The Tatler 10: The Most Romantic Resorts In Southeast Asia
1/10Amansara - Siem Reap, Cambodia
If the sand and sea is just not the kind of romantic getaway you and your Valentine are looking for, the minimalist Amansara—formerly the royal retreat of King Sihanouk—may tick all the boxes for your idyllic escapade. Lying in the French Quarter of Siem Reap, on the threshold of the famed Angkor Wat and the overgrown ruins of the Khmer Empire, the Unesco World Heritage sites are just a minutes away.
The retro-chic resort itself is reflective of Cambodian culture, finished in pale terrazzo and timber, and with sandstone reliefs referencing the ruins of the Angkor temples. 24 open-plan suites dot the property, each with a manicured garden courtyard and 12 boasting a private plunge pool. Dining at Amansara is a simple but meticulous affair, with daily changing menus prepared with organic produce sourced locally. For a unique culinary experience, request for a picnic breakfast on the water, or an intimate dinner for two in one of the temples, alongside live music and entertainment.
Tatler Tip: Amansara offers countless ways to explore the heritage of Cambodia, whether it is by bicycle, lake boat, tuk-tuk, or even a helicopter. If you have time to spare, the Floating Villages on the lake of Tonle Sap is a worthy place to spend the afternoon with your loved one, sipping on cocktails aboard the lake boat while you discover Cambodia’s wild life.
2/10Baba Beach Club - Phuket, Thailand
Non-stop partying awaits at Baba Beach Club, Sri Panwa’s energetic and high-octane island getaway. The music-themed beach resort boasts an impressive line-up of local and international DJs, playing from day to night at its open-air pool parties and beach-side celebrations.
When you are not sipping on cocktails or grooving to the beat, take a bartending class or book a private speedboat excursion around Phang Nga Bay. Wind down at night with a massage in the comfort of your room by Cool Spa—which fuses traditional Thai healing rituals with modern treatments. For a luxurious treat, check into the Baba Pool Suite Ocean View, which indulges you with both the intimacy of a private plunge pool, and a romantic view of the Andaman Ocean.
Tatler Tip: Specially for Valentine’s Day, book a three-night package from February 14 to 24 to enjoy a welcome and daily fresh fruit basket;private romantic dinner for two; floral turn down; sparkling wine upon arrival; 60-minute aromatic Thai oil massage for two; a five-course dinner for two; a three-course lunch for two; airport round-trip transfer; and complimentary mini bar replenished daily.
3/10Banyan Tree Samui - Koh Samui, Thailand
There’s plenty to do for couples planning an escapade to the white powdery beaches of Banyan Tree Samui this Valentine’s Day. The all-pool villa resort—each boasting a private, infinity plunge pool—nestled in a quiet and isolated bay of Lamai Beach overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, is the perfect place to get away from urban distractions in the company of your loved one.
Savour a private dinner prepared just for you under the starry skies of Thailand, whether you choose a romantic setup by the pool or shoreside, under a canopy next to the azure waters. Take the culinary experience home by signing up for cooking class together, under the guidance of the Banyan Tree chefs. Also, not to be missed is the renowned Banyan Tree Spa—guests in the Spa Sanctuary Pool Villas can indulge in unlimited spa treatments in the comfort of their own open-air space, amidst the atmospheric tropics.
Tatler Tip: Until March 31, Banyan Tree Koh Samui has a variety of offers for honeymoon sweethearts and seasoned couples alike—the Honeymoon package, Sense of Romance, and Anniversary Package—offering exclusive perks for a romantic holiday.
(Related: Why Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou Is A Must-Visit For Nature Lovers)
4/10Hanging Gardens of Bali - Bali, Indonesia
More than just a getaway, the Hanging Gardens of Bali is an experience to remember. Sitting in the heart of the lush rain forests near the Payangan village north of Ubud, the resort is a picture of tropical paradise with flourishing gardens of bamboo, cocoa, coffea and flame trees, as well as vibrant orchids. The otherworldly retreat is especially known for its twin-tiered cascading pool suspended over the jungle, allowing guests to float above the treetops and soak their stress away.
