Aman has unveiled a new Spa House concept, a first for the exclusive resort group and part of its recently launched Wellness programme, at Amanoi, Vietnam.
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Luxury resorts catering to multigenerations have evolved enormously in recent years offering children’s cooking classes and spa treatments to wildlife excursions and cultural activities for the whole family. And multigenerational or 3G holidays where grandparents, parents and kids holiday together, are on the rise fuelling even more demand for a great family getaway. Here are six of the best, five star hotels in Asia that offer more than the usual kid’s clubs.
The Peninsula, Hong Kong
In the Kids On Us programme (available until December 2016) children under 12 staying at The Peninsula Hong Kong and dining with their parents for lunch or dinner can enjoy the Kids Menu for free. Between July 1st and August 31st there’s also a Kid’s Buffet offered at The Verandah restaurant including a designated sweetie bar.
Children are provided with adorable slippers and robes featuring The Peninsula bear and various family friendly activities are offered by the hotel. A Little Pastry Chef’s Adventure offers children aged four to 10 years old the chance to learn how to bake and decorate cakes.
Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai
This northern Thai resort resembles an impressive film set of a Lanna style enclave. A paddy field at its heart is surrounded by two storey teak villas some with their own pools. Both kids and adults can ride on the paddy’s resident water buffalo and learn about rice planting (above). Over at the rustic Arts and Crafts Village families can try out traditional Lanna skills such as rice pounding, bamboo weaving and paper cutting. There are also child specific activities including meditation and yoga in a one hundred year old wooden house. Leaving parents free to visit the stunning spa.
The Datai, Langkawi
With its enchanting rainforest setting, The Datai has access to mangroves and waterways as well as being close to the sea. Accommodation spans rooms in the main house to Rainforest or Beach Villas. There’s a variety of restaurants too most beguiling of which is the treehouse like Pavilion, on 30 metres high stilts and shaded by the forest (above). Monkeys roam freely around the resort. Resident naturalist Irshad Mobarak guides complementary morning and evening walks through the rainforest pointing out plants and wildlife such as flying lemurs. Families may book a number of adventures including kayaking through the mangroves to spot kingfishers and eagles, trekking though the jungle and swimming in natural pools.
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
Part of the prestigious Cheval Blanc stable, Randheli has been slickly designed by the starchitect Jean-Michel Gathy. There are trademark romantic over-water pavilions but also family friendly Island villas which have two bedrooms and a large outside dining area. No details have been overlooked with specially designed mini furniture and food and drink menus for kids. As well as dedicated play areas for children and teenagers with wall to wall activities, the resort organises Mini Olympics where the whole family can take part in swim races, volleyball, beach football and rope pulling. Finished off with a barbecue on the beach.
Alila Villas Soori, Bali
Soori, on the quieter West coast of Bali, is an all-villa resort, all of which with plunge pools and most have direct access to the beach. The pared back, modern design carries on in the restaurants (though in villa dining is very popular here) and the spa (which has children’s treatments). Alila are known for their Journeys – offering guests an insight into local life and culture – at Soori they have Journeys tailor made for children. Choose from traditional Balinese kite making (and flying), creating terracotta pieces with a local craftsman, learning to bake with the pastry chef or dressing up and learning to dance like a Balinese princess. Move over Disney.
[UPDATE: The resort has been renamed Soori Bali and is no longer part of the Alila group as result of a management buy out by founder and architect Soo Chan.]
Set in a coconut grove on an isolated peninsula of the island, Amanpuri is designed to appeal as much to Aman Juniors as Aman Junkies. Two bedroomed pavilions overlooking the sea come with a private swimming pool and outdoor dining area. With their parents present, Aman Juniors may try spa treatments, snorkel and kayak in the Andaman Sea or take a dingy out to an ocean platform to feed the fish. Amanpuri also has its own fleet of boats from sleek yachts to a Chinese junk for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving or a cruise to nearby islands.
With Paris Haute Couture week upon us again, Chopstix takes another look at Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2016 couture show.
While some at the time described the set as “a doll’s house” or a “spa”, Chopstix sees it more as a traditional Japanese house. Which reminded us of an architectural tour of the Aman Tokyo, designed by Kerry Hill Architects.
The Japanese traditional house, we were told by an Aman spokeswoman, is designed to embrace nature; “We love nature and seeing the changes of the seasons.” Thus the importance of gardens, and in the absence of those, gardens are brought inside as at Aman Tokyo even with its urban tower location. Trees are brought inside such as the one used as a focus point in the lobby (below) and the tiny foliage displays that adorn the corridors leading to the guest rooms.
The houses are also designed to be opened up, as the Chanel one was, which again brings the outside – and therefore nature – in. In the suites at Aman Tokyo a sliding “hatch” door of traditional camphor wood and washi paper in the bathroom (below) opening on to a plant in the living area conveys this sentiment.
The Chanel couture set was the perfect backdrop for Karl Lagerfeld’s Japanese influenced collection including balloon sleeved jackets, long length pencil skirts and cork wedges reminiscent of okobo shoes.
Aman Resorts is opening a hotel just outside Shanghai, its fourth in China, in 2017. And it’s even more special than we’ve come to expect from Aman.
This “renovation like no other” involves saving and transplanting endangered ancient trees and historic buildings from the flood planes of Jiangxi.
Some 50 Ming and Qing Dynasty houses have been preserved and are being reconstructed by master craftsman in their new home of Shanghai. And traditional Chinese architects have added new buildings to blend with the historic structures.
10,000 camphor trees have also made the 800 kilometre journey, overseen by expert botanists. They’ve been replanted in native soil and face the same direction as they had previously. Three years later they are said to be flourishing.
The project is so special, it has yet to be given a name.