In Saigon, the butler did it
Bali villa breaks, river cruises in HCMC with smoked-duck sandwiches + free breakfasts, upgrades, ferry tickets, and even jewellery...
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Mumbai gets a Chedi in 2017
The GHM Chedi Mumbai arrives in the Powai district of India's financial capital mid-2017 offering heightened service and design for frequent travellers.
VietJet links HK with Saigon
Budget airline VietJet Air launches its daily HK-Ho Chi Minh City service on 9 December, 2016. A price boon for all travellers.
Nagaland for India glamping
The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) moves its luxury tents from Ladakh to Kohima, Nagaland in Eastern India with WiFi, electricity and fulltime paramedics.
The Mantra Samui Resort opens a new chapter with a breezy, contemporary new look in early 2017. Expect a new spa and an infinity edge pool with a swim-up bar.
Bali luxe five nights bags a week
At The Legian Bali, a swish and hip playground in the happening area of Seminyak, a 'buy five nights and get a week' deal till 31 July, 2017. Book into a two-bedroom villa at The Club and get daily breakfasts, evening cocktails, and personalised butler service. The Club offers an enhanced experience close by the main hotel with its beachfront pools, spa and magnificent sunsets. lhm-hotels.com/legian-bali/
Smoked duck and Vespas in Saigon
From the luxe Reverie Saigon a 'Cruising Saigon' deal with an evening sunset speedboat cruise, a picnic served by a Reverie butler - think smoked duck sandwiches, cherry compote and lip-smacking Vietnamese banh mi. Also try 'Saigon after Dark' with a glorious scamper through the city's food stalls, including Chinatown, on a Vespa. Don't worry, you won't be driving. The deals start at US$1,152 for a minimum three-night stay. Also bag breakfasts and roundtrip airport transfers in a gleaming Mercedes-Benz S-class or a muscle BMW7 series. www.thereveriesaigon.com/
What's the alm in Chiang Mai?
At the chic Sireeampan Boutique Resort & Spa, Chiang Mai, a 'Family Holiday' deal at Bt58,720 for four. This bags you a Thai dinner, a two night stay, spa treatment, a Chiang Mai tour and a crack at local cooking if spice is your things. The resort is 15 minutes from the airport. A bit of everything for everybody. If you feel this 45 percent off deal is far too decent, you could opt to hand out alms each morning to meditative monks and make 'merit'. Or check out the 'Girlfriends' Getaway' package at Bt39,900 for two. sireeampan.com/
How to stay cool in Danang
The sprawling, breezy, sea-fronting Furama Danang would like you to 'Be Cool on a Danang Beach' with a two-night stay starting at VND10,097,000. This frightening array of zeroes translates roughly to a not-too-pinching US$450 for a couple. It includes daily breakfast for two, a complimentary bus transfer to and from the airport, complimentary shuttles daily to Hoi An, the old silk town, tai-chi class in the morning, and even a 1,150,000 Vietnamese dong credit for F&B. There may be a peak period surcharge so do check and, of course, the WiFi is free. Now dive into the 'pho' noodle soup, or catch some rays on China Beach. www.furamavietnam.com/
Who must get to Hue and why
From the delightfully colonial and laid back La Residence Hue, Vietnam, a 'Memorable Family Getaway' till October 2017. This is for four persons including breakfast for all and with the added lure of 15 percent off on food and beverage as well as spa treatments. Kids get movies and access to a kids' club and the hotel will arrange adjoining rooms. The deal runs at US$270 per night. Don't be daunted by all the zeroes when looking at the Vietnamese dong value of VND5,940,000 per night. The former imperial city of Hue is slow paced and charming. The resort is on the banks of the river. la-residence-hue.com/
Santa arrives by boat in the rain, dear
With the 'Festive Special' up in the green hills of Ubud, Bali, the Four Seasons Sayan offers discerning travellers 30 percent off on regular rates for Suites and Villas. It's ho ho ho all the way this Christmas. The hotel specialises in wellness menus and will also serve up a whirl of distractions like 'Family AntiGravity Yoga' and New Year’s meditation in rice fields at Dharma Shanti Bale. Also expect a 'star-gazing dinner at the rooftop Lotus Pond'. The hotel has catered for minor things too - with kids entertained by Santa's river arrival and magic shows. www.fourseasons.com/sayan/
In Macau, a ferry tale come true
Till 30 November 2016 at the sprawling JW Marriott Hotel Macau a 'Stay the Way You Like' deal for a Deluxe (MOP1,687) with a pick of two complimentary options from a list of four at an extra MOP109 per night. Choose from one way economy ferry tickets for two from Macau Taipa Ferry Terminal to Hong Kong, daily breakfast for two, upgrade to Premier room , or an afternoon tea set for two. And at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau an 'Elevate Your Stay' deal in a Premier Suite (MOP1,887) with three throw-ins (at MOP200 per room per night) - ferry tickets, breakfast and afternoon tea for two. www.ritzcarlton.com
