While Sentosa’s stretches of palm-tree-lined beaches make for a pleasant retreat from city life, there are countless stunning seaside destinations just a short flight or ferry ride away that warrant a weekend stay or more. We’ve compiled a list of hotspots to help you with your holiday planning.
This new 5,000-square-foot luxury beachfront villa is ideal for several families or groups of friends, as it sleeps up to 12 guests in four spacious ensuite bedrooms. It has a giant open-plan living and dining room, a fully equipped kitchen, a media room, a large private pool and sala, a separate 1,000-square-foot activity room (with climbing wall and ping pong and foosball tables) and a large, grassy area. The villa is literally just a few steps from an unspoilt and uncrowded beach that is safe for kids, with shallow water and no big waves. We love the idea of a paddle around the bay (a kayak and SUPs are available), exploring neighbouring islands, spotting flying fish and snorkelling. And when the tide goes out, the kids can have fun searching for shells, crabs and other critters. In the evening, gather at the outdoor deck for a barbecue and watch the sun set over beautiful Lagoi Bay.
Special offer: Expat Living readers can enjoy a 30 percent discount for a stay of three or more nights, or a 20 percent discount for two nights. Valid for stays up to 30 June 2016.
The private island of Nikoi lies just 85km – two-and-ahalf hours – from Singapore. Sandy white beaches, jungle walks and granite boulders paint a true “castaway” scene; open-air, driftwood beach houses all have direct access to the water and are tailored for both families and couples. At full capacity, the island can accommodate 60 guests; it’s also available for private hire. The two dining rooms serve up local dishes and barbecue delights, while three bars prepare perfect sun-downers. There’s plenty to keep you busy, from snorkelling, sailing and rock climbing to beach bonfires and kids’ treasure hunts, while those looking for R&R can check out Nikoi’s newly launched spa treatments. The cherry on top? Your stay supports a great cause. With solid eco-friendly credentials, the resort team is not only “green” but interacts positively with the local community. Close to 100 percent of building and food supplies are purchased locally, and the resort’s charity, The Island Foundation, continues to grow; currently, six learning centres are attended by 310 students. Children are involved in English, IT, environmental and sports programmes, and the foundation collaborates with leading schools in Singapore.
Special offer: Expat Living readers can enjoy two complimentary 50-minute masasages when booking a stay of four nights or more. Valid for bookings made in May.
This 3.5km-long beachfront of soft, white sand fringed with a 2.5 hectare freshwater lake and dense tropical rainforest is the new heart of Bintan Resorts. Located within the bay are two recently opened resorts, The Sanchaya and Swiss-Belhotel Lagoi Bay, offering a plethora of accommodation options near to outdoor activities, restaurants and cafés, and spa and retail outlets. Keen anglers can now even participate in fishing for four different types of freshwater fish in Lake Lagoi, from 9am to 5pm daily.
Special offer: Swiss-Belhotel Lagoi Bay is offering in-house guests a “Fish and Dine” experience, which includes one hour of complimentary fishing (rod and bait provided) at Lake Lagoi, located just next to the hotel. You then have the option of having a chef cook your catch (grilled or deep-fried, with a variety of sauces available) for S$10 per fish and serve it, accompanied by rice, at the hotel’s Swiss-Café.
This tropical haven in Bali’s renowned Seminyak area allows guests to step out of their rooms and straight onto the beach. The beautifully appointed suites, including a spectacular penthouse, are connected by cascading pools against a backdrop of vertical gardens, and are graced with authentic Balinese touches celebrating the island’s culture. Nearby is Seminyak’s eclectic mix of chic boutiques and galleries, which you can explore in the quirky comfort of a VW Kombi with your own shopping concierge. What’s more, at the resort’s “Sunday Graze” you can enjoy all-you-can-eat appetisers and pastries.
Special offer: Book 21 days in advance and receive 30 percent off best available room rates, including daily breakfast. By quoting “Expat Living” when booking a stay through the website (alilahotels.com/seminyak), you’ll stand a chance of winning dining vouchers for Sunday Graze and a 60-minute reflexology treatment for two. Valid until the end of December 2016, for bookings made during May and June. Winners will be contacted in August.
Golden Sands Resort is a vibrant, family-friendly resort with fun activities for kids. It offers complimentary Wi-Fi and a free daily shuttle to the UNESCO Heritage City of George Town. The resort has a huge, 10,300-square-foot Cool Zone Kids’ Club that has giant slides and a modular play area. Children aged five to 12 years can join the Cool Zone for arts and crafts and other fun activities like sand-sculpting, cooking, creating face masks, treasure hunts, lantern-making, storytelling and pool games – they can even take a ride on a Ninebot personal transportation robot. Pull-down Murphy beds in the rooms allow kids to share their parents’ rooms; the beds can be retracted during the day to create more family space.
Special offer: Kids aged 11 years and under eat free when accompanied by an adult at all Golden Sands Resort buffets.
This intimate boutique hotel one hour south of Colombo is set on three acres of tropical gardens dotted with lily ponds, with a private spa, a tennis court and a pool; the seven suites all feature fourposter beds. Reef’s traditionally thatched restaurant has a focus on fresh seafood, including crab, lobster, squid and mullet; and, of course, Sri Lankan curries. There’s an extensive wine list too. Excursions to ancient temples and moonstone mines are just some of the day trips possible from Reef, or if you prefer to stay put, there is direct access from a 65-metre palm garden to a long, sandy stretch of golden beach.
Special offer: Expat Livingreaders who book a stay at the website (reefvilla.com) using the code “HELLOSL” will receive a US$100 food and beverage credit, plus flowers and chocolates on arrival in their suite. Book by 31 May for travel between 15 May and 25 July 2016 (minimum three nights).
With a flight time of around 90 minutes or so, it’s little wonder that Thailand’s tropical island paradise of Koh Samui is a popular travel destination from Singapore. Ever Asia Enterprises is a luxury villa rental service whose personal mission is to connect holiday makers with the best accommodation that Koh Samui has to offer. Its villas range from three to six bedrooms, and they’re all just a stone’s throw from the island’s most pristine beaches – perfect for family holidays, corporate retreats and romantic getaways. The Ever Asia team can also help with a host of holiday extras, from renting jet-skis to exploring the island’s breathtaking waterfalls.
Special offer: Expat Living readers can enjoy an exclusive 15 percent discount on all stays in Ever Asia’s Samui villas in 2016.
The 79 Thai-inspired guest rooms, suites and villas in this exclusive enclave each feature a private balcony with spectacular sunset views over the Gulf of Thailand, the nearby Five Islands and Ang Thong National Marine Park. You can enjoy one of the resort’s seven swimming pools, or treat body and soul at the holistic Baan Thai Spa by Harnn. Head out to explore the buzzing nightlife and charming fishing villages of Koh Samui, or go island-hopping for snorkelling, diving or dolphin-watching.
Special offer: The Stay & Dine Package includes luxurious accommodation for two adults, daily breakfast at Amber, free meals for children with paying adults, a drinks-and-dining credit of THB 3,200 (S$120) for every two nights’ stay, and Wi-Fi access throughout the resort. Book directly via the website to enjoy a best-price guarantee. Until 31 December 2016 (minimum two-night stay, maximum four-night stay; one night deposit required at booking).
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