If you’re anything like us, your wanderlust must be off the charts right now. 

With the closure of the airport to international travel (and plenty a rumour circling its re-opening), there’s no time like the present to get daydreaming about where we might head once we can vacation abroad safely and securely again. 

After all, the world has changed after COVID-19, and the hospitality industry has felt this effect to its depths. That’s why, along a tangent of social distancing, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite secluded spots that enable you to steer away from the crowds and enjoy a more personal escape in the most luxurious way. Think, private islands, exclusive villas, and far-from-mainstream locations. 

It’s the kind of holiday where you don’t have to see anyone except for bae or your friends, and the kind of holiday where you can feel one with nature, your private amenities, or the echo of your own voice inside a sprawling seaside mansion. All located just a few flight hours away (with three inner-Thailand options, too), you know where to find us (but not really find us) next. 

[Featured Image Credit: Bawah Reserve; Hero Image Credit: The Datai]

Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

Possibly one of the region’s best-kept secrets, the beautiful Bawah Reserve sits northeast of Singapore in Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago in a sheltered seclusion. No crowds in sight here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by turquoise waters and blue lagoons, and coral reefs for company. Scoring high points for both sustainability and style, it is a wholly relaxing escape, with plenty of activities for outdoor adventurers, too. Top of our list.

www.bawahreserve.com

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

There’s nothing quite like a private island for social distancing on vacation, and there’s no brand quite like Cheval Blanc when it comes to absolute luxury indulgence. The ‘undeniably divine’ Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island welcomes guests from a private berth and jetty, onto a sprawling four-bedroom villa perfectly suited for a romantic couples’ trip or friend group getaway. A dedicated team of ‘Ambassadeurs’ are there to ensure every need is met, from dining and activities over to an island-own spa, pristine beach, and a stroll in the exotic gardens. You’re in the Maldives. Here’s how you do it right. 

www.chevalblanc.com/randheli

COMO Uma Punakha, Bhutan

Bhutan boasts a magical aura unlike many other places in the world. The hotel brand’s second property here, visit COMO Uma Punakha for an intimate socially distant vacation. Located at the far western end of the lush Punakha Valley, the luxury lodge overlooks the Mo Chu river — and your worries drifting away right with it. A prime gateway to exploring this remote Himalayan Kingdom or simply hide out, unwind, and refocus.

www.comohotels.com/umapunakha

Iniala Beach House, Thailand

If you’ve a Phang Nga regular, you’ve definitely heard of the iconic Iniala Beach House before. Now unveiling a selection of new one-bedroom pool suites (the first of their kind at Iniala), guests can enjoy a secluded and luxurious holiday here. The new suites are set amid soaring rooftops, with wide terraces overlooking Phang Nga’s lush mountains or the Andaman Sea. Very ‘grammable

www.inialathailand.com

The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia

Here’s one for the romantics. The Datai Langkawi sits directly on the white-sand beach of Datai Bay amidst an ancient rainforest. Each of the private villas are fully enclosed and thereby make for a really intimate experience, between nature’s treasures and Southeast Asia’s charms. Awaken to the bird calls, take a rain shower, or meditate on the beach; it’s no wonder Langkawi is rising up to become one of the most sought-after island destinations in the region. 

www.thedatai.com

Samujana, Thailand

There are people who like to practice social distancing alone, and then there are people who have kids. For the latter, Samujana is an ideal holiday in Koh Samui, with a collection of 23 villas offering up to 8 bedrooms. Ample living space and the freedom to roam and explore, the residences sit atop a hill overlooking a coral cove for a serene island retreat. Boasting an abundance of activities to choose from, there’s never a boring moment at Samujana, even if your chosen activity of the day is a swim, a massage, and a sundowner. 

www.samujana.com

Pimalai, Thailand

Have you visited Koh Lanta yet? Because you should. Pimalai is nestled amidst a lush green hillside on the island, close to nature and not far from the beach, either. With sprawling views of the sea down below, it’s a tranquil escape within the pool villas — between your own private sundeck and your personal infinity-edge pool. 

www.pimalai.com

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.