Get ready to check into ASIA’S TOP 7 LODGES AND CABINS away from the hustle and bustle of city life
There are times when we just want to kick back and relax in an informal setting, walk around barefoot and imagine living like Robinson Crusoe. Fortunately, there are many hotels around the region that are designed like a lodge, cabin or cottage where you can book a night’s stay.
In this article, we pick Asia’s Top 7 lodges where you can get close to nature and de-stress.
Bali Eco Stay ● Bali, Indonesia
If you are looking for a rustic retreat in a remote area away from modern-day distractions, Bali Eco Stay is as far off-the-beaten-track as you can get. It takes some effort getting to, with a 12-kilometre uphill drive, but once you get there you will know what travellers have been raving about. The resort offers just eight bungalows built like traditional Balinese huts surrounded by jungle, rice terraces and a nearby waterfall. Daytime activities include basket weaving, participating in a Hindu ceremony, joining a cooking class, trekking around the rice terraces or enjoying a massage. Amenities may not be five-star but the place is perfect for getting in touch with nature.
The Alchemist Lodge ● Bali, Indonesia
Located near the beach at the popular Jimbaran area, The Alchemist offers accommodation ranging from bungalows and cottages with garden view to rooms with pool view and even beds in a mixed dormitory for the budget conscious. The lodge interiors are decked with rustic old furniture, and while the property may not be big it’s a hit among Instagrammers looking for a Bohemian-style backdrop. Amenities include an outdoor pool and terrace, restaurant, bar and a beautiful garden. Guests can also swim in the indoor pool, go water-skiing or cycling.
Topas Ecolodge ● Sapa, Vietnam
Sapa, located at the mountainous region north of Vietnam and bordering China, is famous for its ethnic minorities and breathtaking rice terraces. Formerly, a village outpost, it has now grown to become a popular weekend retreat for city folks from the capital Hanoi ever since a highway was built. With the rise in tourism, the number of hotels has also grown. Topas Ecolodge is at the top of the game offering 33 luxurious chalet-style bungalows on a beautiful hilltop about 45 minutes outside Sapa town. Room rates are comparable with luxury resorts although amenities may be lacking with no evening entertainment; wifi connection is only available at the common areas but not within the rooms. But you do get an outdoor infinity pool with breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys and a spa specialising in traditional herbal baths concocted by the ethnic Red Dao folks.
Chapa Ecolodge ● Sapa, Vietnam
Located about six kilometres from the Fansipan Legend Cable Car Station in Sapa, Chapa Ecolodge offers rooms housed in local-style bungalows on a hilltop. Chapa may not be as upmarket as the other ecolodges but its room rates are more reasonable. Its main selling point is its location – the lodges are surrounded on all sides by rice terraces, making it a picturesque setting for a well-deserved retreat. Amenities are basic with just a bar and a restaurant.
Philea Resort & Spa ● Ayer Keroh, Malaysia
Located about 120 kilometres from the KL International Airport, Philea Resort & Spa is a five-star resort offering 201 rooms built with pinewood and designed like log cabins. Interiors are cosy, spacious and luxurious while the resort itself has amenities like restaurants, spa, gym, sauna and karaoke room, among others. The resort is also a favourite among event planners and wedding couples because of its picturesque water features such as a man-made waterfall, huge swimming pool and forest setting. A golf course can be reached in just 10 minutes while the UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka is just a 17-kilometre drive away.
Borneo Rainforest Lodge ● Danum Valley, Malaysia
Located in the remote Danum Valley Conservation Area, the award-winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers back-to-basics accommodation in the middle of Borneo’s oldest rainforest. The lodge has 30 chalets and basic amenities such as a restaurant and bar. Rooms do not come with air-conditioners as the air is cool enough. The entire place is built on wooden stilts with walkways above ground to preserve the rainforest floor. Activities are centred around nature with options like jungle trekking, canopy walks and night safaris. Animal and bird sightings are common, even within the property. Do note that the lodge will be closed for refurbishment during the month of December 2019.
The Farm at San Benito ● Lipa, Philippines
The Farm at San Benito is an award-winning medical wellness and spa resort located in Lipa, Batangas, just a 90-minute drive south of Manila. The property is spread across a 48-hectare lush green jungle with a stunning view of the majestic mountains. Guests can choose from a variety of rooms and villas. Its Sulu Terrace units are modelled after the traditional Philippine rice barns with wood-beamed ceilings and thatched roofs, similar to a modern-day tree house. At The Farm, you wake up to fresh air and enjoy fresh organic food as you embark on a wellness journey.