THREE VARIATIONS OF AN ISLAND RETREAT
Everyone loves an island retreat! Design Hotels presents three hotels to suit the most active - or inactive - of holidaymakers! For a jam-packed holiday of activities the trendy 101 Hotel in Iceland with its infamous hotel bar and menu of exciting winter sports is certain to keep even the most energetic entertained. Those looking for a quiet retreat close to the action will find paradise at The Chedi Phuket with its picture-postcard white sandy beach and turquoise sea, just a 20 minute drive from the nightlife of Patong Beach. For total privacy and seclusion, the exclusive-use Villa Beige on Koh Samui, hidden in a jungle next to its own beach, is ideal for those wishing to experience the beauty of island life in a villa all to themselves.
101 Hotel, Reykjavik
For an island escape with a difference, the 101 Hotel in Iceland offers a lounge with an open fire, a celebrity-filled bar and the opportunity to go dog-sledding, blokarting or even diving between tectonic plates. Centrally located in Reykjavik, the island's capital, guests are well placed to enjoy the city's many offerings, including geothermal pools, theatres, art galleries and the chance to view the northern lights - the stunning natural light displays at night native to the arctic circle. In the evening guests mix with Iceland's movers and shakers in the fashionable hotel restaurant and bar serving modern international and Icelandic cuisine, or simply retreat to their rooms. Some are even complete with freestanding baths supplied with geothermal water - perfect for a relaxing soak after an active day. With special features including in-room libraries, heated oak floors and CD/DVD players, guests may not want to leave their rooms, although the in house Jacuzzi, steam bath and gym may prove tempting. www.designhotels.com/101hotel
Villa Beige, Koh Samui
Guests at Villa Beige are certain to feel the Robinson Crusoe lifestyle - albeit a luxury version of it - with its remote location and private sandy beach. Perched in the middle of a tropical jungle on a cliff looking out to sea, this intimate four-suite beachfront estate is only bookable as a whole, giving guests the chance to experience the resort in utmost privacy. With a small team of resident staff offering round-the-clock service, guests may feel like the millionaire owner of this stunning property, complete with gym, private spa, marble infinity pool, sun deck, dining area and alabaster bar. In the evening, couples, families or friends can enjoy a drink at the Sunset Cocktail Lounge, followed by a traditional Thai dinner of fresh seafood and steaks, prepared by the private chef. Local dancers or Thai boxers are sometimes brought in to entertain guests who also have the choice of a range of activities including elephant trekking, jungle tours and private boat trips to other islands. www.designhotels.com/villabeige
The Chedi Phuket
Hidden under a canopy of coconut palms next to the white beach of Pansea Bay lies this resort of quaint thatched cottages and buildings joined by elevated walkways. With a library, swimming pool, and watersports on offer, all ages will be entertained, and families are welcome. The swimming pool resembles a water garden and gives a dramatic effect after dark when its dark anthracite tiles reflect light. For meals, guests can choose from three hotel restaurants - the Lomtalay Thai restaurant, Sunset Café and Sunset Bar - serving a range of local, Western and seafood specialities. Guests are also invited to enjoy a traditional Thai treatment in the spa, or relax in the plunge pool with stunning views over the Andaman Sea. All cottages were built with local materials and have their own veranda with ocean views and secluded sun deck, so guests have their own private slice of paradise. www.designhotels.com/chediphuket