Isolation + vacation. Get it?
If there’s anything COVID-19 has shown us about what the travel industry will be like post-pandemic, it’s that Staycations are out and Isocations are in! We’re all itching to travel again. Heck, even I woke up from a dream about missing my flight because I couldn’t decide which beach hat to pack. Where was I headed to? We’ll never know.
Once country borders start re-opening and people are able to hop on a plane again, we foresee a trend of individuals, partners, or even friends and families going on ‘rejuvenating getaways’ outside of the city, away from popular hotspots. These getaways, which are mostly set in villas with their own private beaches or secluded winter cabins with an indoor fireplace, are made for those looking to go on a holiday but still anxious about crowds.
Now that we’ve cleared up what this new buzzword is all about, here are our top picks of where you can get some of that #Isocation fix!
Villa Tantangan, Bali
From the slideshow above, you’re able to see a stunning photo that showcases a gorgeous bird’s eye view of Villa Tantangan and it’s surrounding 8,200 square metre land. Situated in the Tabanan regency of Bali near the famous Tanah Lot Temple, this spacious yet intimate clifftop villa sleeps up to six guests and is a literal heaven for those wishing to be awaken to panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
Go completely off the grid in luxury and allow the villa’s staffs to pamper you as you enjoy the sunrise and sunset in your own oasis each day. 30-minute by car to Canggu and 45-minutes to Seminyak town? That’s not a concern given that you plan to be social distancing anyway. What more with your own private chef available for hire at the villa. Plus, complimentary breakfast is served daily, so that’s another way to start your days right!
Read more: Villa Tantangan, a Clifftop Bali Refuge
Ban Sairee, Koh Samui
Ban Sairee is set on three acres of green grounds on the southern coast of Samui island – which makes it ideal for extended families or large group of friends looking for a luxurious beachfront retreat in a tranquil and private setting! Rest assured you’ll be treated (and fed) like royalty from the moment you step foot into the charming Ayutthaya-style villa, because if there’s one thing past guests can’t stop raving about, it’s the villa staff’s top-notch hospitality.
With the ability to accommodate up to 20 guests across its nine bedrooms, this flower hedged-lawn garden estate is massive enough that it also houses enough facilities to keep you and your group occupied throughout your stay. Think seafood BBQ by the sea terrace, a game of tennis or badminton in your own private court, laps around the infinity pool, Thai massage at the waterfront gazebo and kayaking in the cove. What can we say? It’s relaxation guaranteed!
Read more: Beachfront Retreat Ban Sairee, Koh Samui
Transport yourself to the most aesthetically-pleasing villa in Phuket. This private five-bedroom hillside estate in Ao Po is clad in a white facade that matches perfectly with the Aegean blue sea in front of it. If you’re the kind who likes to spend days on end chilling by the pool, do take note of the villa’s 20-metre infinity pool with jacuzzi jets and sweeping views over Phang Nga Bay. On the other hand, if you’re an avid golfer, you’d be pleased to know that there’s a four hole putting green on the mezzanine terrace surrounding the lounge area.
True to it’s name (fun fact: ‘nautilus’ is derived from the Greek word ‘nautílos’ which literally means ‘sailor’), many of the villa’s exterior and interior design are mostly sea-inspired. For example, the dining area is built into an open-plan living room, where a yacht-shaped kitchen island table sits proudly. Given that its location is well away from the tourist crowds, Villa Nautilus is definitely a good option if you’re searching for a taste of modern luxury on the island’s quiet east coast.
Read more: 8 Phuket Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers
Claughton House, Sri Lanka
Designed by world-famous architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa, this dramatic eight-acre property is perched on a hilltop in Tangalle, Sri Lanka. An idyllic setup for a unforgettable escape, Claughton House offers a large space (five en-suite, air-conditioned bedrooms to be exact!) for guests to unwind in style and most importantly, privacy.
Beneath the property is the quiet white-sand Kudawella Beach which guests are able to exclusively access by foot from the garden. The best part? It is also seasonally safe for swimming and surfing! Though it’s not close to many of the country’s top attractions, there’s plenty of activities you can do at the villa to keep yourself occupied. For example: Arrange a curry cooking class with the resident chef, rent a yoga mat for early morning sun salutations at the dedicated yoga Sala or have a mini table tennis competition among your group. Loser has to do extra laps in the pool!
Read more: When is the Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka?
Yanagi House, Niseko
Have children who love playing in the snow but still aren’t old enough to participate in ski lessons? If the answer is yes, then boy, have we found a good fit for you! Designed for large groups or families who value space and privacy on their winter getaway, Yanagi House is a modern four-bed three-bath home that offers unrivalled privacy and tranquillity in a beautiful forested setting. Due to it being in the East Village, a less busy part of the ski resort, this accommodation is a great alternative if you have elder family members who prefer more room compared to the cramped options up at central Hirafu.
That said, while it is located 2.5km from the center of Hirafu, everything in Niseko is just a short drive away. The house also comes furnished with a fully-equipped western-style kitchen and an internal garage. This means that guests can rent a car, complete a quick grocery run in Kutchan (getting to MaxValu supermarket takes only 9 minutes!), come back and cook a warm meal for the whole family.
At the end of the day, holidays are meant to make memories with the people you care about most. End your nights playing board games by the gas fireplace or hang out together (sans phones) in the media room downstairs. Who knows, you might just leave your #Isocation with more love for one another…or maybe not.
Read more: 6 Things About Niseko We Miss The Most