Ten Glorious Places to Stay When You Finally Get to Take a Summer Holiday
'Tis the season to treat yourself.
Deck your halls with holly, then leave them immediately for a nice holiday. If there's one festive season motto that stands out to us, it's celebrating with family and friends and being thankful for the company. If there's another one, to be honest, it's leaving all that behind and escaping on a holiday on your own, or with a single loved one instead of your entire extended family. Nothing beats the sounds of silence, a cold dip in a pool, and the knowledge that you'll be able to remove your pants immediately after eating a huge Christmas-time meal and nobody will be there to mind. In partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith, here are ten getaway options for the Christmas / New Year period — and if you're stuck for present ideas, you can use the suggestions below (or 1000 more boutique hotels) on a Get a Room! gift card. Strongly suggest they take a you-shaped friend.
COMO THE TREASURY, PERTH
Como the Treasury was voted the second best hotel worldwide by the Condé Nast Traveler's Reader's Choice Awards this year, and its palatial rooms and incredible views of Perth clearly show why. The building may be 140 years old but the facilities aren't — there's a swimming pool, spa, and full fitness centre including yoga and pilates studios to really wave bye-bye to life stress. The top-floor restaurant Wildflower presides over the eating side of things, touting a menu infused with indigenous ingredients. Can't shake the kids while you're dining and yoga-ing? There are even babysitting facilities available.
EMPIRE RETREAT AND SPA, MARGARET RIVER
The Margaret River isn't a well-kept secret of a holiday destination, but it's a worthwhile Christmas drive just to stay at Empire Retreat and Spa. A lovely old stone farmhouse, it'll be like going back in time while simultaneously hitting an 11 on the luxury scale: the rustically modern rooms have everything you could need, and there's an on-site vineyard as well as the spa, so you should really consider kicking Christmas on for a few weeks more. Stay in a Luxury Villa, complete with sunken lounge and fireplace, or a Deluxe Balcony Suite – attached to the main lodge by a timber boardwalk.
SAL SALIS, NINGALOO REEF
Sal Salis is the type of place you evacuate to when your cat has knocked down the Christmas tree for the sixth time and you've lost your car in the car park again. A bush camp by the beach in Cape Range National Park, it's a safari by the sea but not without the trimmings: you might be sleeping in a tent but they're moored on timber platforms with own ensuite and deck, 30 metres from the sea. Sal Salis concentrates on eco-friendliness so expect composting loos and solar power — and unforgettable manta ray hangs when snorkelling.
PRETTY BEACH HOUSE, CENTRAL COAST
If eucalyptus is your calming scent of choice, consider coming to Pretty Beach House on the Central Coast to get your fix. Beautiful wood-panelled lodges make up this ideal holiday escape – a home away from home among the gumtrees, throwing in a private terrace and plunge pool for an extra warm welcome. There's a resident bar and an Italian restaurant by Stefano Manfredi complete with pizza oven so you'll be well fed and watered, too. For even more serenity there's a spa on premises and no children under 15 allowed — this is one for couples.
ALILA MANGGIS, BALI
If the options are "go to Bali or don't go to Bali" you should always pick "go to Bali". Find yourself surrounded by coconut groves at the Alila Manggis — a beachside resort located next to the sacred Mount Agung. There's a beautiful pool, a spa, and even the chance to be a mature age student: there's a cooking school on-site. The Alila Manggis also has its own organic veggie garden for extra goodness, so your body and mind will both say "thanks for taking me to Bali".
BISMA EIGHT, BALI
Another reason to up and get yourselves to Bali, if you needed more incentive, is the Bisma Eight resort in Ubud. A concrete oasis, the modern design isn't what you'd expect from a jungle paradise in Indonesia — but paradise it is. Aussie chef Duncan McCance run the restaurant on-site that puts to good use the hotel's organic garden. There's a pretty fancy pool and all rooms come with a Japanese soaking tub; plus, there's a fiery hot cocktail menu in the bar, so what are you even waiting for?
THE CHEDI CLUB, UBUD
Excuse us, but there's a butler service over here and also a 35m Balinese water palace pool. "Where do I book", you ask? If you're a guest at The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah in Ubud, you can stay in a Spa Villa, which has your own private spa room and massage beds. There is some mighty interesting culinary goodness happening over here with Singaporean chef Dean Nor working with "Mama Bali" and her local bumbu spices. All the rice comes from the nearby rice paddy fields; tours of these also run, as does the occasional Balinese dance performance. Off you trot, then.
Who says you can't relax in Phuket? Sala Phuket is making this a very valid reality for you in your time of need over Christmas and New Year, simply by providing you with a haven featuring multiple pools and much relaxation. Sala Pool Villas have enormous "merman sized" bathtubs, private pools and tropical gardens of their own; you're located near the beach and there's a spa, too, so the beautiful bodies of water never end. The champion of Sala might very well be the bar, with daybeds big enough to sprawl on while drinking a burnt lemon and vanilla margarita. Mmm.
THE SAROJIN, THAILAND
For a more secluded yet equally as tropical getaway, The Sarojin is a boutique hotel on the coastline of Phang Na set on 10 acres of garden. There's an infinity pool that is infinity types of inviting and has it's own pavilions at its edges. With a cosy seafood shack as well as a restaurant nestled under the huge fig tree that is the centerpiece of the gardens, you'll eat well — or can even charter a cruise to a private island for a romantic dinner for two. A seven-night minimum stay is required over Christmas, so we guess you guys will just have to suck it up.
Japan — land of the best things in the world (sushi, good public transport, an island full of cats). It's also home to Zaborin Hotel in the Hanazano woods in Hokkaido, a 15-villa wonderland. Each villa has it's own indoor and outdoor onsen (bath) filled with volcanic water, and once you've soaked to your heart's content head along to the restaurant for a traditional kita kaiseki meal — an 11-course set menu differing with the harvest. Ski slopes are nearby, but we wouldn't be surprised if you lounged around at Zaborin forevermore (or as long as you can get off work).
Grab someone you love a Mr and Mrs Smith Get a Room! gift card and send them on a summer holiday — available from $50.
Published on December 13, 2016 by Kat Hayes