Couples can nurture their romance through the sensory journeys curated by the resort. For a spiritual dining experience, dine at the holy Dalem Segara Temple, where your personal chef will prepare a private gourmet dinner. You will receive a traditional Balinese blessing by the Mangku, who will also perform a purification ritual to symbolically cleanse your soul. If you prefer to stay in, a Javanese feast can also be prepared in the comfort of your villa, served atop a traditional Balinese boat floating in your infinity pool. For a unparalleled spa experience opt for the Spa Collection’s signature treatments at the River Bale, along the rushing waters of Ayung River. Couple packages come in the 90-minute Just Married or 150-minute Sweet Nothing.
Tatler Tip: From February 1 to March 31, Hanging Gardens of Bali embraces the season of love with a special package that includes daily a la carte breakfast for two; a bottle of sparkling wine, flower petal bath and a gift upon arrival; daily afternoon tea by the holy Ayung River; and a romantic dinner for two in the villa or the Garden restaurant, all available with a minimum stay of two nights.
5/10Kandaya Resort - Cebu, Philippines
For the sports enthusiasts, Kandaya Resort stands out for its menu of water sports, horse-riding—the resort has its very own stables and riding arena—and a mixed martial art gym, set against the postcard-perfect backdrop of Cebu island. Adventurous couples can embark on the resort’s cruise experience, which takes you over the Visayan Sea, where you can unwind over the ocean breeze before tying up to a deserted beach where you can snorkel and dive.
The Malaspascua Island, just thirty minutes away from the resort is also a star diving attraction for its varieties of marine life and corals under the clear blue waters. To loosen your knots after a day of activities, the Daya Spa offers an extensive list of massages, facial, and body treatments. For something special, opt for Cowrie Shells, a Daya signature massage that uses shells to relieve muscle tensions and aches.
Tatler Tip: Available until June 30, Kandaya Resort’s Private Moments package pampers couples with a romantic two-night stay; complimentary bottle of sparkling wine; a private dinner and wine on the beach; in-room medley surprise from Kusina Restaurant; complimentary massage at Daya Spa; and more.
(Related: The Tatler 10: Luxury Glamping Sites Around the World)
6/10Layana Resort And Spa - Koh Lanta Yai, Thailand
Whisk your other half away on an intimate island retreat at Layana Resort And Spa. An adults-only resort, Layana only welcomes guests over the age of 18, so you won’t have to worry about the cries and squeals of children—whether they are yours or not. Nestled on the island of Koh Lanta Yai just south of Krabi, enjoy the privacy of the idyllic Phra Ae Beach as you lounge on the abundant loungers that scatter the premises, decorated and furnished in contemporary Thai fashion.
The in-house Linger Longer Spa, an award-winning wellness sanctuary, boasts an extensive spa menu of both Eastern and Western treatments—but for the romantic touch to your getaway opt for Romancing Layana, a four-hour couple treatment that will relieve your tension and leave you refreshed for the vacation. In the evening, opt for the Sundowner Cruise, which takes you from the beach through the pristine mangrove forests where you can connect with wildlife and take in the beautiful sunset over refreshments and wine prepared by the chefs. As for adventurous couples, sign yourself up for a snorkelling island excursion to the Four Islands, Koh Rok, or Kho Phi Phi
Tatler Tip: Due to the tropical climate of Krabi, the best months to visit are from December to March, when it is dry. From November to April, transportation from Krabi Airport includes a 20-minute ride along the coast by Layana’s private speedboats.
7/10Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa - Boracay, Philippines
The bustling beaches of Boracay may be Philippines’ hot spot for parties, but if you and your other half would rather enjoy the island beauty that Boracay’s white sandy shores and azure-blue waters has to offer, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa, located in an eco-reserve away from swarming tourists and party-goers is the romantic getaway for you.
The resort boasts a range of rooms, suites and villas, some offering breathtaking views of the island property. All suites are ocean-facing with an outdoor jacuzzi, while villas feature a private pool, whirlpool and pergola for al fresco dining. The onsite marine sanctuary is a few meters into the sea from the beachfront, where couples can interact with its collection of fishes, corals and clams. Sea sports are also available for active couples, from catamaran sailing and kite surfing to water-skiing and open water diving.