Presidential style in Hong Kong
For the ultimate getaway why not explore the 'Ultimate Suite Dream' at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, which offers an all-in smorgasbord of upscale pampering in its Presidential Suite. If your wallet is supple enough to strrrretch, for HK$139,000 per night (plus 10 percent service charge and a minimum two-night stay) you get to dawdle in decadent roomy luxury with grand views, unlimited spa treatments, airport roundtrip transfers, 24-hour butler, and a decent amount of complimentary quality nosh with drinks. Dip into three-Michelin-star Lung King Heen for delicate dim-sums or two star Caprice for French. press.fourseasons.com/hongkong/
All in good taste at Seminyak
If you're headed to Bali and are in the mood for some fun and exploration, nothing better than the 'Art & Taste' deal at The Legian Bali, a quintessential hipster hangout with tasteful surrounds, a sun-drenched seaside pool and, for sign-ups, a special dinner as well as a visit to the breezy Ubud-based John Hardy workshop and showroom with its craftsmen and designer showpieces. The Ubud tour runs around eight hours, a generous slice of the rice-field landscape included. A three-night deal in a Studio Suite starts at US$1,485. lhm-hotels.com/legian-bali/
Vitamin D and team building in Phuket
Up north along the west coast of Phuket at Nai Yang is The Slate (formerly Indigo Pearl, www.theslatephuket.com/), a tin-mine theme resort with acres of space and attitude. Take for example, collaborative meetings and brainstorming sessions kicked off by a blessing from a Buddhist monk, yoga, and brain-food meals prepared by an inhouse nutritionist. Hard to beat. Check their imaginative meeting packages to see the latest offers.
With the MICE Wellness deal at US$200 per night for a minimum three nights with 10 rooms booked, expect airport transfers, three healthy meals a day, yoga, meditation, workouts, Thai boxing, archery, and jogs, and even Thai cooking.
Why families are heading to Bali
At the Grand Nikko Bali - where stunning cliff-edge views and sunsets await - a special 'Family Package' from Rp2,050,000 per night (minimum of two nights) to bag daily breakfasts, a room upgrade, one-way airport transfer, 10 percent off on food and drinks, welcome gift for kids and discounts at the spa. There is a 21 percent service charge and government tax but this re-invented playground is worth a look-see.
Also check out the 'Grand Promo for Villas' with a 25 percent discount on One-Bedroom Villas for a four-night escape with all-day butlers and some free laundry tossed in. www.grandnikkobali.com/
Why its so rewarding to meet in KL
At the award winning and centrally located Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, the more rooms you book for company meetings, the more rewards you bag.
Meeting planners can look to earn double Hyatt Gold Passport rewards and more. For 10 to 20 rooms per night, earn two rewards, and for 21 to 50 rooms, pick three rewards. Options include 10 percent off meetings, one free room for every 30 confirmed, a one hour treatment at the spa, a dinner voucher for four, or a VIP Club Room upgrade. Take your pick. kualalumpur.grand.hyatt.com
Chiang Mai photo opp with luxe trim
Up in the relative cool of Northern Thailand, the akyra MANOR CHiang Mai serves up an unusually inviting photo-tour with a pinch of sightseeing. The 'Behind the Lens' deal involves three days and two nights in a 60sq m Deluxe Suite at Bt27,307 for a couple, with breakfast, a temple-and-markets tour with professional photographer Kevin Landwer-Johan, and set dinner. www.theakyra.com
Sri Lanka in style - with turtles
At the Vivanta by Taj, Bentota, Sri Lanka, a 'Pay 3 Stay 4' deal. Expect early check-in, late checkout, and complimentary treats. This is a summer promotion so check it all out quickly. In this picturesque region explore the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project, drive out to see historic Galle Fort or enjoy a romantic private seafront dinner at the hotel itself. vivanta.tajhotels.com
Summer start with art in Beijing
At the designer chic, minimalist Opposite House Beijing, a 'Summer in the Capital' deal at Rmb3,000 for a Studio 70 or Rmb6,50 for a Studio 95. Get a city drop off - perhaps to the 798 Art District, or explore the street food at Wangfujing - daily breakfast for two, complimentary use of stylish e-bikes or the hotel's bamboo bicycles to explore Sanlitun, complimentary mini-bar, 500 Asia Miles and flexible check-in and check-out. The offer is valid for stays of two consecutive nights and city drop-offs will need to be within a range of 10km from the hotel.
