Meliá Koh Samui
Overlooking the powder-white sands of Koh Samui island’s secluded Choeng Mon Beach, nautical-themed luxury resort Meliá Koh Samui celebrated its grand opening on January 10 this year. The 159-room and 41-suite resort features a host of facilities including two restaurants, an executive lounge, a swim-up bar, spa, fitness center, ballroom and, for families, a kid’s club, outdoor playground, and mini-waterpark. The resort is home to a spectacular two-level infinity pool and a large lagoon pool that looks like a river through the resort’s lush grounds. Accommodations range from deluxe rooms with a standalone bathtub on a private balcony, and pool access rooms with private terraces that give way to the loop pool, to suites made from 100-year-old converted teak wood vessels, paying homage to Koh Samui’s historic position as a safe haven for sailors and sea traders.
Alma Cam Ranh
Situated on Vietnam’s emerging Cam Ranh peninsula fronting Long Beach, Alma resort commands some 30 hectares of inspiring ground. Emblematic of Vietnam’s maturation as a destination, the bold and spacious integrated resort offers 580 oversized suites and pavilions that all afford sweeping vistas of the ocean, including contemporary three-bedroom oceanfront pavilions each totaling 224sqm with a living room, four bathrooms, and a private pool. With its grand opening in April, Alma features a broad spectrum of restaurants helmed by top chefs, a food court with an array of local and international cuisine, as well as a classical bar, pool bar, and beach bar. Other highlights include 12 swimming pools cascading down to the beach, a waterpark, 13-treatment room spa, 70-seat cinema, convention center, amphitheater, art gallery, science museum, gymnasium and yoga room,18-hole mini-golf course, a youth center with virtual reality games, a kid’s club, watersports center, and even an ‘Alma Mart’ mini supermarket.
Banyan Tree Krabi
Singapore-based Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, one of Asia’s foremost luxury hotel groups, has announced plans to open a new resort in Krabi in the second quarter of 2020. Currently under development in a serene location on Tubkaek Beach, a scenic 45-minute drive from Krabi Airport, Banyan Tree Krabi fronts powdery white sands and the shallow-shelved coast of the Andaman Sea. The new Thai resort will offer 72 pool suites and villas, among them seven 2-bedroom options and one three-bedroom villa. Facilities include all-day dining, a ballroom, a wedding chapel, a beach club, a kids’ club, and a fitness center. In keeping with Banyan Tree’s holistic branding, the resort will also host a rainforest-themed spa.
Fusion Suites Vung Tau
Fusion’s newest hotel, Fusion Suites Vung Tau, is set to open in January in southern Vietnam’s popular coastal playground. The new 19-story property features 171 well-appointed suites and apartments, a multitude of dining options, a spa, yoga studio, and a rooftop infinity pool. The property offers views of the ocean and complements the setting with playful interiors dressed in sea green, ocean blue, and a wide range of ocean-inspired hues in between. The same sense of whimsy informs the building’s complex facade with pastel-colored glass panels that zig-zag upwards. For dining options the hotel has the Fresh restaurant (open all day), a rooftop bar, and market stalls in the lobby. The property’s 12 treatment room spa is inspired by the sea and features signature therapies based around salt. Conveniently located in the heart of Vung Tau, the hotel is just a short trip by boat or road from Ho Chi Minh City.
Tanah Gajah, a resort by Hadiprana
On January 1, 2020, The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah in Ubud will return to its roots as it becomes Tanah Gajah, a resort by Hadiprana and the flagship property of a new hospitality group Hadiprana Hospitality. The property was first built in the 1980s as a holiday home for legendary Indonesian architect and designer, Hendra Hadiprana, and his family. The family retreat was then transformed into an idyllic resort set among the rice paddies of Ubud under GHM’s management. Intimate, yet spacious, the five-hectare property features twenty art-filled accommodation options, ranging from one-bedroom suites with open-air bathrooms and lotus pond views, to a one-of-a-kind two-bedroom estate with a private pool. The Restaurant is set to reopen as The Tempayan, named for the large traditional earthenware jars that decorate the heart of the dining destination amid the rice paddies. A new tapas lounge, Panen Padi, will open in a prime location with a view of tranquil swan ponds on one side and lush fields unfolding on the other. The ceiling of the restored building will be adorned with a traditional Balinese painting that shares Hendra Hadiprana’s life story. Hadiprana’s original presence is felt at the property, with a myriad of sculptures, antiques, and artwork that the collector picked up over the years adorning all corners of the site. Plans are also in motion for expanding on the array of authentic experiences on offer to guests.
Azerai Ke Ga Bay
The luxurious and secluded oceanfront retreat Azerai Ke Ga Bay is set to open on Apr. 1, 2020 as the third property in Vietnam in Azerai Resorts’ growing portfolio. The 55-room resort, which will succeed Princess D’Annam Resort & Spa on the same site following a six-month renovation, is located 180km east of Saigon on a sweeping, five-kilometer white sand beach on the South China Sea. Framed to the north by Hon Ba Island, with its historic 1899-built colonial French lighthouse, and to the south by soaring sand dunes, the property cultivates one of the most naturally splendid oceanfront settings in the country. The guest rooms, suites and villas evoke a contemporary aesthetic defined by elegant and simple design, with many units boasting either plunge pools or more spacious private pools. Azerai Ke Ga Bay marks the brand’s first beach resort, and follows Azerai La Residence, Hue, a historic city hotel overlooking the Perfume River in Vietnam’s former imperial capital, and Azerai Can Tho, a tropical retreat set on a peaceful islet in the Mekong Delta. Azerai was formed by hotelier Adrian Zecha.
When people refer to a room being “fit for a king”, they are usually talking figuratively. Not so in the case of Ancient Hue, a luxury boutique complex of authentic nha ruong (garden homes) about to be unveiled in Hue, Vietnam’s former royal capital. The five ancient royal houses at the resort were originally used as dwellings for members of the extended imperial families: relatives of the emperors who used to preside over the nation. Beautifully restored by skilled Vietnamese artisans, the garden homes feature an exquisite fusion of traditional charm and contemporary luxury. Ancient Hue is owned and was conceived by Trails of Indochina, one of Southeast Asia’s leading boutique tour operators. Indeed, the property is a passion project for Trails of Indochina founder John Tue Nguyen, who is originally from Hue. “Ancient Hue is a way for me to leave some kind of legacy,” he says. “Hue is like nowhere else in Vietnam. The original charm is intact. With Ancient Hue we are trying to ensure that the city’s heritage and character are preserved.”