Smoking Tin Can Bread, Tomato Marshmallows served on charcoal rocks, and test tubes of Thai Green Curry create the perfect way to be transported through the luxurious resorts of Anantara all in one night – and without leaving Australia.
Whether guests want to indulge in jungle bubbles, which are transparent bedrooms for guests to truly immerse themselves among rescued elephants (expected to be launched later this year), or experience a traditional bamboo tattoo by Ajan Noo Kanpai (tattooist of Angelina Jolie) at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Thailand, or relax with a temple run or eat underwater in the Maldives, there is something unique for everyone.
“Some of the things we want to give our guests is a local experience,” Minor Hotels’ Director of Public Relations and Communications Mark Thomson says. “We are the only hotel in Thailand that has a resident monk.
“We’ve rescued elephants off the streets of Thailand. We had to get the mahout as well. They do traditional weaving projects, so they have their own stable income.
“We have a lot of great experiences and amazing things coming up.”
Just one year ago, the Minor Hotels group had 161 hotels, but it has rapidly grown to 522 properties after acquiring NH Hotel Group. Its recent addition, Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavis Marbella Resort, is its first step into Spain.
Anantara’s luxury offering spans every nook of the globe from Abu Dhabi to Mozambique and China to Portugal.
At the group’s Vietnam properties, guests can sit in their private villas (each with its own pool) and watch the twinkling lights of the many squid fishing boats on the horizon. At the Anantara Hoi An Resort, you can even witness the country’s first and only 3D food printer, which creates customised desserts.
Over in the Maldives, the company is redefining what the tropical nation is known for. Promising to be more than a destination for honeymooners (although it does host amazing underwater weddings), the Maldivian resorts offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities including swimming with sharks and manta rays, and some offer underwater dining with mesmerising views of the marine life.
Between soothing head, neck and hand massages by the resort’s therapists and traditional Thai dancing, nel. Restaurant owner and chef Nelly Robinson served up a theatrical four-course meal to complement the opulent destinations.
The Prawn Cocktail with tomato gazpacho and granita was served in a fish bowl-style dish and was a pleasantly refreshing start to the gourmet dinner. Next, Kingfish Tandoori followed by Pressed Goat, which was slow cooked in almond milk with Jerusalem artichoke, ricotta and ras el hanout.
To finish, there was a delightful Bang Ginger Pudding with spiced honey mead and cinnamon bubbles, followed by a platter of Passionfruit Bombs – small white balls sitting on a tray of coconut. “Eat them in one mouthful,” Nelly suggested – and we listened. The rich passionfruit exploded in our mouths, creating a mouth-watering tropical sensation, a perfect way to end the evening.