Hotel Experiences Popular with the Locals
In the wake of the global pandemic, a pent-up demand for travel has resulted in people uncovering gems in their own backyard.
Koh Samui Foodies Flock to Meliá Koh Samui’s Monthly Sunday Brunch
Staged once a month, Melia Koh Samui’s Sunday Brunch has become a hugely popular affair with locals and expats alike on Koh Samui island. Drawing upon the resort’s warm and sunny Spanish hospitality and famed gastronomy, the brunch affair’s menu brims with all sorts of indulgent options at a series of stations. The ‘Raw Bar’ dishes out imported French oysters, steamed white shell clams, Koh Samui blue swimmer crab, poached local shrimps, Turkish stuffed mussels with rice and lemon. The ‘Soup’, ‘Live’, ‘Highlights’, ‘Carving’, ‘Charcoal Grill’, ‘Japanese’ and ‘Artisan Pasta’ stations serve the likes of ‘salmorejo with serrano ham and boiled egg’, ‘crispy fish tacos with marinated cabbage and pico de gallo’, seafood paella, grass-fed Australian beef, tiger prawns, nigiri sushi and ‘black truffle ravioli with brown butter’ respectively. In addition to a ‘Wellbeing by Melia’ section with healthy dishes such as ‘poached egg, smashed avocado and home cured salmon’, the extensive brunch menu is rounded out with sliders and bao buns as well as vast selections of charcuterie, cheeses and desserts. The Sunday brunch menu is priced at 1790 THB++ (USD 55++) per person. For more visit: https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/thailand/koh-samui/melia-koh-samui-beach-resort/index.htm
Jazz Nights at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh
Nestled in the rafters of a recently restored French colonial villa at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, The Attic serves up some of the best cocktails, aged spirits, and bar bites in the Cambodian capital. Featuring striking black and white marble floors, exposed wooden beams, leather banquettes, and a dramatic circular bar, The Attic oozes Prohibition-style old world charm. But locals don’t just flock here for the moody ambience or the signature cocktails inspired by flavors unique to Cambodia, the venue is also fast becoming a mainstay in the city when it comes to its live jazz performances. Every Thursday evening, the hotel’s resident jazz singer Intan and her band captivate Cambodians with a mix of soulful R&B, jazz and Motown classics. “I think jazz is a great way to start doing live entertainment again,” said Herman Kemp, general manager of Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh. “At Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, we ensure that our live jazz nights are both safe and fun – including socially distanced seating between the performers and guests and QR codes on all the tables instead of physical menus.” Jazz nights at The Attic at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh every Thursday from 7:30-10:30pm. For reservations, please visit: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/cambodia/hyatt-regency-phnom-penh/pnhrp/dining/the-attic
Alma’s Splash Waterpark Makes Waves With The Locals
Alma’s Splash Water Park has proven to be a magnet for local families seeking splash-tastic fun on the thirty-hectare beachfront resort. On Vietnam’s Cam Ranh peninsula, the 6000-square-metre water park features an array of open and closed tube slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. A kid’s pool includes mini-slides and a dumping bucket in a shallow water playground. Two American-style food trucks serve a variety of tasty snacks. Open on weekdays from noon until 5pm and on weekends from 10am until 5pm, access to the water park is complimentary for Alma’s inhouse guests and priced at 160,000 VND (USD 7) per adult and 100,000 VND (USD 4.30) per child. Alma also offers various day passes that also include food, beverages and access to other facilities such as the resort’s Kids Club and 12 swimming pools that cascade down to the beach.
SESUN Grill & Beach Bar Supplies Samui’s Freshest Seafood Experience
Koh Samui is famous both for its buzzing bar scene and its super-fresh seafood. At SESUN Grill & Beach Bar, one of the stellar dining options at the just-unveiled Hyatt Regency Koh Samui, the two elements combine to seismic effect: fusing unique alchemy as appealing to local bon vivants as it is to resort guests. The fishing net on the roof of the venue reflects the provenance of the seafood, which is supplied from sustainable sources by local fishermen. The marine bounty is then grilled over coconut husks, Samui style, to impart maximum flavour. Other menu highlights include succulent Wagyu steaks, lamb skewers and Mediterranean-inspired dishes that make full use of produce from the resort’s organic garden. The piece de resistance, meanwhile, comes courtesy of signature cocktails created by the venue’s in-house mixologist.
