1. NAYARA TENTED CAMP COSTA RICA
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Perched on the lower slopes of Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Tented Camp is home to 29 luxuriously appointed suites that boast breath-taking views of Costa Rica’s iconic peak. Decked out with private spring-fed plunge-pools, outdoor showers and hammocks, the suites are inspired by African safari tents, with canopy beds and botanical headboard murals.
Guided hikes through Arenal Hanging Bridges Park afford close-up views of the stratovolcano, and after a scenic picnic lunch overlooking the peak, visitors can trek through the lava fields or bathe in the thermal springs, or join Nayara’s Sloth Concierge on a bird-watching walk through the resort’s sloth sanctuary. The Camp is connected to two sister properties, Nayara Springs and Nayara Gardens, giving guests access to six restaurants including new espresso bar Mi Cafecito, where coffee addicts can get their fix of Costa Rica’s delectable beans.
2. KIMPTON VIVIDORA HOTEL
Tucked away in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, Kimpton’s first Spanish outpost is a lavish collection of 156 plush guestrooms and 10 suites finished in terracotta colours and Mediterranean hues, with parquet floors, stylish design pieces and textured wall coverings created by local design studio El Equipo Creativo. Bigger rooms feature deep tubs and French-style windows that lead out to a private balcony.
Up top, the rooftop swimming pool allows guests to cool off while drinking in the views across the rooftops, and when the sun goes down, Terraza de Vivi rooftop bar and terrace is the spot for cocktails. Café Got serves up small plates and Catalan cheeses during the day and tempts night owls with artisanal vermouth, natural wines and creative cocktails when the sun goes down; while Restaurant Fauna serves up a Mediterranean menu in a casual dining room that evokes a traditional Barcelona family home. The hotel is perfectly positioned to explore the city on foot, but Tokyobikes and branded skateboards are available for guests who prefer to explore on two or four wheels.
3. JW MARRIOTT MUSCAT
Gleaming under the Arabian sun, JW Marriott Muscat boasts 304 guestrooms and suites, many of which face the magnificent wadis and mountains on the outskirts of town, affording guests views of the Sultanate’s breath-taking scenery. Yet the new property is a stone’s throw from the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre and a short drive from the city’s historic centre, making it a perfect base for leisure and business travellers alike. Guests can join daily mindfulness rituals, including physical and mental activities designed to make participants feel present, focused and inspired.
The Spa by JW takes a similarly holistic approach, with treatments in four themes – renewal, calmness, invigoration and indulgence – and there’s a state-of-the-art gym and three swimming pools too. Dining includes open-flame grills at Pink Salt, creative cocktails at Tonika, and gastro-bites at Butter Buns, plus poolside snacks at CATCH pool bar.
4. ONE&ONLY DESARU COAST
Award-winning Kerry Hill Architects has taken resort design to the next level at One&Only Desaru Coast, an ultra-luxury escape on Malaysia’s pristine south-eastern tip. Surrounded by lush rainforest on one side and the waters of the South China Sea on the other, this low-impact, minimal style hideaway is home to 42 Malaysian-inspired Junior Suites with private plunge pools, two spacious Grand Suites and the superlative Villa One, a 1,500-sqm four-bedroom villa with its own private spa and a 27-metre swimming pool.
Health and wellness are front and centre at One&Only Spa by Chenot – the first created in partnership with the French preventative medical specialist – which offers holistic programmes that extend into every element of a guest’s stay, from fitness schedules and tailored nutritional menus to targeted spa treatments and bespoke stress-relieving activities. Fingers and toes are taken care of at Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez, and active guests can tap into local energy and culture with a Silta Melayu (traditional martial arts) lesson or a round on the nearby Els Club and its championship level golf courses.
5. AVANI AO NANG CLIFF KRABI RESORT
The jungle covered peaks that rise abruptly from the waters of the Andaman Sea around Krabi create some of the most dramatic and evocative scenery in Southeast Asia. This spectacular landscape forms the backdrop for guests staying at the new Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort, which rises above the coast on an elevated spot near to the markets, cafes and bars of Ao Nang.
After a day’s pampering at AvaniSpa or island-hopping around Phang Nga Bay, guests can soak in the sunset from infinity pool bar The Cliff, which looks out towards the ocean, then head up to The Peak rooftop bar when the sun goes down for creative tipples and chillout beats. The 178 rooms, suites and villas are cool, fresh and contemporary, each with its own private balcony. The one- and two-bedroom villas located higher up the cliff promise private plunge pools and perfect views; the ultimate escape for romantic breaks and family escapes.