A PRIVATE pool, outdoor shower and grassed path to the ocean complete the coastal scene at the new beach villas at the Datai on the Malaysian island of Langkawi.
All 13 one-bedroom villas and one two-bedroom villa have private timber poolside sun decks. Private dinners in an open-sided marquee on the beach can be arranged; for a more social time there are four restaurants, including the Gulai House, a Malay-style thatched-roofed timber building with traditional fare.
The beach villas are in addition to the property's 54 rooms, 40 villas and 16 suites. The Datai is 30 minutes by car from the island's international airport, with domestic flights daily from Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Beach villas cost from 7150 ringgit ($2244) a night, including breakfast.
WITH 10 plant species, waterfalls and planter walls, the Parkroyal on Pickering, opening on January 13, has added more than a touch of green to Singapore.
Designed by Richard Hassell of architectural firm WOHA, the 367-room hotel near Hong Lim Park and Chinatown, has an open-kitchen restaurant, infinity pool, spa and relaxation cabanas.
The hotel harvests rain and recycles water and is the city's first to have zero-energy sky gardens powered by solar energy cells.
From $220 a night, which includes breakfast.
British polish and pub fare
LONDON'S former Queen Anne Chambers, once the address of the Treasury Solicitor and the Brewer's Society, has opened as the InterContinental.
Within sight of Westminster Abbey and alongside New Scotland Yard and the Ministry of Justice, the six-storey building contains 256 rooms including a penthouse, 14 one-bedroom suites, and 30 studio suites.
Expect traditional British fare from the restaurant that has on-site charcoal and smoking ovens; the Blue Boar Bar serves local ale. It's the first InterContinental hotel to open in Britain for more than 35 years, after its Park Lane property in 1975.
From £229 ($354) a night.
Restoring Miami nice
COMO Hotels and Resorts continues to expand with plans to open its fourth city property, in Miami, later this year.
With direct access to the city's South Beach the 74-room hotel will be housed in a 1920s building in the historic art deco district. Italian designer Paola Navone is overseeing the interiors as well as the island resort, Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, set to open in November.
The Miami opening will be COMO's fourth city property, behind London's Halkin hotel and Metropolitan by COMO, London and Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok.
A real pearler
GUESTS can dine on fresh New Zealand oysters and snapper sliders before retiring upstairs to new suites in the Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island.
More chic than sandy, the three luxe suites have oversized king beds, under-floor heating, iPod dock, LCD television and a harbour view. Getting to the island involves a 35-minute boat ride from Auckland before transfer by vintage Kombi to the inn.
From $300 a night.
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