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Romantic getaways: Exotic holidays in Asia and the Maldives

If you’re looking to elevate your love to new heights, whether it’s on a relaxing weekend away or a full-scale wedding in an exotic location, here are a range of destinations that should fit the bill very nicely.

 

MALAYSIA
What:
The Lakehouse
Where:
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

The Lakehouse is an idyllic country house sitting atop a hill, overlooking rolling hills and verdant woodlands – an area dubbed “The Valley of Eternal Spring”. As destinations go, it’s an interesting blend of boutique and outdoorsy, with a 19-room Tudor-style cottage featuring exemplary tea plantation views, and plenty of activities on offer. All this in a climate that has been giving guests a welcome respite from the Malaysian heat since Sir William Cameron gave it its name in 1885. Expat Living readers can enjoy complimentary afternoon tea for two during their stay by quoting “Expatliving” when booking; email info@lakehouse-cameron.com.

THAILAND
What:
The Racha
Where:
Phuket, Thailand

Fronting the soft sand and azure waters of Racha Yai, a pristine island 20km south of Phuket, The Racha is perfectly set up for ensuring couples spend uninterrupted quality time with each another, as its 85 eco-villas stretch across 20 acres. Honeymoon discounts are readily available, including a great deal for Expat Living readers that includes an aromatherapy spa experience and a romantic candlelight dinner on the beach for any stay of two nights or more until 31 October. Contact reservation@theracha.com for more details.

What:
Pimalai Resort & Spa
Where:
Krabi, Thailand

Tired of city life right about now? Run away with your significant other to Krabi’s Pimalai Resort & Spa for a good dose of unrestrained nature. The resort sits on 100 acres of pure greenery, and with abundant wildlife and mountains surrounding the villas and suites, you’ll feel like you’re getting away from it all while still enjoying the trappings of a traditional vacation. Make the most of Krabi’s sapphire waters by heading to the island’s top snorkelling and diving spots close to the hotel, or take a romantic hike in Pimalai’s secluded grounds. A 10 percent discount on room rates currently applies for bookings made through the website.

What:
Bay Villas
Where:
Koh Phangan, Thailand

Dreaming of relaxing in a seemingly endless stretch of water while sipping cocktails with your loved one by your side? Koh Phangan’s Bay Villas, with private infinity pools and stunning sea views, is an ideal spot to turn dreams into reality. On-site wedding planners can help couples decide between a wedding by the beach or one in a sacred Buddhist temple – or anything in between. And if you’re looking to entertain a larger wedding party, it’s possible to hire several of the villas close together. Expat Living readers can enjoy an upgrade to the best available villa and champagne on arrival by quoting “EL honeymoon/wedding offer” when booking.

 

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BALI
What:
Hanging Gardens Ubud
Where:
Bali, Indonesia

Located above the Ayung River in the Balinese highlands, Hanging Gardens fulfills any expectations newlyweds might have of a honeymoon, with private villas, a beautiful swimming pool, a traditional Balinese spa, and international and local dishes created by an award-winning chef. Two different Honeymoon Getaway Packages are available, starting from US$1,500, and including a two-night stay in a luxurious villa with private infinity pool, daily breakfast, a three-course lunch, a three-course candlelit dinner, a honeymoon photo session, honeymoon gifts and more.

 

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What:
Villa Infinity
Where:
Bali, Indonesia

Exclusive and chic, Villa Infinity in Canggu knows a thing or two about pampering guests. Not only do you have a staff of 18 at your disposal around the clock (including kitchen crew, security and your very own butler), but there are eight bedrooms in the villa – ideal for housing a wedding party – including a romantic riverside cabin, and a bunk room for any children. The property’s massive 6,100-square-metre area encompasses lush gardens, a 40-metre pool, an air-conditioned media room with cinema and more. Villa Infinity is offering a fifth night for free on bookings of four nights, until the end of 2015

What: Semara Luxury Villa Resort
Where:
Bali, Indonesia

Don’t settle for just a date night; up the ante by flying your partner to Bali for dinner at the Semara Luxury Villa Resort. Starting from US$45 per person, Semara’s new banquet menu by Chef Benoît Larochelle suits any kind of occasion, from casual meals to full-on weddings.  There’s also a range of gourmet cocktail menus available from just US$18 per person per hour. And aside from all that delicious wining and dining, Semara boasts brilliant ocean views from Bali’s famous Uluwatu cliffs.


What:
A Southern African Honeymoon
Where:
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique

Travel operator Scott Dunn has specialists who can help tailor-make a honeymoon of a lifetime, taking into account your budget, timing and the kind of things you’d like to experience. One unforgettable itinerary is the Southern African Honeymoon, which combines the inspiring Victoria Falls, the big game of Botswana’s Savute – including getting up close with the wildlife from a luxury mobile camp – and the deserted beaches and warm Indian Ocean of Southern Mozambique, where incredible fishing and world-class diving are just a couple of activities you can add to your agenda. The itinerary even includes a night at one of Johannesburg’s top hotels, The Saxon, and dinner at one of the best restaurants in the country.

 

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What: Aitken Spence Hotels
Where:
Sri Lanka, Oman, Maldives

Whether you’re planning a stylish wedding, tranquil honeymoon or romantic getaway, Aitken Spence Hotels – a chain of 24 hotels and resorts in South and West Asia – promises to provide authentic cultural experiences while spoiling its guests silly at the same time. There are countless possibilities, from saying “I do” on a sun-kissed beach overlooking the turquoise waters of the Maldives (where Aitken Spence Hotels operates five Adaaran resorts), to honeymooning in Sri Lanka’s majestic hill capital, Kandy, with its the rich heritage and hotels that smack of a bygone era. Each property has a team of wedding coordinators who can relieve any stress and ensure that the story of your big day is seamless from start to finish.

 

This story first appeared in Expat Living Singapore’s June 2015 issue.

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