Mana Island Resort & Spa - Fiji

玛娜岛度假村-斐济

English


斐济玛娜岛度假村坐落于距楠迪国际机场和丹那劳港32公里的玛玛奴莎群岛,是一座名副其实的热带天堂。度假村置于300英亩的葱郁花园中,周围环绕着清澈透明的海水和白色沙滩,它是天堂的珠宝中最闪耀的一块。

Mana Island Resort & Spa - Plunged Pool

从奢华草房到豪华套房到时尚又不失传统的斐济草屋,度假村为客人提供了大量的选择,分别适于情侣、家庭或大型团体。客人可以在设有4间美容美发沙龙疗养室的玛娜温泉疗养中心调养身心、在两个淡水泳池旁小憩、在五间主题餐厅中享用美食并感受极致的用餐体验、在四间酒吧中小酌,或是跟随我们的PADI团队学习浮潜和潜水。

玛娜岛度假村提供丰富多彩的陆地和水上活动,包括全天帆船航行、皮划艇、喷气式划水、跳岛游、夜间娱乐活动(篝火舞会等)。度假村设有儿童俱乐部,并且我们的会议中心是举办奖励会议、小组会议或婚宴的理想场所。在我们的海滨小教堂或日落海滩举办婚礼,也不失为一种绝妙的选择。

Mamanuca Restaurant - Mana Island Resort & Spa

我们占有三片美丽的海滩。岛的南部设有水上活动,而北部海滩则更安静。日落海滩和野餐海滩适合那些寻求私密和僻静的客人。高回访率的客人就是我们服务的保障,自2018年7月8日起,我们将提供一日三餐全包。

Mamanuca Restaurant - Mana Island Resort & Spa

斐济玛娜岛度假村是一座融合了传统斐济风情、热情友好的民俗和现代便利设施的天堂之岛,从而为客人创造极致的度假体验。

Mana Island Resort & Spa - Fiji

Mana Island Resort & Spa – Fiji

中文


Mana Island Resort & Spa – Fiji is a tropical paradise nestled in the heart of the Mamanuca group at 32 kilometers west of either Nadi International Airport or port Denarau. Sitting at 300 acres of lush gardens and fully surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, this resort is a gem in the cluster of jewels.

Mana Island Resort & Spa - Plunged Pool

The resort offers an extensive range of accommodation from Premium Bures to Luxury Suite Rooms or the modern yet traditional Fijian Bures and caters to couples, families and large groups alike. Guests can rejuvenate in Mana’s Spa featuring 4 treatment room with a hair and a beauty salon, lay around in one of our two fresh water pools, savor a meal at one of our five themed restaurants with ultimate dining experiences, hydrate at one of our four bars or learn to snorkel or dive with our PADI team.

Mana offers a myriad of land and water based activities from full day sailing, Kayaking, Jet Ski rides, Island Hopping, nightly entertainments including fire walking and dancing amongst many more. The resort has a Kids Club and our conference center is a great place for both incentive and small group meetings, or wedding receptions. Getting married in our beach side chapel or at sunset beach, is an inspiration.

Mamanuca Restaurant - Mana Island Resort & Spa

We are privileged with 3 beautiful beaches. South side of the island boasts water sports activities whilst northern beach is much quieter. The sunset and picnic beaches are for those who are seeking privacy and seclusion. Our high rate of returning guest speaks for itself and as of July 08th, 2018 we will be a 3 Meal inclusive property.

Mamanuca Restaurant - Mana Island Resort & Spa

Mana Island Resort & Spa Fiji is a true blend haven of modern conveniences combined with traditional Fijian customs and friendliness, thus creating an ultimate holiday experience.

Spending easter in Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives

Escape this Easter to Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi, Maldives

With three Bank Holidays and three weekends falling in the Easter 2018 period, this year is the
ideal time to take an Easter break.

