The best thing about Chinese New Year isn’t the food, it’s that it lasts 15 days. This year, use the public holiday weekend to unwind (and conveniently dodge family members and their intrusive questions at the same time) and pay your respects later. While you could have a staycation, we’ve done the homework for you and found three no-hassle options. Just pack the passport and head to these hotels for a blissful few days away.
Bintan: The Residence Bintan
Bintan may not be an exotic getaway but there’s little to no planning required. For a quieter break, head south where the water is pristine and go snorkeling or diving at Pulau Mapur, known for its hard coral and the odd barracuda, turtle or whale shark sighting.
Where to stay: The newly opened Residence Bintan where all 127 rooms come with an open deck area, handy for sunset cocktails. For ultimate privacy, opt for The Hill and Beachfront Villas with its private pool, so you don’t have to swim with the masses. To relax, there’s The Spa by ila where the menu includes local Ayurvedic rituals fused with modern techniques.
How to get there: The ferry from Tanah Merah takes approximately 60 minutes, followed by an hour’s car drive to the resort. Opening offer of S$251.41 per night (excluding taxes and fees) inclusive of breakfast, land transfers and a complimentary lunch or dinner (depending on choice of room).
Koh Samui: Vana Belle
While everyone (and their neighbour) crowds out the beaches of Phuket, there’s Koh Samui. While flights are costlier, the island’s tranquil vibe and sweeping, white sand beaches will be more than worth it. It also doesn’t hurt that Koh Phangan is just a 30-minute ferry ride away.
Where to stay: The Vana Belle Koh Samui resort where all 80 suites and villas come with their own pool, so you can start each day watching a stunning Koh Samui sunrise. Situated on Chaweng Beach, make a day of wading out (possible during December to March) to nearby Koh Matlam for a true deserted island experience.
How to get there: With a flight time of just under two hours, and a smaller, island-style airport, you’ll speed through immigration. Plus, the resort is just 15 minutes drive from the airport.
From S$882++ per night for the Sparkling Lunar New Year Package inclusive of breakfast, a selection of day trips (Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan or Angthong Marine Park), as well as a S$62++ spa credit at VanaSpa.
Phuket: Baba Beach Club
We’ve checked and it’s looking bright and sunny in Phuket over the Chinese New Year period, all the better to rock up with your crew and ring in the new year, squad style.
Where to stay: Baba Beach Club, a boutique resort with just 16 rooms and villas located on the less-crowded Natai Beach. Relatively free of beach touts, by day, bake and read your book in peace. By night, party at their on-site beach club where their DJs play everything but EDM or cheesy Thai rock. Don’t believe us? Have a listen to their Soundcloud Playlist.
How to get there: Flying to Phuket is a breeze (and takes under two hours) thanks to the number of available flights daily. Expect to get from the airport to Natai Beach in 30 minutes, or less.
From S$2,866++ ( Baba Suite) inclusive of 3 nights accommodation, daily breakfast, three different meals (for two) airport transfers, in-room massage (for two), free mini bar, WiFi and iPod for the duration of your stay.
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