Top 5 Summer Travel Ideas

City Break: The Siam, Bangkok, Thailand I love this glitzy art-deco-inspired pad! Designer Bill Bensley has transformed the elegant monochrome interiors with the owners’ museum-worthy antiques and vintage pieces. After a long day exploring Bangkok’s markets, there’s nothing better than catching a cool breeze by the Siam’s stylish infinity pool, perfectly poised on the Chao Phraya river.


Designer Gem: Alila Villas Soori, Bali, Indonesia Slightly off the tourist trail and surrounded by rice paddy fields, these sublimely minimalist villas tick all my Bali-fantasy boxes with private pools, blissful balés and a sleek, serene spa. It’s not far from the dramatic sea-sprayed Tanah Lot temple and you can borrow an Alila surfboard to tackle the breaks on the wild, volcanic coastline.

Sun and Sand: Casa de la Flora, Khao Lak, Thailand This modernist seafront retreat is so seductive – all glass and polished stone – and a far cry from Thailand’s traditional silk-and-teak image. Choosing between the enormous bath tubs and squishy bean bags on the lawn can be a struggle; but, enjoying fruity cocktails at the alfresco bar is a no-brainer.


Family-Friendly: Soneva Fushi, Maldives I haven’t stopped raving about this desert-island hideaway since our family stay. It opened 20 years ago, but its eco-conscious approach to luxury hasn’t aged one bit. Indoor-outdoor villas, an ice-cream parlour and spectacular snorkelling are standard here. Plus, there’s a dreamy kids’ club with zip lines, a pirate ship and clownfish pool is set to open later this year.


Couple’s Retreat: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam Set in a secluded, jungle-circled bay, this castaway resort won the title of “Sexiest Bedroom” at our Smith Hotel Awards last year. It’s easy to see why: boulder-perched private plunge pools, sea-facing bath tubs and a superlative hillside spa make this romantic bolthole impossible to leave.


Spa Getaway: Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, China Set on the shores of Kunming Lake, these Qing Dynasty pavilions are rather special. Skipping the queues with private access to the palace may be a rare treat, but I could spend whole days at the sprawling Aman spa, an underground haven where you can indulge in traditional Chinese medicine treatments, heated gemstone massages and wild jasmine wraps.


Find more travel inspiration, pick up a copy of our August Travel and Tropical Living Special. And visit for more boutique hotels around the world.