Saturday, December 23, 2017

Alila Ubud Ultimate Friends’ Day Out

For those seeking a surprisingly different way to spend quality time and unwind with BFFs, look no further than Alila Ubud’s newly launched package – Ultimate Friends’ Day Out.


Nothing has been spared to create a truly heavenly experience for fun-filled indulgence. Ideal for a group of up to six persons, the experience includes a night’s stay in the resort’s one and only 252 sqm Two Bedroom Terrace Tree Pool Villa, perched high amid the canopy of the Ubud rainforest. The villa is Alila Ubud’s most spacious and luxurious accommodation with a 40 sqm private pool and a large outdoor terrace, where you can chill out altogether while soaking up the spectacular views.   

This Friends' retreat also comes with a decadent package of wellness and F&B, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, free flow of wine and bubbles, and unlimited spa treatments that will leave you feeling utterly pampered and preened.  


Slip off whenever the mood takes you to Spa Alila, whose all-natural therapeutic and beauty treatments offer something to please everyone, from manicures, pedicures and radiant facials to signature massages designed to deeply relax and rejuvenate.
   
That’s not all. You also get to enjoy varied options to the Alila Experience, taking your pick from an extensive menu of crafted activities that offer memorable destination exploits. Highlights include the ‘Balinese Organic Culinary Masterclass’, where foodies can cook up local dishes with the resident chef in the resort’s organic garden. ‘Organic Mixology’ offers time behind the Cabana bar learning to concoct signature organic cocktails with Alila Ubud’s experienced mixologists. Active spirits will love the ‘Payangan Countryside Trek’, exploring the verdant surroundings and learning about the local way of life.   


Offering something for everyone, the Ultimate Friends’ Day Out in Ubud is an unforgettable way to celebrate friendship, special occasions, or simply spoil yourselves.  

Best of all, making your escape to Alila Ubud is hassle-free as return transfers between the resort and any location in Bali are provided. The rate is USD 4,500 nett for up to six persons.  

For more info, visit: HERE

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

25 Years of Amanpulo


Mangrove Hut Manamoc

Aman’s private island resort marks its silver anniversary by celebrating Filipino gastronomy, culture, and community

In 1993, a private island of unspoilt tropical wilderness in the Sulu Sea, 360km southwest of Manila, was transformed from a small coconut plantation into one of the most idyllic retreats in the world. Designed by the acclaimed Filipino architect Francisco Manosa, and accessible only by private propeller plane, Amanpulo, the ‘peaceful island’, offers its guests the tranquility and sensory spectacle of powder-soft sands, and warm azure waters, ringed by a pristine coral reef.

Amanpulo has established itself as the undisputed jewel of the Philippines and one of the most beloved destinations for Amanjunkies in search of a naturally romantic setting for weddings and honeymoons, and for thrill seekers searching for the adrenaline buzz of physically challenging watersports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. With its powdery white-sand beach which stretches the full 6.5 kilometre perimeter of Palawan Island, it has also become a haven for those looking to fulfill their desert island fantasies and for anyone looking for an opportunity to escape, switch off, and reground themselves in a tropical paradise, far from the cares and worries of their everyday lives.

Floating Bar

Following 2017’s anniversary celebrations in Indonesia at Amanjiwo (20 years) and Amankila (25 years), 2018 will mark 25 years since Amanpulo welcomed its first guests. This landmark occasion will be commemorated with a year-long programme of exclusive events and cultural initiatives designed to embody the spirit of the resort, pay tribute to its history, and celebrate its deep-rooted connection to the island and community of Manamoc.

BBQ’s on the 25th
Throughout 2018, guests in residence will be invited to an al fresco anniversary barbecue on the 25th of each month at Amanpulo’s scenic Picnic Grove. The resort’s chefs will come together to helm live cooking stations serving a tantalising variety of traditional Filipino flavours. The menu will include wood-fired suckling pig, stuffed local squid, and traditional palayok (clay pot) dishes such as Laing (taro leaves braised in spiced coconut milk) and Pancit Palabok (rice noodles topped with seafood and chicharron), as well as an array of Filipino salads and desserts – including the much-loved shaved-ice specialty halo-halo.

Sailing

More than a dozen different dishes will be available, and will be best enjoyed accompanied by an exclusive Amanpulo beer, brewed especially to commemorate the resort’s anniversary by the Pedro Brewery in San Pedro City.

25-minute Cultural and Sporting Activities
A series of 25-minute activities and workshops have been developed specifically for the anniversary. These include palm-leaf weaving, a traditional Filipino craft used to make toys, ornaments, bags and accessories. Led by Amanpulo’s guides who have delighted guests over the years with gifts of their expertly woven creations, the workshops will enable participants to weave their own simple toys or, for the more ambitious, a classic Filipino palm-leaf hat.

