As someone who is passionate about travel and experiencing all the wonders and riches of the world’s eclectic cultures, cuisines, people and landscapes I am rather embarrassed to say, as yet, I have not visited as much of Asia as I wish to.
However, my daily life is enriched with many of the cultural influences that have reached our shores from the incredible food, their historical attitudes to natural health and wellbeing ( I practice yoga, tai chi, meditation and use Asia influences practices like acupuncture for health) , to their Feng Shui design influence and the strong religious philosophies which resonate powerfully with me ( I am sure I am a Buddist at heart).
So given the opportunity to experience Asia Gardens Hotel and Thai Spa Gardens, I jumped at it. Although I admit to a slight cynicism as to how authentic it could really be, given that it is situated in the Costa Blanca in the hills behind the rather different influences of Benidorm.
But rallied by one of the famous Confucius quotes, I packed up my family for a few nights and set off.
The first delight was the simplicity of the travel. A short flight from London Gatwick of just over 2 hours and we arrived in Alicante to be met and whisked away for a short transfer to the resort.
In the comfort of the air-conditioned car we could gaze on in amazement and slight shock at the daunting high rise developments that clutter the coastline, including being rather mesmerised by In Tempo, the largest residential building in Europe, that looks like something out of the film Tron!
Our gaze then shifted away from this man-made mass thankfully to what can only be described as a little piece of Asia that has emerged in the Mediterranean.
On entering the main reception area of this destination hotel the size, scale, design and tranquility of the space instantly shift you into a completely different zone and mind set.
The ambience and the staff have somehow been ‘ sheep dipped ‘(in the nicest sense) into an Asian way of being. The team are genuine, genteel, graceful, humble, and incredibly hospitable.
A refreshing ice-cold hand towel and delicious green tea are offered before we are gentle guided to our room.
Even on the way to our room somehow our pace and mind set is shifting, as all of your senses are treated to more Asian influence. Whilst the hotel offers 291 rooms of 5 different types, the architectural layout and tropical planting hides the size of the resort beautifully.
As you meander through the most stunning garden pathways through lush vegetation that is interspersed with carp filled fish ponds and streams you are blissfully unaware that there is anyone else in the resort and wherever you are the sound of gentle water trickling soothes and calms the soul.
The rooms are another delight – beautiful designed with every amenity considered to ensure guests have absolutely everything they need and want for their stay.
Our room, a deluxe suite, even has the famous Shoji screens used between the bathroom and bedroom spaces which optimises light and layout but also totally underpins the attention to detail that ensures an authentic Asian experience.
The room then spills out onto its own discreet terrace that is wrapped with part of the fish-filled streams, somehow making it feel like we have our very own private fish pond – much to our son’s delight!
This attention to detail and desire to make the entire resort a peaceful, tranquil, unfolding space is quite extraordinary.
The design of the resort beautifully supports all the facilities you could ever wish for as a luxurious family or couple escape including;
- 6 unique Asian design pools ( 4 of them heated and 2 infinity) with bookable private cabanas for special occasions
- A choice of 7 restaurants ranging from Asian, Mediterranean or Fusion style
- A well run stunning children’s club featuring a spectacular pirates ship and loads of scheduled activities
- A programme of adult activities including Tai Chi, Chi Kung, yoga, meditation
- not to mention wonderful Orchid gardens
The resort caters sympathetically for families and couples alike by offering certain areas of the 370.000m2 resort over to adults only.
But the greatest achievement by far is the inspired design of incredibly well positioned swimming pools and sun bathing areas that are beautifully spread through out the immaculate tiered landscaped gardens, all of which means that although the resort has 291 rooms and 20 suites, you always feel that you have your very own personal slice of Asian tranquility.
And all this before we had even entered the Thai Spa .
The Thai Spa is a yet another beautifully well-designed authentic space for mind and body to relax even further. All therapists have been trained at the Wat Po Temple in Bangkok one of the birthplaces of Thai massage ensuring the standard of treatment is the very best. This combined with the fact that the space of the spa is languid and luxurious and that your massage takes place outside in the most beautiful discreet cabanas is a an absolute treat for all the senses.
The evenings too at this wonderful resort were an absolute delight. The choice and standard of food was exceptional and our son loved to sit and watch the fish in the pond after dinner and listen to the cute frogs allowing my husband and I to just sit and enjoy the peace (a rare gift for us).
After a few days of this wonderful ambience we looked down from our Asia paradise overlooking the Benidorm glow and realised from this space that it was rather beautiful at night rather like a Hong Kong skyline with a Mediterranean backdrop.
The area outside the hotel is rich with golf courses, a wonderful vineyard called Enrique Mendoza’s winery, there is biking, riding and kayaking near by not to mention beautiful Calpe and Altea, but having found our Asia bubble of tranquillity we were happy to enjoy all of what the hotel and spa had to offer and put the rest on an ever-lengthening bucket list!