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After a weekend of snow and cold, you might be looking for your escape to warmer temps and relaxing atmosphere. Imagine trading your snow shovel for a snorkel and boots for a bikini (or board shorts) and head to a private island off the coast of Cambodia. The ultra-luxury Song Saa Resort has your cure for not only winter doldrums, but year round stress.
Cambodia's first private island luxury resort will be setting the tone for resorts to come with their private villas perched over a marine reserve. Technically, it isn't a private island since it spans over 2 separate islands that are connected by a foot bridge, but it most definitely is private and luxurious.
Each of the 27 villas are inspired by Cambodian fishing villages, and the resort features beach-side, rainforest and over-water buildings. Unique in their own way, every one boasts thatch roofs, rough-hewn natural timbers and driftwood furnishings. Imagine waking to the gentle sound of the sea directly below your bed and soaking up the 360-degree views of the Gulf of Thailand. Yeah, this is paradise.
Rendezvous Bay Hotel & Villas is going all upscale ownership on us, jumping on the increasingly crowded market for fractional second homes and retirement villas in sunny places.
According to a press release, the resort is planning "an unparalleled luxury resort with full ownership residences ranging from $3 to $20 million and fractional apartments from just $250,000." Yes, that means you pay a minimum of $250,000 but still have to work out when you are and are not allowed to stay there. And don't forget the maintenance fees!
But of course ownership here is "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" and this is a "beyond-five-star project." It is slated for completion in early 2009 and will have a signature restaurant, a world-class spa, yada yada yada.
Book a room before this fall to get in before the hotel shuts down and it becomes a construction zone.
This week's UK Times is all excited about villas, and so, apparently, are plenty of rich Brits:
Chauffeur-driven Porsches, private cinemas, wireless internet access, chefs, maids, helicopter transfers, private beaches, high-tech gyms... British holidaymakers are developing expensive tastes when it comes to booking a villa.
But even if your budget is a little bit lower, the Times still has plenty of tips for interesting villa stays across the world.
One that appeals to us is the Evasaon Ana Mandara Villas Resort at Dalat in Vietnam: it includes 17 restored French colonial-style villas from the 1920s and 30s. Alternatively, you might be into renting (or buying!) a James Bond-style villa in Jamaica at the Goldeneye Estate.
Or if the stomach is rumbling, perhaps you'll be keen on another villa trend the Times mentions: hiring a private chef to man the kitchen. Apparently demand for such chefs has doubled in the last three years and everyone wants their very own guy-in-a-funny-white-hat to serve up the best local specialities, and maybe teach you how to do it on your own, after your holiday's over. Villas in France and Italy are, not surprisingly, very popular places to rent-a-chef.
· Heaven is a Holiday Villa With a Helipad [Times UK]
Let's get two things out of the way up front, Elounda is a resort town.
Furthermore, plenty of Brit expats find themselves starting a new life in this small Crete town--what exactly are they running from anyway?
Anyway, if you want to test the waters before relocating to resort town, or just go on a holiday where you don't need to worry about leaving your hotel, Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites could be your style. The owners of this beautiful villa-dise are hands off, which is perfect if you don't want some stranger up in your grill from the moment you step off the plane.
Villas include cliff-hanging infinity pools, jacuzzis with ocean views and mood lighting, airport transfer and your own personal assistant. Some villas even come equipped with a full-fledged gym.
This place screams Med honeymoon, but before you book, call ahead and make sure there is no work being done on the property. Nothing ruins a cliff side view faster than construction workers banging on the villa next door.
· Elounda Gulf Villas Reviews [TripAdvisor]