The following are no flop-and-drop resorts. While they do offer the obligatory (and yes, luxurious and beautiful) means for relaxation, they also put you in close proximity to a wealth of opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
Sensational Experiences at Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
If there’s one destination you should add to the top of your adventure bucket list, it’s Samoa. Here, culture, nature, adventure, relaxation, and discovery all collide in an irresistible sanctuary that is bound to steal your heart.
The island nation is geographically astounding and is home to long, untouched white sand beaches, volcanic mountain ranges, lush rainforests, blowholes, lava caves, and the famous To Sua Ocean Trench.
Exploring these natural wonders is a popular pastime with nature-loving tourists, and a trip to the Alofaaga Blowholes is a must-do. These blowholes were formed by lava pushing through a flat top of lava rock. When waves break, water spurts through the holes at high pressure, creating an amazing display and an unmissable photo opportunity.
Samoa is also blessed with a number of stunning waterfalls; two of the best being Sopoaga Falls and Afu Aau Falls. Sopoaga Falls, which are located on Upolu, are best viewed from a higher vantage point, as this accentuates their sheer size and volume.
The Saleaula Lava Fields in Savai’i are another fascinating geological phenomenon worth a visit. Here you can see where villages were buried after a volcanic eruption at the beginning of the 1900s, and the striking visual effect of the lava against the buildings, including a ruined church, that remain.
If you’re a fan of animals, one of the most amazing experiences available in Samoa is swimming with wild turtles, who are regular visitors to the country’s warm, coral-adorned waters. The ideal place to do so is in the ocean around Namu’a Island, near Lalomanu Beach, off the south-eastern coast of Upolu.
Not only does Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa put guests right on the doorstop of all this natural beauty, it also embodies the very best of its island home, including breathtaking tropical vistas and soul-enlightening Samoan hospitality.
Samoan culture extends back over 3,000 years, with the country’s oldest known site of human occupation in Mulifanua on the island of Upolu dating back to around 1000 BC. Known as Fa’a Samoa, the local culture – which is based on a communal way of life – is renowned as one of the oldest and best kept cultures in the Pacific, and a holiday in Samoa wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some of these traditions.
Every Wednesday Sinalei guests are invited to a “Fia-Fia” show, a night dedicated to the celebration of the Samoan people and way of life. Treat your taste buds to a journey around the Pacific with the age-old recipes of Palusami, Oka and Fai’ai I’a as features of the feast, and enjoy the accompanying customary song and dance by the men, women and children of the surrounding villages.
Delve a little deeper into Samoan history with a storytelling session, mat weaving and underground cooking demonstration, topped off with a visit to a nearby village accompanied by a local host. Further immerse yourself with a Signature ‘Fa’a Samoa Tour’, where a visit to a village community is complimented by an ava ceremony, fire knife dancing, Samoan language and ukulele lesson, traditional arts and crafts workshop and primary school visit.
An Iconic Sri Lankan Tour with Resplendent Ceylon
Can’t decide what kind of trip you feel like? Why not combine three of the best holiday experiences imaginable for the ultimate adventure!
Conceived by Sri Lankan tea producers and founders of Dilmah Ceylon Tea, the Fernando family, Resplendent Ceylon comprises three distinctively original resorts – Ceylon Tea Trails, Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge.
The only Sri Lankan member of Relais & Chateaux, Resplendent Ceylon’s five-star resorts offer discerning travellers a remarkable circuit across Sri Lanka with experiences that have been carefully curated to offer an authentic, intimate exploration into the country’s essence.
Ticking off three of Sri Lanka’s most sought-after destinations – the beautiful tea estates in Hatton, Yala National Park and the striking coastline of Weligama – the luxury collection takes guests on a journey into the heart, soul, history and gastronomy of the magical island.
Sink in to old-world colonial charm in tastefully resorted classic plantation bungalows that represent Sri Lanka’s tea heritage at the inimitable Ceylon Tea Trails; immerse yourself in the enchanted wilderness of Yala National Park with a bespoke, experiential safari at the chic Wild Coast Tented Lodge; and explore the stories of Southern Sri Lanka at the beautifully designed Cape Weligama that sits atop a cliff with vistas along the island’s tropical coastline.
Private tea tastings, cooking classes, guided safaris and whale watching, bike rides that explore the tropical vibes of rural charm, and guided explorations of World Heritage sites are some of the experiences you’ll enjoy in this one-of-a-kind luxury voyage.
