Four of the J5Travel Team are heading to Phuket, Thailand over the next few days and we have a rather chill work retreat planned out with a few cultural excursions thrown in, mostly with an emphasis on culinary adventure. Everyone is excited for this expedition, but there really have been a lot of hoops to jump through, and it's not been for the faint of heart planning this one.
Asia as a whole is still almost completely out of bounds for international travel, but there are glimmers of openings and generally speaking, vaccination programs are now very well advanced so we expect further progress on this soon.
Asian countries that are open NOW: Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Maldives
And coming soon we think: Bali (ahead of the rest of Indonesia), Singapore, Vietnam and Philippines
Meanwhile, this week's Top 5 highlights 5 beautiful hotels from my favorite area of the world, SE Asia, choosing resorts that are all open and welcoming international arrivals NOW.
Top 5 - SE Asia Hotels
1. Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal (above and below)
Take your holistic lifestyle to a new level at the all-suite Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel. The Shangri-la setting reconnects the body, mind, and spirit based on ancient Vedic philosophy and Buddhist medicine. Ayurvedic doctors as well as yoga and meditation masters provide guidance for personalized well-being. Rejuvenate in a variety of unique signature spa treatments. Walk the meditation maze, rebalance in the chakra sound chambers, and cleanse your aura in the crystal house. Express and find yourself in the pottery, painting, and cooking classes. Nourish yourself with the organic meals sourced from the resort’s own farms.
2. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa (above and below)
Tucked away from the resorts of the denser northern atolls, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa provides a pure barefoot-luxury experience in the deepest and most conserved atoll in Maldives. From one of just 50 villas, each with a private deck and direct access to the sea, you can immerse yourself by snorkeling the house reef, going dolphin watching, getting certified at the PADI Dive Centre, and exploring the best dive sites in the atoll; practice yoga at sunrise or learn local recipes in a hands-on cooking class. Dining choices include The Island Grill and The Dining Room, or opt for intimate dinners at The Drift or The Bar.
3. Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka (above and below)
Beyond Sri Lanka’s soaring southern cliffs lies a fabled island and its most celebrated resort, Cape Weligama. Meditate upon the 270-degree views from high above the Indian Ocean; a crescent-shaped infinity-edge pool appears to float over its glistening waters. The collection of 39 suites and villas form their own traditional, terra-cotta-roofed village; Asian-inspired interiors have a smart, modern edge. Weligama’s iconic sunsets are best served over seasonable, sustainable fare at Tableau, perched at the cliff’s edge; later, it’s time for tea-infused cocktails and stargazing at the Cape Club.
4. Belmond Napasai, Koh Samui (above and below)
You'll see the team report from several properties on Phuket over the next 2 weeks, but here's a stunner from another Thai island, Koh Samui.
Discover unparalleled luxury at Belmond Napasai ocean and country resort. You’ll find yourself surrounded by swaying palms, shimmering sands, and complete serenity in an elegant beachfront setting. Upon arrival, take a dip in the large infinity-edge pool tucked within the tropical garden. Book a treatment at the Napasai Spa, where expert hands use traditional Thai therapies and Asian botanical elements to create the ultimate holistic indulgence. Or, for a more invigorating outing, choose from snorkeling and scuba tours, jungle adventures, boating trips, and more.
5. Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives (above and below)
Maldives has been a client favorite over the last year as it has maintained a very safe reputation, mainly due to each resort being so isolated from any uncontrolled population. So here's another incredible property from the destination that pretty much defines paradise.
Cheval Blanc Randheli’s signature art de recevoir welcomes couples and families with a unique sense of genuine warmth. A private seaplane carries you to this paradise north of Malé, where 46 villas take palm-roofed cabana living to a new level. Villas face the horizon for the utmost privacy; admire the views by your infinity pool while your Majordome fulfills your every wish and an Alchemist customizes your stay. Guerlain-designed treatments are on the Cheval Blanc Spa island, while fine dining at Le 1947 rivals international gastronomic restaurants. For an ultimate interlude, retreat to the Cheval Blanc Randheli private island.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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