Summer sojourns outside of Thailand
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Summer sojourns outside of Thailand

It’s time for a holiday in the sun, anywhere but here

Summer sojourns outside of Thailand

With the onset of the monsoons coupled with the heat in the Thai capital (and yes, we are talking about the weather, for once), it is time to experience the onslaught of milder summer. Guru By Bangkok Post lists places where you can chill in the cool summer breeze.

An endless Italian summer


• Having opened on June 10, Lido Villeggiatura, A Villa Sant' Andrea Beach Club, lies on the iconic Bay of Mazzaro, and is the first destination beach club under the Belmond portfolio.  The Mediterranean design of Lido Villeggiatura reflects Villa Sant’ Andrea’s journey from a private summer residence in the 50s to a holiday hideaway with moorish influences, antique tiles and ceramics highlighting Sicily’s craftmanship, in the natural surroundings of Isola Bella Nature Reserve. This summer, Lido Villeggiatura has launched a host of activities. From sunrise yoga to watersports; activities include coastal boat trips onboard the new “Apreamare Gozzo 35", with various journeys including a visit to the Nature Reserve of Isola Bella for snorkelling.

In the evening, expect live DJ sets and cinema under the stars. Wellness isn’t far behind with beachside aromatherapy centred around energy revival, and complimentary sunrise yoga classes. Throughout the summer, DJs seamlessly shift the atmosphere from day to night with aperitivos at sunset paired with seafood barbecue bites. The annual Midsummer-Night Party on Aug 14 will be a Mediterranean-style feast. 

• At Caruso, experience a journey through the Amalfi Coast discovering its most authentic traditions that pay homage to the concept of la Dieta Mediterranea, as curated by executive chef Armando Aristarco. On July 3 and Aug 10, chef Aristarco will showcase rare local produce such as the white fig of Cilento. Caruso also has guided walks along Le Formichelle trail from Ravello to Amalfi. If walking isn’t your thing, jump aboard the “Aprea Gozzo" for a picturesque journey through the enchanting protected Bay of Leranto. The Caruso remains open until Oct 27.

• Romazzino on the Costa Smeralda offeres Michele Busiri Vici architecture and emerald waters complimented by a variety of coastal experiences. Its activities programme offers water and land activities such as paddle-boarding, water skiing, hikes in Pevero among the wind-sculpted rocks of Gallura, or tennis and paddle with sea views. To further explore Sardinia, private boat tours can be organised to the islands of La Maddalena and Caprera for snorkelling adventures among the marine life. Visits to the villages of San Pantaleo or Porto Rafael are also a must. The Romazzino will remain open until Sept 30.

• Set amidst Tuscan rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves, Castello di Casole embraces the concept of “dolce far niente” — the art of doing nothing. Whether strolling through picturesque landscapes, lounging by the infinity pool, relaxing in one of the two newly refurbished villas or embarking on a bike tour. Every Sunday throughout autumn, La Domenica del Villaggio welcomes guests to indulge in a traditional Tuscan sagra, complete with live cooking, music and local producers showcasing the region's cultural heritage and traditions. Expert-led truffle hunts across the surrounding 3,200 acres take place throughout September and October. Finally, recognised as residing under "one of Italy's most beautiful skies" by Astronomitaly, the astronomical tourism network, the hotel hosts weekly  stargazing dinners and cinema nights, embodying the essence of Italian summer. Castello di Casole will be open until Nov 17.

• The Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como offers the private hire of Villa Sola Cabiati, a beautifully preserved example of Italian neoclassical design, once home to the Dukes of Serbelloni, available all year round. Top off your Lake Como luxury living with a boat excursion or a stay in the new idyllic and spacious suite perched on the Palace’s rooftop.

• Described as Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s sleek sister downshore, Passalacqua sits proudly in the quaint lakeside village of Moltrasio. A private home since 1787, the property has been transformed into a once-on-a-century hotel after three years of restoration. At Passalacqua, it is all about reviving the lost art of travel known as “villeggiatura” and making new memories.

The allure of island living


• Aman’s two Caribbean homes, Amanyara in Turks & Caicos and Amanera in the Dominican Republic, offer the balm of sun and sand this summer in breathtaking natural settings. 

• Blissfully secluded in the Culo Archipelago, Mother Nature reigns supreme on Amanpulo, Aman’s private island resort, surrounded by waters teeming with marine life and backed by a flourishing jungle. 

• From Bali's cultural heart to Moyo Island's hidden shores, Aman’s five properties across Indonesia showcase the nation’s rich tapestry of arts, customs, cuisine and traditions. 

• Take to the waters surrounding Manhattan Island on board Aman New York’s new fleet of motor yachts. Cruise along the Hudson River at dusk, taking in the sights, before docking and returning to Aman's urban sanctuary.

