Who doesn’t love a girls’ weekend once in a while? If you’re due for a girls-only break with your besties – whether it’s for beach lounging, city shopping or spa treatments – here are some not-to-be-missed places to book today.
InterContinental Koh Samui
Best for… cocktails with a view
Plan a getaway with the girls to a sunny Thai island, with a stay at the stunning InterContinental Koh Samui. Take your pick from the hotel’s rooms, suites and villas spread across lush grounds overlooking the ocean, and enjoy a host of fun activities all weekend. Besides some pampering at the spa or taking part in a local cooking class, you can head out on a trip to spot the region’s rare pink dolphins. A private speedboat takes you off the coast of Khanom where you can get up close to the playful creatures, watching them flip and frolic in the water. Afterwards, there’s the chance to snorkel among coral reefs and come across other colourful marine life. At the end of the day, wind down with a drink at the resort’s Air Bar, a swanky spot with great views of the Gulf of Thailand, and live saxophone and guitar tunes to book. After the sun goes down, head to Flames for a beachfront barbecue or to Amber for a hearty buffet dinner.
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Best for…a stylish villa vacay
A stylish sanctuary in Bali’s vibrant Seminyak area, The Layar is a lovely space to reconnect and relax with the girls. Look forward to a memorable and fun-filled trip, with days spent lounging by your private pool, hitting the shops and exploring Seminyak’s famous beach clubs. The property’s fully staffed designer villas, which have been enjoyed in the past by the likes of Paris Hilton, are available in various configurations, from one to four bedrooms. Each comes with charming touches such as poolside bales, outdoor bathtubs, sloping roofs and open-air pavilions, and is surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
What’s a holiday without indulging in a massage or two? The Layar offers a personalised spa experience (scrubs, body wraps, you name it!) in the privacy of your own villa. You can also arrange to try other wellness treatments and activities including Watsu water therapy and yoga. And there’s a specialty restaurant on site that serves gourmet food, including handmade pasta prepared from scratch each day.
Best for.. culture cravings
Once a guest villa of Cambodia’s king, Amansara is an exclusive and luxurious resort in Siem Reap. The tranquil property follows Aman’s philosophy for zen-like simplicity, with all the comfort and service you want on a weekend away. Suites feature classy marble floors, creamy stucco walls and dark Asian timbers; some even have a private salt water infinity pool. The hotel is just 10 minutes away from the entrance to Angkor, where you can visit the magnificent and world-famous temples and pagodas. The stay includes an excursion once a day with a private guide and driver in a motorised trishaw. You can also choose to venture further to visit the fishing villages of Tonle Sap or explore the surrounding countryside on bike. A girls’ cooking class is always fun, and the resort can organise this for anyone keen to try their hand at whipping up local cuisine. For something a little more special, hit the skies on a helicopter tour.
Sheraton Grand Danang
Best for… beachside bliss
Located just 20 minutes from the airport along Non Nuoc Beach, Sheraton Grand Danang Resort is a blissful spot for beach lovers. The oceanfront hotel is also close to the UNESCO Heritage landmarks of Hoi An and Hue. Guests can also travel to the iconic Marble Mountains, which house 17th-century Buddhist sanctuaries, pagoda temples and limestone caves. If you prefer to make the most of your resort time, enjoy a relaxing treatment at Shine Spa by Sheraton or lounge by the 250-metre long infinity pool. Alternatively, take advantage of the beach and enjoy a variety of watersports including sailing, paddle-boarding and kayaking, along with fun group sports such as football and volleyball. The property also has a bunch of great dining options, including Table 88, an all-day dining spot, and The Grill, a stunning steak and seafood restaurant, plus cocktails aplenty for you and your girlfriends at beach club La Plage.
Best for… city exploring
Enjoy fascinating views of Bangkok’s main waterway, the Chao Phraya, when you stay at The Siam. The riverside resort is located in the Royal Dusit district, 45 minutes from the airport. Take your pick of accommodation from spacious suites and pool villas, including the historical Thai House, Connie’s Cottage. Indulge in facial, body and massage therapies at the Opium Spa or work up a sweat in the gym. There are also other fun activities such as Muay Thai and Tai Chi sessions and cooking classes. Keen to take things easier with your girl pals? Enjoy a lounge by the infinity pool and nibble on light snacks and bites from the Bathers Bar. And, if the hunger grows, dig into delicious Thai cuisine at Chon and enjoy freshly baked pastries at Café Cha, the hotel’s all-day patisserie. Keen for some shopping? Take advantage of the complimentary shuttle cruise to Saphan Taksin BTS Station Pier that links to the rest of the city.
Pimalai Resort & Spa
Best for… island time
Located on Koh Lanta in Krabi, Pimalai Resort & Spa is surrounded by tropical forests and pristine beaches, and offers deluxe rooms, suites and private pool villas. There are four restaurants to dine in, from Thai cuisine to Western fare whipped up by Michelin-starred chefs. Watch the sunset at the popular Rak Talay beachfront bar or lounge by the pool and enjoy nibbles from the Banyan Tree Café. The property has two infinity pools and sports facilities including a Thai boxing ring and tennis courts. You can also choose to take a Thai cooking class or head out for the day for activities such as snorkelling, island hopping, visit Lanta Old Town or the Marine National Park.
Psst… From now until 31 October, take advantage of the Summer Retreat Package,which includes five nights in a hillside private pool villa, a private dinner on the beach and a yoga or boxing class.
Best for… a quick getaway
Don’t have time to go too far afield? The Sanchaya in Bintan is a lavish beach resort that’s under an hour from Singapore – a 50-minute ferry ride followed by a short private ride from the terminal. Choose from a variety of villas and suites (including a two-bedroom villa for the right-sized group of girlfriends) fitted with comfy super king size beds with a wide choice of pillows, Bang & Olufsen TVs and sound systems, and luxury bath products. Food-wise, you can dig into contemporary European and Indonesian fare at The Dining Room or enjoy an alfresco meal of Thai favourites by the pool at The Tasanee Grill. Plan to spend plenty of time lounging by the 50-metre infinity pool, or head to the Balinese-inspired spa for a variety of treatments and therapies including traditional aromatherapy and Thai massages.