Travel & Outdoor

DestinAsian Feb/Mar 2019

DestinAsian is the only travel magazine in the world exclusively dedicated to covering destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. Published 6 times a year, it delivers regular features about food, shopping, spa retreats, luxury lodgings, design, and fashion, all backed by award-winning writing, photography, and design.

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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
eyes on the prize

As someone who has a keen interest in Hollywood A-listers and the emerging talent of younger actors, I’m always looking forward to watching the Oscars. But there’s another event in February that I love: the annual luncheon at which we hand out our Readers’ Choice Awards. A fair number of hotels, airlines, and candidates in other categories have been longstanding winners; it reflects their consistently high standards and perhaps the loyalty of our readers to those brands and properties. Of course, there are some new contenders too that have turned into overnight favorites. We initially began DestinAsian in 2001 to capture the diversity and richness found in our backyard, and although we’ve since broadened its scope so that Europe, the Americas, and Africa are also represented, I’m happy to say that…

3 min.

ISOBEL DIAMOND Wrote “Uncommon Threads,” p. 108 “While staying in Manila, I discovered a hub of contemporary designers and emerging fashion brands who, inspired by the textile roots of their country, were creating modern designs that showcased the arts of hand weaving and embroidery,” says London-based Diamond, who has a special interest in textile history. Having traveled extensively around the Philippines, she was already aware of the diversity and intricacy of the fabrics worn by the indigenous groups who live across the archipelago. “It was fantastic to see this heritage being put to good use by creative members of Manila’s fashion scene, and even more gratifying to be able to write about them.” NATASHA DRAGUN Wrote “Time for Tehran,” p. 68 Having spent more than a decade plotting her trip to Iran, Dragun finally made it there…

3 min.
special deals

/ Maldives / ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH This award-winning sanctuary, which takes up one of the largest islands in the North Male Atoll, has unveiled two enticing offers valid for stays from April 22 until December 16, 2019—proof that planning a trip to the Maldives at low season has its perks. Guests who book four consecutive nights at the secluded 122-villa resort will only pay for three, while booking for seven nights will mean paying only five. Both specials include complimentary half-board along with shared boat transfers to and from Male International Airport (oneandonlyresorts.com). Thailand HYATT REGENCY BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT While the Hyatt Regency brand’s first Bangkok hotel made its debut just before Christmas beside Nana BTS station—with 273 spacious rooms and suites; three dining outlets specializing in Thai cuisine, light bites, and creative tapas; and sculptures…

1 min.
liquid assets

Given the growing thirst for coffee in Indonesia, the nation that gave the world the word “java,” it seems entirely natural that Starbucks would open its largest Southeast Asian store in Bali. The result? Starbucks Reserve Dewata Coffee Sanctuary (dewata.starbucks.co.id), a 1,800-square-meter behemoth that takes up a modern Balinese brickwork structure on Seminyak’s Sunset Road. From a concierge greeting to high-tech touchscreens and artistic local flourishes, the venue is quite unlike any of the brand’s other outlets in the region. A micro-plot of arabica coffee trees enlivens the entry, while seedlings sprout in a nursery, slick video installations put the focus on Starbucks’ smallholder farmers, and an intricate nine-meter-high wooden “mural” showcases coffee-producing regions around Indonesia. House creations such as the Lavender Latte are served at the main bar, but…

2 min.
a real catch

SEBASTIAN BEACH GRILL & BAR The brainchild of restaurateur Dave Parker and his childhood friend Alex Brawn, Sebastian is housed in a 1930s bathing pavilion on Williamstown Beach, part of a historic suburb that was Melbourne’s first European port settlement. Both the venue’s name and its menu take their cues from San Sebastián, with Basque-leaning cuisine that can be enjoyed in the cool, white-and-blue dining room and bistro or out on the wooden deck. Nodding to the prevalent use of fire in Basque cooking, chef Leigh Robbins plays with a custom-made charcoal grill to prepare seafood, meats, and even the oranges used for the bar’s pisco sours. Robbins says that Williamstown has been crying out for a slightly more refined dining experience, and at Sebastian he delivers this with techniques learned…

2 min.
forces of nature

1 YAGUAS Roughly the size of Yellowstone in the United States, Peru’s newest national park protects more than 868,000 hectares of virgin Amazonian rain forest in the northern Loreto region. Yaguas is the fruition of decades of persistent lobbying by indigenous communities and environmental groups to prevent its destruction by miners and loggers. Getting there requires several days of overland travel from the nearest city, Iquitos, but those who make the trip will experience a virtually untouched ecosystem that supports 3,000 kinds of flora, hundreds of bird species, and the greatest diversity of freshwater fish in Peru. Notable water-dwelling creatures here include giant river otters, manatees, and endangered pink river dolphins. 2 PATAGONIA In the remote Chacabuco Valley of Chilean Patagonia, what was once an overgrazed 70,000-hectare sheep ranch now thrives as a…