• Unwind and recharge at the Bawah Reserve Indonesia. Nestled amidst the beauty of six pristine islands, featuring 13 secluded beaches and three crystal-clear lagoons, the Bawah Reserve offers invigorating hikes through jungles, scuba diving and snorkelling adventures. Each person enjoys meals, fresh juices, activities and one spa treatment per night. 

An epicurean adventure on wheels


Join Lorna McNee, head chef of the Michelin-starred Cail Bruich in Glasgow, Scotland, on an exclusive three-night journey aboard The Royal Scotsman from Aug 16-19. The luxurious sleeper train adventure through the Scottish Highlands includes wine and whisky tastings, seafood by the bay, a barbecue in the Cairngorms and onboard gourmet dinners. Accompanied by food anthropologist Ghillie Basan and survival skills expert Zeki Basan, guests will explore Scotland’s culinary treasures. Additionally, the Royal Scotsman unveils two new Grand Suites this month, showcasing the finest in local craftsmanship and Scottish elegance.

A dose of indulgence


• The Cadogan in Chelsea, London, introduces the “Teresa Tarmey Wellness Experience”, a holistic wellness package including luxury accommodation, a well-being treatment for two, in-room yoga mat and a departure gift from the Teresa Tarmey skincare line. Additionally, The Cadogan Cart, a pop-up gelato stand on the hotel’s terrace, serves artisanal gelato crafted with seasonal ingredients, offering flavours like Bronte Pistachio and New Forest English Strawberry. Open daily, this pop-up promises a delightful summer treat.

• The Lanesborough, London has launched the an art programme with The Kensington and Chelsea Art Week, an unmissable highlight on London’s summer culture calendar. The hotel features as a location in a brand new outdoor exhibition for 2024, being the first family friendly trail entitled “Kids Go Wild”. The free trail features 11 bronze sculptures created by British and Australian artists, Gillie and Marc. Their project “A Wild Life For Wildlife” will roam the Brompton Road and King’s Road to raise awareness for endangered animals. With QR codes connected with the sculpture, kids and adults will be transported to important information about the different animals' lives, needs and threats. Running until Aug 30, The Lanesborough will also be home to a Giant Tortoise.

The beating heart of Oxfordshire 


• The Raymond Blanc Cookery School in Oxford, UK, offers a deep dive into the world of culinary delights. From half-day introductions to residential programmes, there's something for everyone, including children's courses. Learn to create phenomenal cuisine in a fun, relaxed setting. Many courses focus on recipes important to Raymond Blanc, offering a hands-on opportunity to develop culinary skills. This is where a natural love of food is nurtured into beautiful and imaginative dishes

• Step into the warm embrace of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and discover the most glorious county in the UK. With summer on the horizon, seize the opportunity to wander the vibrant gardens, where the backdrop of radiant sunflower meadows await — a perfect pairing with the crispness of a glass of Veuve Clicquot in hand. As day turns to night, anticipate an evening filled with gastronomic discoveries; each new dish is a celebration of flavour, ingenuity, and finesse. Whether you can slip away for a day or two or escape a little longer, discover the joy this season.

The golden age reimagined


The recent opening of the Royal Mansour Casablanca is a reincarnation of the architecture of its golden age. In the heart of the Art Deco town centre, a new story begins in the White City with 149 rooms, suites and private apartments, three restaurants including a 23rd-floor one with a 360° view over the city and the ocean, spa and fitness areas on two floors, a conference centre and a ballroom. The Royal Mansour Casablanca is part of the continuity of a rich history, breathing new life into a special place in the city and in the hearts of the people of Casablanca.

In hills of the French Riviera


Blending a hint of modernity with a warm atmosphere, Château Saint-Martin & Spa, the Oetker Collection Masterpiece Hotel, is home to 41 rooms, suites and junior suites, as well as six private villas. The summer sees the introduction of the new, 69m2 Junior Suite L’Atelier, featuring a living area and spacious dressing room, as well as a luxurious bathroom with steam shower, bathtub and an outdoor stone shower. Completing the suite, a beautiful loggia allows guests to step into the open air and take in the breathtaking views over the Vence hillside. The three-bedroom Villa Saint-Martin will launch its private outdoor swimming pool, and the one-bedroom Villa Riou has been updated with an outdoor hot tub. 

“Les Estivales”, the Château’s swoon-worthy summer soirées, are back for the third season in a row. In the gardens, bordered by century-old olive trees and lavender, guests are invited to discover a delicious Provençal inspired buffet prepared for the occasion by executive chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois. A local abundance of rotisserie meats, cheeses, craft beers, fresh fruits and vegetables, and Niçoise delicacies will be presented for enjoyment, accompanied by the sweet creations of pastry chef Tanya Colella. The festive event takes place on July 4, July 18, Aug 1, Aug 15 and Aug 29.

