Forget nappies, early mornings and making packed lunches: even the sassiest of mamas needs a break now and then! Aching to be rubbed down in a whisper-quiet spa? Keep reading. Want a big bed to yourself, with no snoring hulk beside you? The boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith will make it happen. Longing for a meal overlooking the ocean, with fine wine, your best friends and a handsome waiter? We know just the thing. This trio of stylish Smith stays has been chosen with luxury-seeking ladies in mind: read on, rest up and relax…
Six Senses Samui, Koh Samui, Thailand
Style Rustic luxe retreats
Setting Hilltop tip of Koh Samui
Mums (temporarily) fleeing their families are in safe hands at Six Senses Samui, whose 66 villas have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea and outlying island tropics; 52 have their own private pool, so you can splash away merrily and dry off on your sun-deck. When you want a watery change of scene, a bamboo-lined wooden walkway leads to a huge aquamarine infinity pool with a row of ocean-view day-beds and vast white parasols; when you want something to eat or drink, there are two elegant restaurants, each with its own cocktail bar.
Sleeping The higher up the hillside you go, the better the view, so ask for villa number five if you’re after postcard panoramas. To minimise bedroom-to-beach travel time, go for villas 42 or 43, which are situated right on the water. Plush Ocean Front Pool Villa Suite 38 also comes recommended – it’s got some delightfully shady trees ornamenting the sun-deck.
Activities Missing domesticity? Have a cookery class at the hotel and learn some Thai tricks to impress the folks back home. Rather flirt with the local sealife? The Life centre takes all the hassle out of arranging snorkeling trips and island tours. (If you’re feeling lazy, just borrow a DVD for the night.) The hotel’s spa will spoil you: have a massage in an air-conditioned individual spa villa, or in a private sala with a tropical sea-breeze on your skin.
Feasting Award-winning Dining on the Rocks has 10 weathered teak-and-bamboo terraced decks from which you can admire the ocean (if you can wrench your eyes from what’s on your plate, that is: expect succulent seafood and the freshest island produce).
Sassy savings Book through Mr & Mrs Smith to take advantage of the hotel’s special offer: 25 per cent off stays of three nights or more. Breakfast is included with this offer, and you can also claim your Smith extra: a 30-minute foot massage or body scrub for two people.
Fusion Maia Resort, Hoi An, Vietnam
Style Pool-flaunting villas
Setting Culture meets coast
Indulgence levels are off the scale at beachfront boutique hotel Fusion Maia Resort. Set within tropical gardens, Fusion Maia’s day spa is the largest in Central Vietnam; irresistibly, all spa services are included in the room rate, from manicures and massages to all-out pampering sessions, including a seven-day holistic program. To keep you feeling relaxed, the hotel has an infinity pool that seems to flow straight into the South China Sea, as well as a little library and a gym. You can leave the iPod at home: each room comes with a preloaded one, and you can request playlists in advance. Laptops and iPads will sate any tech cravings.
Sleeping All of the bright and breezy villas feature a stylish mix of white walls, dark wood furniture and restrained bamboo details. Private courtyards and huge pools also come as standard. Friends holidaying together could share one of the spacious two-or three-bedroom Beach Villas, positioned just a few steps from the ocean.
Activities If your wardrobe needs a tropical update, head to Hoi An’s Old Town, lined with shops selling everything from silk lanterns to carved wood curios. Most people flock to the cobbled alleyways for hand-made clothing: Yaly (47 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street) has an extensive fabric selection; A Dong Silk (62 Tran Hung Dao Street) is known for its quality craftmanship (Smith stocked up on suits and shift dresses last time we were in town). While you’re in Hoi An, stop for cake and coffee at the hotel’s sister eatery, Fusion Lounge Restaurant.
Feasting Five restaurant serves up elegant dishes in a choice of two settings: a smart dining room where you can watch the chefs at work in their open kitchen, or a sultry sea-view terrace. Modern fusion dishes include wok-fried calamari, grilled snapper and hand-made noodles. For laid-back lunching, spend a few happy hours at café Fresh.
Sassy savings Smith members can choose from a range of Fusion Maia offers; you can save 20 per cent on stays of two nights or more, for example.
Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, Krabi, Thailand
Style Tropical contemporary
Setting Seductive Si Kao seaside
Whoever came up with the phrase ‘too good to be true’ hasn’t clapped eyes on Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, whose very real, very perfect beachside beauty is a product of fragrant gardens, cascading waters, rustic elegance and more natural attractions than a whole herd of supermodels.
Sleeping Opt for one of the spacious Deluxe Terrace suites, which have the same polished elegance as the other rooms but with the added blessing of a patch of lawn for private sunbathing. If you plan on a return trip with the kids in tow, bookmark the Anantara Family Pool Terraces, which have garden access and refreshing plunge pools.
Activities As compelling as it is to laze under the pine trees by the pool, it’s really worth exploring what there is to do both within the resort’s boundaries and further afield. On the beach you can borrow kayaks and catamarans for a couple of hours on the water. The snorkelling on Koh Kradan’s private beach – accessed by regular 20-minute speedboat rides from the resort – is eye-widening. Anantara also has a PADI dive facility (even non-divers can join in on an ocean experience lead by the experienced staff) and access to 10 dive sites.
Feasting The resort has two main restaurants. The first, Leelawadee, a casual, open-air venue, serves a lavish buffet breakfast, light lunches and southern Thai dishes in the evening. Acqua is Anantara’s star evening restaurant offering fine Italian cuisine and seafood, either in the elegant white dining room or on the balcony, which is particularly beautiful as the sun sets. Elsewhere, light meals and snacks are served throughout the day at the Beach House, the Lounge Café and at the beach club on Koh Kradan.
Sassy savings Book through Smith to claim Anantara Si Kao’s advance purchase offer, which gives guests 20 per cent off, plus free breakfast.
Also interested in seeing Smith’s family-friendly getaways? Simply visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800-905-326.