5 Secret Beach Resorts in Asia By Katie Landgraf
My favorite way to end a rich cultural itinerary in Asia or the Pacific is with several nights on a tranquil beach. There are so many beautiful beaches in the region, but the perfect combination of a quiet, secluded shore and luxurious property can be surprisingly hard to find. I’ve been combing Asia and the Pacific for many years curating my own list of go-to, off-the-beaten track, five-star resorts that are perfect for travelers looking for an authentic beach escape far from the tourist crowds.
Wakatobi - Sulawesi, Indonesia
Sulawesi is a remote Indonesian island known for its unique cultural rituals. It’s beautiful beaches are a well-guarded local secret and Wakatobi is one of the few resorts introducing travelers to their remote beauty. To reach the resort, board the dedicated private plane in Denpasar, Bali and in less than three hours you’re at Wakatobi’s secluded airstrip, a short boat-ride from your own beach villa. Kept conscientious small with only 28 villas, Wakatobi ensures that the pristine local environment remains the focus on your stay.
Six Senses Soneva Kiri - Koh Kood, Thailand
A 90-minute flight from Bangkok on the resort's private plane takes brings you to the small island of Koh Kood, near the Cambodian border and also seemingly back in time. This supremely luxurious resort offers contemporary five-star comfort while simultaneously harkening back to the undiscovered charm of Thai beaches decades ago.
Sal Salis - Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
This remote nature lodge located in the dunes of Western Australia’s Cape Range National Park features luxury safari-style tents on a remote, quiet beach just feet away from one the most vibrant and seldom visited reefs left on the planet. Snorkeling and kayaking on the reef is a must, and adventuresome travelers can also opt to swim alongside the gentle, vegetarian whale-sharks that make their home in the area. This secluded retreat is accessible via a two-hour drive from Exmouth airport.
Song Saa Private Island - Cambodia
Most travelers only think of the ruins of Angkor when planning a trip to Cambodia. For the lucky few that venture to the Cambodian coast, that means unspoiled, sparsely populated beaches and authentic coastal culture. Just a 30-minute speedboat ride from Sihanoukville, this gorgeous luxury resort set on its own private island offers private over-water villas and thoughtful, ultra-luxurious amenities.
Sandoway Resort - Ngapali Beach, Myanmar
Although there are a smattering of other small resorts on Ngapali Beach, this stretch of Burmese coast is still under firmly off most travelers’ radar. A rustic-luxury private villa at the Sandoway offers the perfect home-base for soaking up Ngapali’s sleepy fishing village charm and relaxing on the wide, white-sand beach.