The tropical climes of the Maldives archipelago are a firm favourite with holidaymakers.
Unsurprising, given the 29-degree average temperatures, the silky sands, warm seas and cloudless
skies…

There are paradises to explore in the Maldives, and couples, families and celebrities flock here
from around the world to enjoy luxurious tropical beach holidays.
Consequently, there is a wealth of choice for holiday accommodation.
And the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives is among the very best.

THE HIDEAWAY BEACH RESORT & SPA

Located on the stunning Dhonakulhi Island, Haa Alifu Atoll, Maldives, this exclusive resort is just
a scenic 35-minute plane ride over the sea from the capital city of Malé.

The resort is nestled in an area of stunning natural beauty, offering a 360-degree view of colourful
house reef and enchanting nature trails, lined with coconut palm trees.

Bicycles are provided for those who wish to explore the island, and the warm turquoise seas are
truly irresistible for snorkelers and divers.

The resort boasts a world-class spa relaxation area, private pools, and a steam room and sauna.

There is a water park and sports complex, and guests can enjoy massages, and stress-relieving,
rejuvenating and anti-ageing treatments in the resort spa.

And with its well-earned reputation for elegance, luxury and high-end hospitality, the Hideaway
Beach Resort & Spa is launching an Easter holiday promotion with its White Platinum All-
Inclusive Plan.

IT’S TAKEN CARE OF
The White Platinum Plan takes care of guests’ needs, from dining experiences to airport transfers to sports, activities and classes.

Guests are met at the Velana International Airport by resort personnel – or benefit from a return speedboat transfer from Hanimaadhoo Domestic Airport to the resort.

And upon arrival and departure, they enjoy complimentary access to the VIP lounges at the international airports on the island.

Once at the resort, welcome amenities are provided free of charge. The villas are stocked with Nespresso coffees, organic teas and mineral waters – all complimentary and replenished daily.

There is free Wi-Fi across the resort and in all of the villas, and the friendly and professional staff remain on hand to assist with all needs and requirements.

SPORTS, EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES


Activities include fishing trips, dolphin watching, and reef snorkelling. There is the Aqua Water Park, and a large sports complex, with facilities for football, volleyball and basketball, and a gym. There are complimentary yoga classes and a tennis lesson for each guest.

After a session in the gym, guests can benefit from a free 60-minute Balinese massage in the spa.

TENDER HEARTS KIDS’ CLUB

Guests enjoying a family holiday with children are also welcome to take a break from parenting responsibilities.

Children aged between 3 and 12 are welcome at the Tender Hearts Kids’ Club, where they can enjoy a range of activities, guided by professional childcare staff.

Activities include cooking classes, fishing lessons, crab race, sandcastle making, treasure hunt, painting and drawing, and a local island tour.

ROMANTIC PARADISE ISLAND

The Ocean Villa is a truly exquisite choice for visitors on a romantic break. Guests enjoy breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean, with a private pool overhanging the crystal waters.

There is also a private deck, giving direct access to the rich coral reef.

The villa has an oversized tub, and indoor and outdoor lounging areas for romantic dinners. It is also served by a private butler, who remains on hand to cater to guests throughout their stay.

CARE-FREE FAMILY HOLIDAYS

The water villa is ideal for families enjoying a holiday of a lifetime, spending time together: focusing on what really matters and leaving the work and planning to the professionals.

The villa offers a spacious patio, ideal for outdoor dining. There is also a private plunge pool and lounging areas for group activities.

ALL YOUR CATERING NEEDS

Whether guests are enjoying a romantic break or a family holiday, the White Platinum All-Inclusive Plan has been crafted to ensure that there is something for everyone, with tailor-made culinary experiences.

Served daily, there are 70 world wines available at the resort, including house champagne.

The villa mini bars are kept fully stocked, with beers, wines, soft drinks and snacks all replenished every day.

The resort is also proud to host a range of delectable restaurants for its guests.

MEERU BAR & GRILL:


With poolside dining and dinner on the deck, Meeru Bar & Grill is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day.

