Spotlight: Casa de La Flora

Casa de La Flora in Thailand is one of the most intriguing new destination resorts to come along. It’s snatching up awards and making it on to the top lists of plenty of travel publications. Let’s take a look at what the buzz is all about.

First off, Casa de La Flora is located directly on the the beautiful, palm-fringed beach of Khao Lak. From the Phuket International Airport, it takes only one hour by car to reach the resort. There is no mistaking the resort because of the modern design and architecture. The luxurious, cube-shaped villas and friendly service are well-equipped to welcome guests from around the world.


The cutting-edge design and upscale amenities of Casa de La Flora are the first to reach Khao Lak. The location in tropical nature and unique buildings make the ideal getaway for a romantic couple or travelers looking for a luxury holiday experience.

The 36 cube-shaped villas were designed by VaSLab Architecture, commissioned in 2008 by one of leading Thai businessmen Sompong Dowpiset, this beachfront resort was aimed to serve as a new high profile but yet humble destination hotel in this beautiful town of the southern Thailand. The architect was given specific instructions to design a series of pool villas with the maximum ocean views possible. The owner challenged the architect to create a bold look of that still yields to warmness and nature. The resort dwellings also needed easy access to the must-have amenities and facilities including a reception lounge, swimming pool, pool bar, beachfront restaurant, spa, fitness, and library.


The modern architecture doesn’t stop with the outer structures, the interior spaces follow the same motif and lines with built-in beds, coffee tables, and built-in cabinets. The furniture is all custom-made by Anon Pairot Design Studio which carries over the thematic design elements. The same themes extend even into the landscaping and pathways. Extremely thoughtful desing and meticulous attention to details, if nothing else, gives you an idea of what to expect while staying here.

The glass-front villas widen the perspective of the natural surroundings and the ocean. Ten of the villas stand directly facing the beach. Each villa features its own private pool, and don’t forget the 24-hour butler service. Also built in to Casa de La Flora’s design are eco-friendly practices including an ozone (low-chemical) purification system for the swimming pools and waste-water and rain water recycling. Glamping is all about luxury, experiential travel, and being conscious of the environment.

Best of all, Casa de La Flora follows a philosophy of tailor-made experiences. The team is dedicated to making your stay as relaxed and as easy as possible. To make your stay extra special there is a range of unique day trips and activities. Options cover everything from cooking classes to deep-sea fishing trips and elephant tours to sunset cruises. You go on snorkeling and diving trips to the stunning nearby islands of Surin and Similan, take advantage of the resort’s choice of three boats and private pier, the only one along this stretch of coastline. There’s also the option to explore lesser-known marine worlds, whether that’s visiting the remote and unspoiled Tachai island, or taking a short ride along the coast to relax on the pristine sand of the resort’s private beach.


More personalized activities can also be organized, such as a romantic candlelit dinner at the base of a waterfall or chartering a seaplane to the island of Phi Phi. You can count on the Casa de La Flora team to work their magic to make it happen.

Learn more about booking a trip to Casa de La Flora.  Want more? Here’s a video tour to feast your eyes on:

Glamping on Australia’s Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Spicers Tamarind Retreat is an intimate getaway set near a rainforest waterfall in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland near Maleny. Thai style meets the tranquillity of the Australian bush for a stunningly unique retreat experience. This is the type of vacation destination where you can do as little or as much as you want.

The 18-acre property is situated next to Gardners Falls in a picturesque rainforest. Maleny is nestled in the gorgeous hills and countryside of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The nearby towns of Mapleton, Montville and Noosa complete the area and add to the list of activity options for the perfect unhurried vacation.

The villas are private and romantic with a chic modern style in true glamping spirit. Relax in your private cedar hot tub on the balcony of your villa. From the hot tub, you can hear the sounds of Gardners Falls and the abundant wildlife in the area – it’s pure zen. On chillier nights, cozy up in front of the wood-burning fireplace. The villas are the perfect resting spot inbetween adventures exploring the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Spicers Tamarind features 12 stand-alone villas for the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Five are 1-bedroom and the remaining seven are 2-bedroom units. The location is perfect for a romantic getaway.

tamarind-2bedvilla-bedroom - smaller imagePhoto: Spicers Tamarind

Spicers Tamarind Retreat’s restaurant, The Tamarind, brings a taste of Thailand to the foothills of Maleny. Savour the culinary skills of award-winning chefs at the restaurant. As a side note, there are cooking classes on site where you can learn the intricacies of Thai cuisine. The restaurant is an outdoor pavilion designed to capitalize on the peaceful location. The Tamarind specializes in innovative modern Asian cuisine. Every dish with its harmonious balance of Thai flavors of sweet, sour, and spicy will leave your mouth watering. Favorites include nee grob (three caramelized meats with crispy fried noodles), to a green curry of yellow tail kingfish with Thai apple eggplant, and a delicious dessert medley featuring sweet yam pudding, coconut ice cream and coconut lime tart. The Tamarind’s ever-changing menu and perfectly matched wines make this a true gourmet destination for both in-house guests and the general public alike.

