It’s almost the middle of 2018, there is no better time to say ‘goodbye concrete jungle’ and ‘hello dream holidays’ then this Labour Day weekend! So whether you are a beach lover, adventure junkie, shopping enthusiast or party animal, here are some getaways that may give you just the shot of rejuvenation you are looking for.
Think of Thailand and Phuket comes to mind. But Koh Samui, the country’s second largest island, with its wealth of natural and man-made attractions is in a class of its own. While pristine white sand beaches like Koh Tao are the island’s hallmark, if you are looking at a holiday is a little more exciting than beach bumming all day long, then head to the Ang Thong National Marine Park. A day trip from Koh Samui, its limestone mountains, dense rainforests, waterfalls make it ideal for adventure seekers and explorers.
Enjoy the famous Big Buddha Shrine, rock formations, mummified monks, a historical fisherman’s village! Unspoilt, serene and breathtaking, Koh Samui is like the wallpaper on your desktop you wished you could step into.
Where should you stay to have a finest island retreat? Here are some great choices.
Balinese Beach House
On the beachfront of a secluded beach lies this magnificent two-bedroom villa with a view to die for. Designed with traditional wooden structures and surrounded by tropical gardens, you are sure to love this place. Grab the complimentary snorkeling equipment for an unforgettable expedition down to the coral reefs or zip through the waters on the speedboat.
Average price per night per person: SGD 55
Private beach house near airport
Four luxurious bedrooms, all facing the turquoise waters of the sea, a beautiful manicured garden, a massage room, children’s play room and your private chef, maid and gardener – all included in the price. Designed for comfort, luxury and relaxation, this comtemporary Villa is at walking distance from the beach and the famous Fisherman’s village. With a view to cherish and the plethora of amenities, this villa is sure to make your stay, a happy one.
Average price per night per person: SGD 224
Some call it the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ or the ‘Gateway to ancient Asia’, others proclaim it the ‘food capital of Malaysia’ but spend some time in this potpourri of multicultural influences and you get a sense that this beautifully diverse island is too dynamic to be labelled.
Start with the capital George Town, a delightful shipping port of yore, whose architectural delights have earned it the ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ tag.
To the northwest is the long coastline of raw, often secluded beaches that present the perfect opportunity to get some sun and sand. You may be surrounded by sprawling high-rises but the island’s roots to nature run deep.
The Penang hill with its exotic flora and fauna, and stunning views of the tropical forest is a prime example of that.
Meditate at the Kek Lok Si Temple, Malaysia’s largest Buddhist temple or discover the delightful Tropical Spice Garden and the quaint little flea markets that make this island such a visitor’s magnet.
Check out these wonderful HomeAways that are sure to make your stay a comfortable one.
Modern home for up to 16 guests
Traveling with a large group? You may be hard pressed to find a more worthy alternative to this roomy and contemporary seven-bedroom home that has all the modern comforts you need. Head out to the popular Batu Ferringhi beach, Gurney Drive or Paragon Shopping Plaza, all located in close proximity to this beautiful home.
Average price per night per person: SGD 19
Seaside holiday apartment
Experience Penang at this strategically located luxurious gated community apartment and wake up to the view of the beautiful Batu Ferringhi beach and the nearby hills.. Designed tastefully with plush interiors and equipped with top notch amenities, this is the kind of home you would want to come back to after a long day of site seeing.
Average price per night per person: SGD 33
If there is one word that describes Kota Kinabalu best, it is resilience. Destroyed during the Second World War and a target of uprisings, the city is a mountain of strength, just like its most famous landmark – the majestic Mount Kinabalu.
It may be a good 1625 km away from happening Kuala Lumpur but Kota Kinabalu, with its white sand beaches, lush green rainforests, trekking and scuba diving expeditions, is a must-see. Visit the Mari Mari cultural village for an up-close look at unique gypsy cultures and traditions or indulge in a moment of introspection at the floating mosque, a striking architectural spectacle.
