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.

kellytang rachamanka

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.

kellytang_rachamanka_001

kellytang_rachamanka_002

kellytang_rachamanka_003

kellytang_rachamanka_004

kellytang_rachamanka_005

kellytang_rachamanka_006

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.

kellytang_rachamanka_009

kellytang_rachamanka_007

kellytang_rachamanka_008

kellytang_rachamanka_010

kellytang_rachamanka_011

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.

kellytang_rachamanka_012

kellytang_rachamanka_013

kellytang_rachamanka_014

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.

kellytang_rachamanka_015

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!

indonesia_karmaresorts_001

 

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.

 

indonesia_intercontinentalbali_004

 

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.

 

indonesia_stregisbali_004

 

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.

 

kellytang_ametisvilla

Ametis Villa – Simply precious, simply wonderful

Located in the quiet town of Canngu, Ametis Villa houses just 13 villas. Each villa consists of the bedroom with a separate living area, a swimming pool and a well-equipped kitchen.

Colours adorning the property are of a neutral colour. Much reminding me of the times I’ve spent in South Africa. Shades of green and brown are seen throughout the property with wooden fixtures that emphasis on the Balinese culture.

kellytang_ametisvilla_003

Each villa is assigned with your own personal butler. They are there to cater to every of your whim and fancy. From restaurant reservations to assisting of special arrangement and even chauffeuring you to and fro to Seminyak. Having a butler to spoil us was definitely a well-deserved treat!

kellytang_ametisvilla_004

A selection of nuts and cookies are replenished every day and there’s even an afternoon tea you can enjoy either at the comfort of your villa or at the foyer of the hotel. Afternoon tea is a simple selection of coffee or tea and bite size snacks.

kellytang_ametisvilla_005 kellytang_ametisvilla_006 kellytang_ametisvilla_007

 

kellytang_ametisvilla_010 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA kellytang_ametisvilla_013 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Serving authentic, home-style Indonesia dishes is Eternal Restaurant. I must say that it serves one of the better Indonesian food that I’ve tasted. Chef gets his ingredients every day at the local market so you can expect nothing but freshness.

kellytang_ametisvilla_008 kellytang_ametisvilla_009

You can also choose to organize a private cooking class in the midst of your own villa.

kellytang_ametisvilla_015 kellytang_ametisvilla_016

Charm your partner with a private candlelight dinner by the beach. Food is prepared and cooked a la minute.  The management will go all out to ensure that you have the perfect experience dining by the beach. I was actually the first guest for their new set-up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA kellytang_ametisvilla_018

We had such a wonderful time. We came home feeling much relaxed, rejuvenated, spoiled and penning down the next trip back to Ametis on our calendar!

Ametis Villa

Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu – Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Phone. +62 361 844 5567 | +62 828 9719 1888

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ametisvillabali
Website: http://www.ametisvilla.com/

paradises

Silavadee Resort & Spa Koh Samui, Thailand

SILAVADEE RESORT & SPA

Koh Samui, Thailand

By Kelly Tang

Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, the island of Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s premier holiday destinations. The island has a population of about 40,000 and is defined by four main beach regions and tourist communities spread across 228.7sq kms. These four regions make up the tourist hub. They are Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, Bophut Beach and Maenam Beach.

The majority of resort spas and hotels are situated in these four regions ranging from budget backpacker accommodation to the very best 5 star resorts.

DSCN0012
Early morning fishing boat, Gulf of Thailand

Silavadee Resort & Spa

On arrival I instantly knew that I was going to love everything about this place. I inhaled the fresh smell of lemongrass wafting throughout the open-air lobby whilst sipping on delicious ice-cold tea. After a quick check-in, I was given a tour around this beautiful and exclusive property on a golf buggy. Earthy colours and wood are emphasized through out the resort complimenting and blending with the environment.

Silavadee Resort & Spa was designed as natural and as eco friendly as possible. Mature trees that were on the property were maintained and the resort was built around them.

DSCN0130
Resort’s private beach

The resort is situated in the Lamai Beach area and is more subdued and relaxed compared to some of the other Koh Samui Resort beach regions.

Having travelled extensively throughout Asia, Silavadee Resort and Spa rates as one of the best resorts I have had the pleasure of staying in. The hospitality awards the resort has achieved is testament to this.

Silavadee is perfectly situated for isolation, serenity and privacy but if the madness of bars, restaurants and shopping is what you would like to do the beauty is that Chaweng Beach is only a short ten-minute drive away.

First impressions are lasting, you instantly fall in love with the tranquility of the Silavadee Resort & Spa.

