There are so many great things we could say about travel in hopes of inspiring you experience more of it. However, we’ll skip the usual quotes (“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport” is our favourite, FYI) and postcard-perfect sentiments this time around, letting instead the resorts draw you in with their charm. We will say this, because we can’t resist it: you’ve never seen resorts quite like these before.
With pathways, walls and roofs made from natural stone, the latest Hyatt resort seems to blend into the nearby Yunfeng Mountain. Indeed, get lost in nature and embark on a spiritually enriching journey in an area hailed for its volcanic hot springs and is revered as a sacred pilgrimage place by Taoists. The resort itself, with its fifty free-standing garden villas, was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and hotel interiors specialist LTW Studio from Singapore. With a vision of creating harmony between nature and architecture, the interiors reflect the rich cultures of the ethnic minorities that inhabit the region, paying homage to their costumes, jewellery and craft techniques.
Personally, the resort is one of our favourites in Malaysia and now, a good thing has gotten even better. The Datai Estate Villa is its new five-bedroom villa, bathed in natural light amidst an ancient rainforest. Guests are treated to 24-hour butler service, meals cooked by their own private chef, as well as afternoon tea and breakfast served in the comfort of their villa — which by the way, can be booked in its entirety or separately as the 3-bedroom Meranti villa or the 2-bedroom Seraya villa. In tune with nature, the resort also sports a brand new nature centre led by a team of naturalists and marine biologists.
White-sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and unprecedented luxury. That’s the general vibe of resorts in the Maldives, so expect nothing short of excellent at The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah. With its all-inclusive package, guests have access to all six restaurants and six bars across both Dhigurah and its sister resort at Falhumaafushi, connected via the longest private bridge in the Maldives. There’s a list of activities to check off here, including a massage at the Spa by Clarions, diving, and taking day trips to castaway islands.
Why stop at just one Maldivian resort? Set to open in September 2019, reservations are now open for 81 beach, lagoon and overwater villas and residences. Each have their own terrace and pool, while the resort itself offers guests complimentary gourmet experiences and The Retreat, an adults-only enclave with a private bar and infinity pool. Don’t feel bad for the kids — there’s the Planet Trekkers Kids Club for young explorers. The island is located near Maldives’ only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and home to Hanifaru Bay, one of the very few places in the world you can snorkel amongst feeding congregations of whale sharks and large groups of enigmatic and graceful reef manta rays.
Opening officially in August, this resort is cradled in the mountains of The Dolomites, an UNESCO World Heritage site. Sharp architecture seen through triangles and zig-zag lines take focus, with wooden accents reflecting the forests outside. Soaring pyramid windows invite in views of 150 kilometres of Madonna Campiglio ideal for snow sports, but in summer the area is perfect for mountain biking, horse riding, and golf nearby. The Lefay SPA is something to look forward to as well where a large whirlpool is the epicentre of its aquatic area. In rooms, guests are treated to vegan and cruelty-free bathroom amenities.