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A POPULAR beach property in Thailand has repositioned itself as a five-star modern lifestyle resort to meet luxury tourism demand?.

Located on a private stretch of Bang Tao beach, the 264-room Amora Beach Resort Phuket will re-open in December after a $US14 million (approx. $AU22m) refurb.

In addition to renovated rooms and suites across 13 categories, the resort introduces the new-concept Nora Beach Club, Amora Wellness Center with massage and fitness facilities, Isla restaurant, a kids’ club, two pools, a beachfront events lawn, the Amora Grand Ballroom and four meeting rooms.

“Travellers are now willing to pay a lot more for hotel room rates in Phuket, which has currently achieved a new peak,” said Chaowaphat Siriphatrawan, Amora Hotels & Resorts’ Owner/Director.

“Amora is stepping up our game to provide exceptional experiences and high-quality services and products that make it well worth their while and keep them coming back.”

Each room has a private balcony or terrace with views of either landscaped gardens, pools or the Andaman Sea.

“There is much potential for well-managed five-star resorts in Phuket to be outstanding in meeting the modern lifestyle needs of the travellers of today and Amora is in a strong position to tap into the current opportunities,” said Lars van der Most, Amora Beach Resort Phuket’s General Manager.


EXTENSIVE SAVINGS and a complimentary hotel stay are on offer for a luxury spring voyage ringing Japan in 2025.

Cruise Traveller’s exclusive 16-night package with Azamara Cruises offers savings of at least $3,520 per couple and two free nights in Tokyo pre-cruise for bookings made before November 30.

The deluxe voyage is aboard the elegant and spacious, 702-guest boutique ship, Azamara Pursuit.

The ship offers a pool, two Jacuzzis, seven restaurants and cafes, an elegant drawing room, chic bars, cabaret lounge, observation lounge, spa sanctuary and a gym.

A bonus of the springtime voyage is the chance to enjoy the pink splendour of Japan’s cherry blossom trees.

The holiday begins on April 4, 2025, with a free, two-night stay in Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolis with a population of 37 million people.

Guests then board Azamara Pursuit for a 14-night journey around Japan to Osaka that showcases the rich traditions, colourful customs, lush gardens, futuristic cities and the lavish temples, shrines and palaces that make the country one of the world’s most thrilling and seductive destinations.

Destinations include Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the seaside promenades of Kitakyushu, the temples, markets, gardens and geisha houses of Kanazawa, the sake breweries of Akita, the seafood of Sakaiminato and the ornate palaces and gardens of Kyoto near Osaka.

Including early bird savings, the 16-night package is available from $8,435 per person twin share in an interior cabin – a saving of $1,760 per person.


A NEW property has just opened in one of Bhutan’s most pristine valleys offering 21 luxury tented pool villas.

Pemako Punakha is spread across some 12 hectares of forest and riverside landscape.

It is located on the banks of the Mo Chhu River in Punakha, where the historic Dzong (Fortress of Bliss) stands and also the winter home of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).

Each tented villa is a plush hideaway, featuring a private heated pool, expansive decks, Bhutanese design, Serge Ferrari fabrics, copper fixtures and impressive views. 

Pemako guest experiences are underpinned by Bhutanese hospitality. The Lotus Realm spa is founded and based on Sowa Rigpa – traditional Bhutanese medicine – and guided by Dungtshos (traditional medicine doctor).

A guide/butler is assigned to each guest, who will showcase the hidden intricacies of Bhutanese hospitality.

Guests can discover remote villages, hike along the lush hills of the valley, bike, or try white-water rafting. Buddhist monks and resident experts will accompany every guest as they venture on a journey to self-reflection and equanimity.

Executive Chef Alon oversees the offerings in four outlets and intimate picnic venues. With the Chef’s Table being the highlight, the menus are inspired by the lost flavours of the Himalayas and will change with the seasons to showcase the best products from local farmers.

The property is an 80-minute drive from the capital Thimphu and three-and-a-half hours drive from Paro International Airport.