DSCN0030
Infinity pool reflections

Highlights of Silavadee Resort & Spa

Incredibly peaceful and serene

Infinity Pool: Overlooking the Gulf of Siam

Private beach, ideal for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking

Inviting outside bars

Great views from the restaurant

Delicious and fresh breakfast buffet

All rooms are outstanding

Excellent therapeutic and wellness spa

Variety of accommodation to suit varying budgets

Chaweng beach is near for a huge variety of restaurants and great shopping

Perfect location for a wedding

Wonderful accommodating staff who are warm, welcoming and available.

DSCN0062
Beautiful restaurant views

EXPLORING KOH SAMUI

*Island safari full day or half tours and all other attractions can be organized from resort staff

*Silavadee Resort & Spa has complimentary transport available throughout the day if you want to visit other parts of the island including the very popular and busy Chewang beach.

DSCN0158
Stunning colours of Thailand from the resort’s infintiy pool

Tips

 Bring a good book and spend as much time at the resort’s infinity pool.

Always remember that if driving in a foreign country, ensure you have an international drivers license.

ACCOMMODATION

www.paradisesonline.com

HOW TO GET THERE:

 Jetset Travel Rosebay

(02) 9371 8611

www.jetsetrosebay.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

elevator art

[email protected] Design Hotel & Spa

[email protected]

Design Hotel & Spa Bangkok
By Kelly Tang

Bangkok for the past four years has been voted the hottest (hip and happening) exciting city to visit on the planet by Travel & Leisure Magazine. With so many beautiful and historical cities in the world this is an extraordinary achievement. So deciding on a hotel and choosing where to stay can be a huge headache.

On a recent trip to Bangkok, I had the pleasure of staying at [email protected] Design Hotel & Spa and so glad I did.

Funky, uber smooth and cool are adjectives that best describe this hotel. Perfectly positioned opposite Bangkok’s National Sports Stadium and moments away from Bangkok’s great rail (Skytrain) system and a short walking distance to most of Bangkok’s premier shopping precincts. These include the deluxe shopping experience of Siam Paragon, Siam Square, CentralWorld, Gaysorn and the massive MBK centre.

Artwork, sculptures, colours and décor ensures this hotel offers so much more than the standard fare that most other hotels exude.

Lobby sculpture
Lobby sculpture

 

Elevator artIMG_0320_1
Elevator art

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF [email protected]:

The hotel has a great rooftop with 360 degrees views of the city. You will spend many hours sitting high above Bangkok’s glittering skyline on the rooftop sipping cocktails or enjoying some of the roof restaurants excellent offerings.

DSCN8718

Rooftop dining

[email protected] has 4 restaurants and 4 bars including a mezzanine wine lounge and cigar bar. The hotel’s live music adds to the funk ‘n’ soul that this hotel projects.

Lobby barDSCN8588
Lobby bar

The business community is not forgotten of course, as three floors are solely devoted to business. Talking of business, hotel business that is, I have to commend management and all their staff with their professionalism. They were exemplary, friendly, always smiling and nothing was ever any trouble.

After your inevitable Bangkok tourist and shopping to do list is slowly worked through, book a spa treatment at [email protected]’s ‘Spa Ten Centre’ and experience a truly indulgent time. I can recommend the 60-minute full body oil massage. It was pure bliss.

A variety of accommodation (203 individual rooms) all uniquely crafted along interior artistic themes are available to suit most budgets and rooms are delightfully decorated.

DSCN8596
Artistic themed rooms

The infinity pool and relaxation area is an oasis in one of the world’s busiest cities. Spend some time here to unwind and guaranteed you will feel stress levels slowly dissipate. The hotel also has a fully equipped gym and fitness centre with personal trainer on standby and after a workout visit their juice bar to get refueled.

Spa and Fitness Centre
Spa and Fitness Centre

 

IMG_0286
Pool relaxation area

 

If your time in Bangkok coincides with any major sporting event at the National Stadium, get in the pool early for a ringside seat as it overlooks the arena.

infinity pool overlooking national stadium
Infinity pool overlooking national stadium

So take the stress out of deciding where to stay and book a room at [email protected] Design Hotel & Spa. You will not be disappointed.

SOME MAIN BANGKOK ATTRACTIONS

The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew: Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of Thai Kings and the Royal court, the Grand Palace continues to enthrall visitors with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.

Floating markets: The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic experience into the life of traditional market vendors. Early morning is best time to visit as market is liveliest.

Kao San Road: Travellers (it’s a backpackers paradise) from every corner of the world congregate here. Travel agencies, clubs/bars, eclectic market stalls and restaurants all call Kao San home.

Wat Pho: Gigantic reclining Buddha and traditional Thai massage. Wat Pho harbours a fascinating collection of murals. The vast temple complex contains a landscaped garden with stone sculptures and stupas adorned with glazed porcelain.

