A Thai Island Escape Where Bigger is Better – Ritz Carlton Samui

As I’ve mentioned before, word of mouth is a powerful thing. At lunch recently a friend mentioned her stay at the Ritz Carlton Samui, and what I remember from her enthusiastic convo was Big! Big! Big! and New! New! New! Oooooh. Words that stuck like hooks and reeled me in. All this bigness and newness…

Enchanted Rainy Day Hideaway – Keemala Phuket

Rain was lashing against the airplane window as we landed in Phuket and I was taken aback.  It had never occurred to me that it might be raining during my island getaway at Keemala Phuket resort.  It was June –  still the soft launch of rainy season in Thailand, and not the real, heavy flood…

Heritage Hip in China’s Panda City – Temple House Chengdu

It seems obvious to choose Shanghai or Beijing for a first visit to China. I would have done that too, but the minute I heard the words “panda city”, I was headed to Chengdu. I wasn’t even sure exactly where Chengdu was at first, but who cares, when the city is the official panda center…

The Coolest Pool Penthouse in Phuket – Aleenta Resort Phuket, Thailand

What insider insight can I tell you about Phuket, an island so famous, so popular and so commercial that for decades it’s been consistently voted on “World’s Best Islands” lists and whatever other superlatives you can imagine. Well here’s a useful bit of info that might astonish people about this famous island. What most Phuket…

How to Find Bliss in Bhutan – Aman Resorts’ Meditation & Wellness Retreats, September – November

This September – November, luxurious Amankora resorts in the unspoilt Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan offer exclusive wellness experiences to take you on your own inner journeys, while travelling through its elegant lodges around the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Amankora – Meaning of Life Retreat 10th – 18th September If you’ve ever dreamed of an experience that will literally…

6 Unforgettable, Instagrammable, Shareable Things to Do in Bali

I never get tired of visiting Bali, and I go there on a regular basis. Thank goodness for good friends who live there, as well as a growing circle of new friends the more I go there. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the most charming, inviting, relaxing, and photogenic of places to go…

Home sweet home at the secret honey house – Villa Madu Ubud, Bali

I would never have known about Villa Madu in Bali if a friend in Ubud hadn’t suggested it to me (thank you  secret friend! You know who you are!).   It’s one of those under-the-radar places that I’ve never seen before in big magazines, but is known through word-of-mouth, or by people who know people. I…

Where Angkor chic shines – the Shinta Mani, Siem Reap, Cambodia

– Where ancient Khmer motifs infuse contemporary design. Believe it or not, I’ve lived in Bangkok for years and had never been to Cambodia, even though it’s just across the border. Maybe it’s the close proximity, but it never seemed so urgent a destination. The only reason to visit would be to see Angkor Wat, but,…

Ayurveda Weight Loss Holiday – Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Sri Lanka

Sometimes –  usually after I’ve overloaded on too much cake and croissants – my idea of a dream vacation is to go to a nice  seaside health resort to lose weight, eat good food, relax and rest without stepping inside a gym, and do hardly anything .  Hahahaha!  Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. Such places do exist! The hilltop swimming…

The Smog Eaters Are Coming – the Vertical Forest Nanjing, China

Next year, an eco building with 1,100 trees will absorb 25 tons of CO2 per year and produce 60kg of oxygen daily in smoggy China. Big trees fascinate me; the older and bigger, the better. They’re so beautiful, and so majestic. If you’ve seen my Barefoot Luxe Facebook page, there are quite a few posts of beautiful…