Southeast Asia is the new destination du jour for luxury-minded travelers who appreciate great value. Discerning travelers delight in Southeast Asia, where reasonably priced five-star hotels abound and indulgence is newly defined. With so many options, it can be a difficult task to choose the resorts truly worthy of your vacation dollars. Happily, we’ve narrowed down the dizzying array of choices for you: Indulge in the opulence of one of our five favorite extravagant escapes in Southeast Asia.
Enjoy Island Perfection at Four Seasons, Koh Samui
Koh Samui, Thailand
You’ll feel like a celebrity at the Four Seasons, Koh Samui when you take a plunge in your own villa’s private infinity pool overlooking Thailand’s legendary Gulf of Siam. Simply bask in the sun on one of the world’s most picturesque beaches or enhance your stay with complimentary water toys like kayaks, paddleboards, or even a sailboat; the friendly staff will gladly provide instruction. If you’re looking for a real boost of adventure, charter the resort’s private luxury boat to explore Angthong National Marine Park.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Koh Samui Travel Guide.
Never Leave the Hotel at Four Seasons, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Set in the hills of Mae Rim Valley, just north of Chiang Mai, the Four Seasons, Chiang Mai oozes the ultimate Zen-like atmosphere. Each suite has its own "sala" (a large living/entertaining room), where guests can unwind and gaze upon the property’s working rice paddies, waterfalls, and stellar sunsets. If you’re looking for romance, reserve the private rice barn and savor a five-course dinner under the stars in the glow of shimmering candlelight. With a heavenly spa, world-renowned cooking school, and yoga classes daily, guests have so many options, they may never want to leave the property. However, if you do opt to explore the lush greenery surrounding the hotel, the resort has mountain bikes available for guests, along with route suggestions. Ask the concierge about the tiger camp, just minutes away!
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Chiang Mai Travel Guide.
Indulge Yourself at the Celebrated Spa at La Residence Phou Vao
Luang Prabang, Laos
Nestled atop a hill with stunning mountain views, La Residence Phou Vao encompasses the tranquil ambience of the sleepy World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Laos. If there was ever a time to pamper yourself, it’s at the property’s Mekong Spa, regularly voted amongst the world’s top spas. Enjoy the healing techniques of Laos with the Sip Sen Massage, which was once exclusively applied to the nation’s royal family. This massage, cultivated in monasteries and handed down through generations of Buddhist monks, will relax, detoxify, heal, and energize to ensure you reach a state of complete nirvana during your stay.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Luang Prabang Travel Guide.
Feast Like Royalty at The Sukhothai
Escape from the bustling metropolis of Bangkok in this extravagant, yet serene oasis. The Sukhothai blends authentic Thai architecture with modern luxury. Your senses will rejoice at the hotel’s fine dining options: Enjoy a rich Thai meal at top-rated Celadon; luxuriate in an indulgent Sunday brunch brimming with oysters and champagne at Colonnade; delight in handmade truffles and gourmet snacks at Thimian; or revel in a chocolate fantasy at the Sukhothai’s famed Chocolate Buffet. The food at the Sukhothai is truly a gastronomic legend fit for a king!
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide.
Pamper Yourself Poolside at The Nam Hai
Hoi An, Vietnam
Near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hoi An, My Son, and Hue, lies one of the best luxury resorts in all of Asia: The Nam Hai. The hotel boasts three infinity swimming pools, each offering expansive views of the resort’s dazzling private beach. Lounge poolside and get pampered by cool herbal towels and a flow of frequent treats, brought to you by the extremely attentive staff. Spoil yourself after a day in the sun in one of eight private spa pavilions set in a serene lagoon, or unwind in your personal villa’s private garden, complete with outdoor shower.
Photo Credits: courtesy Four Seasons Koh Samui; Four Seasons Chiang Mai; La Residence Phou Vao; The Sukothai; The Nam Hai