Five International Outdoor Activities and an Incredible Hotel to Match
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Every holiday should be the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.
Did you know you can dive with whale sharks, trek through ancient temples and hike an active volcano, all while being pampered in some of the most luxurious boutique hotels in the world? Asia is home to some breathtaking wonders, from the turquoise waters of the Maldives to the wildlife in Sri Lanka and the natural hot springs of Japan, but it's also home to some incredible hotels. A true holiday is the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. To get the best of both worlds on your next holiday, we've partnered with Mr & Mrs Smith to suggest five adventure and accommodation pairings.
PICNIC ON A PRIVATE ISLAND IN THE MALDIVES, STAY AT COMO MAALIFUSHI
The Maldives are best known for their pristine white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Enough reason to visit the island is Como Maalifushi. This hotel is the only man-made structure on the island it resides in, and it's made up of luxurious, stilted villas that are set on a boardwalk surrounded by crystal clear waters and a visible coral reef beneath. The Maldives islands make up the world's lowest-lying country, reaching just a few metres above sea level, which makes it an ideal spot for snorkelling and scuba diving. You can take a dip right into the sea from your villa, but for a truly special dive experience, ask the hotel to organise a private scuba trip where you'll have the chance to see whale sharks and other exotic sub-aquatic life. Once you're ready to dry off, there's no better way to finish off the afternoon than a sailboat ride to a nearby private island, where a gourmet picnic will be prepared for you.
VISIT THE ANGKOR WAT TEMPLES IN CAMBODIA, STAY AT PHUM BAITANG
Angkor Wat is hands down the number one reason to visit Siem Reap, and Phum Baitang is ideally located close to the UNESCO heritage site, but is far excluded from the bustling town itself. Hidden away in the countryside among rice paddy fields, the private homes of Phum Baitang are constructed as traditional Khmer wooden houses. The stilted log cabin-like structures each come with private plunge pool and the hotel offers spa and yoga pavilion for further relaxation. Head to Angkor Wat in style with the hotel's exclusive sunrise temple tours, where you can beat the tourist rush to the popular Bakheng Hill. Once you've finished a morning of hiking, move back out to the countryside where you can have a relaxing swim in a pool overlooking the rolling hills and rice paddies.
GO ON SAFARI IN SRI LANKA, STAY AT THE CHENA HUTS
The 14 domed pavilions of the Chena Huts are set on seven acres of lush jungle, which affords each villa the utmost privacy and is a true nature getaway. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls open onto a private plunge pool and offer views of the blue lagoon on one side and a private beach on the other. The property is within the protected Yala National Park, so it's an ideal location for nature lovers. The park is a haven for biodiversity and the perfect spot for immersing yourself in the surroundings. Guests can watch giant turtles nesting on the beach and baby turtles hatching there, as well as storks and ibises wading through the lagoon. If you're keen to see more, take a guided safari tour where you can see some of nature's most majestic creatures, including leopards and elephants.
VISIT ISE-SHIMA NATIONAL PARK IN JAPAN, STAY AT AMANEMU
Wade in healing hot springs and the natural onsen inside Japan's Ise-Shima National Park, then return to your room at Amanemu. The stunning, minimalist hotel has rooms that were built with traditional techniques using natural materials, each with a private soaking tub and hot-spring taps. The hotel overlooks the scenic Ago Bay, where the majority of Mikimoto's pearls are planted and harvested by the Ama—female pearl divers whose ancient tradition dates back 2000 years. The 'Sea Women' impressively dive without tanks and Ise-Shima is one of the very few places in the world where the Ama can be observed. Visitors can enter the popular Ama hut, Satoumian, meet and talk with the Ama and prepare their own freshly caught seafood over a fireplace.
HIKE UP MOUNT RINJANI IN INDONESIA, STAY AT THE LOMBOK LODGE
The very exclusive Lombok Lodge only has nine suites available at a time. It's breezy and modern, with poolside suites offering ocean views. The boutique resort is set in a secluded coast of Lombok island, acting as a seaside oasis from every day life. The biggest attraction on the island is Mount Rinjani—an active volcano that is the second highest in all of Indonesia. Most visitors trek the mountain to swim in the natural hot spring and crater lake, which is impossibly blue and said to have ancient healing properties. The lake is located approximately 2000 metres above sea level and estimated to be about 200 metres deep. For those only making the trek to the lake, one overnight is required, but if you're a serious hiker and keen to make it all the way to the summit, at least three nights on the mountain should be expected. Make sure to plan your dates around the local weather, though, as the climb is generally closed at certain points of the year.
If you decide to take a trip this Easter long weekend, visit Mr and Mrs Smith to book your accommodation.