The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Wellington
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Ten Luxurious Boutique Hotels for Chasing the Summer Sun

Extend your summer by jetting off to one of Mr and Mrs Smith's handpicked hotels.

By Mr & Mrs Smith
April 01, 2014
By Mr & Mrs Smith
April 01, 2014

Put that bottle of fake tan down. Yes, summer may be fading, but the boutique hotel hunters at Mr & Mrs Smith can give you a last-minute dose of Vitamin D. Complete with stretches of beyond-blonde beach, #unfiltered views and too-turquoise water, these ten boutique bolt-holes will have you topping up your tan faster than the autumn leaves darken.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

What: Sea world
Where: South Ari Atoll, Ari Atoll

Don’t be surprised if a sojourn at luxury escape Constance Moofushi has you tearing up your passport the moment you spy the private-island locale, sprawling beach and lagoon-toting villas. (You can tear up your wallet, too, thanks to the generous all-inclusive rates, which even include free cigarettes from the humidor.) Snag a sunbed by the knee-weakeningly seductive pool — curved to mirror the shape of the beach — for uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. If splashing around brings on the munchies, make the most of the afternoon tea and pancakes, served poolside every afternoon. Adrenaline junkies can get their fix with a spot of windsurfing, kayaking, pedal boating and snorkelling; for a different kind of liquid thrill, head to Totem or Manta Bar, where a DJ will have you cutting shapes until the early hours (the potent cocktails should help, too).

Anantara Seminyak, Bali

What: Balearic style in Bali
Where: Jl. Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, Bali

From its perch overlooking one of Bali’s most popular beaches, Anantara Seminyak boasts some serious style: suites are kitted out with marble, dark wood and just-so Balinese accents; some have access to a private or semi-private pool. Following an afternoon of peaceful paddling in the infinity-edge swimming pool, it’s only a few barefoot steps to poolside eatery Wild Orchard. Wednesdays see the restaurant dishing up an Indonesian buffet dinner with traditional dance performances. On Saturdays, Wild Orchard plays host to a seafood barbecue. For drinks with a view, head up to the fourth-floor rooftop and SOS Supper Club to laze on oversized day-beds and listen to tune-pumping DJs.

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

What: Castaway luxury
Where: Koh Ouen, Koh Rong Islands

Spread over a pair of pristine tropical isles, Song Saa Private Island is a green-minded resort that doesn’t skimp on glamour. All of the villas have breathtaking ocean views, private pools and an effortlessly elegant blend of thatched roofs, rustic timber beams, polished marble walls, Moroccan lanterns and carved tribal statues. If you’ve forgotten to pack sarongs and kaftans, the island’s two exclusive boutiques are stocked with designer labels. The resort offers snorkelling trips around Song Saa, island and marine safaris, nature treasure hunts and sunrise yoga classes; couples seeking a romantic canoodle can have a night in with in-villa movies and private poolside dining.

Hotel El Ganzo, Mexico

What: Hipster yacht party
Where: Blvd. Tiburón s/n – La Playita, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur

Doubling as an arts and culture centre, design den Hotel El Ganzo is the first of its kind in Los Cabos. It lures the hip and beautiful faster than a pair of new-season Ray Bans, abd it’s not hard to see why: charms include a private beach club with one of the area’s few swimmable beaches, a rooftop pool, sushi bar and a recording studio for would-be chart-toppers. When being hip-achingly cool takes its toll, choose from the treatment list at Spa El Ganzo — from traditional Swedish massage to agave-scrub — or take a turn in the sauna, steam room, salon and marina-view gym. By day, Ganzo Downstairs restaurant serves fresh, locally sourced dishes — ceviche, lion’s paw scallops, chilaquiles, and so on. As the sun sets, locals flock to this buzzy hotspot for the free-flowing tequila, churros and soft tunes.

Qualia, Great Barrier Reef

What: High-end luxury
Where Hamilton Island, The Whitsundays, Queensland & Great Barrier Reef

Sitting smack-bang in the Great Barrier Reef, Qualia has dazzling views from every angle. Villas are dotted amid the 30 acres of immaculately manicured gardens and each has postcard-perfect views of the Whitsundays or tropical bushland, and their own two-seater buggie. The Long Pavilion, helmed by chef Alastair Waddell, serves modern Australian cuisine — milk-fed veal, pork and marron tail, coral trout, white gazpacho — on candlelit tables, backdropped by neighbouring islands and spectacular sunsets. Enjoy a tropical fruit-inspired sundowner in the sunken lounge or in a raised area overlooking Qualia’s lap pool.

Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast

What: Ancient monastery, reborn for sybarites
Where: 2 Via Roma, Conca dei Marini, Campania, Italy

Clinging to a cliff overlooking the azure-blue ocean, Monastero Santa Rosa is postcard perfection. Once a monastery, the hotel pays homage to its heritage by naming each of the former nuns’ quarters after herbs grown in the private gardens. Rooms are decorated with furniture and one-of-a-kind antiques (handpicked by the owner); some have terraces swathed in bougainvillea. Days are spent ambling in the tiered gardens and filling in tan lines by the heated infinity pool. Plucked from Alain Ducasse’s thrice Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, chef Christoph Bob dishes up the spectacular using organic ingredients grown onsite. The hotel’s spa is a destination in its own right, boasting a Finnish sauna, steam room, ice fountain and hydro pool.

The Nam Hai, Vietnam

What: Seaside design shrine
Where: Hamlet 1, Dien Duong Village, Dien Ban District, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province

Traditional Vietnamese chic meets cutting-edge design at The Nam Hai. Rooms are decorated with romantic net-canopied platform beds, freestanding eggshell-lacquered baths, private gardens and outdoor rain showers. Water-babies can work their way between the three pools, beginning with the temperature-controlled upper pool with artsy ceramic urns, onto the long lap pool and finishing at the infinity pool that melts into the ocean horizon. The Beach Restaurant is perfect for a lazy, poolside lunch. The restaurant has views over the East Sea, high ceilings and a menu that champions contemporary fusion and authentic Indian fare.

Trisara, Phuket, Thailand

What: Understated glamour
Where: 60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket, Thailand

Overlooking a private bay in Phuket’s less developed north-west coast, each suite or villa at Trisara has jaw-dropping ocean vistas, its own pool and sexy outdoor showers. With your underwater-friendly camera in tow, mingle with technicolour fish in the bay. Back on dry land, there are muay Thai classes, tennis courts, a library and gym. For slower-paced pursuits, the hillside-set Trisara Spa has double treatment rooms and indulgent offerings including body wraps, facials and scrubs. If two nimble-knuckled hands just won’t do, opt for the Royal Trisara, a six-hand massage by three therapists. When hunger strikes, grab a table on the palm-shaded deck for ultra-fresh Thai and international cuisine. Beachfront eatery Trisara Seafood features the freshest fruits de mer, plucked from local waters.

Maia Luxury Resort & Spa, Seychelles

What: Wholly holistic happy hideaway
Where: Anse Louis, Mahé

Have knots in your shoulders? An aching back? Treat them to a restorative retreat at Maia Luxury Resort & Spa. We challenge even the most furrowed of brows not to unfurl after spying the turquoise waters gently lapping at sugar-sand beaches, tall palms waving in the breeze and thatched roofs dotted amid lush gardens. Forget about lifting a finger; each villa has its own private butler who can fill your days with snorkelling and cookery lessons, make dinner reservations, unpack luggage and even run a bath. Coaxing guests out of their villas is Maia’s spa. Hidden down dainty lanes flanked by bread fruit trees and hibiscus blooms, this shrine to pampering has a built-in soundtrack of birdsong and trickling water.

Alila Villas Soori, Bali

What: Sleek sea-kissed sanctuary
Where: Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating, Kerambitan, Tabanan, Bali

Pairing its spectacular scenery — untouched beaches and lush rice paddies — with effortless architecture makes Alila Villas Soori a visual delight. From the minimalist pads (complete with personal butler) to the communal areas, the hotel is sleek and effortlessly elegant, with neutral hues and dark accents. At the resort’s heart, the 25m infinity pool has four submerged day-beds at the shallow end to allow for slinky water access. Days begin with a tasting-style breakfast at open-air Coast. Lunch and dinner sees the talented chefs rustle up authentic Indonesian dishes. For something more swish, Ombak is a posh-nosh eatery perfect for romance.

Find more boutique bolt-holes at Mr & Mrs Smith and search all the hotel collections. Smith members enjoy exclusive extras on all stays.

Published on April 01, 2014 by Mr & Mrs Smith
  •   shares
  • Reader comments...

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel