Our Top Accommodation Picks for March
Check out our selection of fantastic hotel choices for March from around the region, as seen, sampled and tested by our discerning Khiri Travel team on their travels to the region’s most exotic destinations.
Avani Luang Prabang, Loas
Avani Luang Prabang is a modern boutique hideaway with an interesting history. Once the site of French officers’ quarters, the grounds in the heart of the city’s old town were formerly home to the landmark Phousi Hotel, which from the early 1960s until its closure in 2014, was the most well known in Luang Prabang.
The 5-star Avani Luang Prabang is built around a green courtyard with a 25-meter pool that is also home to an impressive Banyan tree. Note that there is no separate pool for children here as the majority of its guests are couples. Guests will appreciate the well-equipped fitness center, spa, bistro and bar – as well as a poolside bar.
Avani has 53 stylish rooms in three categories: Avani Deluxe, Avani Deluxe Pool View, and Avani Suites, with sizes varying from 35m2 to 85m2. The rooms all feature modern amenities including a rain shower. However, there is no bath tub because of Avani’s strong emphasis on sustainability and reducing water wastage. The hotel also relies only on reusable glass water bottles, paper and bamboo straws. All produce for its restaurant are also produced local rather than being imported and all food waste is recycled as compost.
The location of Avani Luang Prabang couldn’t be better, just opposite the night market, with a view of Phousi Hill.
The Royal Sands Koh Rong, Cambodia
The Royal Sands is located on Koh Rong, a Khmer island 45 minutes by boat south of Sihanoukville in the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia’s second largest island, it offers 43 km of beautiful white sandy beaches along both its east and west coast – its main attraction. This relatively new high-end 5-star luxury resort, which opened its doors in late 2016, offers 148 stylish Beachfront and Ocean View Villas set in open lush gardens, along with a lavish spa, a stunning infinity-edge swimming pool, a beach bar and a fantastic restaurant.
In fact The Royal Sands’ large, open-air Ocean Restaurant is one of the hotel’s highlights. Sitting right on the beach it offers spectacular sunset views overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. As twilight begins to fall and candles are lit, the restaurant is transformed into a truly romantic setting with a selection of international and delicious local Khmer cuisine, including popular dishes from Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Another attraction of The Royal Sands is its Senses Spa, a professional outfit that offers a range of traditional and contemporary therapies. Features include a semi open-air pavilion in a beautiful setting for foot and Khmer massages, an outdoor yoga pavilion dedicated to the art of breathing and stretching, and private rooms for more specialized therapies. Treatment rooms have private showers and unique glass floors through which you can gaze at colorful tropical fish during your treatment!
You can also arrange a large variety of exciting activities through The Royal Sands during your stay, including exploring other islands, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking and trekking along the island’s many trails, or joining a trek with one of hotel’s local guides to see hidden treasures like the island’s waterfall and beautiful secluded bays.
Alternative accommodation choices of a similar standard close by are the Sok San Resort and Song Saa Private Island.
Karar Lombok Boutique Hotel, South Lombok, Indonesia
Karar Lombok, which opened its doors in June 2017, is a beautifully exclusive beachfront boutique hotel in quiet, peaceful Bumbang Bay, South Lombok, only 20 minutes from Kuta Lombok and 45 minutes from Lombok International Airport. Although Karar Lombok is designed to eco standards, all bedrooms have modern facilities, including air conditioning, Wi-Fi, in-room safety box and satellite TV. The property only has five bungalows in total: three Luxury Bungalows and two Superior Luxury Bungalows, which include a shared designer kitchen and living area. Restaurant ‘Yaya’s’ offers Western and Indonesian options for breakfast, and for lunch and dinner the restaurant focuses on fresh, locally grown or produced foods, prepared Indo-style.
Guests at the hotel can walk along deserted white sandy beaches, go swimming in the tranquil turquoise ocean or watch traditional fishermen from the village next to the hotel heading out in their canoes and outriggers for their daily catch. There are surfing trips departing straight from the beach directly to the famous offshore Gerupuk break or beyond. Guests can also take full- and half-day trips across the bay in an outrigger to Gerupuk village, or drive to world-class beaches, including Mawun, Tanjung Aan or Selong Belanak. The hotel provides free bikes to explore the area, but also rents out motorbikes. Nearby Kuta has many nice restaurants, shops and even some nightlife to enjoy.
In the Kuta Lombok area, beachfront-located luxury hotels like Karar Lombok are a rarity. For a long time only Novotel Lombok had the privilege to have a beachfront location in this area. Along the south Lombok beach coast only Sempiak Villas could be compared with Karar Lombok, in terms of its beachfront location and small-scale property.
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Sri Sharavi Beach Villas & Spa, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
This new luxurious beach villa resort is located in Mirissa, a town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka west of Galle. A blend of modern chic and charming traditional aesthetics, the resort villas are in a stunning location offering unprecedented comfort and privacy. Each en-suite villa is a secluded sanctuary with panoramic views of the coastline. This amazing beach location also has a giant 40m pool, with two child-friendly pool areas, for a relaxing swim or to sip a cocktail as the sun goes down.
The hotel has a choice of elegant villas and suites offering spacious living and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and the hotel’s inviting tropical gardens. The spacious two-story thee bedroom Beach Villas are particularly suited to large families or a group of three couples. Each of the hotel’s villas includes beachfront access; a large balcony with two sunbeds; a dining table; en suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries; air-conditioning and ceiling fans; flat screen TV; free Wi-Fi; mini fridge and in-room tea/coffee making facilities.
Sri Sharavi also offers an eclectic menu of local and international dishes, including authentic Sri Lankan curry using fresh vegetables from the hotel’s gardens or sourced at the local market. The hotel also has a fine selection of wines. There is also a spa with a range of treatments and a professional team of masseurs. Clients can also journey into the past with a historical trip to Galle Fort, or opt to go on safari in Yala or Udawalawe national parks. Other activities arranged by the hotel include whale watching, fishing and cooking classes.
Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min, Myanmar
The Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min opened its doors to guests earlier this month on March 5th at its location on Inle Lake near Thale Oo Village, situated on the eastern side of the lake, 40 minutes’ drive from Nyaungshwe Township by car or boat and just over an hour’s drive from Heho airport.
The first luxury hotel to open on the lake, Sofitel Inle offers guests 101 luxurious rooms and suites with breathtaking mountain and lake views. The resort is out to entice both couples and families and features two swimming pools – one of the few gyms on the shoreline – and a luxurious spa set up. Each contemporary suite includes a large terrace and rain shower with a thoughtful amount of space for families needing extra beds.
A highlight of the Sofitel Inle Lake is its restaurant, The Back Yard, which combines French luxury and local cuisine, and is one of the first organic fine-dining restaurants in the region with fusion dishes. The restaurant’s crockery is patterned in concentric circles, inspired by the Shan State motif. For those looking for some quality pampering, there is the Sofitel Spa – the first wellness concept spa in Myanmar which brings together the best in wellness expertise and renowned Asian hospitality.
In honour of opening, Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min is offering a special US$130 package for two persons until June 30th. The package includes a one-night stay in their Luxury Room category with breakfast.
Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort, Trat Province, Thailand
Set on the white sands of Klong Prao Beach on Koh Chang’s west coast, the 5-star Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort is surrounded by exotic palm trees with large tropical gardens. The resort is very family friendly and offers all sorts of activities for everyone to enjoy. There’s even a Kids Club with a Camp Safari for younger children and an E-Zone for 10 to 17 year-olds. A big attraction is the large beachfront swimming pool and a smaller one that has a slider for kids.
Credit photo to Centara Hotels Resorts’s website
Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island and forms part of a national marine park. More than 50 islands can be found in the immediate vicinity, providing guests with plenty of opportunities for boating, island hopping, diving and snorkelling. The island itself is mountainous with forest paths, waterfalls, a fishing village and even an elephant camp to explore.
Centara Koh Chang has 157 spacious rooms and suites contained in two wings that are designed to enhance the sensation of living in a tropical setting. The Superior wing features low-rise architecture accentuated by full glass frontages, with the rooms surrounding the swimming pool, while the Deluxe wing uses natural materials and thatched roofs to blend seamlessly with the rustic feel of the ocean-side setting.