Choose Your Own Adventure at Muri Beach Club Hotel
Hidden in a turquoise haven on Rarotonga, the largest island in the Cook Islands, Muri Beach Club Hotel is an intimate, 30-room hotel reserved for guests 18 years and over.
The modern, adults-only hotel is ideally situated on the sandy shores of the region’s most picturesque beachfront, Muri Lagoon, in a relatively undiscovered pocket that provides the ideal setting to kick back and spend quality time with your loved ones. It also pops you in prime position to explore the country’s most appealing activities.
For a truly memorable experience, the hotel’s award-winning team can help you plan a host of adventures and tours, based on your personal preferences, including a storyteller’s eco-cycle tour, sailing trip, lagoon cruise or a cultural village tour. One for the memory bank is a ‘Raro Buggy Tour’, which takes you off-the-beaten track for 1.5 hours of fun in the mud and shows you a side of the island not often seen by tourists.
Muri Lagoon’s location on the doorstep of Rarotonga’s aquatic playground gives you the opportunity to weave more activity into your holiday, with a range of water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, scuba diving, world-class snorkelling right in front of the hotel, blissful walks along the shore and refreshing swims in the glistening waters of Muri Lagoon first thing each morning.
The hotel boasts all the amenities you need for a laid-back holiday, including spacious, well-appointed rooms; the island’s largest swimming pool that is encircled by day beds and sun loungers; an onsite restaurant and bar; a spa; and an aqua centre.
For those who don’t mind a sneaky afternoon beverage, the Lagoon Lounge is the perfect place to savour a delicious cocktail… and then there’s the famous Rarotonga pub crawl!
If you’re in the mood for some pampering, the hotel’s spa is home to internationally trained staff who take you on a journey that revitalises mind, body and soul including facials, pedicures, body treatments, waxing and skin care.
Moments That will Last a Lifetime at Soneva Kiri
Soneva Kiri is located a 90-minute flight from Bangkok on Thailand’s least populated island, Koh Kood, which encapsulates the country as it was decades ago – untamed jungle, pristine beaches, and fisherman going about their business. Ancient Siam at peace with itself.
Don’t be fooled by the peace and quiet though… there’s plenty to do here. Soneva Kiri offers unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences curated to help create precious, life-enriching stories and memories.
Discover the unspoiled landscape of Koh Kood and visit a local fishing village to see how life used to be. Dive under majestic waterfalls and trek through national parks, or take a Thai cooking lesson with one of Thailand’s most celebrated chefs, Chef Benz.
Catch a film screening at the resort’s outdoor Cinema Paradiso, explore the universe at its magnificent observatory, or embark on any number of unusual expeditions, including a ‘Koh Kood Butterfly Quest’ or ‘Koh Kradad Deer Safari’.
With Soneva’s expert hosts as your personal guides, you’re invited to explore and delight in the possibility of each moment as time melts away and lose yourself in experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Outings Designed by You for You at ÀNI Private Resorts
The location of each ÀNI Private Resorts property was carefully selected to provide both privacy and easy access to local highlights. The concept behind the private resort group is to allow you and your fellow guests to curate every aspect of your holiday – from the menu prepared by your personal chef to the treatments offered by your private therapist.
This freedom extends to activities and adventures, with ÀNI guests at liberty to do as much or as little as you like! If, for example, you have a hankering for traditional Caribbean fare and want to head into the lively local food scene of Anguilla, or check out one of the great beach bars on the island, your Anguilla host can help arrange your outing.
At ÀNI Dominican Republic, choose between a range of in-house activities and exciting trips further afield, including horseback riding in Rio San Juan, a tour of the ‘Magic Mushroom Waterfalls’ in Puerto Plata, ziplining through the Money Jungle in Sosua, and a round of golf at the famous Playa Dorado course.
If you’re staying at ÀNI Sri Lanka and want to experience some of the special attractions the country is famous for – including a trip to a tea plantation, Galle Fort or a conservation park – all you need to do is speak to your dedicated team and they will arrange the details for you.
Some of the highlights available for action-seeking guests at ÀNI include: traditional Muay Thai Boxing lessons with a Thai National Champion, batik painting, scuba diving, and tours of the local islands of Hong, Pak Bia, Lading, Rai, Kudu and Roi!