BUZZ

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Lo­cated on the small, un­spoilt is­land of Koh Yao Noi in the mid­dle of Phang Nga Bay, half way be­tween Phuket and Krabi, the new Cape Kudu Ho­tel de­liv­ers a light, bright coastal aes­thetic and fan­tas­tic views of the re­gion’s dra­matic lime­stone karst is­lands.

Of­fi­cially opened in Jan­uary by Thai­land’s Princess Sirind­horn, the new­est mem­ber of Small Lux­ury Ho­tels of the World has 55 gue­strooms in­clud­ing 11 pool vil­las and one premium Robin­son Cru­soe suite.

There’s a bit of Cape Cod-meets-the-Ba­hamas about this Thai re­sort with its white­washed tim­bers, pale grey and blue fab­rics, sunny bal­conies and, in the pool vil­las, linen-swathed four poster beds.

All the re­sort mod cons are here. There’s free Wi-Fi, satel­lite TV and ev­ery lux­ury bath­room comes with a deep tub. This is a quiet is­land, away from the hub­bub of downtown Phuket, but re­sort man­age­ment offers plenty to keep guests busy with pad­dle­boards and kayaks, bi­cy­cles and a range of classes from batik print­ing or cook­ing to Thai box­ing. A day spa opens later this year.

At the front of the re­sort a hand­some infinity pool and ter­race are set above the An­daman Sea with long views of the emer­ald wa­ters of Phang Nga Bay.

Ac­cess to Cape Kudu is easy — 20 min­utes from Phuket’s in­ter­na­tional air­port to the re­sort’s pri­vate lux­ury lounge at Bang Rong Pier, then a 30-minute speed­boat ride to the is­land.

DON’T MISS:

Or­der­ing a pic­nic from the kitchen, be­fore book­ing a clas­sic vin­tage car to ex­plore the is­land in style. Or bor­row one of the re­sort’s bikes and visit the vil­lage mar­ket.

DIN­ING IN: Chef Chan (aka Mr Wichan­suek) over­sees Horn­bill Restau­rant and Cafe Kan­tary us­ing veg­eta­bles and herbs grown in the re­sort’s own or­ganic gar­den. Sig­na­ture dishes in­clude ro­tis­serie chicken and Thai favourites such as liang leaves with egg, stir-fried crab in chilli and tom yum Kung “Eg­gstraor­di­nary”. For dessert, go for the sticky co­conut rice with mango crepes.

DIN­ING OUT: Be sure to try the lo­cal ro­tis. Ask the ho­tel staff for di­rec­tions to the lit­tle shop that stuffs roti with fresh co­conut meat.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Have the concierge whis­tle up a long-tailed boat and let the lo­cal boat­men be your guides. They know myr­iad “hid­den gems” in­clud­ing beau­ti­ful se­cluded beaches, ex­cel­lent snorkelling spots and is­lands bristling with mon­keys. Or book a sun­set cruise with canapes and bub­bles aboard the re­sort’s yacht.

CHECK­ING IN: Rooms from $160. Pool vil­las from $279. Rates in­clude break­fast and are valid un­til the end of Septem­ber. More: capekuduho­tel.com.

ALSO TRY: The St Regis Langkawi Re­sort, Malaysia; The San­chaya Bin­tan, In­done­sia.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE Tucked away on Bali’s un­spoilt east coast over­look­ing the world fa­mous Kera­mas surf break, the Ho­tel Ko­mune Bai has added 22 ocean-view suites, each with a pri­vate pool and sun deck and rang­ing in size from two to six be­d­rooms; prices start at $US199 ($258) a night • Guests check­ing into YWCA NSW’s newly re­fur­bished and re­branded Song Ho­tel op­po­site Syd­ney’s Hyde Park, or din­ing at the in-house Song Kitchen headed by chef Char­lotte Gon­za­les, will be help­ing to sup­port vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence; 100 per cent of the ho­tel’s prof­its fund the YWCA NSW’s ser­vice • Dou­bleTree by Hil­ton opens later this year on Lambton Quay in downtown Welling­ton in the iconic T & G Build­ing; the seven-storey ho­tel will fea­ture 108 gue­strooms in­clud­ing 21 suites, a restau­rant, bar and gym • Reser­va­tions are now avail­able for The Whitby Ho­tel New York; this lat­est of­fer­ing from de­sign-savvy Fir­m­dale Ho­tels opened last Mon­day • Un­til the end of March chil­dren eat for free at the Oaks Oa­sis Re­sort on the Sun­shine Coast; two-night packages from $318 for an ex­ec­u­tive fam­ily room in­clude break­fast daily for par­ents and all meals gratis for chil­dren un­der 12 • Book five nights at The Westin Langkawi Re­sort & Spa and save 22 per cent; packages from $546 a per­son twin-share, break­fast in­cluded; of­fer avail­able un­til Jan­uary.

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