Looking out over the ocean, guests can enjoy hand crafted pizzas, baked to perfection in a class wood-fired oven, or lobster straight from the water.

For guests enjoying the White Platinum All-Inclusive Plan, there is a daily two-course à la carte lunch, and lights snacks are provided between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm every day.

MATHEEFARU:

‘Matheefaru’, coral reef in the local language, is a sand-floored oceanfront restaurant, giving diners the opportunity to enjoy exceptional local cuisine on an open-air deck, under a sea of stars.

A firm favourite with foodies, the restaurant’s over-water private dining pavilions are also ideal for romantic dinners. Breakfast and dinner are provided every day for guests.

SAMSARA ASIAN FUSION:


Serene and romantic, Samsara Asian Fusion serves cuisine that is a delightful fusion of Thai, Indian and Japanese influences.

The teppanyaki table is a firm favourite with visitors, and many choose to return again and again to savour the experience. Guests can enjoy one complimentary three-course à la carte dinner at Samsara Asian Fusion.

SUNSET POOL CAFÉ:


The Sunset Pool Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and its stunning panoramic views of the island make it a popular choice throughout the day.

The flavour infused dishes have Asian and European influences, and there is a daily two-course à la carte lunch available for White Platinum All-Inclusive Plan guests.

Bali is safe – visiting The Trans Resort in Seminyak, Bali.

BALI IS SAFE
VISITING THE TRANS RESORT
IN SEMINYAK, BALI.


Visiting the Trans Resort in Seminyak, Bali


Bali remains a world-class holiday destination, drawing streams of holiday-makers to its turquoise waters and picturesque beaches.

The island of Bali is typically safe, and remains consistently popular with world travellers, revellers, and family holiday-makers alike. Fastidious about safety, local authorities have declared a small area around Mount Agung as a ‘no-go zone’ for visitors. But this small exclusion is unlikely to affect holiday-makers and guests at the resorts.


The Trans Resort Bali


The Trans Resort Bali is located in a vibrant and fashionable district of Seminyak. It is easily accessible for world travellers, and is just 70 kilometres away from an international airport.

This upmarket resort offers sumptuous facilities and amenities, catering for high-end stays in Bali. The attention to detail here is astounding, and guest reviews praise the resort for exceeding expectations and going above and beyond to ensure that visitors have the best possible time.

As a consequence, the resort sees many of its guests returning frequently and benefits from a strong word-of-mouth reputation for consistently high quality and luxurious getaways. Equally, the Trans Resort Bali is known as an ideal destination for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, being ideally situated as a gateway to exploring Bali.


Luxurious Amenities


Amenities at the Trans Resort Bali have been carefully designed and developed to ensure guests have everything they need on site. There is a large outdoor swimming pool, an on-site spa and wellness centre, a gym, and a lounge. Those visiting on business can also benefit from conferencing facilities and free wifi across the resort.

There is also free private parking for guests at the resort, for those bringing a car or renting one to explore the island.


Sports, Crafts, and Classes: Seven Days a Week


The resort offers an extensive schedule of sports, activities and classes throughout the weekend, including weekends. There is yoga for beginners, and power walking on the beach. The sports include basket polo, darts, volley polo, ping-pong and frisbee. There are also chess competitions, and a Balinese cooking class. (See below for a full programme.)

Additional ‘chargeable activities’ include hair braiding, pizza making, kids’ pampering, and Balinese dress-up. These are charged at between IDR 100.000 and 350.000 nett.


World-class Catering


The catering on the resort is exactly as you would expect of a high-end Balinese establishment. Guests praise the quality and variety of the cuisine; and breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served on-site. Visitors can enjoy drinks and meals on their private balconies, or among other guests in the restaurants and shared spaces.


Warmth and Professionalism


The Trans Resort Bali is routinely praised for the friendliness and professionalism of its staff. The large body of staff are available across the resort, throughout the day and night, to help and advise guests. Warm and accommodating, resort staff pride themselves on taking care of their guests, and creating a happy and comfortable atmosphere.


