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July 16, 2009

From Asia with LUXE City Guides

You’ve bought every edition and have them displayed in a shrine-like position on your bookshelf. The beautiful box sets have made you very popular at Christmas several years running and you’ve booked whole holidays to certain cities on rumors alone that they’ll be launching a new one in that destination. LUXE City Guides, born in our very own home city, have taken the world by storm and become a must-have essential for any savvy globetrotter. Now, you can even book their expertly chosen hotel recommendations directly through their newly launched website, Stuck for ideas on where to plant your stilettos or flaunt your polka-dot bikini this summer? The editors at LUXE have given us their top three Asia hotspots, including hot off the press tips and insider secrets on the best places to stay, eat and shop…

STAY - COMO Shambhala Estate:Astoundingly positioned over the Ayung Gorge, choose from unique, luxurious suites within one of the five rustic luxe residences and (our pick) the newer villas. Three, five and seven-day wellness progs, sensational spa, rawganic Glow and Indonesian bites at Kudus. LUXE City Guide Offer: One complimentary massage for two, and complimentary upgrade to the next category, when you book with LUXE Hotel & Villa Collection.
STAY - The Istana: Party central glamourpuss with a stunning clifftop position for panoramic sunsets. Sleek, teak, modish digs, and utterly wow-eee infinity pool and bar. Want to know more? Click here
EAT – Sangkar: Vivid cliff-top style haven for local fare with flair on hip communal tables. The bar has spectacular sunset views, but don’t get mashed, it’s a sheer drop. (+62 361 847 1000)
SHOP – John Hardy: The beautiful John Hardy collection of silver jewellery, prec and semi-prec gems and lifestyle is normally only for export. Lucky LUXE readers can visit the VIP room in the idyllic, sylvan Hardy factory grounds. (+62 (0) 812 390 1145)

STAY - The Chedi: This fave old Auntie may have scagged tights and ketchup on her cardie, but her unbeatable ocean-side posi more than compensates, so take a simple beachfront villa and trot to Aman next door for glam sips, sups and cruise charter. In season, the Beach Restaurant is popular, but beware, there are many steep steps so it’s not for those with clicky hips or gammy knees.
STAY - Indigo Pearl: While the tin mining theme may make you spit tacks, the playful pads in timber, stone and metal are comfy and well priced, the beach club and activities list will keep kids occupied while you get down to bedroom Olympics. LUXE City Guide Offer: 20% off internet rate, book between April 1st and October 31st 2009, receive 10% discount on spa treatments, 10% discount on F&B, complimentary airport transfers and late checkout, tropical fruit platter, and personal in-room check-in upon arrival, when you book with LUXE Hotel & Villa Collection. Want to find out more? Click here
EATSilk: Blond wood armchairs, rich, plumptious colour-flashes, smart dark woods, comfy terrace day-beds, elegant bar and happening style-crew regulars. Slight shame that it’s on a main road. (+66 (0) 76 271702)
SHOP – The Handmade: A rather drab shop with a nippy line in polished stainless steel contemporary cutlery, bowls and trenchers, but their ace card is that they will make to order with no minimum. Check out their shining stash of washbasins, trays and candelabras. (+66 (0) 76 271 583)

STAY - URBN: Spunky carbon neutral oasis of reclaimed and natural materials, open plan rooms with stone tubs, Mod Oz lipsmacker Roomtwentyeight, and no kiddies under 12. LUXE City Guide Offer:Complimentary one hour massage.
STAY - JIA: Vibrant design-led 20s scarlet in shopping central with kitchenettes, Bisazza mosaic bathrooms, fab roof terrace, rockstar penthouse suites and bell-Issimo Italian diner.LUXE City Guide Offer: Complimentary dessert at Issimo, as well as receiving these complimentary extras with the hotel: welcome champagne/cocktail at Issimo, hot cooked breakfast at Issimo, 24 hour tea, coffee, juices, soft drinks, and refreshments in the lobby, afternoon cakes and evening wine in the lobby, WiFi and broadband access throughout the hotel, free local calls, use of conference room for two hours, access to KEE private members club, fruit and candies in room, use of self-service laundry facilities, use of TechnoGym. Want to know more? Click here
EATFu 1088: This alluring madame has placed everyone under a spell with her series of private, 30s Shanghai dining rooms and divine local fare, so book ahead. (+86 21 5239 7878)
SHOP – Mary Ching: Luscious local designer stillettos, slippers and clutches in juicy jewel tones, to make the most jaded fashionistas smitten. (+86 134 8286 9378)

Luxurious boutique hotel in prime location? Check. Itinerary filled with the city’s best activities? Check. Insider shopping secrets? Double check. The only thing left to decide is how many suitcases to bring! Bon voyage!

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