Selective Six: Asia hotels for the best night's sleep you've ever had
13th June 2019 | by Suzie
Exhilarating encounters, cultural stimulation, the freshest flavours… a Selective Asia holiday packs in all kinds of exciting opportunities! But we like to make time for relaxation, too. When you’re well rested, you can fully enjoy the energetic stuff, and the perfect trip will send you home recharged, ready to embrace whatever your life entails. All our recommended hotels are personally inspected, and we can vouch for a relaxing stay in every one of them - but we couldn’t resist picking out a few where we’ve caught some particularly blissful zzzzs…
Sanak Retreat, Munduk, Bali
Annie loves this deceptively simple boutique resort, which sits in a stunning rural valley in central Bali, surrounded by miles of lush rural landscape. You can sleep easy here for several reasons - for starters, the resort is exceptionally ethical, and the valley’s form of agriculture is so ancient and socially important that it’s protected by UNESCO. Annie says ‘it is nice and remote, so very quiet - just the sound of nature! They have an epic spa, and after a two hour massage I was very ready for bed!’. The spa in question uses local products made using Bali’s centuries-old therapeutic techniques.
Bhaya Classic junk boat, Halong Bay, Vietnam
Claire went misty-eyed as she recalled being rocked to sleep by a traditional junk boat on the waters of Halong Bay. This stretch of seascape off Vietnam’s northern coast is famous for its hundreds of scenic islands, and a junk is easily the most relaxing way to explore them. Claire stayed on the Bhaya Classic, a small shared junk with a traditional design. Spend your days on the sundeck, kayaking in tranquil coves, or perhaps indulging in a massage in the onboard spa. After a sunset dinner and relaxing on deck, you’ll finally retire to your luxurious wooden cabin, where all is quiet - except for the water lapping gently against the hull…
The Pavilions Himalayas Lake View, Pokhara, Nepal
If you’re planning a trekking holiday in Nepal, you may want to consider a couple of nights kip at this lovely little lakeside resort, near Pokhara on what’s known as the Annapurna trekking circuit in central Nepal. The superb treks and mountain air are sure to induce deep sleep, and you can enjoy sunset (and sunrise!) across the Himalayas through the panoramic picture windows around your bed. There are only eight wooden villas here, each situated on its own platform in woodland beside Phewa Lake - Nick absolutely loved it, and said it’s a ‘very special place to return to’ after a few days of hard trekking.
COMO Uma Paro, Bhutan
It seems that a day of hearty hill-walking plus a cosy bed in a fresh-air retreat may be an ideal formula for deep sleep (who knew?!). Gemma’s hike up to the spectacular Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan was followed by a night of low-key luxury at the COMO Uma Paro, where Gemma says she enjoyed a delicious Bhutanese dinner followed by a great night’s sleep. Guest accommodation is simply lovely, done up in fresh whites with colourful Bhutanese murals splashed here and there on the walls. Some rooms have balconies with impressive views over the mountain landscape - it’s the perfect place to put your feet up and marvel at how far you’ve come...
Knai Bang Chatt, Kep, Cambodia
Nick’s long-held love for this gorgeous oceanfront retreat is well-known in Selective Asia HQ! He loves it for its ‘total silence and utter calm’, and says it ‘always feels like no-one else is ever there’. The property’s three renovated 1960s villas have calm minimal interiors which lend themselves to total relaxation, going for classy cosiness over starchy style. Nick loves the unpretentious ambience - the service is discretely attentive but never overbearing, which we find is another key ingredient for total relaxation. Burn off any tension in the infinity pool, indulge in a massage at the hotel’s lovely little spa, and you’ll be ready to slip into a deep sleep, lulled by the sound of ocean waves...
MesaStila, Magalang, Java
For Karl, the MesaStila on Java is a ‘tough one to beat’. He says that simply ‘waking up to that view’ makes the journey worthwhile, let alone everything else the place has to offer. The view in question is out across the hilltop resort's 55 acres of tropical gardens & woodland, into a sublime Javan landscape of picture-perfect volcanoes and misty jungle. The resort still operates a 200 year old Dutch coffee plantation, so you might be feeling pretty perky during the day! But the focus here is on wellness and rejuvenation - whether it’s a stroll around the gardens, a yoga retreat, a walk in the mountains or unwinding in the indulgent hammam, you’ll find something to help you feel truly rested.