Accessibility


Unusually for Bali, the Trans Resort is also wheelchair-friendly, making it an ideal base for those with extra accessibility needs.


Family-friendly Facilities


The Trans Resort Bali is a perfect holiday choice for those travelling with children. The resort is very secure, with the always friendly and professional staff on hand to help. There is a varied programme of activities throughout the week to keep children of all ages occupied.

The children’s activities include crafts and painting, dressing-up and sports; and on Saturday evening, parents and children can enjoy the Kids & Family Move Night together.  See below for a full list.

Visit http://www.transresortbali.com or contact [email protected] to help you arrange a booking.


The Full Programme of Activities

Monday
Yoga Beginner Class
Basket Polo
Darts Tournament
Balinese Traditional Desert Making
Tuesday
Power Walk by Seminyak Village
Volley Polo
Chess Competition
Folding Napkin
Wednesday
Yoga Beginner Class
Frisbee Contest
Ping Pong Tournament
Jamu Recipe
Thursday
Power Walk by the beach
Basket Polo
Chess Competition
Folding Napkin
Friday
Cardio Circuit Exercise
Volley Polo
Making Balinese Offering
Balinese Cooking Class
Saturday
Abdominal Exercise
Basket Polo
Ping Pong Relay
Kids & Family Movie Night
Box-Office Lounge
Sunday
Power Walk by Seminyak Village
Frisbee Contest
Crazy Dart
Ping Pong Fighting your self

Schedule of Kids’ Activities

Monday
Let’s painting
Corrugated paper art
Tug of war
Balinese dress up
Frisbee games
Tuesday
Egg painting
Greeting card making
Volley Polo
Kecak Dance
Basket Polo
Wednesday
Hat Painting
Bracelet & Necklace making
Frisbee games
Balinese megambel
Tug of war
Thursday
Paper Cup Painting
Octopus Making
Basket Polo
Balinese dress up
Mini Water Polo
Friday
Face Painting
Cup Cake Decorating
Volley Polo
Making Balinese Offering
Frisbee Contest
Saturday
Mask Painting
Paper Bag Making
Basket Polo
Resort Tour
Kids & Family Movie Night
Sunday
Kite Painting
Cookies Decorating
Let’s Slide Down
Kecak Dance
Mini Water Polo

Gili Lankanfushi is the no.1 Resort in the Maldives for 2018 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards

GILI LANKANFUSHI

NO.1 RESORT IN THE MALDIVES
FOR 2018 TRIPADVISOR TRAVELLER’S CHOICE AWARDS


Warmest Greetings from Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives !

We are delighted to announce that Gili Lankanfushi Maldives has been voted as the Number 1 resort in the Maldives and Top 5 best hotel in the world in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’s Choice Awards. On behalf of the hosts and management team, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for your continuous support.

We could not have done this without you taking the time to provide your valuable feedback. Your review has helped us improve our resort, and inspired the team to keep delivering memorable experiences. Thank you once again and we look forward to welcome you on Gili Lankanfushi to create your own Gili Story.

The Incredible Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort!

The Incredible Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort!

When Charlie Chandra and Peter Bloomfield announced me as the winner of the Paradises Maldives competition last year I could hardly believe that it was my name written on the screen in front of me! But I REALLY could not prepare myself for just how incredibly lucky I was to be to be able to visit the Maldives for the first time in my life and stay at the incredible Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort!

We flew from Australia to Malé (the capital city and most populous island in the Maldives) with Singapore Airlines. At Malé’s Velana International Airport, we were met by Outrigger Konotta staff who took care of everything while we waited in the guest lounge, and after an hour long domestic flight and 25 minute speedboat, we’d arrived in paradise.

First impressions: “Wow”! We were speechless. Words cannot describe just how magnificent the island is, but hopefully these photos will give you some idea of the true beauty of this incredible place!

