Pool with a view: Swim somewhere special in Southeast Asia

Topas Ecolodge, Sapa, Vietnam

Up in the clouds? Over the city? Hidden in the forest? Whether you like to do a few lengths, or float idly by, we challenge you to find anywhere more beautiful to take to the water than these hotels.

Best pool views in Southeast Asia

Topas Ecolodge, Sapa, Vietnam

Topas Ecolodge, Sapa, Vietnam

With mountain ranges, walking trails, fascinating ethnic minority tribes and sustainable credentials to boot, Topas Ecolodge has it all. Plus, it’s only a short drive from Sapa, making it easily accessible. If you’re after a swish and shiny international hotel, this isn’t your best bet, but if you dream of ditching Wi-Fi in favour of a unique stay in a breathtaking setting, you can’t go far wrong.

Diary of a hiker: 48 hours in Sapa, Vietnam

Song Saa, Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island - Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia

Ever dreamt of escaping the mainland for your very own private island? At Song Saa this dream becomes a reality - less shipwrecked-searching-for-food-and-building-shelter, more spa treatments, fine dining and snorkelling colourful coral reefs. If sitting down in paradise gets boring (as if), there are yoga and meditation classes, kayaking experiences and conservation activities. The Maldives have got nothing on this.

Luxury Cambodia, A beach break on Koh Rong

The Beige, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Beige, Siem Reap, glamping in Cambodia

Cast aside preconceptions about leaky tarpaulin and wonky poles, the tents at The Beige give any luxury hotel room a run for its money. As well as ten hectares of land to play in, each of the tents (only six in total) has its own private terrace and a desk with a view. Perfect for penning that novel you’ve been meaning to write.

There's a farm-to-table restaurant, a decked area with a firepit (a nod to the more conventional camping experience) and a ‘floating forest pool’, an infinity pool with views over the trees. All this just 15 minutes from the famous Angkor temples.

L'Alyana Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Vietnam

L'Alyana, Ninh Van Bay luxury hotel

If you thought popular beach escape Nha Trang was idyllic, take the 30-minute journey to the peaceful, paradisal Ninh Van Bay. This cove feels like a secret hideout complete with thick forests, soft sandy beaches and waters so clear you can spot the coral from the surface.

Wooden villas have large terraces, private pools and views of the lush headland reaching into the water; the more eccentric have an indoor swing too! If you can tear yourself away from the beach, take out a kayak, try Vietnamese cooking and round off your days with a spa treatment.

The Riverside Boutique, Vang Vieng, Laos

Riverside Boutique - Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng has worked hard to shake off its reputation as a haven for partying backpackers. Having closed the all-night bars and boozy tubing afternoons, these days the area is known as a haven for outdoorsy types with opportunities to go hiking, climbing, kayaking, quad biking and caving. The rooms at the Riverside Boutique are simple and comfortable, but with towering karst mountains and the Nam Song River beyond, the real wow factor is the setting.

5 unique cultural experiences in Laos

Sol Bungalows, Mai Chau, Vietnam

Sol Bungalows - Mai Chau, Vietnam

Three hours from Hanoi and up into the hills awaits Mai Chau, an area with nothing but small villages, green rice paddies, patchwork fields and traditional stilted houses. Tucked within a valley, Sol Bungalows are swallowed up on all sides by jungle clad mountains. Wake up early to see clouds gently sit on the summit. Outdoor adventure types will love getting out into the local area, but there are plenty of cultural things to get involved in too with cooking, weaving and dance classes.

Lasenta, Hoi An, Vietnam

Lasenta hotel, Hoi An

Lasenta has the best of both worlds. Not only is it just 1.5km from the centre of Hoi An – arguably Vietnam’s most beautiful little town – but it backs on to expansive green fields, views broken up by nothing more than the odd tree or thatched hut. Rent a bicycle, do a yoga class, relax in the spa and take your pick of smart bedroom with either town or field view.

6 of the best things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam

Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, Laos

Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, Laos

Despite the popularity of UNESCO World Heritage Town Luang Prabang, the gilded temples, gentle pace and warm welcome still surprise and delight first time visitors. Belmond La Residence Phou Vao is just a walk away from the city’s highlights, but the French-influenced suites have three-acre gardens, countryside views for miles and the sparkling Mekong River and looming Mount Phousi beyond.

Pu Luong Retreat, Pu Luong, Vietnam

Puluong Retreat - Pu Luong, Vietnam 1

Despite feeling wonderfully cut off, Pu Luong is only a few hours from Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi. Having been made from local materials, the rooms are in keeping with the landscape and have plenty of windows to take in mountain ranges, rice terraces and waterfalls from all angles. Thrill seekers will enjoy rafting, kayaking or taking to two wheels to explore the area on bike.

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Marina Bay Sands - Singapore

Taking a stopover in Singapore? Even with just a day or two to spare, the world’s highest and longest (and slightly heart stopping) rooftop pool and floor to ceiling windows at Marina Bay Sands give a pretty good overview of the city.

While our other suggestions have just a handful of rooms, this gargantuan multi-use 55-storey complex, complete with casino, museums, restaurants and a shopping centre with a canal (complete with sampan rides) running through the centre won’t be for everyone. But those views are hard to beat…

Packing as we speak? Our Southeast Asia experts are just a phone call away, and they love any excuse to talk about travel. Get in touch to start planning your trip.

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