If you haven’t booked your end-of-year getaway yet, there’s still time. With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to recharge and explore new cities and neighbourhoods. From a sala-style home in Chiang Mai’s old quarter to a luxury barn house in Khao Yai; from an island villa in southern Thailand to a designer’s house in Bangkok’s Chinatown, these seasonal stays are sure to put the ho ho ho in your holidays. Thai Sala House In The Old Town (Chiang Mai) Immerse yourself in history this holiday season with a stay at this one bedroom (2 guests) traditional sala Thai house located right in the heart of Chiang Mai’s old town. Within walking distance of temples, Sunday Walking Street, museums and more, the central location makes it an ideal home base for discovering everything Chiang Mai has to offer. If you're looking to immerse yourself in the local scene and explore what Chiang Mai and surrounds has to offer, check out these Airbnb Experiences: Organic Farm Thai Cooking Experience, Secrets of Sak Yant, Cafe Hopping With A Coffee Connoisseur. Designer’s House in Chinatown (Bangkok) Interested in a city break this holiday season? Make this renovated Airbnb Plus four-bedroom (9 guests) house your home for the holiday. Located in Chinatown, it’s the perfect base from which to explore the history and culture of this old quarter, its local neighbourhoods, alleyways while trying out the delicious bites from the street vendors. The best way to see the real Bangkok is through the eyes of a local – check out these Airbnb Experiences for an alternative view of Bangkok: Living Along The Kong, The Secret Of China Town And Local Life, Tuk Tuk Adventure And Thai Street Food. Khao Yai Barnhouse (Nakhon Ratchasima) Just two-hours by car for Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima is a popular weekend getaway for city-dwellers and is famed for its cooler, refreshing weather, especially during the December/ January holiday season. Home of Thailand's first national park, Khao Yai, this luxury five-bedroom (11 guests) property inspired by the English countryside is surrounded by a golf course and has sweeping views of the nearby mountains. The vast outdoor spaces and large kitchen makes this barnhouse ideal for family and group holidays. Villa Aria on Koh Yao Noi (Phang Nga) Head south to the island of Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga province for a tranquil break. The island is home to an active local fishing community and incredible landscapes and flora, as well as some beautiful, and deserted, beaches. This custom wooden two-bedroom (4 guests) house was built by local artisans. Situated on the east side of the island, it offers a quiet retreat with spectacular views across Phang Nga Bay and the beach is just 300 metres away. For those travelling in a larger group, there are two neighbouring apartments that can also be booked making this an ideal island hangout for the holiday season. For those looking to travel overseas this holiday season, below are some stunning stays in Asia-Pacific that will make for a delightful holiday-break. Alternatively,
Latest Airbnb booking data has revealed growing interest in lesser-known destinations and eco-conscious cities across the globe, as travellers look for new, local and authentic travel experiences beyond big cities. In Thailand, emerging destinations across the country are increasingly appealing to both domestic and international travellers. Case-in-point is Buriram in Thailand’s Northeast saw 383% growth in bookings* year-over-year, propelling it into third place on Airbnb’s top 20 global destinations to visit next year. Here are the Top 20 trending destinations for 2020: 1. Milwaukee, WI, US The host of next year’s Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee makes it to the top of our trending list. This historic gem on the shores of Lake Michigan often slips under the radar but has a terrific bar and restaurant scene and fascinating cultural attractions that include a Calatrava-designed art museum. And with over 105 miles of scenic bike lanes, it’s easy to see why Milwaukee is experiencing an upsurge in interest among guests on Airbnb. 2. Bilbao, Spain Bilbao’s transformation from rust belt city to flourishing culture hub is truly remarkable. The city’s Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum put Bilbao on the map when it opened back in 1997. Since then the Basque city has been on an ever upward ascent, winning the European City of the Year in 2018. Visitors to the area are rewarded with a lively dining scene, breathtaking architecture and an unforgettable cityscape. Next year, Bilbao will also become a top destination for sports fans: it’s one of the host cities of Europe’s most beloved soccer competition. 