Unusual places to stay… in the Far East
With so many different types of accommodation to choose from, here is Cox & Kings’ selection of some of the more unusual places to stay in the Far East. Sleep in the heart of the forest, next door to a herd of elephants or get an insight into how high society lived in Japan and China. Some of these quirky retreats are perfect for a family holiday, others are better for discovering local cultures and we’ve included a secluded treehouse, ideal for a romantic getaway.
TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao, Koh Yao Noi Island, Thailand
This secret island getaway on the northern tip of Koh Yao Noi – one of the last local islands unspoilt by mass tourism – is just an hour’s boat ride from either Phuket or Krabi and perfect alternative to Thailand’s more popular destinations. With just one beachfront villa and one treehouse set within the jungle in the bay of Phang Nga, you really do get the feeling of it being your own retreat. Our favourite is the two-storey treehouse, which you get to by crossing a suspended bridge, and has a plunge pool, day swing, sun bed and private dining area. The master bedroom looks out over the bay and is the perfect place to watch the sun rise or set. From the treehouse, you can take a bicycle or kayak to explore the surroundings, keeping an eye out for wildlife and birds.
Interior of TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao
Elephant Safari Park & Lodge, Bali, Indonesia
The Elephant Safari Park & Lodge is situated in the Mason Elephant Park in central Bali. The park is a dedicated elephant rescue reserve that saved endangered elephants from government camps in Sumatra. Their mission is to look after the elephants to the best of their ability and offer guests the opportunity to learn about them and interact with them. Surrounded by tropical forests, the lodge has just 27 boutique rooms that overlook the elephant’s park. We recommend visiting the botanical gardens, the exotic orchid displays and the fascinating museum.
Elephants at Elephant Safari Park & Lodge
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Tatai, Cambodia
Sitting on the Tatai river in Cambodia, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is the world’s first floating tented resort. The pontoon stretches along the river with 12 tented villas, adjacent to the Cardamom rainforest. Relax in the comfortable villa or sunbathe on your private balcony while enjoying the whistles and chirps from the rainforest. We suggest taking a guided tour to the Tatai waterfall and into the mangroves to meet the fishing families of Koh Kong Khnong. After an adventure-filled day, you can take a sunset cruise or kayak along the river – guided by fireflies – which is magical.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge
Gora Kadan, Hakone, Japan
A former retreat of the Kan’in-no-miya Imperial Family of Japan, this minimalist ryokan is set in the Hakone National Park. The decor transports guests to the ancient Japanese way of life, styled with simplistic tatami – thick, woven rice straw mats – typical of Japanese inns. We recommend booking one of the rooms that have outdoor stone baths set among the luscious vegetation: the hot spring water will relax your muscles as you inhale the aroma of fragrant flowers and incense. The restaurant serves a selection of traditional dishes from the region’s Kaiseki cuisine, which includes an appetiser served with sake, sashimi, a grilled course and a rice dish.
Gora Kadan outdoor pool
The Jing’s Residence, Pingyao, China
This charming boutique hotel was once the home of a wealthy silk merchant during the Qiny Dynasty. It is located within the ancient walled city of Pingyao, between Xian and Beijing in the Shanxi Province. A Unesco world heritage site, the town’s grey brick pavilions and Qing courtyards are beautiful and is some of the best preserved traditional Chinese architecture. The 19 rooms have been stylishly renovated, keeping a number of traditional Chinese antiques as well as introducing modern artworks. The shops of Pingyao are intriguing, with antiques in abundance as well as traditional handcrafts, including paper cutting, lacquerware – decorated wooden containers or tableware – and handmade cloth shoes.
The Jing’s Residence
Sang Giri Mountain Den, Bali, Indonesia
In the Jatiluwih Mountains on the island of Bali are these 12 safari-styled tents that look out over the top of the dense, verdant rainforest. Enjoy the view from your private terrace while listening to the cacophony of nature surrounding you. With a local guide, you can search for birds, walk through the rainforest to waterfalls and natural hot springs and find out more about the local production of rice in the tiered rice paddies. The restaurant serves delicious Balinese cuisine, focussing on using home-grown and locally sourced rice, vegetables and herbs.
Sang Giri Mountain Den
Cox & Kings can include any of these unusual places to stay as part of a tailor-made holiday to the Far East. Please speak to one of our experts or find out more here.
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- Far East