As international travellers start returning to this exotic and evocative region, world-class hotels, resorts and restaurants reveal the unexpected discoveries that await guests
Southeast Asia is a region that never fails to stimulate the senses and inspire the emotions. Now, travel-starved international residents can start to return to some of its most desirable destinations, following the launch of Thailand’s Phuket Sandbox or Samui Plus programmes for safe, serene and stress-free stays.
Guests who take advantage of these innovative initiatives can discover a wealth of enchanting experiences, which are ideal for couples and families alike. And with fewer tourists than usual, the region’s natural wonders are more mesmerising than ever. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s leading resorts and restaurants are gearing up for the resumption of travel by creating a series of exceptional activities that showcase the heart and soul of their destination.
Here is our selection of the best things to do on your next trip to Southeast Asia:
Feed Nemo at SAii Phi Phi Island Village
The Marine Discovery Centre at SAii Phi Phi Island Village is a haven of conservation where guests can learn about the spectacular sealife in and around Phi Phi Island. All ages can visit the dedicated Clownfish Room, which features a large nursery pond where five species of Nemo can breed in safety. Travellers can meet the resort’s resident marine biologist, learn all about these colourful creatures and feed the clownfish. Feeding sessions are available every day at 9am and can be booked via the SAii App, along with many other activities. Room rates start from THB 3,740 net per night.
How to visit: Under the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 programme, international arrivals can spend seven nights in Phuket then seven more in Krabi province, including Koh Phi Phi. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Slate, the whimsical beachfront resort in Phuket, is inviting international visitors to discover its unique art-inspired interiors with a new QR code-enabled tour. The Art Journey transports guests through Bill Bensley’s breath-taking interiors, including many original artworks and installations which are influenced by Phuket’s tin mining past and the family heritage of The Slate’s owner, Krystal Prakaikaew Na-Ranong (Khun Moo), whose personal narrative is interwoven with the local area. Some of the artworks also celebrate Thailand’s LGBTQ community and many are made from recycled and upcycled mining materials, in line with the resort’s enduring commitment to sustainability. Rates start from THB 5,000 net per night.
How to visit: Under the Phuket Sandbox programme, fully vaccinated travellers can fly direct to Phuket and enjoy a blissful beachfront break in the “Pearl of the Andaman”. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Discover Centara’s New Experiential Luxury Brand in Koh Samui
Centara Reserve, Centara’s highly-anticipated new luxury brand, will make its debut in the third quarter of 2021, on the paradise island of Koh Samui. Set at the tranquil end of Chaweng Beach, Centara Reserve Samui will feature a collection of brand-new luxury rooms, pool suites and beachfront pool villas, five distinct dining and social destinations, including a gin bar, beach club and signature restaurants, and exceptional leisure facilities such as a yoga pavilion and the world’s first Reserve Spa Cenvaree. Guests can create personal journeys with a selection of introductory offers at this SHA Plus-certified resort, with rates starting from just THB 5,900++ per night.
How to visit: Under the Samui Plus programme, fully vaccinated travellers can visit Koh Samui for a 14-night break. After the first seven nights, they are free to explore Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao! CLICK HERE to learn more.
Unwind on Thailand’s Best Beach at Pimalai
A 900-metre-long, crescent-shaped stretch of powder-soft sand, fringed by swaying palm trees and lapped by the warm, clear waters of the Andaman Sea, Kantiang Bay is pure paradise for beach lovers. It is little wonder that this breath-taking beach was named as the best in Thailand and ninth best in the world by The Sunday Times. Guests who stay at Pimalai Resort & Spa, the natural five-star sanctuary on Koh Lanta, will have the exclusive opportunity to wake up and gaze at this natural wonder each day, chill out on its serene shores during the day and take part in non-motorised water sports and beach games – all included in the room rate, which currently starts from just THB 4,725 net per room per night.
How to visit: Having enjoyed 14 nights in southern Thailand under the Phuket Sandbox, guests will be free to travel to Koh Lanta. With its pristine environment and luxurious amenities, this is the perfect place to end every vacation.
Eat Well, Live Well at Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok
Take care of your body and mind at Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok, the holistic health-focused urban retreat in the heart of the Thai capital. A ground-breaking new “Healthy Eating” menu has been crafted by the hotel’s highly-skilled chefs and world-renowned medical experts from the BDMS Wellness Clinic. Using fresh ingredients that have proven nutritional benefits, this collection of delectable Thai and international dishes will help guests maximise their health. Combined with the urban resort’s world-class wellness facilities, this menu is ideal for anyone with a passion for heathy living. Dishes start from THB 220+, with free delivery within 3km of the hotel.
How to visit: Overseas travellers can fly direct to Bangkok and enjoy a relaxing Alternative Quarantine (AQ) retreat (previously known as Alternative State Quarantine, or ASQ), with value-added packages that include spacious accommodation and much more at Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok.
Uncover Vietnam’s Finest Wines at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
La Maison 1888, the celebrated French restaurant at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resortwhich is overseen by culinary icon Pierre Gagnaire, is home to Vietnam’s largest wine cellar and finest collection of rare vintages. Guests can discover unique treasures including Vietnam’s only bottles of Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux Burgundy and Château-Grillet, highly prestigious vintages such as Château Lafite Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé and Petrus Grand Vin, and other more affordable vintages that can be paired perfectly with the restaurant’s exquisite cuisine. La Maison 1888 is now looking forward to showcasing its world-class epicurean experiences to guests when international borders reopen.
Dine at La Maison 1888 from just from USD 80++ per person and stay at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort from just USD 300++ per room night. Exclusive deals are available for guests who sign up for membership!
How to visit: At this time, international tourists on normal visas are not permitted enter Vietnam. To keep your dreams alive and to start planning your future trip, please visit www.danang.intercontinental.com.
For up-to-date information about tourism in Thailand, including the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus and AQ programmes, please visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s official website (www.tatnews.org) and remember to check your local travel regulations prior to booking.
For all the latest updates about travel in Vietnam, please head to vietnam.travel.