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From Vietnam dunes to New Delhi and Maldives mantas

Vietnam muscles in on the travel party with new additions to its lux stays and colonial retreats while Delhi and Hong Kong turn up the volume, Phuket targets investors and Maldives pushes ecotourism.

Anam Mui Ne January 2023  debut

Sand dunes and spas in Mui Ne

The 127-room Anam Mui Ne opens 11 January 2023 a stone's throw from Saigon... well, a four-hour drive but faster on a good day when trucks are not trundling down the highway. This opening follows the group's newish Cam Ranh (www.theanam.com/) offering. The Anam Mui Ne conjures echoes of Indochine and a grand villa tradition redolent of a colonial past. Think two sprawling swimming pools, one salt water for older crocs perhaps, a ballroom, conference facilities, yoga, fitness, and a spa with five treatment rooms. Yes, there's a kids' club too. Rooms range from 40sq m to a more than generous 142sq m and seven 142sq m suites offer the added luxury of private pools. Decor is understated and classic all the way down to the clawfoot bathtubs. Mui Ne (Phan Thiet) is a beach strip well known for its sugar-white sand. There are ample distractions in the area including colourful fishing villages and a stretch of sand dunes.


Oberoi New Delhi (above left, www.oberoihotels.com/),which had a swish makeover recently is serving up its a 'Suite Idea' with daily breakfast, airport transfers in style, butler service and 20 percent off on spa therapies until late March 2023. An Oberoi Suite is priced at Rs48,000 per night. Should you miss this deal, keep checking as this leading Indian business and leisure getaway is bubbling with ideas. Don't forget to sample its excellent inventive buffets at 360. At the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (www.fourseasons.com/maldiveslg/), a manta ray and whale shark watch deal for marine enthusiasts interested in coral regeneration and sustainable practises. Available from 11 May to 30 November 2023, with a minimum four-night stay. Included are daily breakfast, seaplane transfers from Velana Airport, speedboat safari, dolphin cruise, and one 'personal coral frame propagation' exercise. The resort adds it will "donate US$5" to the Hanifaru Bay NGO on behalf of each guest entering the reserve. Be aware all rates are subject to an additional 23 percent tax and service charge plus a US$6 green fee upon checkout.

Upper House Hong Kong

How to be Upper Class for 3 days

At the Upper House Hong Kong (www.thehousecollective.com/en/the-upper-house/), a three-night residency deal priced at HK$3,800 with harbour or mountain views, daily in-room breakfast, and an oversized soaking tub to savour what an 'upper' this truly is. This swish designer home away from home also bundles in a HK$500 credit per night for in-room dining. This eco-friendly artistic escape offers friendly service and a bespoke experience from the 'stone curtain' greeting at the entrance to the hushed minimalist interiors and fine dining. The 'house' prides itself on sustainability but cannot sustain your stay for over three days at this price. So book early and check out the Hong Kong city lights - from above.

Oberoi New Delhi suite Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Mont Azure (above left, montazure.com/en), from the stylish design-driven Twinpalms group on Kamala Beach Phuket, offers both its Twinpalm Residences and the MGallery Residences MontAzure for the investment inclined. The development is a low-rise cubist lifestyle construct on a fine well located and happening beach close to Surin (where the original pathfinding Twinpalms resort is located), saucy Patong, and not too far from the airport. From the Avana Retreat (avanaretreat.com/) Vietnam, a plastic-free experience in 36 luxe private villas and a unique waterfall experience amidst verdant rice fields just a three-and-a-half-hour drive up the hills from Hanoi. As Vu Huy, founder of Avana Retreat, points out, “It’s one thing to build a resort near the wonders of nature but to build it in the midst of all this natural splendor, with a footprint as light as ours, makes for a truly immersive experience.” The villas run from 98sq m to 229sq m. That's a lot of elbow room, enough to swing an elephant by the tail with over 1,000sq ft of space. Expect balconies, a few private pools (for three of the villas), thatched roofs, woven rattan ceilings, and local paintings.

Twinpalm Residences, MontAzure, Kamala Beach Phuket Avana Retreat, Vietnam

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