Our Selected Hotel Picks for the Month of January
Here is our selection of great hotels choices for January from around the region, which have all been tried and tested by our Khiri Travel team; ensuring that you start your 2018 holiday on the right foot!
Yandabo Home, Myingyan, Myanmar
Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River in a beautiful setting between Bagan and Mandalay, Yandabo Home offers 12 rooms designed in a modern, minimalistic style using local materials and products. The concept of this boutique hotel is to promote the importance of relaxation and peaceful seclusion afforded by not having any intrusive modern technology, and so, no Internet, telephone or TV facilities are available at Yandabo Home.
The hotel serves as an excellent and luxurious option for enjoying a slower pace of life. Guests can enjoy some amazing local cuisine sitting on Yandabo’s wooden deck, passing the time and watching the river glide by below. Each Asian-style dish is healthy and nutritious, reflecting the natural setting and enhancing the overall experience for guests.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore the local community, including a walk around Yandabo village, which makes a living from producing beautiful earthenware pots. And in the late afternoon, guests can take a 15-minute boat ride to visit Pan Nyo village and observe the village farmers and their ox carts returning from the fields, each stacked with hay and drawn by a pair of buffalos. Alternatively, walk along the shore of the Irrawaddy River and enjoy the stunning sunset.
Nam Cang Riverside Lodge, Sa Pa, Vietnam
Nam Cang Riverside Lodge, located deep in the hills of Sa Pa in Vietnam’s northern Lào Cai Province, is surrounded by mountains, with a beautiful river running in front of it and green forest all around. This homestay offers a range of interesting local activities; all focused on the local Red Dao and Black Hmong cultures and thereby, a unique opportunity to find out about the lives of these colourful and charming minority groups.
The lodge which opened in 2013 is build and owned by a Red Dao minority family which invites lodge guests to take part in such activities as rice planting and harvesting, fishing, learning traditional archery, helping the family with the production of bamboo paper and forest walks. Located about 40 minutes from Sa Pa town, the homestay offers seven comfortable twin/double rooms and two, 4-bed family rooms. All the guestrooms face out onto a large river-view veranda – a perfect place to sit on the comfortable couches provided and enjoy the stunning local scenery.
Take some time to explore the small and quiet village with a local guide. It has its own silversmiths; a miller; a butcher; and a lot of interesting farming families to visit. Many villagers are not used to meeting foreigners and are therefore very open about their daily lives. They may even invite you into their houses for a tasty cup of local tea. There’s even a traditional medicine man who can tell you about the use of traditional remedies in the Red Dao and Black Hmong cultures.
Elephant Watch Hut, Habarana, Sri Lanka
Situated near Habarana, a popular tourist destination for safari lovers, Elephant Watch Hut is a community project and social enterprise where guests can become a real part of the local community and enjoy a genuine experience of Sri Lankan village life.
Built from recycled materials with the help of local villagers, Elephant Watch Hut used to be an elephant observation complex, but today it offers visitors the opportunity to experience Sri Lankan rural lifestyle in the most exclusive way by spending your nights in one of the simple, but charming observation huts – high up in the trees – or in the ground-floor lodge.
Whichever accommodation option you prefer, you’ll only have fireflies and the stillness of the countryside to accompany you. At Elephant Watch Hut, not only can you observe the beautiful sunrise over the fields and spend the day visiting the surrounding villages, you can also go on safari – searching for wild elephants in an open-roof-jeep. There is no place quite like Elephant Watch Hut for immersing yourself in the authentic rural life of Sri Lanka.
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Samanea Beach Resort, Kep, Cambodia
Situated on a beautiful stretch of coast near the town of Kep, Samanea Beach Resort is a 3-star property with stylish architecture and spacious rooms, set in lush tropical gardens. Samanea’s 12 villas have private terraces and views of the sea, including an amazing view across Kep Bay of Bokor Mountain in Preah Monivong National Park.
The traditional Khmer-style villas are beautifully furnished with antique artefacts, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, Wi-Fi, fully stocked mini bars and espresso machines. Samanea’s Family Suite Villas and Connecting Suites also ensure there is plenty of space for children and larger groups, including wedding parties. Each of the rooms has its own spacious bathroom with an outdoor bathtub, a rain shower and traditional Khmer shower, surrounded by attractive private gardens.
On our visit to Samanea, we were particular impressed by the Chankiri Restaurant which serves an amazing choice of classic French cuisine, as well as international and Khmer specialties in a beautiful set up, next to the resort’s pool. Organic vegetables and herbs are sourced from the property’s own gardens, while fresh seafood is acquired from the local fishermen.
For Alternative accommodation of a similar standard, there’s the Knai Bang Chatt resort, only about a kilometer away.
Sofitel Luang Prabang, Laos
The 5-star Sofitel Luang Prabang combines local architecture with modern and stylish touches to create an island of tranquility for visitors to this royal city. Inside former prison walls, the elegant though homey hotel has a very open and welcoming atmosphere. Its choice of beautifully decorated suites and villas are well-suited to business and leisure travelers alike, offering an exquisite balance of style, comfort and convenience that guests will appreciate.
photos credit: Sofitel Luang Prabang
In Laos, richly textured cultural and culinary traditions, along with the country’s approach to physical wellness, give a unique character to ordinary life for its people. The hotel represents these traditions for travelers by offering authentic cooking classes and an array of special spa treatments at Le Spa. Meanwhile, the swimming pool, fitness center, and lounge provide superb opportunities to relax and enjoy the slow pace of life in Luang Prabang.
Located in the center of town, Sofitel Luang Prabang is also within easy reach of the Mekong River, gorgeous waterfalls, the unforgettable Pak Ou Cave and several royal temples and museums.
Good Time Resort Koh Mak, Thailand
Situated on a hillside in one of the island’s most attractive locations, the 3-star Good Time Resort Koh Mak consists of two three-story buildings and a number of elegant Thai-style villas with stylish, well-appointed rooms spread out over large, lush tropical gardens – only a five minutes’ walk from two beautiful stretches of white sand at Ao Kao and Ao Phra beaches.
With an emphasis on friendly service and sustainable tourism practices, Good Time Resort is very family oriented with a playground for children, a lovely pool, a library, delicious food and friendly, helpful staff. Situated in Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park, Koh Mak island has some of the richest marine life in Thailand, making it a perfect location for diving and snorkelling. The resort is also very eco-conscious and encourages guest to join in its green activities.
You can even take Thai cooking classes during your stay – an alternative to relaxing on the beach. Other activities include kayaking; island hopping; sailing; and a special tour of Koh Mak island that takes you to see rubber plantations, Ao Nid Pier, the island’s local museum, temple, and its view point. Guests can also enjoy a traditional Thai, oil or aroma therapy massage at the resort’s spa, next to the pool, or in the comfort of your own room.
For alternative accommodation of a similar standard, try the Koh Mak Resort near the island’s arrival pier, which also has access to a beautiful beach.