Tatler Tip: With a minimum stay of two nights, Shangri-La’s Romantic Getaway package entitles you to daily buffet; a romantic dinner for two at tree-top restaurant Rima; a one-and-a-half hour Philippine Hilot Massage for two at CHI, The Spa and more.
8/10Six Senses Ninh Van Bay - Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
Away from modern distractions, a quiet retreat to the pristine Ninh Van Bay is the perfect opportunity to create treasured memories with your loved one, against the picturesque setting of awe-inspiring rock formations, vibrant reefs, magnificent mountains and crystal clear waters. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is an all-villa, eco-friendly, beach resort with its own private bay, dedicated to preserving and presenting the beauty of nature to its guests. Designed in a rustic fashion, the villas—each boasting a private plunge pool—do not intrude on its environment, but rather, complements its tropical surroundings.
Adventure-minded couples will find plenty of memorable experiences, whether it is Six Senses’ host of exciting water sports—Nha Trang Bay is a diving hotspot for its variety of corals—, a hike to the top of Heo mountain ending with a snorkelling session at the private Bai Nho beach, or a trekking excursion through the countryside and plush, green paddy fields. Dining at the resort is also a gastronomic affair, with a selection of restaurants and bars serving East-West fusion cuisine, with locally sourced produce and fresh seafood. For a intimate dinner, opt to dine in the Wine Cave, a hillside rock cavern that will set the mood for romance.
Tatler Tip: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay offers a Romance package with a minimum booking of three nights, which includes daily breakfast buffet; refreshing welcome drink and fruit basket; a bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival; a Six Senses Spa Signature Couples Journey including Steam & Sauna and a romantic couple massage; a four-course dinner in the Wine Cellar and more.
(Related: Six Senses To Open First City Hotel In Singapore In 2018)
9/10Sri Panwa - Phuket, Thailand
If privacy is what you’re looking for, Sri Panwa offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle in its luxurious collection of suites and villas. Stretching across 40 acres of lush greenery and with panoramic views overlooking the Andaman Ocean, the resort in Phuket is a tropical haven for you and your loved one.
The resort’s signature pool suites and villas come with a private infinity swimming pool with jet stream Jacuzzi system to soak your stress away in each other’s company. For a full sensory experience, however, book yourselves an appointment at Cool Spa Phuket, which was most recently awarded the winner of Creative Spa Design by the Thai Spa Association. Set within the dense rainforests, the spa features four treatments rooms—each with a jacuzzi and waterfall—, a private salon, a floating yoga deck, and various nature-inspired facilities to set you in the mood for your romantic getaway.
Tatler Tip: Exclusively from February 14 to 24, pamper your Valentine with a three-night package, which includes: daily breakfast for two; a Sri Panwa special gift set; floral turn down service; sparkling wine upon arrival; round trip transfer by luxury car; private dinner for two at Baba Chino; a 90-minute aromatic Thai oil massage at Cool Spa for two; a five-course dinner for two at Baba Soul Food; a three-course lunch for two at Baba Hot Box; and complimentary mini bar.
10/10Karma Reef - Gili Meno, Indonesia
Experience barefoot luxury in the laid-back island of Gili Meno, the smallest of the Gili Islands, away from the noise and distractions. With a selection of five-star villas and spacious safari tents to choose from, Karma Reef gives you the option of glamping on its private beach, which gives you convenient access to all of the resort’s amenities—all located on the beach so you and your Valentine will never have to tear yourselves away from the sand and sea.
Cool down in the water with sea sports like snorkelling or diving, or venture out with a trip to the bird park, turtle sanctuary, and neighbouring islands. If rest and relaxation is more to your tune, treat each other to a spa treatment on the sands at Karma Sea Spa, boasting a massage treatments, facial treatments, and wellness rituals using sustainable and ethically sourced botanical spa products.
Tatler Tip: Enjoy a romantic three-night stay at Karma Reef with the Idyllic Gili Meno Honeymoon Escape, which entitles you to daily breakfast for two; a honeymoon surprise upon check-in; a Kayaking session for two; a romantic island dinner for two with cocktails at Karma Beach Gili Meno, and more.
(Related: How I Travel: John Spence Of Karma Group)