Jungles and rainforests provide some of the most awe-inspiring scenery and best wildlife experiences on the planet. And forget sticky, mosquito-ridden lodgings – these days there’s no need to forgo a few luxuries during your travels. We’ve pulled together a list of our favourite jungle retreats, all of which offer uncompromising eco adventure alongside innovative architecture, exemplary service and five-star comfort. These remote luxury hideaways are truly the kings of the jungle.
Rayavadee, Krabi, Thailand
The setting for this hotel is about as picture-perfect as it’s possible to get – with views comprising enormous limestone karsts, a white sandy beach and aquamarine waters – reason enough alone to visit. Sixty acres of (carefully landscaped) tropical vegetation shrouds the resort, which looks rather like a tribal jungle village (albeit a very well constructed one, with a scattering of Jacuzzis and private pools). The resort is home to four restaurants; The Grotto is the most scenic – set in a beachside candlelit cave with a carpet of sand.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Borneo, Malaysia
This resort borders a large white sandy bay, backed by a forested Nature Reserve. If you can tear yourself away from the resorts fantastic pools, spa and beaches, make the most of your visit by participating in the canopy walks, bird-watching tours, guided jungle treks, and night time wildlife watching – if you’re lucky, you might spot a nocturnal slow loris (the less lucky might encounter a tarantula!)
The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia
Arguably the best hotel in Malaysia. Smack bang in the middle of a 50-million-year-old rainforest, stylish tree-house style rooms nestle into the jungle-clad hillside. The buildings are connected by open-air walkways – and all the construction materials were brought in by either boat or elephant, to minimise disturbance to the natural environment. Expect to be woken by the pattering of tiny feet running over your roof (monkeys), and explore the surrounding jungle with guided nature walks. This resort is a good place to do very little except be awed by the surroundings – punctuating the day with soothing treatments in the gorgeous open-air spa, reading books by the pool, or perhaps donning a snorkel to see the underwater sights off the private beach.
Nandini Jungle Resort & Spa, Bali
Built in traditional Balinese style, this boutique resort boats a spectacular location with stunning views across the valley. This spa is sublime, offering some of the best treatments in all of Indonesia (confirmed first hand by a colleague who’s just returned from touring the country). The hotel sits in nicely in the hillside, built in tiers cascading down the jungly slope, with just a couple of rooms on each level. There are only 18 villas in total – so, as you’d expect, the service is extremely good. Available excursions include a visit to a rural village to learn about traditional farming methods, guided cycling tours, and yoga meditation sessions.
Spencer Groves is Commercial Director at letsgo2.
If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.