Days on Konotta started with beach yoga, sunrise fishing (where one morning we caught two spectacular red grouper fish which were later cooked to our liking and served for dinner), or our favourite activity – walking the few footsteps from our villa across the cool white sand to welcome the huge tangerine sun rising over the Indian Ocean. Absolutely breathtaking! What a treat it was to be so close to the action, yet feel completely ‘away from it all’ at the same time. It certainly doesn’t take long to convert to ‘island time’ on Konotta and have the delightful pleasure of switching off, forgetting what time it is, what day it is, and abandoning your whole busy life back home.

A short walk to breakfast and we’re greeted by Chandana, our cheery, hardworking breakfast host with a wide smile and sparkling eyes who offered us fresh pastries, tropical fruits, freshly-squeezed juices (or perhaps a cheeky champagne or Bloody Mary), yoghurts, cheeses and cold meats from the buffet, followed by an a la carte breakfast served at Blue Salt overlooking the emerald lagoon. Every morning, he placed a plate of smoked salmon, dill and capers alongside my hot meal (he’d heard it’s my favourite accompaniment) along with a generous serving of smoked mango which we couldn’t get enough of!

Sunshine hours were filled with as much or as little as you feel like. Sit in your own cabana lounge by the pool and enjoy a signature Konotta ginger iced tea (which we quickly become addicted to!), or spend some time in the complimentary hydro spa, take a dip in your own private plunge pool, enjoy a peaceful paddle board or kayak around the island, or collect shells on the beach – all whilst marvelling at the great beauty of this magical island. We took a JetSki with a guide from Best Dives Konotta (the resort’s activities operator) to visit the biggest pod of dolphins I’ve ever seen in my life – hundreds of spinner dolphins swimming right up and alongside the JetSki, jumping meters into the air with acrobatic prowess. An unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience I know we’ll cherish forever. We also boarded a traditional dhoni boat to spend a morning on a remote uninhabited island for the ultimate castaway experience. Our very own slice of paradise. There’s so many activities to choose from – paragliding, sunset cruising, learning to dive – the list is endless.

But it was in the impossibly clear sea which glowed iridescent turquoise straight in front of our villa, and the pristine reefs that surrounded the island, and the relaxed island lifestyle that I found the very reason everyone dreams of visiting the Maldives one day. The surrounding Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll is home to what is considered some of the best hard coral fields in the world and it was unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere in all my travels. For me, the greatest pleasures came in being able to slip off the edge of the jetty and swim with reef sharks, clown fish and rays on a whim. To take a leisurely snorkel around the island and find yourself swimming alongside a graceful sea turtle. To witness the most colourful corals and diverse marine life I could possibly ever imagine. To see for myself all the beautiful shades of blue and green and to feel the warm Maldivian sunshine on my back. To have the feeling that I’ve stepped into a postcard – and realising that in fact that postcard had not been photo edited – that the scenery really is almost too perfect to believe. To have time to just be happy. On a remote island. In the middle of the spellbinding Indian Ocean.

Arriving back at the villa – which, by the way, was exquisite (and expansive) – there’s the choice to sit back in the spacious lounge area and enjoy the complimentary cheese and wine platter, or take a bubble bath in the luxurious bathroom, or (my personal favourite) climb the stairs to the top deck, hidden amongst the thick foliage of several coconut palms, and lay comatose on a sun lounger before spending some time in our own rooftop spa pool. Total barefoot luxury.

And every afternoon we wandered around the island just before sunset, gin and tonic and camera in hand, capturing moments that we’ll cherish forever and feeling like we had the entire island to ourselves. Despite it being Christmas time and all the rooms being full, the island felt far from crowded and we could always find a quiet spot with no one else in sight.

Dinners are served under a sky full of stars, and the food is utterly sublime. Being so close to India and Sri Lanka, the cuisine certainly has been influenced by regional flavours – the fresh seafood combined with spicy coconut curries are a delight for the senses. The perfect end to another perfect day.

