The exotic East is closer than you think, as COLLEEN REID found out
orget taking a 14-hour flight to discover the beauty of the Far East, now you can enjoy the breathtaking surroundings, dining and hospitality just two hours away. Situated a short distance from Alicante, Asia Gardens is the perfect getaway for those looking for a touch of Thailand closer to home. Upon entering Asia Gardens, we are immediately greeted by a gathering of gorgeous lilac trees, known as Prunus Cerasifera, which immediately place you in another world. The gardens host some 60 varieties of plants and fragrant flowers and along with scattered waterfalls and water features they create a tranquil ambiance within minutes of entering the five-star resort.
Resting over three levels in the foothills of the striking Sierra Cortina Mountains, the hotel and Thai Spa draws on Asian-inspired architecture to ensure all guests truly lose themselves. Set in an acre of forest, the resort promises to provide a holistic and truly unique holidaying experience and it definitely delivers. In the main lobby, a glass wall provides a picturesque view out to the Mediterranean Sea, whilst themed antiques and artifacts set the Asian premise of the main building. Asia Gardens has 312 Balinese style guestrooms that are elegantly sprinkled with Eastern delights such as complimentary kimono robes and slippers. Furnished with Eastern style furniture and decorated in Oriental themes,
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itâ€™s easy to forget you are only a two-hour flight from Scotland. Through Japanese style sliding doors, the luxurious bathrooms feature walk-in showers alongside large baths while all rooms also have private balconies or terraces ensuring seclusion to unwind and soak up the sun. If technology is your thing, a cutting edge surround sound system, iPod dock, 32-inch plasma screen and Wi-Fi are provided in each room, if only to keep the other half happy as you sunbathe outside. Adding to the serenity, are the treatments available within the Spa. Offering a multitude of ways to unwind, from aroma massages to hot stone treatments, the spa is
definitely the place to forget about any stresses at home. Tatami style beds are available with experienced staff so you can enjoy scrubs and wraps to prepare your skin for the sun-kissed look. After being pampered enjoy a Turkish bath and for those with achy joints, take a dip in the hydrotherapy pool for soothing relief. The spa also plays host to the perfect honeymoon or romantic getaway with private cabins where couples can enjoy Thai massages and reflexology amongst other treatments together. Afterwards, couples can head into the sun where a lush private garden and petal strewn bath awaits. Spotted around the resort are some seven swimming
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pools, three of which are heated for those keen to take a dip before the sun comes out. Or if you are looking for peace and quiet, a series of infinity pools stretch out surrounded by rattan sun-loungers. Also a child-friendly resort, Asia Gardens have set aside family rooms with a separate swimming pool allocated and a kids club situated close by to keep the little ones entertained. With plenty to do for all guests such as cycling, a fitness centre for those gym fanatics, spa facilities and not one but two 18-hole golf courses (designed by Jack Nicklaus, we must add) to keep him happy, all you have to worry about is which bar to visit next. After a tough day of massages and sun, we take our pick of the wealth of dining options. With three a la Carte restaurants to choose from we are spoilt for choice. For those wishing to try a little bit of everything, In Black is a chic gourmet restaurant offering international dishes, while for a taste of Asia, Koh Samui is definitely the choice whereas pool side Palapa reminds guests that they are in fact on the Mediterranean coast. An informal buffet style menu ideal for families is available in Udiapur where
both inside and outside seating is available so diners can enjoy the sunset over the mountains during dinner. After dinner, the stylish champagne bar opens serving up glitzy champagne cocktails the Sex and the City girls would envy. After cocktails we sit back and relax in the Bonsai Bar and Terrace for drinks and enjoy the evening entertainment. This perfect little piece of Asia makes the Far East reachable to those unable to handle the long-haul flight and will have you running back to de-stress year after year.
NEED TO KNOW: Room prices for a ‘Double Deluxe’ start at €242 rising to €384 during August. This price is per night, per room for bed and breakfast based on two sharing. Spa prices vary depending what treatments you require. There are a range of massages available including ‘hot stone massage’ (€125), ‘4 hands massage’ (€155) and thai massage (€95) plus a choice of other treatments including ‘Scrub & Body Lotion’ (€80) and ‘Thai Hand Basic Manicures (€55). For more information and a full list of treatments, visit www.asiagardens.es
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