The year 2017 began with a generous dose of long weekends, thanks to the well-timed national public holidays sprinkled throughout the year. Long weekends translate to the perfect opportunity for some much-needed respite and what better way to relax and reenergise, than to take a quick jaunt abroad for a change of scenery?
If you’ve yet to book your mini getaway, now would be a good time to start before the months slip by (as they always do). To make the fullest of your precious days out of the office, minimise the time and costs invariably spent on trips to faraway destinations.
Pack your weekend bags – here are five paradise destinations that promise amazing experiences, from luxurious getaways to wallet-friendly escapes, less than four hours away from Singapore.
1. Bandung, Indonesia (Flight duration: 1 hour 45 minutes)
With its picturesque setting of tea plantations and volcanoes, Bandung is a welcome treat for city-dwellers. The West Java capital city and former Dutch colony is home to charming colonial and art deco architecture, earning it the nickname ‘The Paris of Java’. Thanks to its higher altitude, travellers from Singapore will appreciate the relatively cool temperatures – not to mention abundant factory outlet shopping opportunities to satisfy the inner shopaholic.
Take your trip up a notch and check into one of Bandung’s newest international five-star luxury hotels, InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar. Surrounded by the Mountain View Golf Course, the elegant sanctuary features a heavenly outdoor infinity pool. Seeking quality time with your partner? Opt for the ‘Romantic Getaway’ package that includes daily buffet breakfast and a romantic dinner for two.
2. Hua Hin, Thailand (Flight duration: 2 hours 25 minutes flight to Bangkok followed by 40 minutes from Bangkok to Hua Hin)
Picture an immaculate white beach and sparkling Gulf waters. The exclusive Hua Hin brings this vision to life, leaving no doubt as to why the beach destination is favoured by the Thai Royal Family themselves.
Up your travel game while maximising your time there – let InterContinental Hua Hin Resort fly you to Hua Hin from Bangkok with its luxurious private jet service. Unwind in one of the resort’s elegant beach front villas, complete with a private plunge pool. While you’re there, take advantage of the ‘One Night on Us’ promotion, and stay two nights to get the third night free – perfect for a four-day trip.
3. Koh Samui, Thailand (Flight duration: 1 hour 45 minutes)
Koh Samui offers a mesmerising cocktail of local authenticity, idyllic scenery and world-class water recreation offerings, making it a melting pot of travellers. Explore natural waterfalls, sunbathe on palm-fringed beaches or visit one of its magnificent temples – in between sublime meals that showcase the freshest seafood and the finest in Thai cuisine.
Experience the best of Koh Samui at the award-winning InterContinental Samui Baan TalingNgam Resort, featuring cliff-side and beachfront villas with private plunge pools sprawled out across 22 acres. Gastronomes will appreciate the hotel’s ‘Stay & Dine’ package, which includes daily breakfast for two at the exquisite restaurant Amber, food and beverage credit, and free dining for children with accompanying adults.
4. Krabi, Thailand (Flight duration: 1 hour 50 minutes)
A hotspot for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts, Krabiexudes natural beauty with its collection of coral-fringed islands and majestic limestone formations. Fill your weekend with a plethora of recreational activities for the whole family, from jungle trekking to island-hopping.
Spend some quality family time at Holiday Inn Resort KrabiAo Nang Beach. In addition to the signature ‘Kids Stay and Eat Free’ programme, the resort offers ample activities to keep the young ones engaged including water-slides, signature Kids Club and daily kids’ activities arranged by the recreation team – giving parents the perfect opportunity to steal away for some quiet pampering at the resort spa.
5. Go the extra distance: Maldives (Flight duration: 4 hour 35 minutes flight, followed by 40 minutes by ferry)
You’ll find the extra travel time well worth it as you slip into blissful island life at Maldives – the quintessential tropical paradise.
Wake up to sea breeze and fresh fruit smoothies, spend the balmy afternoons overlooking peaceful lagoons with a good book, and cool down with world-class South Malé Atoll diving and surfing at your doorstep. Complete with chic villas, luxurious outdoor showers and private plunge pools, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives offers a ‘Stay Rejuvenated’ package for two, including breakfast and dinner.