Think of it as a luxury villa resort within a luxury villa resort. Should our Insider Guide to Booking a Bali Villa lead you inevitably to Bali, venture over to luxury resort Alila Villas Soori (compare rates) on Bali's southwest coast, where the Soori Estate awaits.
With an area of 5,250 sqm, the Soori Estate is one of the largest residences of its kind: a private venue with 10 bedrooms, stylish interiors, panoramic views of the coastline, and a raft of exclusive treatments and amenities. If you're looking for a place to accommodate large group stays, corporate events, or a dream wedding, the Soori Estate may be exactly what you need. Read More...
Image courtesy of Plaza Premium Lounge Management, used with permission.
Pay-in lounge pioneer Plaza Premium Lounge Management just made the pre-departure experience in Penang, Malaysia a little more tolerable - a lot, actually, with their ninth pay-in lounge in the country, located in the International Departure Hall of the Penang International Airport.
The new pay-in lounge complements the first Plaza lounge in Penang airport's domestic departure hall, which opened in March - now international travelers too can experience a more comfortable wait before their outbound flight from Penang.
After days spent venturing through Penang's UNESCO World Heritage goodness in pursuit of the city's food finds and shopping experiences, outbound travelers can find the new lounge at the Hall's mezzanine floor. Read More...
For most of us, World War II is a chapter in the high school history books, or stories told to us by our grandfathers who fought there. Not a lot of veterans remain with us who trembled in Malinta Tunnel as the Japanese rained bombs upon Corregidor Island; not many survivors of the Bataan Death March are alive to tell us their tale first-hand.
But the places are still there, the island where the American forces in the Philippines made their last stand, where the Japanese fought to the death as American troops arrived to retake the islands, and where memorials to those who died for Corregidor and the Philippines still stand guard.
Read about the Battle of Corregidor (1942) that ended with the American surrender and led directly to the Bataan Death March. For Corregidor as it is today, read our travel guide to the island, or our tour of Corregidor.
If you're ever in the Philippines, check out Corregidor's newest walking tour - read our first-hand experience of the trip.
Image of the Jeeva Klui, Lombok courtesy of Jeeva Resorts, used with permission.
Known previously for their pair of ecologically sound and culturally sensitive Lombok retreats, Jeeva Resorts now ventures onto East Bali for their third property: a purpose-built Bali "house" for small groups who can book the whole property under one reservation.
Vacationing families, or groups of friends or business associates, will like what Jeeva Saba has to offer: a fully integrated property with eight large butler-kept suites in its three "houses", featuring room enough to house a maximum of 20 staying guests; a restaurant kitchen and chef; games and media rooms; open-air function areas; a 25-meter infinity pool; a fitness center; and a grassy oceanfront lawn for private parties.
"We chose the word 'house' simply because the property is planned more like a residence than what you'd expect in a villa or resort," explains Jeeva Saba operations manager and Bali native Wayan Narta. "Here's a facility ideal for small, corporate MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Exhibitions and Conferences) and weddings, too, given its privacy, intimacy and natural setting." Read More...
Image courtesy of Makansutra, used with permission.
Digging into Malaysia's food scene can be confusing. Everybody's got an opinion, and no two locals agree on the best place in town for laksa or char kuey teow. Before venturing onto the mean streets of Penang, Melaka or Kuala Lumpur, pick up a copy of Makansutra Malaysia 2013 (compare rates), a compilation of more than 600 street food and restaurant reviews covering five food-mad cities: Johor, Malacca, Klang Valley, Ipoh and Penang.
The book handily rates eateries based on flavor, history, and relative rarity of the food served within. To ensure objectivity, all reviews are independent and unbiased - every order was paid for by the reviewers, assuring readers that they get unvarnished opinions untainted by solicitations or bias.
For more on the local street food scene (complete with mouth-watering pictures), check out our new list of Top Must-Try Malaysia Street Foods.
