PEI – Prince Edward Island is alluring, exotic, and charming and surprisingly abundant in adventure and activities. If you can’t get smitten by its quirky and classic character and its unspoilt landscape, then we don’t know what else can thrill you. Enjoy the scenic drive through PEI National Park from Cavendish to the vibrant fishing village of North Rustico. The 37-mile Prince Edward Island National Park is home to several picturesque white and red-sand beaches, but Cavendish Beach is not just the most scenic, but also retains its rustic charm. The coastal drive from North Rustico to Cavendish is particularly scenic and you must stop on your drive and just walk down to see how the rusty red sand, line the shores of this beautiful Canadian province. If there was ever a spot straight out of a post card, this would be it. The unique and distinctive bloody hue of red comes from an abundance of iron and it is so soft that it is a delight to walk on it. Carry a mat and just plonk yourself on the red sand, soak up the sun or go for a long walk and enjoy jaw-droppingly beautiful views of the red cliffs on one side and the waves hitting the shore on the other. Don’t we all love to get back to nature? Hike the Greenwich Dunes Trail, which includes a walk over a pond on an extensive floating boardwalk out to one of the Island’s most fabulous beaches where you can view the spectacular parabolic dune system rising above white sand beaches. This trail features diverse natural features found along the Greenwich peninsula. What makes Greenwhich National Park unique is the seamless shift between different landscapes; you enter a lush green forest and then a small pond leads you to an extensive floating boardwalk. Learn how natural forces and thousands of years of human settlement have made Greenwich a must see. Besides fur, maples and birches you’ll be surrounded by purple fireweed flowers all around. The Park has 14 hiking trails varying in length. Beach walking is also an excellent way to explore the Park.
MAURITIUS – The stretch of azure blue skies, the languid, bright blue lagoons, sparkling turquoise blue waters, beautiful, soft, white sandy exotic beaches and tall coconut trees that add a picture-perfect element, Mauritius is clearly a paradise in the Indian Ocean. On my exploratory sojourn across the east, west, north and south coast of Mauritius, I was on cloud nine feasting on some of the most stunning picture-perfect snapshots nature has to offer. The island’s white beaches are protected by coral reef which runs around the whole island, except for the southern coast that offers wilder strands and dramatic cliffs. One side is surrounded by coral reefs, sparkling lagoons, perfect palm-fringed beaches and cobalt blue soul-stirring sea views and the other side of the landscape is dotted with green sugar cane fields, and jagged volcanic mountains, where Earth itself gives way to heaven. If you have some more time then you must visit Ganga Talao, a crater lake in a secluded mountain area in Savanne, deep in the heart of Mauritius. With its numerous indulgences, there’s no doubt that Mauritius is world’s favourite holiday destination and nothing can stop me from returning to its shores again. Best time to visit here is May to December. The summer months of November to April are warm and winter months of May to October are cooler, with the wettest months being December to March. Some of the top-notch island resorts in Mauritius that you must experience are SALT of Palmar, LUX* Belle Mare, Hotel Dinarobin Beachcomber and the InterContinental Mauritius Resort.
MALDIVES – Your barefoot chic private island playground awaits at Maldives! For a limited time, Seaside Finolhu is offering an island-wide privatisation through its exclusive buyout where you can plan an all-access, all-inclusive barefoot chic luxury escapade, corporate retreat, dream destination wedding or milestone birthday blowout and turn Seaside Finolhu into your very own Private Island Playground.
With its kilometre-long white sand beaches, 125 newly transformed beachfront and overwater villas, award-winning dining experiences, vibrant performances at the Beach Club and a line-up of daily activities amidst a turquoise blue lagoon surrounded by some of the most stunning sandbanks in the Maldives, Seaside Finolhu is the place to be!
Barefoot chic island vibe, Finolhu puts a playful twist on luxury. Finolhu consists of four islands with long beaches. It has 125 beachfront and overwater villas (more than half with private pool) and four restaurants. Whilst popular with honeymooners, the extensive resort is also very family-friendly, with a kids’ club, a wide choice of activities and world-famous entertainment.
Owned and managed by Seaside Collection, a Europe-based hotel group with an exclusive portfolio of high-end resorts and city hotels, Seaside Finolhu Maldives is a luxury island resort. “Finolhu”, which is a direct translation of “sandbank” in Dhivehi is located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Access to your very own Private Island Playground starts here.
MALAYSIA – The moment you step foot at the vast and scenic lush lawns of Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, leading to a breathtaking infinite seafront, you know you’re going to be pampered to the hilt. And that is exactly what happens here. It’s pampering at its best.
Each of the rooms are sea facing and stocked with all the luxury amenities you can think of. You’re nestled in lush tropical gardens, as Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas offers a serene escape on golden Malaysian shores. Low-rise buildings and stand-alone villas overlook the gardens, lagoon and ocean, while expansive residences offer families and groups utmost privacy with an infinity pool, full kitchen and chef and butler service. Take your pick of stylish, airy rooms from the best beach resort in Malaysia. Admire the view from your wraparound balcony, retreat to a Malaysian-style villa or enjoy the ultimate coastal getaway in a beachfront residence with a private pool.
Wake up to fresh coffee from your espresso machine, then enjoy the balmy coastal climate from your private balcony. Take in sea views from the second and third floors, or opt for a large wraparound balcony with far-reaching resort and ocean panoramas. Enjoy the diversions of Desaru Coast, Malaysia’s rising-star resort destination, or relax in coastal tranquility, immersed in authentic Anantara luxury. Dive into one of two resort swimming pools, take to the ocean, explore the locale or stage a board-game tournament with family in your own residence.
The resort’s 108 accommodations comprise 90 tastefully decorated en-suite deluxe rooms in low-rise traditional Malay buildings that overlook the gardens, lagoon, and ocean. Thirteen stand-alone double story luxurious one and two-bedroom pool villas are located around a lagoon. The design draws heavily from traditional kampong houses that are constructed to suit the tropical Malaysian climate with floor-to-ceiling windows, slanted carved wooden panels, louvres and vents under the roof, and wide-open doors that allow natural airflow to cool the interior.
If you’re a nature lover, you must try Mangrove Cruising. Cruise through the protected mangroves of the Belungkor Forest with a naturalist guide, plant mangrove saplings and discover more about local island fishing culture. Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ first luxury hotel in Malaysia, is located along a pristine 17-kilometre ocean beachfront. Visit www.anantara.com for more details.
BALI – Explore the dense forests, take a dip in the waterfalls, go beach bumming, dive in the deep blue ocean waters or get enchanted with the ancient temples as you immerse yourself in the surreal beauty that nature has given in abundance to the beautiful Bali. It’s very hard not to fall in love with the picture-perfect beauty of Bali. Bali is teeming with Instagrammable spots all around. The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, was my home for three nights in Bali. The Westin Resort Nusa Dua located in an exclusive enclave on Bali’s southern peninsula, overlooking the Indian Ocean, is almost like entering the gateway to heaven. Spread across a sprawling lush green property, it has 433 modern luxury rooms and suites with pool, garden and ocean views, designed with touches of nature and Balinese accents reflecting in its tropical surroundings. I rented a bike and cycled my way around the quiet flat roads flanking the seductive beaches in the most spacious and tranquil part of southern Bali. This natural paradise where Gods live also boasts of warm and welcoming inhabitants. Yes, the Balinese, who are extremely humble, warm and polite and leave you with a sense of calm.