres of beach on which to stroll.
Set on the cliffs on the southern end of Kamala is a region known as Millionaire’s Mile where a number of ultra luxury villas attract a variety of high end clientele seeking privacy, stunning architecture and breathtaking views of the Andaman Ocean.
The Aquila is the pinnacle of the properties in this district, perched on a cliff-top in its own bay assuring complete privacy, while the panoramas over the Andaman Sea are unlike any other in the area. Added to this its vast selection of state-of-the-art amenities including a 30m infinity pool, games room with private cinema, fitness room and its very own dedicated spa facility, the sophistication of the property is unimaginable.
Though Kamala Beach is renowned for its tranquillity, this doesn’t mean it is completely devoid of activity. So, for those staying at The Aquila, both Café Del Mar and HQ Beach Club–two of the biggest names on the Phuket beach club scene–are easily reached making it one of the most desirable locations on the island.
Koh Samui: where luxury meets local culture
Koh Samui is the largest of the three islands off Thailand’s east coast and the most well-trodden destination in the region, meaning a host of fine-dining opportunities and endless high-end beach clubs. Many visitors head to this northeast corner to sample the delights of Chaweng alongside the quainter fishing villages in the surrounding Bo Phut.
At just 10-minutes from the international airport, the accessibility of the area is as enticing as any aspect, while the variety of offerings from water sports during the day to traditional Thai entertainment in the evenings means families are particularly well served in this lively destination.
There is no shortage of first-rate accommodation in the area but a favourite among many is Villa Natha. Its dramatic setting creates a special ambience as several tiers cascade down the hillside, while the infinity pool gives way to the impressive seascape that is the Gulf of Siam and its archipelagos that dot the horizon.
With its own private chef, a tailor-made BBQ and bespoke outdoor dining area, there are few better spaces in which to enjoy an al fresco meal under a fiery sunset. The villa has been designed to the highest modern-day standards yet maintains a distinct connection to the environment in which it resides through its minimalist, natural décor.
Such attention to detail allows guests to rest in absolute luxury while staying connected to the majestic landscapes that surround them.
Sri Lanka: Indulge in adventure and dramatic seascape
There are few more culturally rich, overtly welcoming islands than that of Sri Lanka.
With its wealth of breathtaking landscapes, cosmopolitan cities such as Galle to showcase its colonial heritage, plus a shoreline that boasts a wealth of surf destinations alongside unrivalled seafood, it is easy to understand the appeal of Sri Lanka to the more adventurous traveller.
Everyone from hikers to beach-goers, gastronomes to nature enthusiasts will find entertainment on the island and when set to such a stable climate–the monsoon only ever affects half the island, leaving the other side free for roaming–planning the family trip of a lifetime is simple.
The south coast is a prime example of Sri Lankan indulgence with stretch after stretch of rugged coastline, which serves as the dramatic backdrop for luxury villas such as that of Villa Salina. The verdant landscapes of the island make for spellbinding settings so the beauty of this dwelling is small surprise, but with its elevated roof terrace, Villa Salina boasts arguably the best of viewpoints of any luxury accommodation in the region.
From a lofty spot, guests obtain unobstructed 360-degree panoramas of the surrounding jungle through to the glistening ocean, so for any photography enthusiast, it is hard to imagine a better destination.
Plus–given its aspect and beachfront setting–sunsets reach near perfection.
Bali: Spiritual, stylish and everything in between
Bali has quickly risen through the ranks to become the more spiritual travellers’ dream thanks to its ever-growing selection of yoga and meditation retreats, rejuvenation spas and wellness resorts. For the sophisticated jet set there are also world class beach clubs, stylish bars and chic restaurants set into arresting coastal backdrops. The accessible location and inimitable allure of the island has attracted a creative community over the years meaning that it not only boasts spellbinding scenery, the towns themselves are now established hubs of progressive communities seeking the perfect lifestyle.
Canggu has drawn in fashion designers, artists and coffee connoisseurs to establish itself as a number one district that would rival that of any of the chicest urban hangouts, while its beaches remain relatively unknown with less crowded waves that only the more seasoned surfer would know how to find.
Visitors are spoilt for choice when arriving on the island but few could do worse than choosing Villa Atas Ombak for their accommodation. Though Seminyak attracts many for its high-end dining establishments, one could argue that the location of this villa is second-to-none.
Over 100 metres of pristine sand borders the front of the property providing the perfect expanse of azure ocean, while a short stroll down the beach lands guests in the lap of esteemed establishments such as Mozaic Beach Club, W Hotel, Potato Head, La Lucciola and Ku De Ta.
Bali has quickly established itself as the number-one party destination in the southern hemisphere and for anyone who has the fortune to stay in this perfectly positioned property–within proximity to such revered hotspots–it is easy to understand why.
Maldives: amazing nature on private islands
The biodiversity of the Maldives–with its swathes of nature-rich atolls that rise from the depths–is a well-known fact. There are few destinations in the world where one can enjoy the privacy of their own tropical island, a densely populated marine environment on their doorstep, while still indulging in the finest luxury offerings around: yet the Maldives offers exactly this.
Amilla Fushi itself is a pristine stretch of less than a single kilometre of sand that sits on the cusp of the Baa Atoll–itself a World Heritage Site thanks to the importance of its populous waters. Reachable by speed-boat or seaplane, few global destinations offer such mystique on arrival.
In a destination prized for its privacy, it is easy to understand why Amilla Beach Estate is the pick of the most tuned-in travellers and celebrities. Its six bedrooms sit in isolation in front of crystal-clear waters where hammocks swing beneath the palms. This is the most tranquil of destinations but one in which both children and adults can find entertainment as facilities such as a PlayStation 4, iMac, cinema room, volley ball court, pool table and table tennis ensure younger travellers are amused, while the impressive lagoon and deep-water reefs enable older travellers to find ultimate relaxation.
Scuba diving, dolphin watching, turtle safaris, big game fishing, water sports, tennis lessons, world-class spa treatments: the endless list of activities tells the story of indulgence afforded in the Maldives.
A stay in a villa reserved only for you and your loved ones is the perfect way to personalise a luxury escape. The variety of options available these days means that all whims and demands can be catered for, while the destinations on offer allow everyone, whether seeking tranquillity or more tempting surrounds, to craft an experience to their heart’s content.
If you have yet to experience the pleasure of a villa vacation, or in search of your next ultra-luxury escapade, be sure to review the spectacular offerings of Asia Villas and start planning with the full support of their friendly team.