Trisara, Phuket, Thailand
Set over a private bay along Phuket’s less developed north-west coast, each suite or villa has a jaw-dropping ocean view and its own pool. All the rooms are amazing, but Ocean Front Pool Villa 407 has undisturbed views and utter privacy. The restaurant is one of the best on Phuket, and the spa is drop-dead gorgeous, too.
2. Alila Cha-Am, Hua Hin, Thailand
Beyond the dramatic architecture is a nest of stylish rooms, guest areas softened by aged timber, shimmering reflection pools and a pristine stretch of sand beckoning you towards the ocean. For a fine romance, book one of the secluded pool villas by the beach; for families, some of the space can be turned into a second bedroom.
YL Residence No.17, Koh Samui, Thailand – Whether it’s just you and your partner or you’re holidaying with friends, this exclusive-hire resort (which sleeps two to 20, ideal for groups of friends, families, parties or beachside weddings) is all about pampering and privacy. Located on the beachfront, the Clubhouse serves a Thai and international menu concocted by ex-Necker Island chef Graham Brundle and Reuben Kimber.
3. Costa Lanta, Krabi (Koh Lanta island), Thailand
Be seduced by this tropical-minimalist take on barefoot luxury. Simple, elemental villas that embrace the outdoors with retractable walls and see-through ceilings create a laid-back retreat on the tip of Koh Lanta island. Choose rooms 203 or 204 for maximum privacy and uninterrupted sea views.
4. The Library, Koh Samui, Thailand
The Library stands out like a finely manicured thumb from the mainly three-star strip along Chaweng Beach. Be wowed by the blood-red pool, the tall trees that seem to grow in, around and through the building, and the alabaster-white library complex that gives the hotel its name.
5. The Balé, Bali (Bukit Peninsula), Indonesia
Stylish and modern, the influence at The Balé is Japanese rather than Indonesian. With a no-children policy, it is the ultimate retreat for those in search of peace and love. The most stunning of the 29 private Zen-modern pavilions is the 480-square-metre number 38, with its own private pool.
6. Nihiwatu, Sumba, Indonesia
Far-flung is an understatement: this eco-friendly boutique resort is located on one of Indonesia’s most unexplored islands. You can fish for marlin or yellowfin, surf the world-famous breaks, dive the reefs or even work on community projects for the local tribal village. Of the ten rooms, numbers 1 and 4 are closest to the surf.
7. Cocoa Island, Maldives
If Robinson Crusoe had hung out with Kevin McCloud and Giorgio Armani instead of Man Friday, his desert-island dwelling would probably have looked a lot like this. Resembling a collection of Keralan boathouses, the individual over-water villas have an ambience of laid-back romance. The scuba diving here is terrific, and you can bliss out in the world-class Como Shambhala spa. Villas 1001 or 1003 have the best straight-to-snorkelling sea access.
8. Bon Ton Restaurant & Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia
Stay in a genuine Malayan stilted wooden house, more than a century old, on a former coconut plantation, surrounded by manicured greenery and centred around one of Langkawi’s most celebrated restaurants. The owner also runs the private animal shelter next-door; she uses profits from Bon Ton to fund work at the centre. Children and pets are welcome.
9. The Datai, Langkawi, Malaysia
Surrounded by lush Langkawi rainforest and drenched in glamour, the Datai is a standard-bearer for luxury hotels in Malaysia. The spacious End Suites have movable partitions separating living and dining areas; the Pool Suites have private plunge pools and are well placed for the beach.