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For reasons we can't fully explain, we've decided to tune into the completely staged reality dating show that is "The Bachelor" on ABC. And we're obsessed. From the first rose ceremony shenanigans to the tense two-on-one dates and awkward make-out sessions, we love it all. We'll even watch it live, with commercials. But the show also has another important element we love--hotels. The Bachelor, Sean, has taken his hot body and so-so personality around the world as he tries to find a wife from Montana to Canada to St. Croix and now to the south of Thailand. Who will get the final rose? Who cares? We wanna know where they spent the night.
After an interesting time meeting families last week, Sean narrowed down the choices for his life partner to three women--Catherine, Ashlee and Lindsay. But as they say three's a crowd and Sean has to narrow down his selection even further. To make this tough
production call decision, Sean takes the girls to the south of Thailand, specifically to the Anantara Resort in Si Kao.
Much like the Buccaneer Resort in St. Croix, this Anantara bills itself as perfect for family vacations or honeymoons. There's 139 rooms, suites, pool suites and family rooms on the property so it's not a terribly big resort but there's tons of stuff to do, most of them involving water and sand as the resort sits on 15 kilometers of beach adjacent to the Had Chao Mai National Park. But The Bachelor had other plans around town.
Killer View / Hotel Openings / Maldives Hotels / Anantara Resorts / Overwater Bungalows / → All Tags
Getting depressed about the impending end of summer? Yeah, us too. That's why we're feasting on this Killer View from an overwater bungalow at the Anantara Kihavah Villas, which opens in the Maldives on December 1. What better reason to look forward to winter? (And to wish for an unexpected windfall or sudden fame and fortune?)
The newest Anantara in a place with a bunch of 'em, Anantara Kihavah will bring new 78 overwater and beachfront villas to the Maldives, along with an underwater restaurant and wine cellar, and a 'jungle spa.'
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Need a cute reason to visit the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle in Thailand? A Baby Elephant! Need an even cuter reason to visit? Baby Elephant Getting a Bath!!*
The ellie was born on May 23 weighing 220 lbs and was nicknamed Nong 'Phil which is an abbreviation for the phrase "Little Curfew" since the baby was born past the elephants' bedtime. His formal name is Plai Pa Choke which means "to bring luck."
At Anatara Golden Triangle, they house houses 35 elephants, their mahout caregivers, and their families in their Elephant Camp, an extension of the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. Guests can explore the Elephant Camp during their stay and they can even "drive" the elephant after some training (We think that's a bit unnecessary. Showing up for bathtime should be just fine. And you know the ellies love it!)
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This tech-savvy hotel is the Anantara Phuket in Mai Khao Beach, Thailand. Guests can now borrow the iPad directly from the resort and use it to read the paper, book a massage at the Anantara Spa and even schedule a dive excursion to Similan islands. the iPad can also be used poolside or sailing through Phang Nga Bay--we're just not sure how easy it will be to read in direct sunlight.
And whatever you do, just don't drop it in the water. Otherwise, you'll find yourself with a broken, good-for-nothing iPad. Room at the Anantara Phuket rates start at around $600 for a pool villa (which is incidentally about the same price for some iPad models.)
Can't get to Thailand? Anantara expects to roll out iPads in all their hotels worldwide in the coming months. Yipee!
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Most people pick up the newest edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue because they want to drool over Brooklyn Decker or Bar Rafaeli in the skimpiest, totally unwearable bathing suits ever fashioned from two scraps of fabric (or seaweed or sand dollars or whatever else is lying around.)
But we scope out the SI because we want to know which hotels got lucky with the ladies as SI is always gives the accommodations for its photo shoots major shout-outs (at least on the website.)
This year, the luckiest of the bunch has to be the Anantara Resorts in The Maldives. We've always been a big fan of here at HotelChatter (hello, overwater bungalows!) and it looks like Brooklyn, Bar and their friends, Dominique Piek and Christine Teigen are big fans now too.
The Maldives was the cover location for the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and more importantly for us hotel geeks, The Anantara Dhigu Resort and Spa and the Naladhu Resort in the South Male Atoll is where the girls shacked up at night.
Anantara Resorts are still bucking the economic trend: they continue to launch new properties in all corners of the globe. Up next is the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Resort & Spa, located in the state of Abu Dhabi but around an hour and a half's drive into the desert. It's in a spectacular region which apparently has sand dunes four times higher than the Leaning Tower of Pisa (although we hope the dunes look a little more stable).
Across the resort you'll find 196 rooms and suites, three restaurants and of course an Anantara Spa complete with an impressive marble hammam bath. They'll also set you up to go sand-surfing, camel riding through the desert or quad-biking if you prefer.
Their website will let you book rooms starting from October 25 this year, at least a full week ahead of the November opening we heard about earlier this year. The lower range of rooms start from 1,700 AED ($460) with a one bedroom villa going for 4,200 AED ($1,140).
The luxury-minded people who build the Anantara Resorts have already persuaded us that their south-east Asian properties look like killer places to stay, like the Anantara Phuket or their fancy Anantara Seminyak in Bali. But Anantara seems to be turning a different corner now, with big plans for the Middle East and North Africa shaping up.
Later this year, the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab (pictured) will open its doors near Abu Dhabi well, an hour and a half from Abu Dhabi, actually, since the resort will be in the middle of "rugged desert". This Anantara is already taking bookings for stays starting from November 1, with the cheapest room (a Deluxe King) being offered for $1,700 a night.
Not quite so close to being open (but with a promise that they'll all be open by 2011), Anantara is also looking to expand into Oman and Morocco. In Oman, Anantara will be opening up in Muscat, while in Morocco, they're putting resorts into both Marrakech, near the central medina, and Mogador (Essaouira), about two hours from Marrakech. These new spots might not be the romantic beach hideaways we're used to seeing from Anantara resorts, but they definitely still fall in the exotic category.
There are some places that simply don’t need another hotel. The poor, overloaded, little island of Phuket is one of them. However, we have to give props to Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa, which managed to find an unspoiled place on the island to build its hotel.
The resort opened its doors on October 1, and has actually done so in an environmentally-responsible way--even building around a rare Banyan tree. Plus, despite Phuket's drawbacks, it's a great jumping off point to see the rest of the Andaman Sea and its beautiful resorts (which we'll be telling you about after we finish taking a gander at this week).
So if you fly into Phuket, it looks like there's now an escape from the sleaze. To boot, the hotel is offering a "buy three nights, get one night free" opening special now through December 23. Rates start around $450 a night which is definitely not a bargain, although it is less than the $900 expected room rate we found over the summer. And it's a fair price for the increasingly popular private-pool-villa resorts popping up throughout Asia.
One night at Anantara Phuket: $450. Skinny-dipping mid-day...priceless.
Thailand Resorts / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Anantara Resorts / Phuket Hotels / → All Tags
Surely you thought we were clever and hilarious for the "Sea Cow in Si Kao" headline, but we must give credit where credit is due.
To the cute and funny folks over at the upcoming Anantara Si Kao in Si Kao have been using this clever and hilarious line as part of their marketing efforts for their soon-to-open Thailand property.
Located on Chang Lang Beach, the hotel is opening up in December -- hot on the heels of the Anantara Phuket -- in an area famous for its manatees.