Spicers Tamarind Retreat’s stunning rainforest location makes it easy to get lost in relaxation and nature. Explore the natural wonders of the local area on mountain bike, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the herb garden and orchard or just relax with a picnic by stunning Gardners Falls. For real adventure why not go bushwalking in Kondalilla Falls National Park and take a dip in the rock pool at the top of the Falls. Take a stroll along Obi Obi creek and nearby Gardners Falls. From lush walking trails, breathtaking waterfalls and charming local towns, to Spicers Tamarind Retreat’s very own day spa and cooking school, there’s plenty of pleasures to fill your day.

banner-poolPhoto: Spicers Tamarind

Spa Anise is open to both in-house guests and day visitors. Whether it’s a day of laughs, lunch and bubbly with friends, soaking in the hydrotherapy room or a few hours of therapeutic massages and foot rituals to freshen up your work team for the new year, Spa Anise Tamarind Retreat offers a unique and memorable spa experience, tailored to you. The spa overlooks the soft green rolling hills and rainforest of the Sunshine Coast hinterland and has four treatment rooms including double rooms for couples, a mineral infused spa, a foot therapy room, a steam room, rain shower and a tailored spa cuisine menu.

Just a short drive away, the quaint villages of Maleny and Montville are home to a range of quality fashion boutiques and gift shops, each offering a diverse range of affordable locally made products. Montville is fondly known as the creative heart of the Sunshine Coast. Spend the day wandering between art and craft galleries and soak up the best of uniquely rich cultural area.

Learn more about planning a trip to Spicers Tamarind.

High Sierra Glamping

Glamping is often about choosing how much you want to “rough it” and how much you want things to be taken care of for you. Glampers headed for the Sequoia High Sierra Camp have two options for hiking into camp; a 3/4 or 12 mile trail hike to the camp. For those hiking the longer route it’s more challenging but the camp at the end eliminates the need to carry food and everything else. You can still enjoy the comforts of soft beds and hot showers.

Sequoia High Sierra Camp has 32 canvas tent cabins that provide comfort yet blend in naturally with the surrounding environment. Each tent is approximately 330 square feet and stands on a permanent platform. The best part is the artisan furniture, king size beds, and high-thread count sheets. Knowing this is what awaits you motivates you throughout the entire 12-mile hike.


Now that sleeping arrangements are provided for, let’s talk food because being in the great outdoors definitely works up an appetite. Three robust meals are include at the camp. Breakfast is served buffet-style every morning with fresh fruit, vegetable frittatas, and the traditional bacon, eggs, and potatoes. For lunch, guests pack their own picnic of deli sandwiches. Gourmet California and Mediterranean-style dinner under a canvas-roofed pavilion is enhanced only by the stunning sunset views and good company of other travelers.

The camp’s main bathhouse has private shower stalls and flushing toilets. The soap, shampoo, and towels are all provided of course. Additionally there are bathrooms located throughout the camp and within close proximity to the tent cabins.


As you would expect, the Sequoia High Sierra Camp has a deep committment to environmental preservation. The camp’s owner, Burr Hughes, is architect with a master’s degree in sustainable design. The camp is designed to blend in seemlessly with the environment. Most everything is made from renewable sources and the camp’s power comes from a low-emission generator.


Sequoia High Sierra Camp’s natural surroundings provide innumerable options for adventure activities and restful leisure. Hiking trails nearby range from easy loops through meadows and more intense scenic mountainsides. Fisherman are encouraged to bring their own gear and enjoy the lakes and creeks that surround the camp. Bring along your nice camera because the majestic Sequoias and royal blue skies are waiting for you. At the end of the day don’t go to bed before star gazing. The night sky is dazzling in the absence of all the city lights. Horseback riding is also available through the Horse Corral Pack Station.

Learn more about the Sequoia High Sierra Camp.