Don’t forget to visit the little, street markets for a slice of local life and the many knick-knacks on display. Fancy an adventure? Take the speed boat for a short spin to the Tunku Abdul Rehman national park that comprises five truly spectacular islands whose dense forest reserves and crystal-clear waters make you admire the handiwork of nature.
Check out this great HomeAway for your stay:
Homely duplex near airport
Stepping into this serene four-room duplex apartment with a pearly white ambiance, is instant relaxation! Spacious and well equipped, this is a great choice for a group of 10. While it is just a ten-minute drive from the airport, it seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Practice a round of golf or head out shopping, major recreational areas are just a few minutes away.
Average price per night per person: SGD 16
The ‘Queen city of the South,’ Cebu is the busiest sea port in Philippines and its fastest growing city. A multifaceted city, it is a history timekeeper with its legendary stories and fascinating churches. Markets, adventures, breathtaking scenery and a happening nightlife, all with an irresistible old-world charm – Cebu is one of its kinds.
Start off your holiday with visit to the Cebu Heritage Monument, where the tales of the past, leave you gaping and wondering how little about history you know!
Got kids? Take them to Mountain View Nature Park or the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary for an outing they will never forget. Conquer your fears as you dive with the sharks or simply lie down on one of the many white sand beaches and watch the sunset as you bring a glorious day to a close.
These are the HomeAways that you should book to make this break a lot more fun:
Cozy family home
Family holidays are all about special moments spent together and this charming one-bedroom place for four will help you make some lasting memories. Whip up a meal together at the fully functional kitchen or play board games at the gazebo. Located just five minutes from the city centre, you can tick off many must-visit places on your itinerary, like the Fuente Osmena street, malls like Robinsons Cybergate and One Pavillion and the Mango Avenue. Want to book special city tours or go whale watching or island hopping? Just request the host!
Average price per night per person: SGD 12
Studio condo with a resort ambience
What do you look for in a HomeAway? Comfort, safety, amenities, view and location – and they are all available to you at this bright and contemporary condo unit inside a sprawling resort complex. Located in a residential area away from the frenzy of the city, yet close to major attractions like the beaches, malls and popular tourist spots.
Average price per night per person: SGD 12
Raw, untamed and unpredictable, Bali’s mystic spirit never fails to enthrall. Soak into the magnificent sight that is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, the floating temple whose image is printed on currency notes.
Catch the sunrise at the iconic Mount Batur with its active volcano — a must for the photography enthusiast. Whether it is the dramatic cliff temple of Pura Luhur Uluwatu or the ethereal Tanah Lot temple, Bali makes you want to plan your next trip back there, before you even take the flight back home.
Scuba diving, kayaking, trekking, mountain climbing or zip-lining through the rain forests, as an adventure enthusiast, you cannot ask for more. Alternately, sign up for a hot springs tour or enjoy the vibrant ambience of the Kuta beach.
It helps to stay as close to the action as possible, so here are the HomeAways we recommend.
Luxurious ocean facing villa
This five-bedroom villa overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean is a dynamic concoction of luxury with tradition. Furnished in browns and beiges, the villa opens onto sprawling courtyards, in classic Balinese style. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the beautifully maintained gardens, a swim at your private pool and dine at the open-air pavilion with a special meal prepared by your personal chef.
Average price per night per person: SGD 578
Villa for a romantic sunset getaway
This four-bedroom villa for eight guests is the poster child of the Bali getaway. Both master bedrooms, done up with elegant whites and greys, offer you unparalleled sea and sunset views. Enjoy a well-designed kitchen that comes with an artistic oak table, great for building stronger bonds over a home-cooked meal! In this home, sliding doors are all that separate you from the fresh outdoors, where the seating area is perfect for a high tea with friends. Head out for a round of golf at the nearby golf course or have a pool party! The possibilities here are infinite.
Average price per night per person: SGD 151