After dinner, there’s a chance to mingle with the other guests and staff on the sand and enjoy a complimentary wine tasting. It was so lovely to spend time listening to fellow Aussie Amanda (the resort’s Spa Manager) talk about her extensive travels around the world, and chat to Executive Chef Chris about the flailing English cricket side, and get to know Guillaume – the attentive Resort Manger who generously went out of his way to ensure that we had the most wonderful time and that our every need was catered for. And of course, Kim, our host for the duration of the stay. Throughout our entire Konotta experience, we were very well taken care of in the gentle hands and beaming smile of Kim. It doesn’t take long to realise this island is a very special place made extra special by the people living and working there. They all had an uncanny ability to make us feel right at home, and in the same breath feel like royalty.

It’s the small details and personal touches that sets Konotta apart – the complimentary sweet treats delivered to our door every afternoon, the offer to borrow a pair of sunglasses when mine went missing, the spontaneous invitation for a quick night cap with the staff in the evening – it just goes to show how much they value their guests. Considerate is the best word to describe it. It was so refreshing to encounter people who actually listened to us and took a genuine interest in us as people, and we would now consider them friends. There’s no doubt we have experienced the Outrigger Resorts spirit of warmth, generosity and kindness.

It goes without saying that we had a truly unforgettable stay. There are few places in the world we have visited that are as impressive as Outrigger Konotta and we feel extremely grateful and lucky to have had the pleasure of experiencing all the facets of this wonderful place. A visit to the Maldives really is one of the most amazing and unique life experiences that everyone should add to their bucket list, and I can’t thank Charlie Chandra, Peter Bloomfield and the entire Paradises community enough for making my Maldives dream a reality!

3 Things To See and Do from Nagarkot

Approximately 25km to the East of Kathmandu, in Bhaktapur District, you can capture Nepal at it’s essence. Nestled in the hills and crevices of the Kathmandu Valley, beyond the famous heritage site of Bhaktapur itself, a beautiful selection of villages, temples and nature await.

I spent 8 days in this gorgeous nook of the world in November 2016. I found the climate in Nepal to be comfortable this time of the year. Daytimes were warm (in the mid 20’s) and nights were cold- a result of the altitude. Telkot was my base point- a tiny village in the hills, 10km below Nagarkot. Nagarkot is renown for it’s spectacular views of the Himalayas and Kathmandu Valley. I made my way here via a local bus from Kathmandu via Bhaktapur- an adventure in itself! Weaving through the dusty backroads with the locals, you feel you could be on the Knight Bus from Harry Potter, (Nepal, after all, isn’t known for having quality roads.) Having caught the bus too far, I was lucky to capture the view from Nagarkot when stopping by the luxurious KavyaEpikurean Resort for Nepalese tea and directions. A week here in the hills enabled an oasis of serenity, with a selection of must-see sites within reachable distance. Here are my top 3 excursions:

Changu Village

Changu is located on a high hilltop surrounded by forest, a panorama of the Himalayas completing it’s landscape. You can walk here from Telkot (the next nearest village), passing by the huts and farms of the locals along the way. The beauty is in the contrast between snowy mountainsand a landscape below that in not unalike desert villages I’d expect to see in Africa.

walking with friends to Changu Village, seen in the distance
Cows and Goats

The village of Changu houses the ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan, one of the oldest in Nepal. This temple miraculously survived the 2015 earthquakes while the village around it near- shattered. The locals are gentle, many of them selling quality, inexpensive home-made goods on the lane leading up to the temple. They have been working together to rebuild their village, and it’s fulfilling to be able to support them. Should you wish to stay longer, homestay with a local family is also an option. (Regrettably, I wasn’t able to do so due to my schedule.) With a 3 hour return walk- if you’re coming from Telkot- the combination of stunning views, history and shopping make for a lovely day.

Changu Temple

Sankhu Village and Bajroyogini Temple

Stand in the right place and you’ll see the vast village of Sankhu sprawled in the valley below Telkot/ Nagarkot. Surrounded by crop fields, and with a river that weaves its way around the outskirts, Sankhu provides a classic example of Nepalese daily life. Take a walk down the hill from Telkot to capture the valley in it’s entirety (the nearest buses go to Telkot, or to Sankhu itself if you’re coming from the direction of Kathmandu.) Greet the locals as you pass through- you’ll find they are as interested in learning about your culture as you are about theirs.

