When dreaming of far flung destinations, long flights sometimes present a barrier: whether it’s travelling with children, time constraints or a dislike of long haul flights. Well, we’ve discovered a secret. Just 7hrs from the UAE, there’s a magical place that’s close to the airport and both the beach and mountains whilst seeming a million miles away. Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, is in fact, not in Asia as the name suggests but in Spain. The Costa Blanca to be more precise. The Costa Blanca is one of mainland Spain’s most beautiful regions, with stunning white sand beaches (hence the name), excellent gastronomy and hotels galore. Gone are the days of sunburnt Brit associations (although we’re sure those still exist in pockets) but in its place is a classy, somewhat sophisticated, somewhat fun holiday destination that boasts sunshine and warm Mediterranean temperatures all year round. In fact, the exclusive microclimate of the area guarantees the privilege of stable, warm temperatures all year round, even in winter and the hotel enjoys, according to the WHO, one the healthiest climates in the world!
Nestled at the foot of the mountains, Asia Gardens is a far cry from the high-rise buildings in the neighbouring town of Benidorm.
Amid a pine forest covering some 370,000 square metres, Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa’s low-level buildings are slung beautifully around lush tropical gardens comprising of a collection of unique tress species – including a nearly 200-year-old giant bonsai brought in from Japan, more than 40 bamboo varieties and over 50 different species of palm and coconut trees. More than 150,000 flowers and shrubs make up the impressive grounds with the iconic hibiscus and impressive giant bird of paradise the crowning glory. It’s a sight for the senses, transporting you to Asia in the Mediterranean.
Awarded the accolade as the Best Hotel in Spain by the World Travel Awards in 2021, Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa boosts some impressive celebrity names on its guest rota including footballer Wayne Rooney, musician Bruce Springsteen and actor Bruce Willis, all seeking a serene escape.
7 spectacular swimming pools are hidden among the gardens with Zen, the heated family pool being a particular favourite and the Balinese style (and insta-worthy) adults-only Angkor Faces Pool a must visit.
However, there’s much more to this hotel than its impressive grounds (although they really are quite spectacular). Dining here is also excellent. Guests have the choice of nine themed restaurants offering a fusion of flavours from Eastern to international cuisine.
Lombocci offers an authentic taste of Italy and the standout Koh Samui specialises in oriental crossover cuisine in a sublime setting. Here, dishes such as Tumis Sapi, a delicious beef steak sautéed with ginger, onion and garlic and topped with a salty soy sauce pave the way for traditional deserts such as sticky rice in coconut milk with mango sorbet – a real feast for the palette. The Island restaurant, a summer favourite, offers a beautiful setting next to the main pool serving up grilled meat and fish on balmy evenings.
Rooms vary in category and size, with lower category rooms appearing more basic in style and amenities – some with small private gardens on the ground floor provide shade from the scorching Spanish sun. For those wanting more privacy or something a little more luxurious, the Langkawi Deluxe Suite is really special. Unique Asian decoration, it’s easily the hotel’s most beautiful and exclusive suite with sloping wooden ceilings, a canopied king size bed, exquisite upholstered furniture and spectacular bathroom all coming together in a single space.
Of course, as the name suggests, Asia Gardens is more than just a hotel. The Thai Spa here is the best in the entire Alicante region and focuses on Thai wisdom and tradition for a spiritual experience of wellbeing. Thailand possesses the most efficient techniques for naturally releasing and optimising the body’s prime sensations through relaxation, for authentic harmony of body and mind and the spa here is centred on Thai rituals. These techniques, used for 2,500 years, allow for optimum wellbeing and all the professionals at Asia Gardens Thai Spa have trained at the Wet Po Temple in Bangkok at the traditional school of Thai massage. It feels right then to opt for a traditional Thai massage at the spa, a lauded anti-stress therapy that combines pressure and stretching with a complex sequence of yoga-based movements. Perhaps not the most relaxing of massages, but you’ll feel incredible afterwards. The Thai Spa is a new concept among luxury spas in Spain, and indeed Europe as a whole, a place where magic, tradition and wisdom come together in harmony.
For those that choose to indulge further, the hotel offers a wonderful program of complimentary activities for a full Asian experience: meditation, Tai Qi Gong, Pilates, Yoga sessions, a botanical tour… the list is endless.
Whilst we wouldn’t go as far as saying this is a true family-focused hotel, it does welcome children and a special mention must go to the outstanding Pirates kid’s club, a hidden gem here. Tucked away in the depths of the grounds, a treasure trove of outdoor activities and indoor entertainment to keep little pirates occupied from ages 4-12 years old (children 4 and under must be accompanied by an adult). There’s an enormous outdoor playground with multiple slides and lots of shade for little explorers. As the sun sets, there are even themed parties.
Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa is a true hidden gem. You’re in surprised awe from the moment you pull up at the gates and walk into the impressive, grand foyer. It’s vast, vaster than you’ll imagine and stunningly beautiful and deserves each and every one of its awards over the years. Asia Gardens, we applaud you.
Reposted from theinsideruae.com