Water Spot

For fitness enthusiasts, Amanpulo’s Fitness Manager Elmer Munar has created a 25-minute jungle sprint cardiovascular workout trail. Woven amongst the trees beside the Aman Spa, the trail comprises 13 obstacles ranging from monkey bars and a tyre run, to a rope and wall climb, and is designed to challenge strength and coordination in both upper and lower body. The trail can be adapted to meet the specific fitness needs of the individual, allowing guests of all ages and athletic abilities to take part.

West Villa Club House

Finally, in recognition of the perfect kitesurfing conditions on the Pamalican Island lagoon, Amanpulo will play host to a kitesurf retreat in March, inviting many of the world’s pro kiters and amateur enthusiasts for an unforgettable high-adrenaline regatta.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Dreamy Dunes and Deserts

Luxury tour operator, Scott Dunn, reveals why Jordan and Oman will be two of 2018’s most talked-about destinations

 Jabal Akhdar

Hot off the announcement of their top destinations for 2018, luxury tour operator Scott Dunn delves deeper into why desert destinations like Jordan and Oman will top travel lists next year.  Despite escaping the notice of all but the most adventurous of travellers for years, the centrally located countries offer easy access to travellers from Asia, and with an increasing range of luxury hotels and unique experiences, both destinations will be ones to watch next year.

Oman, located on the Arabian Peninsula, offers a truly diverse experience from its vibrant culture to the rugged mountain ranges, rolling sand dunes, bustling souks and golden beaches. Scott Dunn’s Signature Oman itinerary offers a seamless immersion into the northern part of the country, exploring the main sights with the comfort of a private driver and guide. The specially curated 10-day itinerary allows travellers to experience the highlights of this dynamic country, from visiting traditional markets in Muscat to remote wadis, the vast dunes of Wahiba Sands, and timeless forts and local villages in the Jabal Akhdar mountains. With such a vast array of experiences in Oman, travel consultants have hand-picked their selection of the best with this trip, offering the perfect blend of culture, scenery, adventure and relaxation. As with all Scott Dunn itineraries, the trip can be tailored to suit each individual’s interests, with bespoke experiences added in to make it more (or less) adventurous, more focused on culture or history, more suited to families or any other preferences.


 Jordan

Oman is perfect for families or couples, with a varied range of accommodation options and experiences. The lesser known region of Salalah in the south is home to the Anantara Al Baleed Resort, which sits on a pristine white coastline, and is suitable for families of all ages. There’s a fully-equipped kids club offering cooking classes and club adventures as well as a dedicated teens club offering engaging activities and guided trips. Alternatively, for couples, Scott Dunn continues to develop itineraries that offer authentic experiences, allowing guests the opportunity to immerse in local culture. Canvas Club offers just that, for those looking for a more glamorous camping experience under the stars, whilst Hud Hud’s authentic Bedouin style tents offer the opportunity to experience the peace and tranquility of the desert while getting a sense of local life in Oman.


 Oman

Jordan is as much of an emerging destination for 2018. The small historic country is a photographers dream, with some of the most incredible ancient ruins such as the world-famous Nabatean city of Petra and the Roman ruins of Jerash in the north. The natural landscape is equally impressive with contrasts between the red desert of Wadi Rum and the blue waters of the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth. People are beginning to explore this relatively undiscovered corner of the world and Scott Dunn’s Ultimate Jordan itinerary offers the chance to experience the best of what the country has to offer. The 13-day trip combines culture, trekking, relaxation, adventure and delicious food. While visiting Amman to see the spectacular ruins of Jerash, guests will have the opportunity to taste some of the best falafel in the country, as well as the famous kunafa, a Jordanian sweet. Highlights of the itinerary include a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Wadi Rum desert and the option to dive in the Red Sea, one of the world’s most renowned diving destinations with abundant marine life.

Wadi Rum

ABOUT SCOTT DUNN
Scott Dunn is an award-winning travel operator that has been  exceptional private journeys to destinations around the world for over 30 years. The company’s eye for the little things makes all the difference and has helped the brand build a reputation for not simply adhering to the highest standards in travel and hospitality, but setting them.

Scott Dunn’s immeasurable love for travel comes with a profound sense of effort to show respect and conserve economic, environmental and social-cultural balances in the destinations they offer. The Scott Dunn Charitable Fund supports a variety of local aid organisations that promotes education, community development and conservation that bring real long-term improvements to the lives of many in poverty-stricken and remote areas.


Over the years, Scott Dunn has won numerous awards validating their position as the leading luxury travel company. The most recent awards include; Favourite Specialist Tour Operator by Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards 2017, Best Ski Company and Telegraph Travel Awards 2015/16, Best Tour Operator by BRIDES Honeymoon Awards 2015 and Best Family Tour Operator by Junior Design Awards 2016.