Valentines, wines and villas
From wine in Yangon to romance on the beach in the Maldives or an urban escape to Hong Kong...
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Yangon in the
grip of grapes
The Sanctum Inle Resort Wheel and Wine' tour gives travellers to Myanmar a tase of the budding wine industry with a bicycle ride up to Red Mountain Estate for some grape insights and sunset views.
Banyan Tree Ringha was back 1 March 2017 after a brief winter hiatus and throws open its doors with a 'Back to Ringha' deal until 29 April 2017.
in Top 10
Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport has been ranked number seven by OAG on its Top 50 Megahubs in terms of regional connections.
The high end seven-bedroom luxury villa Aquila, set on the hillside 10 minutes from Karon Beach has opened with 3,500m of stretch space.
Korean Air received its first Dreamliner B787-9 that will be operating shortly on longhaul routes to Toronto and Madrid.
Spice Roads has set up a five-night 'Kyusho Onsen to Onsen' pedal powered tour in Japan covering 237km with moderate intensity suitable for most fit cyclists.
In the Angkor
The 233-room Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap Resort, launches April 2017 as the flag carrier for the Marriott Group.
Flower shower through the year
Banyan Tree and SilkAir have teamed up for an extended Valentine's romance push with a series of specially priced packages covering the group's resorts in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Maldives at 10 percent off the best available room rate, 20 percent off spa deals, and 20 percent off on golf. The deal is valid till 31 December 2017. Why limit the love to just one day in Feb when you can toss flowers and get some wellness treatments in the bargain through the year? www.silkair.com
HK apartment romp not for limp wallets
Till 30 June, 2017 at the quietly lush and contemporary Landmark Mandarin Hong Kong, a stay in the new 1,500sq ft Apartment Suite designed by Joyce Wang, with a HK$5,000 credit for Amber Restaurant, the MO Bar or spa treatments, roundtrip airport transfers, breakfasts, complimentary minibar and bespoke bath experiences if you enjoy a luxurious soak. This apartment-style escape at HK$50,000 per night will hammer the wallet but you'll savour MO's signature service with brilliant shopping and dining all a short stroll away. www.mandarinoriental.com/
What's new in the world of suites?
At the New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel with its great views over the East TST harbourfront, a 50 percent off 'Suite Stay' offer till 31 December, 2017. Get complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments in the Residence Club, a free Handy Phone with unlimited calls to various countries (including local dials), free minibar soft drinks, and deep discounts on laundry, restaurants and the business centre. newworldmillenniumhotel.com
Bali romance with chocolate spa
At the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, a 'Retreat to Romance' deal for three nights starting from US$228 per night. Think airport transfers, an ocean view room, welcome flower garlands, chocolates and sparkling wine and breakfast in bed if you're feeling lazy. Enjoy a 180-minute 'chocolate spa' aromatherapy massage, cooking and mixology classes and a romantic dinner. balibenoa.holidayinnresorts.com/
Tuskers show their sporting side
On the banks of Bangkok’s thrumming Chaophraya River find a spectacle of elephants playing polo in the 15th annual King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. This behemoth bonanza for tourists is on offer 9-12 March, 2017. Pick up more information from Anantara Hotels & Resorts or simply visit the site at www.anantaraelephantpolo.com/
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/
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 may start at around US$1,490 depending on season and offer. 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 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
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/
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 in a very secluded luxury villa estate with cliff-top sunset views and sweeping panoramas. 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/
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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