Easy Easter Holidays…
Everyone else may be hunting for eggs, but your search for the ideal Easter getaway is over… The travel club for hotel lovers, Mr & Mrs Smith, have filled their basket with the luxury hotels that have last-minute availability for the Easter break. To make it that little bit easier for you, each destination is easily reachable from Hong Kong – even when you’re travelling with toddlers on board. Now all that’s left for you to do is take your pick between a luxury hotel in the heart of Manila, a unique Thai resort or a hotel on Vietnam’s central coast. All featuring something for kids and parents, they guarantee you’ll have the Easter break you deserve.
The Henry Hotel Manila captures the artistic soul of the Philippines’ capital. The hotel is laid out over a former, Fifties artist compound and built with retro charm. The original verandas are fully restored and rooms are decorated with both modern and vintage furnishings, including vivid tiles, Eames-style chairs and mod light fixtures. Hotel restaurant, Apartment 1B, may be a new addition, but its look is equally Fifties fabulous. This Easter, seek inspiration in the spring flowerings of the palmera-dotted gardens, where artists often visit to sketch (although, kids can freely play here, too); or pick up tips at the three houses on the compound that still serve as artist residences.
Expect a basket of specially curated local delicacies upon arrival!
How to get there: The country’s air hub, Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. The hotel can organise transfers on request.
Family attractions in the area: SM Mall of Asia is one of the largest in the country, spread over 42 hectares and attracting thousands of shoppers each day. The mall includes an IMAX theatre, ice rink, music hall and boutiques aplenty. Although Hong Kong families will likely be enjoying the hotel instead.
Kids will love: The hotel offers expansive gardens and open space – something our city lacks.
Parents will love: The hotel has countless spots to relax and unwind. There is also a free baby cot, which is subject to availability.
Inspired by the Phuket’s tin-mining heritage, the Slate, a boutique hotel in Phuket, delights in its industrial-style decor – the work of American designer Bill Bensley (who also designed Smith stays, the Siam and the Nam Hai). The Slate’s luxuriously outfitted suites and villas are ideal for an Easter break, and you can pamper yourself silly in the cocooning spa or chill out on the blissful beach close by.
The One-Bedroom Private Pool Villas, are embraced by walled tropical gardens; living and sleeping areas are split between two pavilions, linked by dark-timber decking dotted with exotic blooms and frangipani trees. You won’t have to fight for a sunlounger or day-bed by the beautiful main pool, but to really live it up, book a suite with your very own pool. Villas also come with a bar, dining room, Jacuzzi, spa, sauna, steam room and a 24-hour butler service, so you’ll have little reason to leave. If arriving en famille, kids can be entertained at the Tin Box kids’ club, which has hourly activities, including mask-making, cookery, face-painting and junior yoga.
As a bonus, free return airport transfers are included!
How to get there: There are regular flights to Phuket International Airport from Hong Kong, or Bangkok, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Australia. The Slate is a 10-minute drive west of the airport.
Family attractions in the area: Ride Splash Jungle Water Park’s tangle of slides and lazy river, or pay a visit to topsy-turvy house Baan Teelanka for some stand-out holiday snaps.
Kids will love: The hotel’s kids’ club, Tin Box, will keep them occupied with its packed activity programme. There’s also the beachside kids’ corner at Côtémar bar for sandcastle building.
Parents will love: The free baby cots, extra beds for two children under 12, babysitting services, and butler (is this real life?!).
Ringed by eight volcanoes, near Yogyakarta, MesaStila hotel’s isolated mountain setting is dramatic and stunning. Its antique-filled villas, set over 22 hectares of lovingly tended gardens, are homey and welcoming. The grounds also house coffee plants and authentic Dutch colonial buildings, including an old-school railway station. There’s also a steam bath, four treatment rooms, beauty salon and spa gallery. Choose from a range of Asian-style treatments and massage therapies, including coffee body scrubs and rejuvenating jade facials.
Tempted? There is 20% discount on a spa treatment (GoldSmiths get the same discount on a second treatment) and a bag of coffee on departure.
How to get there: Fly to Yogyakarta Airport via Bali, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, to Solo via Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, or to Semarang via Singapore. Yogyakarta is an hour and a half from the hotel, Solo is two hours away, and Semarang is an hour and 15 minutes. Transfers to Yogyakarta or Semarang airports cost US$50 each way.
Family attractions in the area: Colourful market tours or biking through the forest.
Kids will love: The hotel’s giant outdoor chess set.
Parents will love: The house coffee is a highlight, as is the award-winning spa, which has one of Indonesia’s few Turkish hammam baths and exclusively uses estate-grown and made products.
The Vagabond Club in Singapore is a throwback to Paris’ salons, with elegant design by Jacques Garcia, Singapore’s only artist-in-residence programme and an expertly curated art collection. It is bold from the crimson banquettes in the lounge to the bar’s creative cocktail list. For a quiet spot to retreat to after indulging in too many chocolate eggs, book the Vagabond Suite (which has the hotel’s only bath tub and a private entrance for added swag). British absurdist artist Peter Millard curated the Salon’s impressive art collection: Franck Le Ray’s animal and tree sculptures gleam against the hotel’s red and gold backdrop. Guests are also invited to the free Lady Boss High Tea, held daily in the Salon from 3pm to 5pm.
On top of tea, guests get one cocktail each at Bar Vagabond – completely free!
How to get there: Singapore’s International hub Changi Airport is 18km away, and it takes as many minutes to reach the hotel by car. Private limousine transfers can be arranged, on request.
Family attractions in the area: Check out graffiti-coated Haji Lane and Arab Street for an intro to Singapore’s street art. We can’t get enough of the live music gracing the streets each evening.
Kids will love: The selection of in-room films.
Parents will love: Under-12s can share their parents’ bed free, if staying in a Deluxe, Deluxe with Shared Terrace or Junior Suite category.
Head to Mia Resort this April for a private beach with views, a daily-changing menu and romantic rooms set on sand or cliffs. For the best views – and a private infinity pool – book a Cliff Villa. Bathing bookworms will love the glittering pool, overlooked by Nha Trang Mountains, flanked by sunloungers, palm trees and cabanas, and equipped with a mini library for guests to browse… The pool is right by the beach and restaurant, so you can hop from one to the other. Easy!
If you want to spend time as a family, go on a family picnic. A hamper filled with sandwiches, cupcakes, cheeseboard and carafe of fruit juice can be ordered. Take your haul to the garden, the beach or your bedroom to be enjoyed by the whole family.
As a little extra incentive, you get a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival; a 15-minute massage on arrival; return transfers from the city centre AND a snorkelling lesson in the resort’s swimming pool.
How to get there: The closest airport is Cam Ranh International, 15km away. Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific offer regular scheduled flights to and from Nha Trang (Cam Ranh) airport. Hotel transfers cost VND138,000 a person, each way.
Family attractions in the area: Boat trips from Nha Trang can be organised by the hotel.
Kids will love: Little Smiths will lose their hearts to the private beach and restaurant, where the young-at-heart menu includes ‘fisherman’s’ fish and chips, ice-cream, juices and milkshakes.
Parents will love: Babysitting can be arranged; extra beds can be added, and parents-only time can be made!
With Mr & Mrs Smith you’ll enjoy a best-price guarantee, as well as a Smith Extra on arrival at every hotel. To book, call toll free at 800 905 326 or visit mrandmrssmith.com.
All images courtesy of Mr & Mrs Smith