The view of Sankhu as seen from the direction of Telkot and Nagarkot Heights

Across the valley and halfway up the opposing hill lies Bajrayogini Temple, celebrating a Hindu Goddess by the same name. Getting there requires a walk up over 1000 steps through the jungle (a challenge- I won’t deny it) though the view is worth it. The main temple is 3 stories high and beautifully constructed. Monkeys, goats and cows can be seen along the way. Go there on the right day and you’ll be able to sit and listen as Nepalese play music and sing in celebration of their God. As you return through Sankhu, stop for some lunch at a local restaurant- after all that walking, you’ll need it

The steps to Bajrayogini
The temple itself

Sunrise at Nagarkot Heights

At 2,195 meters, Nagarkot Heights offers panoramic views of the Himalayas (including Everest) and Kathmandu Valley, making it one of the most scenic places in the District. Coming here at sunrise is probably the best way to see it. This will require an early start- but do ensure you get up there in time to source a prime location for the spectacle. To watch this everyday occurrence in such grand surroundings is truly powerful. The Himalayas sure have a way of capturing your full and undivided attention. If possible, take some masala tea up there with you. Not only will it keep you warm until the sun rears it’s head, but it will add to the experience of capturing Nepal’s finest.

Sunrise at Nagarkot Heights.

Why I Fell in Love With Hoi An, Vietnam

Visiting the graceful historic port of Hoi An felt like taking a glimpse into an older version of Vietnam.

The peaceful Old Town is filled with ancient tea houses, Chinese temples and perfectly preserved merchant houses. Unlike the huge sprawling metropolises of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An is small enough to navigate on foot. It is much quieter and more laid back – without the snarling swarms of motorbikes at every intersection.

I fell in love with the elegance of this old fashioned town as I explored its narrow alleyways and peaceful streets. There are many things to love about Hoi An – here are the aspects of the city that enchanted me:

The Food

Food in Vietnam was superb and dining in Hoi An, on the atmospheric streets surrounded by colourful lanterns, was a delight. There are several fantastic restaurants there serving up the fresh, fragrant and flavourful Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, Pho, Banh Mi and Bun Bo Hue.

Whether you are looking for a cheap authentic local lunch from a street cart or a night of fine dining in a luxurious restaurant, you’ll find a great selection in Hoi An. If you like seafood you can head out to the beach at An Bang. There are also plenty of food tours and cooking classes to enjoy.

The People

Another reason to love Hoi An is the people. In this quiet town the pace of life is a lot more laid back, so you have more time to stroll down the street, smile at people and strike up a conversation.

Linger in a cafe or chat to the local street vendors – the people you meet and talk to will be one of the most memorable parts of your visit. We had a great time talking to our guide who took us on a boat tour down the river, he had a warm and welcoming smile that I will never forget.

The Architecture

You will get a sense of history as soon as you arrive in Hoi An. The town mostly consists of beautiful timber-frame buildings, brightly painted pagodas, ancient temples and 200 year old shophouses. The town itself is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the many ancient temples, bridges and other buildings.

There are many heritage buildings that have been lovingly restored and can be visited for a fee.The streets are blocked off to motorbikes and cars during the day, so it’s easy to wander around and explore the colourful buildings without worrying about getting run over! When you are visiting historic sites and temples in the Old Town, make sure that you dress respectfully and cover your shoulders and legs.

The Affordable Custom Made Clothing

One of the amazing things about Hoi An is that for a very affordable price you can get beautiful one of a kind custom tailored clothing made for you at one of the many tailor shops. No matter what you want, whether it is a pair of pajamas, a suit or an elegant evening gown, you can have it made for you at a fraction of what you would pay at home.