3. Buriram, Thailand The rural province of Buriram is home to some of Thailand’s most treasured Khmer relics. Its best known monument is the incredible Phanom Rung complex which is comparable in grandeur to its much more famous Cambodian neighbor, Angkor Wat. In addition to ancient ruins, the province has also become a sporting hotspot: 2018 saw the inaugural MotoGP motor racing event at the Chang International Circuit which also plays host to the Buriram Marathon each year. MotoGP is scheduled to return in March next year. 4. Sunbury, Victoria, Australia A short drive northwest of Melbourne, the suburb of Sunbury is a popular spot with savvy locals thanks to its wildlife, wineries and Victorian-era architecture. Its biggest claim to fame is as the birthplace of cricket’s most sought-after trophy — The Ashes. In 2020, Sunbury looks to attract cricket fans from near and far as Melbourne will be hosting the ICC T20 World Cup. 5. Romania Romania, with its pristine hills and ancient rural villages, is the perfect destination for anyone looking for something off-the-beaten-track. The country has some of the best preserved virgin forests in Europe and, according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, ranks 15th globally when it comes to ecosystem vitality. 6. Xi'an, China Often cited as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, Xi'an is best known as the home of the terracotta warriors — a vast collection of prehistoric clay soldiers discovered by local farmers in 1974. Today, the capital of China’s western Shaanxi province is a major culinary melting pot while
Queensland, Australia, in partnership with Uber, today announces the launch of scUber, the world’s first rideshare submarine experience, coming to the Great Barrier Reef on Monday 27 May. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will offer riders an unfiltered lens to Australia’s underwater icon. For a limited time only, scUber riders will gain exclusive access to the world’s largest ecosystem, renowned as a biodiverse playground, rich in marine life and offering remarkable underwater experiences. From 27 May, scUber will be available for a limited number of riders to request through the Uber app and riders will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the exquisite beauty of the Great Barrier Reef – all without the need for a snorkeling mask or a diving license! The scUber experience will be available starting on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region from May 27, before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef region from June 9. Availability is strictly limited. The scUber experience will cost $3,000 for two riders and includes: Pickup and drop off from your location with the Uber app; Scenic helicopter ride to either Heron Island (for riders requesting from Gladstone) or the Quicksilver Cruises pontoon off the coast of Port Douglas (for riders requesting from Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove); One hour ride in a scUber submarine; Return trip back to your original pickup address with Uber. Today also marks the beginning of Uber’s partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. The organisation is committed to engaging the world in the protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and reefs all over the world, using tech, data and a collaborative approach to conservation. Uber’s partnership with Citizens will focus on supporting several initiatives including their Reef Tracks program and the Great Reef Census through a financial and resource investment program. Find out more about the partnership here.
This Summer, travel in style to the luxurious destination of your dream and experience luxury at its finest at one of these hotels. Here are our top 5 unforgettable holiday destinations for those who know about and enjoy the finer things in life. Perfecting the Art of Summer Combining understated luxury with traditional local architecture and contemporary elegance, the Myconian Collection's portfolio of hotels offer unparalleled accommodation and amenities. Start your mornings with private yoga and Pilates sessions on the lush green grass of your private garden. Enjoy exclusive aerial views of Mykonos and the Cyclades Archipelago with a helicopter charter directly from the resort’s helipad. A fleet of limousines and Range Rovers (and the resort’s chauffeurs) will see to it that you travel comfortably around the island while private yacht cruises mean you can enjoy the pristine turquoise waters of Mykonos’ remote coves and other top destinations on nearby islands, including Santorini and Paros. More information, click. Reimagine your Summer in Jerusalem Jerusalem is a capital forever being rebuilt, reimagined. For those lucky enough to live here, this means that one of the oldest cities in the world is also one of the youngest. The luxurious rooms and suites at the Mamilla Hotel capture this dialogue of time and texture. Walk in and encounter a vibrant mix of sensuous contrasts. Every detail is designed and carefully selected by renowned interior architect Pierro Lissoni. Luxury touches abound, from the imported Frette linens to pure Bvlgari amenities. More information, click. Discover the Black Forest Centrally located in the renowned German spa town of Baden-Baden, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa is an urban oasis set in a private park facing the famous Lichtentaler Allee. Discover the beautiful Black