Unveiling the essence of Asia

Extraordinary City Escapes in Asia Perfect for Staycations and Vacations


VayCay or StayCay These Big City Weekend Getaways are Perfect for You!

While travel is still largely restricted, we would like to dedicate this edition to some of the wonderful city escapes in Asia – this is our Destination Staycation-Vacation edition. Whether working from home or back to the daily grind and the daily commute, today’s curated selection of city escapes is here to inspire some wanderlust in you. If you are located within Asia, then maybe the selected properties and destinations will give you ideas for some fascinating and rejuvenating travel experiences on your doorstep. If you are located outside of Asia, then these ideas are for you too, to explore on your next vacation to this endlessly fascinating home continent of ours.

Asia is a giant continent with no shortage of destination options. But when it comes to choosing a place to spend a three-day weekend slowing life down, you’ll want it to be a destination small enough that you won’t leave feeling like you only saw a small percentage of it, but large enough that you’ll be able to make new discoveries every day. In this edition, we have hand-picked some of our favourite city escapes that are perfect for a quick solo or family trip and both for StayCays and VayCays. Read on and start planning and booking your next travels with Secret Retreats. See you on the sunny side!

Puri Ganesha Homes by the Beach, Bali – Indonesia

Weekend Escape filled with Wonderfully Rejuvenating Gastronomic Experiences

Puri Ganesha Homes by the Beach, only 2 hours’ drive from South Bali (Denpasar), is a masterpiece of barefoot luxury. The vision of a remarkable woman, Diana von Cranach, renowned as Asia’s Top Raw Food Chef she can also list designer, food consultant, author, interior designer and Egyptologist to her list of skills. At Puri Ganesha she has thoughtfully designed, built and set 4 stunning two-storey pool villas to make the best of the ocean views on this gorgeously off the beaten path stretch of coastline in northwest Bali. Each villa is positioned within an acre of garden to ensure privacy and serenity for guests, and with a choice of one, two or three bedrooms all with amazing sea views there is a villa to suit every occasion, from solo getaways to family get togethers.

The villas are each set with spacious bathrooms, cool terracotta floors and a large private swimming pool. Beautifully decorated interiors include art pieces and antiques collected on Diana’s many travels and carefully placed to create a fascinating and homely space. All 4 of the villas are also fitted with air conditioning, a full kitchen, living space, butler and maid, wifi and a shady open-air garden pavilion set near the pool. The West Bali National Park famed for its mixed environments and birdlife is a short drive to the west, and the uninhabited paradise of Menjangan Island is just a few miles away, offering truly stunning scuba diving on the reefs surrounding the island.

A passionate advocate of the Slow Food movement and keen supporter of keeping it local, Diana and her team source the freshest seasonal ingredients from her local community to share a vibrant and deliciously creative gastronomy with guests. Her restaurant, ‘Umbi’, offers imaginative menus for vegans and pescatarians where Diana celebrates the best of Bali’s produce on every plate. And her best-selling book, “Rawfully Good: Living Flavours of Southeast Asia”, shares Diana’s secrets on delicious and creative ways to dine with raw food. The hotel also shares Bali’s secrets with guests in creative experiences to help you discover the local region and culture, offers dining in-villa or in the restaurant and spa services to guests.

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Reverie Siam, Pai – Thailand

Family Luxury Escape from Chiang Mai

Reverie Siam is without doubt one of the best family escapes from Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai. A charming family run Pai boutique luxury hotel, Reverie Siam is set amongst nature in a peaceful riverside location with mountain and river views from the rooms. It really is the perfect place for reverie between trips exploring the Pai’s surroundings. From natural wonders such as waterfalls and Pai canyon, to tea plantations and hilltribe cultures, there is a lot to experience and enjoy with the family when touring around Pai. Chiang Mai boutique hotels have long inspired hoteliers in Pai to offer, despite their rural location 2.5hrs drive into the mountains from Chiang Mai, a hospitality experience that compares well to Chiang Mai luxury hotels. With the owners and staff of Reverie Siam offering a quintessential Pai design hotel experience and true sense of place to their guests – Siam reverie is guaranteed! Or as our concierge prefers to put it, the perfect place to simply sit and listen to the rice grow.

Featuring 18 individually styled guestrooms, this boutique hotel offers an intimate and fresh interpretation of luxury hospitality. Inspired by the colonial architecture and cultural fusion of South East Asia in the early 20th Century, Reverie Siam is an oasis of daydreams perfectly blended with a nostalgia for a bygone era of romance and elegance. The essential Pai boutique and luxury hotel experience, it has to be Reverie Siam.

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MesaStila, Java – Indonesia

Mind and Body Luxury Escape

Formed almost entirely by volcanic activity, Java is also home to a tightly packed chain of volcanos that stretches from one end of the island to the other. Forty-five of the striking volcanoes are still considered active, adding to the intriguing island’s fertile and otherworldly vistas. If you are looking to escape from the city to nurture your body and soul, MesaStila is located just an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta City, in central Java, focusing on wellness, MesaStila offers distinctly Javanese experiences including traditional Pencak Silat martial arts, an array of organic, healthy fare and Javanese food, and indulgent therapies at its Hammam Spa. Showcasing wonderful antiques, a Colonial railway station and 23 historic “joglo” villas, steep yourself within a lush verdant paradise and drink in lungfuls of cooling and fresh highland-air surrounded by a spectacular almost other-worldly volcanic horizon. The perfect location to step out of the fast-paced modern world commanded by the black screen in your hand and immerse yourself in a timeless world full of natural beauty where the clock ticks slowly to the beat of Mother Nature’s heart.

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Island Lodge, Mekong Delta – Vietnam

Weekend Romantic Getaway

If you are in Vietnam and need a romantic escape not far away from the Capital, Ho Chi Minh city, we have just the place for you. Located an easy 90 minutes by car from Saigon, this 12-room lodge is set on a small island within the Mekong Delta. The airy main building houses a cozy bar and comfortable lounge, a romantic French-Vietnamese restaurant, and a patisserie. Enjoying incredible Mekong River views from the pool, restaurant and from the eight first floor guestrooms the balconies of which are ideal for sitting with a loved one enjoying a private moment as the majestic Mekong, one of the world’s great rivers, inspires dreams of what lies ahead in your lives together. The Lodge also has two 2-bedroom pavilions nestled in the property’s tropical garden, ideal for small families or for friends travelling together. A spa, 24-metre swimming pool with river views from the pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and outdoor bar area complete this ideal and tranquil setting. The Lodge also offers concierge services and is happy to assist with planning and booking trips to enjoy and explore the Mekong Delta from their island base. A Secret Retreats Journey pairs a stay at the Lodge with an overnight cruise aboard a beautifully repurposed traditional wooden 6 or 12 cabin river boat, it really doesn’t get much more romantic than this, from Lodge to Cruise on the magnificent Mekong River. This magical place inspires love, the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend with your significant other? We think so!

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We have many more wonderful escapes around Asia for you to choose from. Start by telling us your ideal destination, number of travellers, and your preferences for dates of travel. And our concierges and travel designers will create a personalized and unique holiday experience for you that truly Unveils the Essence of Asia.

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