There’s nothing like the tried-and-true recipe of sand and sea that will calm your frazzled nerves from your hectic city life. While an idyllic beach getaway at a Bintan resort or a secluded villa in Bali often carries a whiff of romance about it, beach vacations don’t just have to be for honeymooning couples if you pick the right place to stay. Why not consider living it up at one of the beach villas with your BFF instead?
From architecturally modern treetop villas to yoga-by-the-beach experiences, we’ve rounded up a list of beach resorts perfect for you and your BFF to stay at. Viva la villa, we say!
1. For a holistic wellness experience: Club Med Bintan Island, Bintan Island
True story: Amid a whirlwind of busy work schedules, you and your BFF have barely had time for each other. If you’re looking to take time out to reconnect with each other, Club Med Bintan Island has a smorgasbord of wellness activities for you to recharge and rejuvenate together. And its but a mere hop away on a ferry to Bintan.
Opt to soothe your soul with a spot of yoga by the beach at sunset, or pamper yourself with the various wellness treatments such as the age-old Ayurvedic rituals or the Thalasso treatment that uses sea minerals to cleanse your body. Apart from this, the resort also goes the extra mile to ensure you stay refreshed with fresh slow-pressed juices and healthy, nutritious buffets.
Rooms: Prices start from S$595 for 3 nights for a cosy Club Room with your own private balcony.
Getting There: Take the Bintan ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and you’ll be inhaling the fresh Bintan Island air in under an hour.
2. For partying till dawn: eqUILIBRIA SEMINYAK, Bali
Party animals looking to embrace the frantic pace of Bali will do well to lay their heads down at eqUILIBRIA SEMINYAK. It’s conveniently located in the heart of Bali in Seminyak, a stone’s throw away from ‘Eat Street’ – a bustling hive of activity where you can shop and eat your heart out alongside your BFF.
Then, after experiencing the boisterous nightlife that Bali has to offer, make your retreat to the resort for the perfect hangover pad. Come in August, or late December, when renowned clubs like Potato Head and Kudeta bring in international headline acts like Ellie Goulding and Mark Ronson to throw the biggest parties in the region.
Rooms: Prices start from S$330 per night for a Pool Villa with garden and pool views.
Getting There: Grab a taxi to ‘Eat Street’, the centre of Seminyak, and you’ll be there in a jiffy.
3. For an enchanting treetop experience: Keemala Hotel, Phuket
Nestled within lush tropical greenery, Keemala Hotel’s set of strikingly designed pool villas make for an otherworldly vision, resembling a fleet of spaceships much more than the luxury resort it actually is.
But luckily, it is indeed possible to stay in one of the world’s unique resorts for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – preferably with your best bud. Stay close to nature at the Bird’s Nest Pool Villa, which comes kitted out with a private infinity pool, rough-hewn furniture designs inspired by the surrounding environment, and a view of the Phuket coastline and the Andaman sea beyond.
Rooms: Prices start from $566 per night for a ground-level Clay Pool Cottage and $797 for their signature Bird’s Nest Pool Villa.
Getting There: Located on the west coast of Phuket, Keemala Hotel is a 10 mins’ drive away from Kamala Beach and a 40 mins’ drive from Phuket International Airport.
4. For an award-winning hideaway that’s got something for everyone: Rayavadee, Krabi
If award-winning hospitality is what you’re hankering after, then it’s time to kick back and relax on one of three white-sand beaches in Rayavadee. This 5-star beachfront resort in Krabi is sprawled across landscaped gardens, and huge pools sculpted into the shoreline and are surrounded by the island’s dramatic limestone cliffs.
Give yourself and your best friend a special treat with their extensive range of tailor-made packages for pampering and relaxation. Don’t miss out on dining at the hotel restaurant The Grotto, which serves up Thai-Mediterranean fare under an illuminated cave on the edge of Phranang Beach.
Rooms: Prices start from S$489 for a Deluxe Pavilion for two, or $1,065 for a Hydro Pool Pavilion with a private plunge pool.
Getting There: Arrange for a private speedboat trip to the resort pier from Phuket, or board the local ferry which operates between Krabi and Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Lanta Islands.
5. For a quick weekend getaway:Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Langkawi Island
For a more affordable pick-me-up that’s just a quick jaunt away from Singapore, schedule some much-needed rest and relaxation at Berjaya Langkawi Resort. It’s so near to the airport that you can easily jet-set into Langkawi Island and escape from the hustle and bustle of Singapore in under three hours.
Cocooned within the tropical rainforest of Burau Bay in Langkawi Island, the popular resort is home to abundant wildlife, a private beach, and cosy wooden chalets scattered across the jungle. Don’t be surprised to find macaques, dusky leaf monkeys or crimson sunbirds basking in the shade of your private balcony. Evening jungle walks are also available for those looking to venture deeper into nature.
For a change of scenery, explore the nearby Kilim Geoforest Park – a UNESCO World Heritage park featuring protected mangroves, lagoons, bat caves, and wild flora and fauna.
Rooms: Prices start from S$175 per night for a basic but spacious Rainforest Chalet. Or else you can splash out and stay at the luxurious Premier Chalet on Water – built on stilts along the coastline – for S$266 per night.
Getting There: Located 20 min away from Langkawi International Airport, its convenient location and ease of access means you can spend more time at the beach and the surrounding rainforest.
6. For secluded eco-luxury: Pangalusian Island Resorts, Palawan Island
No list of beach vacations would feel complete without mentioning the Philippines and its 7,000 islands. In Palawan, the remote beauty at Pangalusian Island in El Nido is an exclusive gateway to the powder-fine beaches and pellucid waters that beg to be explored, making it an ideal getaway for an intrepid pair of best buds. Set against a tropical forest, this private beach resort is the crowning jewel in the renowned El Nido Resorts’ chain of luxury beachfront villas.
You’ll find scuba courses and access to more than 20 dives sites here, as well as boat tours of mangroves and secret lagoons. Be on the keen lookout for more than 50 species of coral, whale sharks, sea cows, endangered turtles and other rich marine life that swarm the surrounding waters.
Rooms: Prices start from S$1,002 per night for a Canopy Villa and includes free use of snorkelling gear and kayak (subject to availability). Rooms are frequently sold out, so make sure to book ahead.
Getting There: A 55-minute domestic flight takes you from Manila to El Nido, Palawan. From there, you can arrange with the resort for a 45-minute boat ride to Pangulasian Island.
Whether it’s partying all night or exploring the vibrant marine life at an island resort, you’ll want to witness these unique experiences alongside an important person in your life. So why not your BFF? There’s nothing quite like the comfort and ease that comes with a lasting friendship while you’re on vacation. There might only be one thing as enjoyable: lazing on an idyllic beach with a cocktail in your hand as you squint against the sun.