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Pleasant and unexpected surprises are one of the treasures of travel. While visiting East Timor recently for woman with drive, one of our team stopped over in Bali for a night. After referring to her Mr&Mrs Smith iPhone app, she found the Anantara Hotel in Seminyak – she hailed a taxi and checked in. She came back convinced that Anantara Hotels are a perfect choice for all women with drive. They deliver a boutique feel with all the luxury of a five-star resort.

Anantara is part of the Global Hotel Alliance that includes brands such as The Art Series and QT Hotels in Australia. If you’re a fan of these two hotel brands, then you’re likely to enjoy Anantara.

Anantara differentiates itself by offering a ‘destination experience’. Whether snorkelling in the azure seas of the Maldives or trekking through the lush jungle in the golden triangle, the intent is to provide the sophisticated traveller with an experience that integrates indigenous elements and modern conveniences.

So which one will you choose?

 1. Anantara Resort Seminyak – Bali

Book an ocean front suite and enjoy an amazing view of Seminyak beach from your balcony complete with outdoor spa.  The hospitality is classic Bali – all smiles and a feeling of genuine warmth. You will find some interesting additions in your room such as a sketch book if you’re feeling artistic,  books you can read while bathing and the most amazing luxury amenities we have so far experienced in a hotel – including four choices of soap.

If you’re looking for the best place to enjoy the sunset while sipping a cocktail, head to the rooftop. The SOS Supper Club was awarded the “must-do-venue” by Time magazine. If a cocktail’s not your style, then try one of the 105 wine labels on the SOS wine list. The list was honoured by the Wine Spectator an Award of Excellence in 2012 for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world. Prices start at around AUD $480 for an ocean front room including breakfast.


2. Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa, China

Tucked away in the forests of China’s Yunnan Province, Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort and Spa is located in a region rich in cultural experiences and astonishing natural beauty. Elegant rooms and sprawling pool villas are inspired by indigenous art – private plunge pools, state-of-the-art entertainment facilities and exclusive butler service create a truly luxurious resort.

You can meet Xishuangbanna’s diverse people and take part in their colourful folk traditions on a village tour, and then learn to prepare Dai dishes yourself in an Anantara cooking class. Tour the Wild Elephant Valley or Manfeilong, a Buddhist temple also known as the White Pagoda, and then unwind with an indulgent Anantara spa treatment.  Prices start at AU$339 per room per night and range up to AU$678 and the best time to visit is from March to October.


3. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Liwa Desert, UAE

Located in the Liwa Desert, about 100 km south of the Persian Gulf and 150 km from Abu Dhabi.  It is one of the largest uninterrupted sand deserts in the world, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a luxury oasis for discerning travellers. Recline by the plunge pool outside your own private villa, or lounge on a sumptuous day bed surrounded by rich middle eastern fabrics and local artifacts.

Dine in one of the four restaurants that offer middle eastern cuisine and fine gastronomic experiences from across the globe. Plus there is the Anantara Spa that draws on an array of ancient treatments. There is also a fitness centre, tennis court, swimming pool, kids club, business centre and library.  Prices start at AU$312 per room per night and range up to AU$2,716 and the best time to visit is from November to February.


4. Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Maldives

Anantara Dhigu Resort and Spa is located on Dhigufinolhu Island in the South Malé Atoll. Boasting some of the most spacious luxury villas in Maldives, some with private plunge pools, it’s just a 35-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport.

Upon arrival, you’re greeted by crystal clear waters that are home to puffer fish, sting-rays and baby reef-sharks. Take part in an array of water sports including diving, snorkelling, surfing and island hopping. Play tennis, hit the gym and swim in the infinity pool, or simply unwind with a signature treatment at the resort spa.

Prices start at AU$640 per villa per night and range up to AU$1,186 and the best time to visit is from December to April.


5. Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Thailand

Situated in northern Thailand’s lush jungle and boasting breathtaking panoramas of Myanmar, Laos, Anantara’s hilltop Chiang Rai resort offers unforgettable adventures with indulgent all-inclusive benefits, featuring gourmet dining and daily activities.

The resort is best known for its elephant sanctuary, where you can learn to drive your very own elephant and trek through vivid jungle landscapes. If cooking is more your interest, you can master the art of Thai Cuisine at the Lanna Cooking School.  Of course there is also the luxurious Anantara Spa that is a must-do at any Anantara Resort. Prices start at AU$1,184 per room per night and range up to AU$1,455 and the best time to visit is from October to February.


6. Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa, Vietnam

Set on Mui Ne’s  which is a coastal resort town in southeastern Vietnam, Anantara Mui Ne Resort and Spa offers equal parts elegance, comfort and adventure. Mornings spent by the sea, afternoon hikes through nearby sand dunes, a soothing spa treatment before starlit evening drinks on the beach. Very enticing.

Blending Vietnamese tradition and first-class Anantara service, Mui Ne Resort and Spa offers a tropical retreat, worlds away from Vietnam’s urban bustle. Take in the splendour of sunset from the pool deck, then enjoy fine international dining and mouth-watering cuisine at one of the resort restaurants.

Prices start at AU$145 per room per night and range up to AU$686 and the best time to visit is from October to May during the dry season. However its unique climate means it sees very little rain, making it a great choice year round.


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