Three's the magic number in Saigon
At The Reverie Saigon, a luxe marble slathered 'Haute Ho Chi Minh' deal combining a three night stay with a three-hour shopping experience and three signature spa treatments. The wellness workouts include Classic Vietnamese (cupping and massage), Thai Oriental (body and foot massage), and an Aromatherapy rubdown. The hotel is well positioned on Dong Khoi for street shopping and back alley browses. So what's the catch? Well, a modest wallet pummelling with a price tag of US$1,656 inclusive of tax for a twosome. But then, it's top drawer all the way, and the hotel is an Italian design experience in itself. www.thereveriesaigon.com
Tokyo, but only for the discerning
From the swish Palace Hotel Tokyo overlooking the Imperial Palace moat and cherry trees, a 'Discerning Tokyo' experience with a two-night stay from Y230,000 in a Club Grand Deluxe. Also pick up an eight-course signature lunch from an award winning chef, a Y10,000 credit for the bar, and a three-hour cultural tour tailored to match each guest's needs. It's called the 'Astute Aesthetes' tour. This highly regarded luxe hotel for business travellers and weekend trippers is a 10-minute stroll from Tokyo Station. en.palacehoteltokyo.com/
Taj launches Kerala summer breaks
From India's top-notch Taj hotels group some 'Incredible Kerala Escapes' with five night packages running from Rs55,000 without transfers and Rs67,500 double occupancy with transfers. This circuit includes stays in Cochin, Kumarakom and Kovalam at Taj Vivantas. Get breakfasts, one big meal, sunset cruise and lake cruise on the house. Or opt for a five night break with Taj 'Premium Kerala Escapes' from Rs45,000 taking in Ernakulam, Kumarakom and Varkala. www.tajgetaways.com
How to hug a teddy bear in HK
At the Cosmopolitan Hong Kong, a 'Fantastic 「4」 Family – 25% OFF' deal with a 25 percent discount on the best available rate, teddy bears for kids, snack boxes, and special amenities for children including baby care products and a storybook library for mobiles. Pick a roomy Family Room that accommodates four and get free breakfast for the entire brood and complimentary babysitting service for two hours (subject to availability).
Boracay spa discounts for partygoers
The District Boracay, a stylish and contemporary retreat on the party island promises not only the best rates on direct bookings but also a 40 persent off on spa treatments for earlybirds. This hip hideaway has frequent offers running through the year so keep an eye on them and check in from time to time whenever party fever strikes. www.thedistrictboracay.com/
Bali getaway for hyperactive couples
At Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali, a luxe getaway for the hyperactive - think surfing Bali style at Uluwatu, one of the sports' surf-junkie havens, a volcano ascent to over 1,700m with stunning surise views if the Island of the Gods is in a kind view and the weather permits, spa treatments, and local cooking experiences. Quite a heady - and active - mix for the right sort of adrenaline seekers. www.banyantree.com/en
Why you'll be all smiles in Bali
Teaming up with ARC Dental Clinic, the Villa Kubu Boutique Hotel & Spa, Seminyak, Bali, has geared up to deliver guests a genuine Hollywood smile with a full set of gleaming pearlies. Grab nine nights in a spoiling luxury villa with 20 porcelain crowns - or veneer restorations - that you can flash at leisure from Singapore to Tokyo. Yes, you can pick a two or seven-night package if you wish but why interrupt those flashing white teeth? A three-day and two-night deal starts at US$780 for a Deluxe one-bedroom pool villa, with airport and clinic transfers, plust 'dental consultation, digital panoramic X-ray, professional cleaning, bleaching and whitening (for one person)'. www.villakubu.com/
Shanghai deal with all toppings
At the swish Ritz-Carlton Pudong a three-night 'This is Shanghai' package' for intrepid city explorers with a few bucks to spare. At US$5,880 for a three-night double occupancy this will pinch your wallet a bit but not unduly, and it does include some exceptional extras like a two-day city tour including to the storied and characterful Zhujiajiao water village. You get a personal chauffeur, a photographer, a posh Chinese meal, a rooftop tai-chi lesson and a private yacht party. What more could you ask for? www.ritzcarlton.com
Minor details a major plus in Thailand
