If you know me, you know that I have quite specific tastes. I’m lucky enough to have travelled fairly extensively, and in a previous life (ie, job), lived out of a suitcase for weeks at […]
Very recently, my wife and I were lucky enough to be invited to join a friend’s table at the Noma Sydney pop-up. Of course, we said yes and immediately started planning our trip. Deciding which […]
The Upper House, Hong Kong launched some six years ago to a great deal of buzz. I remember feeling quite intoxicated just sitting in one of the sexy, semi-private Andre Fu designed private alcoves overlooking […]
Last week, I wrote a little bit about Point Yamu, a newish ultra-luxe property in Phuket opened by COMO Hotels and Resorts. In that post, I said that Point Yamu is my and my wife’s new favourite resort. One of the chief reasons for that is the stunning food. I’m trying my best not to oversell things too much, but I simply have to say that I can’t remember staying in a hotel or resort in which every single meal was as amazing as they were at Point Yamu. To put it as simply as possible, it is — to me at least, right now — the best place in Southeast Asia for an all-inclusive foodie vacation.
Twenty-one years ago, I spent the summer after my freshman year in university working at a beach resort in Phuket. It remains one of the wildest and most fun experiences of my life. That summer, I fell in love with the southern Thai island, located in the Andaman Sea. And for several years after, it remained one of my favorite holiday destinations. Sadly though, as time went by and Phuket became ever increasingly commercialized and congested, and as my favorite undeveloped beaches began to be overrun with gaudy hotels, I lost interest in visiting. Just recently, however, I have discovered a reason to return to Phuket — not just once but again and again. That reason is Point Yamu, a stunning new resort by COMO Hotels and Resorts, located on the eastern side of the island, at the tip of Cape Yamu.
As mentioned in an earlier post, my wife and I decided to take our two year old son to Kyoto for a weeklong holiday. Because we wanted to visit during sakura (cherry blossom) season, we actually booked our tickets almost a year ago and started looking for places to stay, at the recommendation of friends in Kyoto, in early September. Because sakura season (which is the end of March and early April) is so popular, most places get snapped up months in advance. I actually advice booking your own accommodations no later than August the previous year if you can plan that far in advance.
When you stay in a traditional ryokan in Japan, it’s almost always assumed that you’ll be having dinner on property. In many cases, the price of your dinner is automatically included as part of your room rate. And you simply don’t have the option of bowing out of the meal. At HOSHINOYA Kyoto, however, because the resort is both more modern and flexible in its packages and because it caters to guests that often stay for multiple days, guests can choose whether or not they wish to dine on premises. In my opinion though, if one stays at this gorgeous property, it would be a travesty not to have dinner in HOSHINOYA’s restaurant and to taste the truly exceptional cuisine of Chef Ichiro Kubota.
Ever since the HOSHINOYA resort opened in the scenic Arashiyama region of Kyoto in December 2009, I’ve been dying to check into this very special property. While Kyoto, one of my favourite cities in the world, is home to both modern (Western) hotels and ultra-pricey, ultra-exclusive traditional ryokans, HOSHINOYA is unique in that it offers the best of both worlds, in a resort setting unlike any other.