Luxury in 12 hours or less

Luxury in 12 hours or less
By admin


3 HOURS: Qualia, Australia
Location:
This chapel to the cerulean Coral Sea sits at the northernmost tip of Hamilton Island. Qualia is the last word on luxury in Australia, frequented by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Miranda Kerr and regularly voted the best resort in the country.
Detail:
Each pavilion faces a blue sea offset by the olive of an occasional gum tree. There are 60 pavilions and all of them are freestanding for privacy with each boasting either a sundeck or an infinity plunge pool. The colour of the plunge pool matches the ocean shade, creating both harmony and illusion. The outdoors encroaches, but in a good way, with floor to ceiling windows and local timber floors.
Spa:
Offering a mix of contemporary and indigenous Australian rituals, the pick of the treatments are those for two. Whether a cocoa addict or a wine quaffer, there are treatments for couples involving indulgences such as a pinot noir body mask or a mocha infused milk bath.
Extra: 
Your own two seater golf buggy to explore the island
Bottom line:
Rates start from $975 per night.

5 HOURS: El Questro Homestead, Australia
Location: 
Here the one thing as numerous as the stars is the vastness of the land, with just under a million acres studded with boab trees and waterfalls. This wilderness park in The Kimberley is as red-raw as its ochre-stained earth and it may well be the most remote place you have ever visited. 
Detail: 
Guests here won't feel isolated when they get a feel for the quality of facilities, food and service. The Homestead is built on the edge of a deep red gorge and you can see crocodiles from the shower. They coast down the Chamberlain River, close enough for spotting, but distant enough for safety. It doesn't get better than a soak in your outdoor bathtub, perched on the overhang of the cliff.
Spa:
With no official spa treatments, it's a DIY job here. But in such a setting, who's complaining? For a real communion with nature, Homestead guests have private access to natural thermal pools in bushland locations that are secreted all over the property.
Extra:
Angle for barramundi on a fishing tour or simply order it from the exploration menu at night.
Bottom line:
Rates start from $1949 per night. This price includes all meals, beverages, a personalised itinerary and guided tours within El Questro valley.

7 HOURS: Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali
Location:
This property does feel like the Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon thanks to its steep and lush setting. It is located above green rice paddies, opposite an ancient temple and above the Ayung River. The sound of water is inescapable and even the infinity edged pools reflect the environment, multi-tiered like a wedding cake or more likely, rice paddies. 
Detail:
All villas have Java stone plunge pools where you can skinny dip while taking in the landscaped gardens rich with orchids and bird of paradise blooms. They also have four poster beds and open air showers.
Spa:
The relaxation begins when you walk in, for this spa fronts the gushing Ayung River and backs onto dripping rainforest. If you're too relaxed to leave your villa, you can have a massage in your own plunge pool. Ginger, lemongrass and coconut products will have you smelling of a tropical cocktail.
Extras:
Try spirituality in hippie Ubud with chakra meditation and yoga by the river.
Bottom line: 
Rates start from $US370 ($362) per night including buffet breakfast and afternoon tea.
 

9 HOURS: Dedon Island Resort, Philippines
Location:
A pagoda 500 metres from shore marks the resort's place on Siargao, one of the easternmost of the Philippines' 7000 islands. The most striking feature as you approach from the sea are teardrops of weaved cane that hang from trees, embellished with cushions and begging to be swayed in with a straw pierced coconut.
Detail:
They call it barefoot luxury. The little touches, such as long fibrous centrepieces made from Dedon fabric turn an island stay into a cutting edge designer stay. On the villa porch a traditional lounger turns swanky as it swings from the roof. 
Spa:
Do you fancy unlimited massages? Is that a silly question? As part of your stay, massages are included anytime, anywhere. In the villa, the bathroom is bigger than most average bedrooms and features a luxurious open plan shower centrepiece that is more like a waterfall. 
Extras:
If you catch a fish the head chef will help you cook it in the open plan kitchen.
Bottom line: 
Rates start from $US480 ($468) per night including meals, activities and massages.

12 HOURS: Cocoa Island by COMO, Maldives
Location:
The Maldives are unspoilt, and on Cocoa Island the land mass (sand, really) is a mere 350 metres long. Forget walking, and start swimming. The villas are built above water and you'll scarcely miss the earth as the ocean laps against your balcony.
Detail:
There are four types of villas and all have steps leading down to the teeming marine life of the lagoon. The loft villa has an outdoor shower and other villas are built in dhoni boats, traditional Maldivian fishing vessels. All villas have oversized day beds if you need a post-paddle nap.
Spa:
Called Shambhala Retreat, the island's spa takes a holistic approach to treatments with Ayurveda and hydrotherapy on offer. The most relaxing part of this resort, however, is the chance to do nothing but swim, read, eat and er, swim.
Extras:
Practise yoga overlooking the ocean in the custom designed open air pavilion.
Bottom line:
Rates start from $US800 ($781) per night for a Dhoni Suite and $US1150 ($1123) for a Loft Villa.

 

Photo Credit: Cocoa Island by COMO

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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