Hidden marvels in urban escapes

• The Rosewood Hong Kong offers immersive culinary workshops that ignite your senses and creativity. From mastering the art of pizza-making to crafting delectable cookies and pasta, embark on flavourful adventures that will delight your tastebuds and mind. The hotel is also offering contemporary art excursions at M+, peruse captivating exhibitions at HKMoA and a unique painting workshop led by acclaimed Hong Kong artist Angel Hui Hoi Kiu.

• “Eggspression — An Immersive Art Experience” has debuted at Galaxy Macau. The first part of the exhibition features "Eggs Fall From The Sky", a masterpiece by Henk Hofstra, marking its first appearance in Macau and its first large-scale indoor display globally. The enormous "sunny egg" installation aims at raising awareness about global warming. Resembling the sun, these installations offer visitors the warmth of sunlight at Galaxy Promenade and GalaxyArt. Hofstra has also created a unique egg-shaped installation called "Loving Birds” adorned with heart-shaped eggs, flower petals, clouds and trees, emphasising the importance of life, love, wholesomeness, and positive energy.

The second part of the exhibition showcases "The Egg House", a multi-sensory experience created by Biubiu Xu, the founder of Sense Creation Inc., along with a group of young artists and designers from New York. “The Egg House" features Ellis, an egg whose name evokes the whimsical story of "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland". The artists ingeniously blend egg elements into the foyer, living room, bedroom, kitchen and even bathroom, making every corner filled with surprises and transforming the ordinary egg into something extraordinary. 

During the exhibition, the chefs from Galaxy Macau will create limited-edition dishes inspired by eggs and incorporating holistic health concepts, unlocking the extraordinary "flavour" hidden in this seemingly ordinary ingredient. During the exhibition, guests wth an admission ticket will be eligible for a 20% discount on selected "Eggspression" dishes and drinks at the designated restaurants. “Eggspression — An Immersive Art Experience” runs at Galaxy Promenade and GalaxyArt at Galaxy Macau until Oct 7. 

Personalised cruise vacation guide

Oceania Cruises has relaunched the “Cruise Vacation Guide”, bringing travellers a personalised portfolio inclusive of pre-cruise information before setting sail. Received by guests prior to embarkation, the Cruise Vacation Guide will include a personalised welcome letter from Oceania Cruises President, Frank A. Del Rio, a “Welcome Aboard” booklet with general cruise information and a deck-by-deck guide per vessel, four reusable luggage tags and personalised luggage tag inserts that are customised with the guest’s name, sail date, ship and stateroom and colour coordinated based on booking category. The guide will be shipped to guests 60 to 70 days prior to their embarkation date. 

Month-long campaign 

"Discover Cambodia", which runs throughout August, will feature an array of extraordinary activities, memorable meals, exclusive discounts and more. 

• Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh will host an exclusive Khmer dinner and dance performance, in addition to a special cocktail menu inspired by famous Cambodian singers at the hotel’s iconic Elephant Bar.

• Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap will offer an extraordinary "Golden Age Tasting Menu" from Aug 1-10, as well as an exclusive Sunday Champagne Brunch on Aug 4 celebrating 1960s Cambodian pop music with the Khmer Magic Music Bus.

• ibis Styles Siem Reap will serve an afternoon "Cambodian Delights" buffet on Aug 2, a "Carb-up Pasta Fiesta" buffet on Aug 3 and a "Weekend Late Breakfast" buffet on Aug 4.

• Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort will present a special Khmer cocktail promotion and Asian High Tea from Aug 1-10.

• Tribe Phnom Penh Post Office Square will offer a traditional Khmer-themed dinner at Hemisphere Sky Bar, with a concert by Sok Visal spotlighting the golden age of Cambodia and live dance performances on Aug 15.

• Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra will host a kids’ camp with tennis, badminton, taekwondo, football and more, along with cooking classes, treasure hunts and creative challenges. The camp will run throughout August. 

• Novotel Phnom Penh BKK 1 will host a special Basque culinary event that promises to delight both food enthusiasts and music lovers, on Aug 16-17.

• Novotel Sihanoukville Holiday Resort will offer a Khmer Set Menu from Aug 20-30.

Summer events and performances

The Danang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF 2024) themed "Made In Unity" spans two summer months and features eight teams from France, Italy, the US, Germany, Poland, China, Finland and Vietnam. The grand finale is set for July 13 at the fireworks stage by the Han River with the brilliance of 46,561 fireworks. 

• The Awaken River show will take places on the western bank of the Han River daily at 5.30pm.

• The multi-experiential show "Symphony Of River" tells stories in rhyme and fairy tales about the Han River at 8.30pm.

• The Roi Viet show is performed by the artists from the Vietnam Puppet Theatre at the Au O Theatre. 

• At Sun World Ba Na Hills, the Fairy Blossom show brings a dazzling art garden amidst the clouds and mountains. 

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