If the idea of snow, ice, family arguments and feeding the 5000 is just too much, then a Christmas getaway to the tropics might be just the ticket – and Southeast Asia is the perfect place to spend a relaxed holiday away. If you need some inspiration, here are seven properties for a chilled Christmas break.
Song Saa Private Island Resort
This eco-resort is Cambodia’s first luxury private island hotel and has collected countless awards for its eco credentials and design. There are only 27 overwater villas here, so you’ll be able to spend the festive season in a state of serene indulgence.
Extend: A Luxury Cambodia Getaway: Angkor Wat & Private Island
Koh Kood, Thailand
This is one of our favourite beach properties and the perfect place to unwind far from the madding crowd on one of Thailand’s more peaceful islands. It’s great for families as much as couples, with a brilliant kids’ club.
Extend: Northern Thai Culture & Countryside with Beach
Ngapali Beach, Myanmar
If you really need peace and quiet, Myanmar’s Ngapali Beach is spot on. This tranquil beach is on the Bay of Bengal and has managed to – so far – avoid mass tourism. The Sandoway is a chilled resort right on the beach; the seafood is a real highlight here.
Extend: Grand Tour of Myanmar
Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay
With almost guaranteed sunshine in December, Thailand is a perfect choice for the Christmas holiday. The sleek Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay in located on the mainland surrounded by the craggy cliffs of Krabi, so it’s really easy to access – which means more time by the pool.
Extend: An Idyllic Thai Holiday
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Surely one of the most beautiful seascapes in the world, Raja Ampat provides an unbeatable backdrop to any Christmas escape. On board a luxury phinisi boat such as the Alila Purnama is the best way to sail through this dazzling archipelago, and October to December also happens to be when the water is at its calmest.
Extend: Raja Ampat Cruise & Luxury Java
Six Senses Con Dao
The best shores of Vietnam are found on the surrounding islands, including Con Dao, one of 16 islands in the protected marine archipelago in the South China Sea. Here, the luxurious Six Senses resort has prime position to take advantage of the rich wildlife that this region offers, including hawksbill turtles and dugongs.
Extend: A Luxury Private Tour of Vietnam
Luang Prabang, Laos
Sublime Luang Prabang wins everyone over with its combination of colonial history, local traditions, delicious food and chilled ambience. This is the town that nobody wants to leave and it’s a great place to relax over what is usually a rather frantic time of year. The Amantaka is close to the centre of Luang Prabang, but it could be miles away for all you’ll know when you’re reclining by the pool.
Extend: Temples, Terraces & Angkor Wat
Christmas is the peak season for Southeast Asia, so don’t delay in booking; July to August is the latest you should be making plans. One reason why travel agents are useful when booking a trip in a busy period is the fact that they can often secure your reservations when hotels seem fully booked, due to being notified of cancellations before the availability appears online.