Tag Archives: Spa Destinations

Bali Hotels hit by Eat Love Pray fever

By Dian Hasan | September 3, 2010

Eat Pray Love Vacation Package

The “Eat Pray Love” frenzy continues and for those who have been inspired to set off on their own soul-searching adventure in Bali’s Kamandalu Resort has come up with their own version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s story. The “Eat Pray Love” package starts with your choice of private luxury villa (Garden, Pool, or Deluxe Pool) and includes a variety of goodies all for both you and a guest including daily breakfast, cycling to see the Eat Pray Love movie sets in nearby Ubud, a romantic Italian dinner in the garden, 30 minute spa treatments for each of you, an outdoor activity of your choice (trekking, cycling, village or Royal Palace visit), and a trip to see Elizabeth Gilbert’s palm reader. Plus plenty of extras like bottled water in the room, comfy robes and slippers, transportation, and free drinks and coupons at the lounge.

The package is available from September 2010 thru July 2011 and sounds like a nice balance of experiencing the movie’s theme while still leaving room for a personalized experience, and if you were really inspired by the movie you can enter their contest and potentially win a trip for free. Otherwise there’s a minimum two night stay required with rates ranging from $280 – $440/night, depending on which villa you choose. Let yourself go!

Inspiration: Luxist and Unique Travel Destinations


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Green & Chic | Singita Lebombo Lodge, Kruger National Park, South Africa

By Dian Hasan | July 15, 2010

In the world of trends, green is the new black. And the fusion of latest design in portraying resorts that blend into their immediate surroundings, the results are stunning. Firmly placing “chic” in “eco”. The world’s latest crop of new eco-friendly designer hotels are so comfortable in their own skin, and are so place- and culture-specific, that one must wonder, why it took so long for the design community to realize the magical potential of designing with eco in mind. Singita Lebombo Lodge is Africa’s answer.

Singita Lebombo Lodge is situated in the Nwanetsi Concession Area in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Singita Lebombo rests lightly among the ancient boulders of the Lebombo Mountains overlooking the African plain where 2 rivers meet

It is a place where guests will be able to experience the real Africa, majestic, unfiltered and unadorned. From the sweeping wooden decks, you can watch the theatre that unfolds before you, while the lap pool beckons to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. The 15-suites feature contemporary finishes with beds done in high-thread Egyptian cotton and silky-soft throws.

Guests stay in luxurious suites elevated on stilts along the cliff side. Look out from your timber and glass suite and enjoy the breathtaking views over the African bush. The suites all have floor to ceiling glass walls, ideal for game viewing.

Dine indoors or out while watching game traverse the vast open grassland. Singita Lebombo’s dedicated Bush Spa offers a comprehensive activity and personal treatment program, while the African Trading Store showcases some of Africa’s finest and most exclusive clothing, artworks and decorative ware.


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Green & Chic | Tivoli Ecoresort, Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil

By Dian Hasan | July 9, 2010

Sheltered in an immense natural reserve, surrounded by 12 kms of beach and a lush coconut grove, an hour away from Salvador, the Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte is a holiday destination that champions the well-being of the guests and respect for the harmony of nature.

The development plan of the former Praia do Forte estate allowed the creation of this resort where one can enjoy this paradise in direct contact with nature, yet the preservation of the environment and the culture of the local community are guaranteed.

In this idyllic setting replete with coconut trees and beaches every detail has been conceived to offer a fulfilling stay and attentive service. The spaces are comfortable with an elegant rustic charm and during the day one may simply relax in the sun or enjoy the numerous leisure activities available.

The nautical centre, the eight swimming pools, the tennis courts, the restaurants offering international and local Bahia cuisine, as well as the Thalasso SPA should be highlighted. At the SPA, a sanctuary to health and beauty, different treatments that work harmony of the body and mind are offered.

As an alternative for a day out, and quite close to the resort, one can explore the ecological reserves and lagoons, discover the beaches where the sea turtles come to lay their eggs or seek out the whale or sea coral observation sites. At the end of the day, admire the sunset from the balcony of your room within this marvelous tropical frame.

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Green & Chic | The Kenoa Exclusive Beach Resort & Spa, Barra de São Miguel, Alagoas, Brazil

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010

Spread across the golden sand beach and turquoise-blue ocean of the Barra de São Miguel, barely 30 kilometres from Maceió, is a gem of a small beach hotel in the tropical beauty the Brazilian Northeast, The Kenoa Exclusive Beach Resort & Spa.

The construction of this resort was well planned and took into consideration the ecological concern of preserving native vegetation. The various spaces, inspired by the primitive forms and natural essences, absorb the surrounding landscape, offering plenty of style and refined details. Everything was designed to satisfy the desires of privacy, tranquility, luxury and comfort.

The harmonious interconnection with nature is also present in the suites and villas that offer magnificent panoramic views, some with an interior garden and private heated swimming pool, with an infinite border that extends towards the sea and horizon.

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Green & Chic | Fateh Garh Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010


In India, the trend of converting their amazing collection of historical royal palaces into luxury hotels continues apace, especially now that India is forging ahead with as an economic juggernaut, next to China.

Without much promotion, India has always been embedded in the minds of many, replete with its fascinating dichotomy of love and hate, the existence of extremes side-by-side, whether its extreme poverty, gaudiness, or natural beauty. India has it all.

The former Maharaja Palaces are now changing clothes as luxury hotels, but with a “green heart”. An eco-consciousness is carefully considered in its re-development.