Wat Arun: One of the oldest and best-known tourist attractions in Bangkok. The temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. Best views of Wat Arun are in the evening with the sun setting behind it.

Chinatown: Chinatown is a colourful, exotic and pleasingly chaotic area, packed with market stalls and probably the highest concentration of gold shops in the city.

Weekend markets: Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must-visit place for tourists. The market is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. Is the largest outdoors market in the southern hemisphere.

See staff at the tour desk on the lobby level next to concierge for any tour information.

TIPS

You’re in Asia where heat and humidity is prevalent so pack accordingly.

If hiring a taxi ensure the driver uses his meter.

Pack lightly and shop hard.

If you plan on hiring any kind of vehicle (car or bike) ensure you have an international drivers license. Cost is under $50 AUD and can be acquired from the NRMA. (Australia only)

HOW TO GET THERE

Jetset Travel Rosebay

(02) 9371 8166

www.jetsetrosebay.com.au

Words and photography by Kelly Tang

cook islands rarotonga sanctuary rarotonga sunset

The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

I have been to Phuket numerous of times and frankly I’ve never stayed on any of its outlying islands. This time round, I had the opportunity to visit one of the Starwood Group’s properties, The Naka Ialand.

Located just off the eastern coast of Phuket, The Naka Island is perfectly poised along the southern portion of Naka Yai Island. To get there, simply arrange for a speedboat pick up from the Ao Po Grand Marina.

nakaisland_001 nakaisland_002

Once you arrive at the pier, you are immediately picked up by the resort’s buggy and transferred to your villa for check-in. I love in-room check-in. No queues, no crowds, just you and the resort’s staff. The route to the villa was serene and was well greeted by passing staff. We checked into the Tropical Pool Villa and lucky for us, our villa was one of the villas that had the sea view.

nakaisland_003 nakaisland_004 nakaisland_005

Each of the Tropical Pool Villas comes with your own private pool & sala, an open-air bathroom and if you’re not afraid of mosquitoes, an outdoor soaking tub. Coming from Singapore, I hate mosquitoes; therefore I didn’t take the risk of getting them biting me by willingly soaking myself bare-naked in the outdoor tub. But it’s definitely a romantic sight at night, when the housekeeping comes in to turn down the villa.

nakaisland_006

After resting our feet for a while, we headed to the Z Bar to catch our first island sunset and pre-dinner drinks. Z Bar specializes in custom cocktails and offers enticing Asian style tapas and a stunning view of the surrounding island vistas.

nakaisland_007 nakaisland_008 nakaisland_009 nakaisland_010

We then headed off to dinner at My Grill. My Grill focuses on fresh seafood and premier steaks, all deliciously prepared with a southern Thai twist. The restaurant only opens for dinner and offers the view of the infinite seascape.

Naka Island’s Chef de Cuisine does a mean grilled steak. We started off with a portion of salad and ordered the restaurant’s two specialties. It’s steak and codfish. Both items were cooked to perfection. The steak simply melts in your mouth and the fish was fresh and sweet. Dinner was perfect and we simply couldn’t wait to try more of his dishes.

twinpalms1 phuket

Twinpalms Phuket

Twinpalms Phuket has always been a favourite place to stay when I’m in Phuket. Located on the west coast of Phuket, it is a sleek and stylish abode that fits the lifestyle of a high-flyer.

twinpalms_001 twinpalms_002

The lobby was spacious and check-in was a breeze. It’s good to know that the property has lagoon pool rooms that connects to the main pool. Nothing beats waking up in the morning and heading out to swim via your own private patio.

twinpalms_003 twinpalms_004

The room itself was spacious and it came with a good size bathroom. Definitely a plus that the resort provides 2 sinks for their guests.

Twinpalms Phuket is one of the few hotels in Phuket that has their own beach club. As what I’ve heard, it’s one of the best. Catch Beach Club is open daily and hosts regular parties and beach BBQs.

twinpalms_005 twinpalms_006

I’ve attended their beach BBQ and let me tell you that it has one of the best selection that I’ve seen in Phuket. There was an array of seafood, ranging from oysters, lobsters, crabs, prawns, all freshly caught from the Andaman sea. A good selection of grilled meats was available as well and even their dessert line was enticing. I ended my Friday night filling very stuffed and guilty but yet satisfied with the quality of food that I’ve ingested for the night. It’s a good way to end off the week and a good start to my holiday.

I’ve spent the Saturday relaxing by the main pool, tried a couple of the resort’s signature cocktails and worked on my tan. It was a good time to relax and take work off my mind. My brain just doesn’t stop working.

twinpalms_007 twinpalms_008

Booked myself a spa session just before dinner and it definitely helped smoothed out the knots that I had.

Twinpalms Phuket is also known for their Sunday brunch. It starts from 12 noon to 3pm at their restaurant, Oriental Spoon where you can expect the freshest selection of seafood, oysters, salmons, lobsters, artisan cheeses and a variety of sweets including their famous creme brûlée. It is a popular choice among tourists so you definitely have to make your reservations for the brunch.

twinpalms_009 twinpalms_010 twinpalms_011

Remember to bring along a hearty appetite when you visit Twinpalms Phuket.. Don’t say I didn’t warn you..

daniel sheraton

The Sheraton Full Moon Resort

daniel_sheraton_001
Hypnotic sunsets

The Maldives is situated off the west coast of India and is often described as one of the most beautiful places on earth. This 1,200-island archipelago that forms this majestic atoll is spread over 90,000sq kms that makes it one of the most dispersed countries in the world.

Male is the capital of the Maldives and this particular island is only about two kms long and one km wide. Approximately 90,000 people are crammed on this tiny metropolis and it’s the most populated island in the Maldives.  The Muslim religion dominates this culture and they abide by strict rules. Male is the only island in the atoll where alcohol is illegal and forbidden (including any hotel).

daniel_sheraton_002
Beachfront restaurant
daniel_sheraton_004
Magical Maldives

daniel_sheraton_006
Uncrowded sparkling beach
daniel_sheraton_009
Romantic Maldives

My destination in the Maldives was The Sheraton Full Moon Resort, which is located about 15 minutes by boat from the airport island and compared to most Maldivian islands is quite large. This exquisite resort is set in lush landscaped gardens that one would liken to the “Garden of Eden”. The resort has a variety of accommodation ranging from beach cottages, beach front deluxe rooms, water bungalows, water villas, water suites and ocean villas that come with their own plunge pools and decks (that have hammocks and day beds included). The ocean villas back onto the Indian Ocean, which on most days has perfect waves breaking right outside your back door. If you love surfing, the ocean villas are the perfect accommodation option. Ideal for honeymooners or couples that just want to get away from it all.

daniel_sheraton_003
Beautiful small waves outside your room

The beauty and charm of The Sheraton Full Moon Resort is what made me fall in love with this place. The highlight (and there were many for me) was the white sandy beach and the perfect temperature of the clear blue water. There were times when I could’ve stayed in the water all day and only returned to land due to my appetite calling, which mind you is quite often. The choice of activities available on the island is vast, ranging from high-octane activities that include big game fishing, scuba diving and surfing to just lazing around the beach on a banana lounge under an umbrella or a day bed or at one of the many moorish eateries available.

One daily activity I did religiously (besides lazing on the beach) was make my way to the Anchorage Bar (where day beds are strategically placed on a large deck by the waters edge) to participate in the 6 o’clock evening feed of the baby sharks and sting rays. With the kaleidoscope of colours emanating from the glorious sunsets, it made this daily ritual a must do activity.

daniel_sheraton_007
Maldives serenity

Spending time in the Maldives means many hours of being exposed to the extreme but glorious heat of the tropics, as most, if not all activities are watersports and therefore outdoor based. So to regenerate the body and soul, an indulgent highlight of the Sheraton is a beauty, health and wellness spa called The Shine Spa. To access the spa, you need to stroll down a long, quaint wooden walkway that crosses over the Maldives famous turquoise waters where brightly coloured tropical fish swim by. This walkway takes you to a very a small island dedicated for The Shine Spa. It’s the island’s version of the yellow brick road…

daniel_sheraton_005
Walkway to Shine Spa

An extensive menu and wide variety of spa treatments are available and all you have to do is layback and enjoy…

10 BEST THINGS TO DO AT THE SHERATON FULL MOON

Deep sea fishing

Scuba Diving

Snorkeling

Surfing

Tennis

Table Tennis

Tai Chi and Yoga

Swim/ocean/pool

Gym

Massage and spa

 

WHERE TO EAT

Sand coast…International cuisine

Bhan Thai…Thai cuisine

Sea Salt…seafood and steak

Anchorage Bar…snack bar

Feast…Main buffet restaurant available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

24hr room service available

HOW TO GET THERE

Jetset Travel Rosebay

(02) 9371 8166

www.jetsetrosebay.com.au

WHERE TO STAY

Go to www.paradisesonline.com for resort accommodation information

TIPS

Sunscreen, swimsuit, hat, a book are a must and most importantly ensure you are prepared to experience a holiday you will never forget!

When swimming at the beach, ensure that you share the water with the baby sharks and stingrays as they majestically and harmlessly glide by.

HOW TO GET THERE

Jetset Travel Rose Bay

(02) 9371 8166

www.jetsetrosebay.com.au

Photography and words Kelly Tang