Marchay’s Head of Leisure Travel, Rebecca Lane, recently vacationed in Southeast Asia. Here is the review of her itinerary and the places she stayed
First stop: Nam Hai, Vietnam
Checking in: The Four Seasons Nam Hai took over management of this beautiful property about a year ago and it is just superb. Located in Danang / Hoi An and set on a spectacular wide and long stretched beach.
Amazing dining options and impeccable service live up to the Four Seasons standards.
The complementary hotel shuttle takes guests to and from the ancient, pedestrian only village of Hoi An – once an Asian power port turned enchanting UNESCO World Heritage town, its beguiling lantern-strewn streets and artisan ateliers vie with tailor shops (more than 300 of them) and creative cafés and hole-in-the-wall eateries to cast an illuminating insight into a bygone Vietnam. The best time to go visit the village is in the evening as it’s famous for their glowing lanterns at night.
Next Stop: Luang Prabang, Laos
I recommend staying for 3 to 4 nights in the spiritual and cultural core of Laos. A former French colony, the tidy streets are dotted with restored French villas alongside the dozens of golden-roofed Buddhist temples, giving the city a very unique architectural ambiance. True, visitors come here to see temples, but there’re a lot more to this place than one would think. The entire town is a UNESCO world heritage site and a quintessential spiritual Asian experience.
We stayed at the Azerai – created by Aman founder Adrian Zecha. This is undoubtedly the best location in Luang Prabang. Just across the street from the night market and within walking distance to the town center. The rooms have a very natural feel with earthy tones and simple, sleek décor. All of the rooms overlook the charming inner courtyard where a beautiful, shaded pool and cushion loungers awaited us after a long day of exploring the sites.
Final Stop: Bangkok
We stayed at the new 137 Pillars in Bangkok. It is fantastic for extended stays in their residences which are full serviced 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. They also have regular hotel suites and they are beautiful – and brand new. The rooftop pool and bar are great for unwinding.
I would definitely recommend doing a private boat tour through the canals. Bangkok is known as the Venice of the East – this is a simple but authentic way to see how the locals live along the rivers and canals while cruising up to the famous floating market.
Most travelers don’t stay in Bangkok for more than a couple nights but if you find yourself here for longer, each night can be spent at a world class restaurant. We loved ‘Blue Elephant’ for a traditional Thai meal (and a very popular cooking school, too). ‘Long Table’ is the spot to go for a romantic, sky-scraper view of the city with indoor and outdoor seating. ‘Never Ending Summer’ has a cool eclectic vibe, it was perfect for a casual and fun night out.
The Four Seasons Nam Hai, Vietnam | Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province, Viet Nam | +84 235 394 0000
Azerai Luang Prabang, Laos | +856 71 26 2333
137 Pillars | 38 Sukhumvit Soi 39 Klongton-Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand | +66 0 2 079 7137
Blue Elephant | 233 South Sathorn Road, Kwaeng Yannawa, Khet Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand | +66 2 673 9353
Long Table | 25th floor, 48 Column Bangkok, Thailand | +66 2 302 2557 – 9
Never Ending Summer | 41/5 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong San, Bangkok, Thailand | +66 2 861 0953