The newest palace hotel in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Fateh Garh Palace,  is based on the ancient Indian wisdom to deliver a unique cultural and spiritual experience. Derived from the Urdu word Delivered from Urdu word for victory “Fateh“, and Sanskrit word for fortress “Garh“, Fateh Garh is a resplendent abode indeed, victorious in its fusion of the past, heritage architecture, and today’s eco-concept in modern hospitality.

The historic monument, moved stone by stone on a wooded hill not far from its place of origin, was transformed into a majestic hotel of 51 rooms as the 51 principles of ancient Indian wisdom, themselves drawn from elements of nature (fire, water, earth, wind and space). It is therefore not surprising that 50% of energy requirements of the hotel are provided by solar panels and wind turbines. Appointed themselves as the principle according to Vaastu (which is to take maximum advantage of wind and sun), the rooms offer a unique brightness. Spacious and sophisticated, totally indigenous, they offer superb views on the surrounding hills.

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Green & Chic | Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor Laut Island, Malaysia

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010


Outside Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur with her impressive modern skyline, after a 3-hour drive and boat-ride, a very different skyline awaits your discovery. That of swaying palm trees on a private island where the only soundtrack you’ll hear is nature itself.

Welcome to the private paradise of Pangkor Laut Resort, a charming little island with a gem of a resort set in an overgrown jungle facing emerald waters in the Straits of Malacca.


The villas of Pangkor Laut Resort are scattered throughout the gardens, beach or hillside, or stand on long wooden stilts over the sea. Spacious, they accept an Asian traditional design and use the local materials such as teak and bamboo. The floors and wood blinds with thin perforated blades add a colonial touch in whole. Simplicity and tranquility, the atmosphere of Pangkor Laut Resort is relaxing. A long rectangular pool offers a magnificent view over the sea. Many restaurants in various ambiance offer an Asian cuisine, punctuated with western tastes.

The serenity of Pangkor Laut Resort is accentuated by the Spa Village, a space dedicated to wellness and spa, embellished with fountains and ponds filled with lotus flowers. The care, massage and programs of fitness use the techniques and philosophies inspired by Ayurveda and Chinese, Thai and Malay medicine. Whirlpool, steam room and herb garden. Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize, Central America

By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010

In a natural reserve of Central America, Francis Ford Coppola has created a place that exude more magic than all his Hollywood cinematographic creations. Surrounded by almost 500 square kilometers of pristine jungle, the Blancaneaux Lodge preserves water and energy and uses natural materials for its cabanas.

Francis Ford Coppola is of course internationally known for his movies and particularly for Apocalypse Now, covered with awards. It is by the way because of (or thanks to) this movie that he became an hotelier. He created Blancaneaux Lodge in the jungle of Belize as he was trying to create a paradise in the jungle that resembled the hotel in which his crew stayed in during the shooting of Apocalypse Now in the Philippines.

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Green & Chic | Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand

By Dian Hasan | July 6, 2010

As a traveler, when eco-consciousness influences your travel destination and accommodation decision, you are assured of doing something good, by giving back to either the immediate community or environment. And when eco-consciousness meets good design, the end result is: ABSOLUTE BLISS!

As green-, eco-, and sustainable- related travel grows in popularity, architects and designers are taking notice. Conceiving better edifices that combine all the above, use of natural material, use of local produce, organic amenities, alternative energy, reduced carbon footprint, engaging and empowering local communities, and… the good list goes on.

Such efforts aren’t always easy, they’re not always economically feasible, but when done correctly, the fusion of man, built environment, and nature bring compelling result.

Such is the result of one such effort: the Soneva Kiri Resort in on Kood Island in Thailand. Conceived by Oxford-educated Sonu Shivdasani and his Swedish spouse, Eva, this dynamic Bangkok-based husband and wife team behind Six Senses have had eco-consciousness from the onset. Underlying all hotel concepts from their early days on the drawing board.

The hospitality company’s brand – Soneva – is a fusion of Sonu and Eva, and today the growing portfolio includes two resorts in The Maldives (Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili) and their latest baby, Soneva Kiri in Thailand. Continue reading


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Sleek & Chic | Alila Villas Hadahaa, The Maldives

By Dian Hasan | May 29, 2010

The wait is over! The Maldives proudly welcomes another addition to its basket of splendid resort offerings. It seems that new hotel openings out-dazzling each other. It seems that each new hotel brings something different to this atoll paradise.

And different it is! Alila Villas Hadahaa have arrived, the living embodiment of this Singapore-based hospitality company’s motto: “Surprisingly Different”.

As I reported my September 2009 blog post when only pictures of the mock up villa were available, the real Alila – in flesh – is even more striking and stunning than its blueprint. Opulent design with expected tropical touches, with a golden bathroom fixtures and heavy drapes here and there… are nowhere in sight (Amen, to that!). Instead clean lines, that visibly scream “Bauhaus” are infused into the tropical vegetation on the island. While Villas on the water take on a decidedly geometric look.

One of the most striking designs is the capsized boat, with the hull sticking out like some sort of Bedouin cap. This overturned boat houses the resort’s lounge. A apt move from the creative minds of Singapore-based SCDA Architects. Continue reading

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Exquisite Villas | Royal Santrian Villas & Spa, Tanjung Benoa, Bali

By Dian Hasan | May 16, 2010

Bali is synonymous with world-class resorts, luxurious villas and even quaint traditional losmen guesthouses.

Regardless of choice of accommodation, you can be assured that it comes with the personal level of service from the warm-hearted Balinese people with their intoxicating culture and distinctive style. The grace in which they extend their hospitality is of course legendary across the world.

The last decade has seen a mushrooming of luxury villa offerings across the island. Each villa with its look and feel, but share in common the Bali Design Style that has evolved into a recognizable style that is emulated around the world.

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