IT’S a new year, and with it new getaway plans. Instead of splurging on a luxury hotel in some far-flung corner of the earth, why not check out some of TripAdvisor’s highest-rated holiday rental homes in Asia Pacific? Besides villas with personal butlers, there are cosy cottages and the experience offers a stress-free environment, free of hundreds of people milling about.
Crescentfield Cottage, Hobart, Tasmania
Four bedrooms from RM868 per night
The four-bedroom sandstone home built in the late 1800s is a landmark home in West Hobart. The standout feature of the property is its lush, colourful garden, complete with a large sitting area ideal for barbecues. A wide selection of restaurants, cafes and shops can be found within a five-to-10 minute walk.
Kimbulagala Watte Villa, Galle, Sri Lanka
Three bedrooms from RM1,066 per night
Galle was once a bustling port during the historical time of the Portuguese and Dutch colonisations. As a result, Galle is famed for its fusion of Portuguese and South Asian architecture, many of which still stand today. The three-bedroom property which can house six comfortably is a traditional Sri Lankan villa on Koggala Lake with a large living-room area, an open plan kitchen and plenty of space built upon its polished stone floors. The sitting room opens into the wraparound verandah that overlooks the infinity pool and Koggala Lake beyond. All three bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, while the lake-view can be enjoyed from the spacious master suite.
Marri House, Pemberton, Western Australia
Three bedrooms from RM728 per night
Marri House is an elegant new accommodation on the edge of the forest and the town. Suitable for up to six guests, the property is open-plan with clean lines and modern décor which features a fire place, private garden and terrace. Situated in Pemberton, Marri House is the perfect getaway with its yearly temperatures that rarely ever fall below 5°C, nor rise above 25°C.
Samui Blu, Koh Samui, Thailand
Three bedrooms from RM1,212 per night
This three-bedroom property surrounds a 15 -metre swimming pool and lush garden with over 20 species of flowering plants, shrubs and palms. Samui Blu provides panoramic views of the nearby sea, which is just a few minutes’ stroll from the front door. Its master suite features a draped, four-poster bed.
Window Retreat, Coromandel, New Zealand
Four bedrooms from RM2,047 per night
The Coromandel Peninsula is situated on the North Island of New Zealand and is a popular destination for scuba divers. Its Mercury Bay is renowned for yachting. Nature’s Window Retreat stands within 10 acres (4.04ha) of bush, giving guests complete privacy as they take in the views of nearby locality, Tapu. Extensive birdlife surrounds the property and the hilltop house that has a pool, a pool table, two fireplaces and barbecue facilities among others, captures the sun throughout the day.
Kemala Villa, Canggu, Bali
Five bedrooms from RM3,020 per night
Tucked away in the scenic rice fields of Berawa-Canggu, Bali, is this five-bedroom luxury property. The design combines contemporary Balinese architecture with clean modern lines. Kemala Villa offers spacious indoor and outdoor areas for group gatherings or just some privacy for those who want quiet time. Set in a tropical garden overlooking the emerald rice fields, Kemala is a short drive from Berawa’s surf beach and acclaimed restaurants, beach clubs and bars in Seminyak and Petitenget.
Maju Villa, Seminyak, Bali
Three bedrooms from RM1,492 per night
This luxury villa is in the heart of Seminyak, near the best restaurants, shopping and night life. It comes with “all-day” butler service, and each of its bedrooms is its own separate bungalow with indoor/outdoor bathrooms. The villa has a large private pool and extensive outdoor space.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 21, 2015.