With the delightfully spirited Anchalika Kijkanakorn at the helm of the AKARYN Hotel Group, it is perhaps unsurprising that Aleenta (the group's flag bearer) is focused a great deal on the comfort and wellbeing of families with kids. Check out its 'Family First' deals at Aleenta Phuket and Aleenta Hua Hin. Bag a seven-night retreat at Hua Hin from Bt69,611 (Phuket is at Bt84,000) for two grown ups and two kids, with breakfast, complimentary meals for children under six, a kids' concierge, any amount of babysitting, high chairs, baby cots... you get the picture. Ms Kijkanakorn means business when it comes to kids. She should know. She has her own to deal with. www.aleenta.com/
Macau kids go wild - in your room
Helping build your kids' adventuresome spirit is 'The Ritz Kids Night Safari' at the luxe marble-slathered Ritz-Carlton Macau. While parents indulge in an ESPA escape or a smidgen of romance unencumbered by ankle-biters, children can indulge in a world of fantasy designed by oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau. Typhoon tykes will set up camp, indoors of course, in a Ritz suite equipped with a roomy tent. No grit and grime here. Expect soft duvets and fluffy pillows. And they'll pick up a certificate later. There's chocolates and afternoon tea too for two adults and two kids. The adults get club access too. Priced at MOP4,398 up for two adults and two children. www.ritzcarlton.com/
Why Maldives is really kids' stuff
At freshly laundered and revamped The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Maldives, a splendid deal for families and kids. Two children up to 12 years may 'Stay, Play, Eat' free with parents while at swish Beach Pool Villas up to three children will be able to avail of the offer. The deal doesn't end there. Kids can eat from a la carte menus at 75 percent off the regular rate. A fair amount of activity awaits kids from arts and craft to cooking classes, beach games and water adventures. The Koamas Kids Club has its own play areas and pool. www.thesunsiyam.com/irufushi/
Hoi An gets more upscale tours
At the celebrated and secluded villa retreat The Nam Hai on fabled China Beach, Hoi An, a Vietnam spectacular with the assistance of knowledgeable local operators who have curated a range of excursions like the 'Villages Tour', and the 12-minute 'Helicopter Tour' for aerial views of Danang town and Marble Mountain. Or pick tours of World Heritage Sites like Hoi An, Hue and My Son. Nam Hai offers splendid seafront pools, acres of sand and excellent nosh. www.ghmhotels.com/en/nam-hai
Surf's up in Bali for beginners and experts
From the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, bespoke surfing holidays for the surf and sun inclined. Pick a beginner's 'Dream Programme" at US$110 per hour, the experienced 'Perfect Wave' a half-day excursion at US$225 (minimum two persons), or go for 'Standup Paddleboarding'. The resort is a luxury hideaway with excellent service and accommodation and breezy views over arcing Jimbaran Bay. The programmes are in association with professional Tropicsurf guides and coaches. www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay/
Indian tiger lodge for roaring meetings
CEOs in the mood for some tiger stalking instead of chasing tails at the office, should get the Vivanta by Taj - Sawai Madhopur Lodge in their sights. Built by the Jaipur royal family in 1930 for their use during hunting trips to Ranthambhore, the lodge is an art deco delight with 36 rooms and acres of green for all manner of functions and meets. Special rates are on offer for small conferences with the added lure of a talk by a naturalist, a visit to the tiger reserve, and a maharajah tent if you so wish. You get picked up from the railway station, an overnight rattle from New Delhi. www.vivantabytaj.com/sawai-madhopur
Win the heart of Wanchai in 21 days
In bustling Wanchai in the heart of Hong Kong, a '21 Day Advance Purchase Privilege' for daily stays at the Eaton House Serviced Apartment. Book through the official website to get 25 percent off plus a HK$100 Starbucks credit for a quick wake-up cup of Joe. Personal butlers are on hand too. The Wanchai Gap location is in a busy local neighbourhood a short walk from the MTR. Best of all, you can hike up the hill for green walks and city views. www.eatonhouse.com
A grand way to tour Incheon
At the rebranded Grand Hyatt Incheon, an ‘Explore Package’ throwing open the secrets of this South Korean town. Get a welcome drink, a stay and a tour with a 3pm late checkout. There's a free shuttle bus to the airport terminal so there's no hurry to depart. Pick from a temple tour, or a city tour. The temple tour may include the Incheon Metropolitan City Museum while the city tour throws in visits to traditional houses in Wolmi Park. Priced at W274,000 per person, this is a good little deal for a post-Seoul romp. incheon.grand.hyatt.com
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