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The globetrotter’s guide to eclectic retreats that relax and invigorate.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
The globetrotter’s guide to eclectic retreats that relax and invigorate.
Beautiful Thai manors
made up in the style
of the Rattanakosin
period of the 1780s
Beautiful Thai manors made up in the style of the Rattanakosin period of the 1780s
One of 11
luxurious suites
One of 11 luxurious suites


Escape to these lush boutique hotels that pack a mighty punch for intimate service and a homestyle honesty and hospitality


Just a hop and skip away from Singapore is Chiangmai—Northern Thailand’s cool quirky cousin to the brash delights of big, bad boy Bangkok. This hidden gem is exactly what you need for a quick refresh of the system with expansive forests, lavish temples, and delicious, gently spicy Thai food.

Check into the quaint Small Luxury Hotels boutique resort of Sireeampan Boutique Resort & Spa. A mere 15 minutes away from the airport, this luxurious 5-star resort is an intimate affair with just 11 suites.

At Sireeampan, “no” is never spoken; “let me try” is preferred; you will be spoilt by a small team of attentive staff who will be hosting you, driving you, serving you and escorting you as you take in night bazaars, the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or the cool hipster area of Nimmanhaemin Road.

The five-fixture
The five-fixture bathroom

 If staying in is your idea of indulgence, try the cocktail class for delicious lessons on how to make the perfect Tom Yum Martini or Mango Mojito. Or perhaps you want to dig deeper into Thai culture and take up a cooking lesson, which includes a visit to a local market and a wander by the Royal Project Foundation organic shop to pick your favourite greens.

If even this sounds too much, relax by the lap pool or get the resort to arrange for a private spa session in the luxurious setting of your own personal spa suite—complete with steam room, sauna, shower and sitting area.

Sireeampan Boutique Resort & Spa is your delicious excuse to escape with your loved one for a romantic weekend—and you won’t even leave the comforts of home behind because it’s all there, Thai-style.

An idyllic respite set within private
tropical gardens with a saltwater pool
An idyllic respite set within private tropical gardens with a saltwater pool


An idyllic respite set within private tropical gardens with a saltwater pool We all love a rags-to-riches story and this success story from Siem Reap is no different.

Soan Kann, the enigmatic owner of four boutique establishments in Siem Reap, started off as a waiter at the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor before starting his own business with the excellent Sokkhak Spa, followed by Chanrey Tree restaurant, Sokkhak River restaurant and the latest hotel, Sokkhak Boutique Resort.

Charming, personal and intimate, each establishment prides itself on the excellent staff and incredible service. Chanrey Tree probablyoffers the best modern Khmer food in the country, with a charming riverside locale right in the heart of town. 

soak up stress-relieving spa treatment
soak up stress-relieving spa treatment

The sister French Khmer restaurant, Sokkhak River, sits just next door, and serves a wonderful fusion of East and West flavours. No trip to Siem Reap is complete without a visit to the Sokkhak Spa to soothe tired souls and weary bodies.

Just a stone’s throw from the Old Market, all the masseurs, both male and female, are superb in their delivery and have been trained to such a high level of personal service that no muscle, ache or pain is left untreated and uncared for.

And finally, the pièce de résistance: A fabulous modern boutique hotel far from the madding crowd. Just 12 rooms around a pretty saltwater pool, this hotel is the perfect respite from all the hard trekking around the temples and a worthy oasis to call home, albeit just for a few days.

Total indulgence and at prices that are so reasonable, you won’t want to wait to book your next trip back.

W Retreat & Spa Maldives
W Retreat & Spa Maldives


Ocean lagoon
Ocean lagoon


Urban and buzzy in the middle of the tropics—home to six chic bars and restaurants, an over-water AWAY spa, a Technogym, and the Maldives’ only underground club, Fifteen Below—the W Retreat & Spa Maldives is for the ultra-hip traveller. Savour this on top of the 79 retreats, which each come with a plunge pool and sundeck, so you don’t have to rush staging the perfect Instagram shot. Did we mention it’s located on its very own private island, where every effort has been made to preserve the natural lush beauty, marine life, and delicate ecosystem?

Rooftop bar
Rooftop bar


The 132-room ME Milan Il Duca is where the chic travellers of the world stay, and denizens of Italy’s fashion capital play. Though the plush bed and modern bath beckon, you won’t be getting much rest here.

Instead, you will be up all night at STK, the high-energy New York steakhouse with a candelabra-rich bar; the lobby library, where you can savour Prosecco, dramatic fashion imagery by Madrid-based photographer, Alberto Van Stokkum, and deep house tunes; or the Rooftop Bar, where potent cocktails and pulsating beats are served up with sparkling views of the new Garibaldi area skyline.

Club gSanook suite
Club gSanook suite


Smack in the heart of scintillating Sukhumvit is boutique hotel Galleria 10, which brings the party straight to your room. Each eclectic abode reflects the energy of Bangkok, with urban skyline art, bright colours and all the modern amenities the millennial traveller would appreciate, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows that invite the city lights in.

When you are done sampling the tapas, contemporary Thai dishes and zesty martinis at its restaurant and bars by the pool or on the roof, you can easily walk on over to the nightlife strip and luxury malls that are just a couple steps away for more.

The DJ Dispensary at Chic Punta Cana
The DJ Dispensary at Chic Punta Cana


Why be a beach bum on holiday when you can be a DJ? British company, The DJ Dispensary, is peddling ultra-cool retreats at some of the world’s hottest hotels where even the most musically incompetent will be layering pulsating beats with ease by the end of the trip.

The 2016 DJD Retreat Collection comprises two- and three-day retreats where your one-on-one DJ tutor sessions will cover topics like equipment familiarisation, DJ history and beat matching, cueing and structure.

The graduation ceremony? Your very first live set at the closing party. 

World pole dance champion, 
Anastasia Skukhtorova 
World pole dance champion, Anastasia Skukhtorova (@anastasiaskukhtorova)


Strong lines, dramatic leaps, svelte physiques and perfect pirouettes in the most urban and unexpected locales, these are the profi les on Instagram to follow for your daily dose of kinetic dreams.

Choreographer and ReQuest dance 
crew (of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” 
fame), Parris Goebel (@parrisgoebel)
Choreographer and ReQuest dance crew (of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” fame), Parris Goebel (@parrisgoebel)
#FreezeOfTheDay breakdancer, RJ 
“Rockadile” Puno (@rockadeezy)
#FreezeOfTheDay breakdancer, RJ “Rockadile” Puno (@rockadeezy)
Street ballet photographer, 
Omar Z Robles (@omarzrobles)
Street ballet photographer, Omar Z Robles (@omarzrobles)