My boyfriend Lee had a suit custom tailored while we were there and I got a lovely dress. I would love to go back again and have lots of different clothing made. Many of the tailors are so talented that you can simply show them a photo of a piece of clothing you like in a catalogue and they will be able to recreate it.

The Beautiful Colours

Bright red silk lanterns, emerald green rice paddies, banana yellow houses with cyan doors- Hoi An is a photographer’s dream. The brightly painted walls and curved roofs are a result of hundreds of years of history.

It is a feast for the eyes, with splashes of colour on every surface and a lively energy in the streets. If you truly want to be overwhelmed by colour and texture, visit the Central Market in Hoi An where vendors gather to sell live chickens, fresh tropical fruit and handwoven crafts.

These are just a few of the reasons why I loved Hoi An. When you make your own trip there, you are likely to find things about this charming place that will make you fall in love with it as well.

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Chiang Mai Royale

Within the old city of Chiang Mai, lies Rachamankha, a 25 room and suite property that very well compasses the rich history of Chiang Mai. The distinctive architecture is strongly inspired by the eleventh centuries B.C, which makes Rachamankha, exudes old world charm and character.

Getting to the hotel from the airport is very easy. Just head out to the taxi stand and there’s a booth where all the drivers congregates and someone will be there to help you get a taxi. Don’t worry about touting, prices are fixed prior you get on a cab.

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Check in was a breeze. We stayed in a Courtyard Superior which was on the second level of the property. Room is furnished with strong emphasis on wood and simplicity. The high ceiling was a plus that made the room look spacious.

Around the property, there are places where you can simply sit and enjoy a book or even a cup of tea while you take in the serenity of the surroundings. Didn’t bring a book for your trip? Just hop over to the library where it houses over 2,000 books ranging from history, art to architecture. The library was such a tranquil place that I even spent a few house in there, slipping my coffee while tapping away on my laptop.

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You can either dine in the restaurant proper or al fresco at the patio. Should the weather permit, choose the latter. The patio is set within an intimate area of concrete walls and perfectly manicured potted topiary. Ideal for a romantic dinner after an evening stroll, exploring the little nooks of the property. The restaurant serves traditional dishes that celebrates the cultures of the Lanna, Burmese and Shan cuisines.

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There are many points of attractions that you can visit whilst in Chiang Mai. Just round the corner, there are four notable temples within walking distance. Looking for something more historical? Head over to the tour counter, located right in front of the restaurant and seek for some recommendations.

Transportations are aplenty within the old and new city of Chiang Mai. I love taking the red tuk tuks as it’s fast and definitely low priced. A trip into the new city starts from just 10 BAHT.

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Rachamankha is definitely a place to consider if you are in the mood for historical Northern Thai culture or just seeking a residential living rather than a hotel stay.

indonesia karma resorts

Hotels with the best pool in Bali

The cold season is slowly breezing in but there are still places that provides almost 365 days of pure summer heat.  Here are 3 of the best swimming pools we have seen in Bali that guarantees a splashing good time!

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With a pool that’s perched on a cliff top of an elevated limestone peninsula, you know the view would be exceptional. Karma Kandara is an award-winning luxury resort that comprises of 54 private pool villas. Not only do you get your own private pool, you also get access to their main pool (pictured above). Rates start from USD 1140 per night.

 

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Nestled within 14 hectares of tropical manicured garden, InterContinental Bali Resort offers premium accommodations in three unique levels of accommodation: Resort Classic, Singaraja and Club InterContinental. With its six swimming pools, you are never short of choices. Opt for a night in their Club Room and get access to the Club Intercontinental Pool where complimentary light refreshments are served all day.  Rates start from USD 320 per night.

 

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From its spectacular saline water turquoise Lagoon to its Main Pool with two Jacuzzis, St Regis Bali Resort offers multiple options for refreshing dips. Don’t miss out on getting a few treatments done at the Aqua-Vitale Pool at Remède Spa where sheer pleasure is delivered at its best. Rates start from USD 616 per night.

 

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