It’s that time of year again when the summer holidays are so close you can almost smell the beach or taste that cocktail by the pool. For those who have yet to decide where to stay for vacation, here are five new resorts in the region, all of which have opened this year, that you may consider:
Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach Resort, Phuket
This new resort – which opened just last month - is located on Makham Bay in Cape Panwa - not too far from Phuket Town and Patong but far enough to be the perfect hideaway. The 224-room resort, with a 200-metre stretch of private beach, has two beachfront pools. All rooms have balconies and wifi is available throughout the property. Other facilities include two restaurants, a gym, spa and a lobby lounge.
Unique point: There is a third semi-private beachfront pool for guests of the pool loft suites
Special deal: It is currently offering opening specials that start from THB2999 (US$96) per night.
Dusit Thani Maldives, Maldives
Located in Baa Atoll, which is 35 minutes away from Malé by seaplane, this new resort is a snorkeler’s paradise as it is surrounded by coral reef and crystal clear water. The resort consists of just 100 villas and residences offering state-of-the-art technology, including an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and either private pools or direct beach or lagoon access. There are three restaurants, two bars, a spa, gym, library and the largest infinity pool in the Maldives, measuring 750 sqm.
Unique point: The spa has six tree-top treatment pods accessible by sky bridges winding through palm trees.
Special deal: A “Suite Summer” package is on offer, starting from US$2,025 (excluding taxes and service charge, minimum four nights) per night that includes a stay at a two-bedroom villa with a dedicated butler, meal upgrade to “full board” and a sunset cruise for four persons.
Intercontinetnal Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Danang
Embedded in the hills of the Son Tra Peninsula and close to the Unesco World Heritage Site of The Imperial City of Hue, this resort offers guests a tranquil escape and a rich cultural experience. The 219-room resort, each resembling a rustic Vietnamese house with minimalist and elegant décor, consists of three restaurants and two bars, a gym and spa.
Unique point: The structure of the hotel, being built into the hills with several standalone ‘houses’, resembles a village
Special deal: At press time, the weekend rate for a standard room or 2 queen resort classic ocean view room started from US$220. Weekend deals for two are also being offered to include cocktails, late check-out, full buffet or equivalent breakfast.
Sands Cotai Central, Macau
The “Vegas of the East” is now home to the world’s largest Conrad and Holiday Inn in the world, all of which are part of this mammoth property complete with a retail complex (see story here). In September, the world’s largest Sheraton will join its inventory to bring the total number of guest rooms to a whopping 5,800. Sands Cotai Central features a Himalayan theme in the gaming area and the public spaces of the Holiday Inn and Conrad.
Unique point: Easy access to a wide range of entertainment options and an indoor green space – Paradise Garden – with a God of Fortune statue
Special deal: "Your rewards packages" are available starting from HK$1,398 (US$180) per night for Holiday Inn and HK$1,998 (US$257) for Conrad. They include accommodation, daily breakfast for two, one-way CotaiJet tickets for two from Macau to Hong Kong as well as MOP500 (US$64) Rewards Dollars per night for shopping, dining, spa and entertainment. Available until July 12.
Sheraton Qingyuan Lion Lake Resort, Guangdong
The design of this property, located near Guangzhou by Lion Lake, has an Arabian theme complete with dome structures, archways and mosaic prints. The large, 349-room resort consists of six restaurants and bars, including Casablanca that serves Middle Eastern cuisine and a cigar bar, a 36-hole golf course, two outdoor tennis courts, an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, a billiards room, a mahjong room, gym, spa and, to top it all off, a musical fountain.
Unique point: The variety of facilities and the elegant Middle Eastern décor
Special deal: “Happy summer special rates” from RMB 868 (US$137; plus 15 per cent) per room, per night are offered, including accommodation in deluxe garden view room, breakfast for two, RMB120 (US$19) food and beverage allowance, 4pm late check-out. Valid until June 30, 2012.
Alisha Haridasani and Reggie Ho