Nesting in Krabi
Perched on a lush hillside at the far end of little-known Tubkaek Beach, Banyan Tree Krabi’s Saffron Restaurant commands majestic views across the bay and a panorama of one of Thailand’s most iconic scenes — the towering limestone cliffs that jut from the sparkling Andaman Sea. Saffron has installed three “bird’s nest” tables, perched precariously among the trees, and accessible only by private gangway. The Bird’s Nests are fast becoming one of Krabi’s most Instagrammable viewpoints, and reservations for dinner or afternoon tea at one of these elevated roosts are drawing in curious diners from near and far. Saffron serves a delectable afternoon tea from 2pm—5pm, and evening dinner of sumptuous Thai cuisine, from 6pm—11pm. Patrons might be relieved to know that an electronic funicular escorts guests to the heights of the restaurant, from which it’s just a few steps into the tree canopy and a Bird’s Nest table. For more info, go to: https://www.banyantree.com/en/thailand/krabi/dining/birds-nest
Sunset River Cruises, Fresh Seafood BBQs and More at Azerai Resorts
In Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Azerai La Residence, Hue recently launched a 55-foot (17-meter) cruise boat, offering hotel guests and local residents one of the most stylish and exclusive ways to experience the Perfume River. The elegant boat features classic hardwood trim and bright red accents. It accommodates up to 16 passengers and embarks on three types of excursions: an afternoon tea cruise, a sunset cocktail cruise and a dinner cruise. In the Mekong Delta, Azerai Can Tho offers a similarly unique way to take in the labyrinth waterways of southern Vietnam. An evening sunset cruise includes cocktails and canapes as the boat plies the river at the “Golden Hour,” providing spectacular views of the lush surrounding countryside and vibrant cityscape of Can Tho. On Vietnam’s southeastern coast, the oceanfront retreat Azerai Ke Ga Bay has introduced a popular seafood BBQ dinner including fresh-catch lobster, crab, prawn, squid satay, sea scallops and more. The 46-key resort is located 180km east of Ho Chi Minh City on a sweeping five-kilometer white sand beach overlooking the East Sea. For more visit https://azerai.com/.
Afternoon Tea @ Banyan Tree Samui
Known as chow samui, the local folks of this tropical Thai island — plus a rather sizable expat population — are strong supporters of their home community on Koh Samui. And for a small band of aficionados, there’s nothing quite like passing a lazy Sunday afternoon, basking under a parasol at Banyan Tree Samui, enjoying a refined afternoon tea. Situated on a hillside between the popular beaches of Chaweng and Lamai, this resort is the ideal venue for taking in a panoramic vista of the sapphire sea, all the while pouring Earl Grey from porcelain pots, and wavering over a selection of cakes, pastries, sandwiches, and of course fresh scones with clotted cream. Pièce de résistance is a locally inspired Mango Paradise Tea Set — a mango-flavored disneyland of eclairs, tarts, mousse, cheesecake, macarons, and more (USD35 per set). For reservations, go to: https://www.banyantree.com/en/thailand/samui/dining
World-Class Dining at Metropole Hanoi
The culinary offerings at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi deliver guests and local Hanoians alike a taste of the world’s finest cuisines. From exquisite French fine dining at Le Beaulieu to rustic European and New World dishes with a handmade touch at angelina, the restaurants and bars at the hotel tantalize international tastebuds. From now until the end of September, the hotel is introducing exclusive “Tour du Monde” menus featuring delicate flavours from distant lands. The special offers include a 6-course set menu at Le Beaulieu with an optional wine pairing, seven distinctive a la carte items at Le Club Bar (including Mediterranean, Morrocan, American, Thai and other favorites), a new Afternoon Tea set at Le Club Bar, and delicious new pastries at L’Epicerie (such as chocolate madeleines, traditional New York-style cheesecake and more). For more information or reservations, please visit www.sofitel-legend-metropole-hanoi.com.