Forest countryside with a drive out in one of the hotel’s three classic cars – a Porsche 928, a VW Samba bus named “Oskar”, or VW Beetle Convertible called “Herbie”. Set off with a picnic from Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, stop wherever takes your fancy and enjoy a hamper of salmon sandwiches, chocolate cake, champagne and other delicacies, freshly prepared for you by the hotel’s chefs. More information, click. Family Fun In Dubai Stay with your family in Dubai and enjoy complimentary tickets to entertainment attractions. A family escape to remember. Armani Dubai Hotel curates personalised, luxurious experiences for you and your family. Create unforgettable memories with your family and choose from an exciting array of nearby must-see attractions. Stay 2 nights and enjoy benefits such as Daily buffet breakfast, and tickets to Reel Cinema or Dubai Ice Rink per person per stay. More information, click. Go from Forest to Fairway Spend two nights at Treetops Lodge plus two nights at Kinloch Club and enjoy an additional fifth night complimentary at the lodge of your choice. Explore the wilderness of Treetops Estate or enjoy a round of world-class golf overlooking Lake Taupo and combine two iconic lodge experiences. Escape to a secluded forest getaway, wander native trails through pristine forest, and forge enduring connections with the people and the land. Follow that with a day on the greens challenging yourself on their championship
Books can take you to new and exciting places—completely new worlds, even. This World Book Day (23 April 2019), let Lifestyle+Travel and Agoda take you on a literary journey like no other. On your next holiday, trace the roots of some of your favorite authors by stopping by their hometowns—some of which have inspired their most seminal works. Here are some must-visit spots for book-lovers roaming around Asia… Kobe, Japan Literary Hero: Haruki Murakami Notable works: “Kafka on the Shore” and “1Q84” available from Shinchosha Must-see attractions: Ikuta Shrine, Arima Onsen, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Murakami grew up in Kobe, where a few of his stories, such as his debut novel “Hear the Wind Sing”, are set. Murakami’s works have surrealist elements, often with melancholic themes which in some ways, is reflective of the quiet beauty to be found in the many serene shrines and breathtaking nature scenery in the small seaside city. Internalize the relaxing minimalist side of Kobe when you stay at Arimakoyado Hataya Ryokan. Camarines Norte, Philippines Literary Hero: Ricky Lee Notable works: “Para kay B” available from Philippine Writers' Studio Foundation Must-see attractions: Calaguas Islands, Apuao Grande Island, Bagasbas Beach More than his novel “Para kay B,” Ricky Lee’s body of work encompasses screenwriting and playwriting. He has worked with revered Filipino directors like Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal and has even published a screenplay manual called “Trip to Quiapo” which has since been a staple resource for communication colleges in the Philippines. Visit Lee’s hometown of Camarines Norte in the central Bicol region of the Philippines and enjoy its beautiful beaches like those on Apuao Grande Island and the Calaguas group of islands. Keep comfy by making One Platinum Hotel your home base while in the area. If you’re in the Americas, head to… New York, USA Literary Hero: Jenny Han Notable works: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” available from Simon & Schuster Must-see attractions: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway Though Han originally came from Virginia, her time in New York shaped her career as a young adult fiction writer. Book the cozy Jun New York Midtown III apartment, and feel right at home when you take a break from all of that sight-seeing. Aracataca, Colombia Literary Hero: Gabriel García Márquez Notable works: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” available from HarperCollins, “Love in the Time of Cholera” available from Penguin Classics Must-see attractions: Casa Museo, Casa del Telegrafista The municipality of Aracataca is built along the river of the same name and boasts Nobel Prize winner for literature Gabriel García Márquez as one of its sons. The village of Macondo in García Márquez's celebrated novel, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is fashioned after Aracataca. Take a day trip out to explore García Márquez's reconstructed childhood home-turned-museum and the Casa del Telegrafista, then settle down at the charming Agoda Home in Parque Los Novios in the nearby city of Santa Marta, where you can also visit Colombia’s famous Tayrona National Natural Park. If you’re venturing to Europe, then consider visiting… Edinburgh, Scotland Literary Hero: J.K. Rowling Notable works: The “Harry Potter” series available from Bloomsbury Must-see attractions: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Dynamic Earth, Underground Edinburgh, The Scotch Whisky Experience Potterheads, unite! While Rowling was born in Yates, England, it was during her time in Edinburgh that she