1. HARITHA VILLAS + SPA
Hikkadua, Sri Lanka
Hidden away on a hilltop in southern Sri Lanka, Haritha Villas + Spa is a discreet, adults-only escape surrounded by some of the most spectacular jungle scenery on the island. Two resident Ayurvedic doctors create tailor-made wellness programmes at the Jungle Spa, where guests can join guided yoga and meditation sessions or indulge in relaxing treatments throughout their stay.
The resort’s innovative farm-to-table dining concept does away with menus and invites guests to challenge chefs to cook whatever they wish and serve it wherever they desire, from a torchlit jungle clearing to a secluded spot in the paddy fields. Seven one-bedroom Contemporary Villas are nestled amongst the landscape, each with private pool and terraces, while the two Colonial Mansions at the peak of the resort offer one or two bedrooms and can be combined to create one exclusive three-bedroom retreat complete with private infinity pool. Wherever you stay, you’ll enjoy the services of a Villa Master, who will serve as butler, personal assistant and tour guide for the duration.
2. ANANTARA DESARU COAST RESORT & VILLAS
Set on a 17-kilometre stretch of pristine beachfront in a largely untouched corner of southern Malaysia, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is the first luxury address to open in what promises to be a must-visit destination. The 90-guestrooms feel modern but tropical, with local touches coming through via traditional woven textiles and textured fabrics native to the region. The 13 one- and two-bedroom pool villas are inspired by traditional kampong houses, with overhanging slanted roofs, carved wooden panelling and timber-lined ceilings. Five three- and four-bedroom residences offer the ultimate luxury beachfront escape for the whole family, with infinity pools, private kitchen and the services of a private chef and butler. As well as the gorgeous clear waters of the South China Sea to enjoy, guests will be able to dine in the open air at secluded nooks around the resort and its magnificent beachfront, while away the mornings at the Anantara Spa, or enjoy a round at The Els Club nearby.
3. CAPELLA SANYA
When two architectural and design talents as diverse as Jean-Michel Gathy and Bill Bensley pool their creative talents, great things are bound to follow. Such is the case at Capella Sanya, a design-driven beachfront escape that raises the bar for luxury travel in China’s Hainan province.
The focal point is the Dream Pool of Essays, a visual centrepiece surrounded by a sweeping curved roof and trickling water serving as an auspicious welcome for guests. Inspired by the ancient Maritime Silk Road, the 190 generously proportioned guestrooms, suites and villas look out over the ocean or the resort’s manicured gardens. The Chairman’s Penthouse covers a whopping 440 sqm, with a private tropical garden and pool and an enormous sea-view terrace. Capella Curates aims to help guests connect with the locale: take to the waves with local fishermen, visit a farm with executive chef Peter Ma, or enjoy an evening of Silk Road-inspired cocktails and storytelling.
4. TAJ JUMEIRAH LAKE TOWERS
India’s legendary hotel brand Taj has opened its second property in Dubai in Jumeirah Lake Towers, the residential neighbourhood between Dubai Marina and Emirates Golf Club. Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, is home to Paros, a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop pool bar and restaurant affording spectacular views of skyline, and an outpost of Shamiana, the award-winning pan-Indian restaurant from Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai.
The 200 guestrooms and suites blend contemporary design with touches that hint at the brand’s Indian heritage, through splashes of bright colour and striking artwork. Taj Club Rooms offer access to Taj Club Lounge and its afternoon tea and cocktail hour, while the spectacular 200-sqm Presidential Suite is a jewel-box of rich gold and sapphire hues on the top floor of the hotel, with dazzling spa bath, private dining room and the best city views in JLT.
5. ADDRESS SKY VIEW
The sky is the limit at Address Sky View, the latest addition to the Address Hotels + Resorts family. Situated in the heart of Downtown Dubai, sun-seeking guests are spoiled for choice, with the option to bask poolside on the podium-level swimming pool, adjacent to the vibrant, greenery-filled lobby, or soak in the rays on the rooftop infinity pool, which straddles the two towers of this architectural masterpiece. The 169 guestrooms and suites are modern and elegant, with floor-to-ceiling windows affording spectacular views of Downtown Dubai or the blue expanse of the Arabian Gulf. Premier Rooms start from a generous 63 square metres; Panoramic Suites offer Club Lounge access and close-up views of Burj Khalifa from private terraces; and the 230-sqm Presidential Suite features a 10-seat dining room, separate living room and outdoor terrace and lounge.
Up on the 54th floor, The Spa at Address Sky View has its own vitality pool and outdoor cabana, while the personal trainers at the expansive first-floor Fitness Centre can facilitate private sessions or studio-based group classes.