Home away from home: Villa holidays in Asia

There is a certain something we love about villa holidays. For us, there is nothing quite like spending quality time with your loved ones, on your own time. The Med is often our first port of call when it comes to finding that perfect bolthole, but looking further afield makes for a family holiday with a difference. Asia expert, Leo, takes us on a whistle stop tour of the best villas in Bali & Sri Lanka

Often when we look back at our happiest childhood memories, nostalgia sets in for those long summer days spent by the sea, collecting shells, being able to stay up late; those crystallised memories of days gone by. For me, those sunny memories will always take me to Mallorca where my family and I headed each summer for a few weeks. My dad would usually spend the first three days catching up on much needed sleep, whilst my mum would be relieved to not have to think of rainy day activities to keep us occupied.

It’s on cold, dreary afternoons that we often think back to bygone days spent in the sun. And we all look forward to when we can do it again. There’s an art to holidaying, and at Scott Dunn, we understand that family holidays matter. Yet, sometimes endless hotel options can all be too much. With so much choice in today’s world, sometimes feeling at home is all we really crave. Enter the villa holiday.

With a Scott Dunn villa, you have it all. A chef, a Scott Dunn host and nanny, what could be better? Our range of fabulous villas in Mallorca and the South of France are just the ticket for groups of friends and families.

However, the villa holiday is evolving. With more direct flights and great value for money, far-flung destinations like Sri Lanka and Bali are heating up. Perfect for families with teens, enjoy making memories at your home away from home, basking in the balmy Bali sunshine or surfing along Sri Lanka’s south coast. What’s more, along with a team of house staff, you have your own chef who will liaise with you and cook up a range of local delicacies or your all-time favourites.

In Sri Lanka, there’s plenty of options from Tangalle to Galle. Sri Lanka’s most well-known architect, Geoffrey Bawa, lives on around much of the island. The Last House has a laid-back beachside feel whilst Claughton House sits on a palm-fringed beach and is just minutes away from the famous surf spot of Hiriketiya.

The south coast of Sri Lanka has a plethora of fun activities which can break up a hard day lazing by the pool. Trying a delicious hopper cooking class at Why House, climb the Mulkirigala Rock Temples or head to Galle Fort for a tour with a local guide. There are a number of private homes here including 41 Lighthouse and Rampart Street which are full of character and history.

For those searching for something a little more contemporary on the island, Ani Villas is unlike anything else. Taking the concept of ‘your own private resort’, guests have access to their own spa, tennis court, waterslide and luxurious inclusions to match. The sprawling estate is split into two villas which can be taken both together or separately, making up 15 bedrooms.

Flying to Bali, Villa Adasa is hidden yet still close to the buzz of Seminyak, and the chic and bright interiors will prove a hit with teens. Elsewhere, for those who want the best of both worlds, The Beach House at The Legian is a great option. It offers guests the privacy of a villa with your own private chef and butler, but with all the benefits of a fabulous resort.

Heading further away from the crowds, you’ll find the understated expat hangout of Umalas. The rustic Villa Artis Suite offers a more rural setting and the villa’s hosts will ensure everyone’s looked after. Having travelled extensively, the cuisine they cook up is a mix of Japanese, Indonesian and French flair; healthy and delicious.

What each villa offers, is the flexibility to do entirely as you choose…. And isn’t that what a holiday should be all about? There are no set meal times, no reserving your bed by the pool by 9am. Eat what you like, when you like. Almost anything can be rustled up, just ask the chef. Our travel experts can even pre-order a selection of wines which will be waiting for you on arrival. Be it a big birthday, or simply a well-earned break, a villa holiday in Asia could be just for you.

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