Anybody who's been stuck in an airport lounge for hours on end will appreciate the value they get from an airport pay-in lounge: upon payment of a fee, any guest can enter the lounge to enjoy WiFi, comfortable seats, a higher-grade food selection, and other premium facilities.
If you need to kill a lot of time before your flight, you'll see the time just fly by from your comfy seat.
Now, travelers leaving Kuching in Malaysia can enjoy a premium layover experience of their own, thanks to the new airport pay-in lounge in Kuching International Airport. Travelers to Kuching can now spend their waiting hours in comfort, without having to fly business or first class. Read More...
Image courtesy of Sip Wine Bar, used with permission.
Two years ago, veteran sommelier Christian Vannequé found himself in the record books when he purchased an 1811 Chateau d'Yquem for the unprecedented amount of $117,000.
The proprietor of Bali's Sip Wine Bar knew he was paying good money for the privilege: respected wine critics recognized this vintage as "one of the greatest wines in the history of Bordeaux". Both Robert Parker and Wine Spectator's Per-Henrik Mansson rated the 1811 with the maximum 100 points.
Today, the pricey bottle can be seen by anyone who stops to dine at Sip Wine Bar along Jalan Raya Seminyak, South Bali, where Vannequé's prize possession is on display in a bulletproof temperature and humidity-controlled glass case. The 1811 is not for sale; Vannequé plans to drink it with friends in 2017, the 50th anniversary of his career. Read More...
The International Mount Apo Boulder Face Challenge this year follows in last year's effort: a team effort with participants from all around the world, all vying for a P150,000 (about $3,600) grand prize. The event is advertised as an "extreme adventure race" that starts from sea level, in the town of Santa Cruz, and traverses a trail leading up the slopes of the Philippines' tallest peak, Mount Apo.
Mindful of recent events, Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 11 director Art Boncato was quick to reassure participants that firm security measures were in place. Edge Davao reports that "the 39th Infantry battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Sta Cruz are active members of the event's organizing committee."
The International Mount Apo Boulder Face Challenge takes 24 hours - from April 28 to 29 - and covers four different disciplines: trekking, mountain biking, water tubing, and running, over 70 miles. Read More...
Image courtesy of Getty Images.
The Skytrax World Airport Awards results are in - and no surprise, Singapore's Changi Airport once again won the top slot, the fourth time it's won since the awards began. 12 million airport customers vote in the Skytrax World Airport Awards, and these well-traveled souls helped Changi win over last year's number one, Incheon Airport in South Korea.
As to why Changi scored big again this year, Skytrax chairman Edward Plaisted had this to say: "Changi Airport continues to be a leader and innovator within the industry, and is a key reason why it has been ranked amongst the top 3 airports for the last 14 years of the awards."
Changi Airport also garnered awards for Best Airport in Asia, as well as Best Airport for Leisure Amenities. "The vast array of leisure and entertainment facilities really standout at Changi and serve to highlight the extent to which the management has gone to ensure maximum levels of passenger satisfaction," Plaisted says.
Interestingly enough, four of this year's top five airports were in Asia - Hong Kong International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport took slots 4 and 5, while the single European airport in the top five list is sandwiched in number 3: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
For more about the Changi Experience, read our article about a Layover in Changi Airport, Singapore. You can also check out places you can go to from Changi, in our list of Direct Flights from Singapore to the Rest of Southeast Asia.
2-Bedroom Deluxe Villa, Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa. Image courtesy of Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa, used with permission.
Not far from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the state of Sabah, Malaysia, the idyllic beaches of Pulau Gaya provide a breathtaking backdrop for your next summer adventure. On this coral reef island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, you'll find the Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa (compare rates). To get here, you'll only need to take a ten-minute ferry ride from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal in Kota Kinabalu.
The resort takes its name from a local hisbiscus flower, and the beauty of its namesake shines on in the resort itself. Guests take refuge in the Bunga Raya's 48 timbered villas, all overlooking a hidden bay flanked by a crescent-shaped white sand beach on one side, and centuries-old virgin jungle on the other. Read More...