Over 75% of our collection is located either on, or close to, the beach. We have some really outstanding options here. Of course the Caribbean, with the west coast of Barbados and north west St Lucia and virtually everywhere in Antigua worth emphasising. In the Indian Ocean Mauritius is equally blessed, plus of course the magical Maldives. And then Asia, with Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam all offering some fantastic relaxing opportunities. Closer to home, the beaches of the Algarve in Portugal and the Canary Islands are world famous, but just as enticing would be the stunning water clarity of Greece and Turkey.
We like to think we were one of the first to fully appreciate the desirability and appeal of a real boutique hotel. The word has now probably become over used and maybe abused, but those we have identified can truly be classified as boutique. Keep in mind you generally choose boutique for the unique style and the personalised attention rather than extensive resort facilities. If you want choice of restaurant and extensive on site activity, then you need to look at a larger, maybe less personalised, property. Also boutique, given their style, generally tend to be more adult focused than family friendly. We have so much choice here, particularly in Asia, but we think Zazen on Koh Samui is very special, as is Heritage Suites in Cambodia. In Bali we particularly like the traditional combined with contemporary quality of the Kayumanis Retreats.
Of course culture exists in all of all featured destinations. The appeal of the cites such as Barcelona, Seville, Madrid is well known and popular. Within the tropics, Asia is probably the region with the most fascinating and contrasting cultures, totally different to anything you have experienced in Europe which rather adds to the appeal. The lifestyle, the food, the contrasting scenery, the pace and the faces – they all form part of the very diverse culture of the region.
We have identified several resorts that are particularly good for families, yet at the same time adults do not have to compromise their own high expectations. Particularly worth mentioning would be Sheraton Algarve, Sani Resorts and Daios Cove in Greece, Princesa Yaiza Lanzarote and both Abama and Bahia Del Duque in Tenerife. In Mauritius Paradis, Trou Aux Biches and Residence are all popular whilst in Thailand Meridien Khao Lak and Santiburi in Koh Samui are both very good options. For those whose children have moved beyond the face painting stage, we particularly like the idea of a tor around the Far East and the phrase “education can start when term time ends“ comes to mind.
A real speciality of ours. Some totally unique hide and chic retreats. In some cases, deliberately off the beaten track, but the seclusion is all part of the appeal. Koh Kood in Thailand, or The Aava Resort in Khanom come to mind, as does Princess D’Annam in Vietnam. Or up in the hills of Ubud in Bali, where we have some very special hotels, simply wonderful. The Maldives of course, they seemed to have created with romance in mind. The resorts are mainly attractive to compatible couples focused, as much of the appeal will be enjoying and (re) discovering each other, rather than extensive resort distractions. In many resorts we are able to offer villas with private pools, which can certainly add to the romantic mood.
Over 90% of our resorts have some kind of Spa facility. Where we think the facilities are exceptional, we have highlighted with a special Spa logo. Particularly worth considering would be Asia Garden And Thai Spa in Alicante, the touch of the Orient yet just 2 hours from UK. The Anassa in Cyprus which is equally attractive. The incredible spas of the Indian Ocean, with The Maldives particularly innovative, including some underwater options. And of course the Far East, the originators of the concept and probably still the most influential with new ideas and therapies constantly introduced.