By Chris Dwyer
Jan 17, 2022
IT’S BEEN A COUPLE OF YEARS since Southeast Asia saw the annual Lunar New Year travel spike, but we’re pretty sure those with means will find a way to ring in the upcoming Tiger year in over-the-top style.
It’s practically preordained: Like their animal namesakes, those born in the Year of The Tiger are fearless, loyal, well-loved… and occasionally unpredictable. Just ask Leonardo DiCaprio or Christian Bale, Lady Gaga or Drake, Michelle Yeoh or Tom Cruise – all who have earned their stripes (ahem) – by being born in 1962, 1974 or 1986.
Our eight fabulous travel experiences to mark the arrival of the Lunar New Year, from private jets to chartered yachts, hotel escapes to lots of auspicious eats, will let you channel your own Hollywood superstar, Asian tiger style. As always, just be sure to check local restrictions before booking.
Private Jet to Raja Ampat
Ahhhhh, the joys of private-jet travel. Not that we’d know, but escaping the masses and the horror of, you know, regular airports must make getting away at Lunar New Year all the sweeter. If you have US$550,000 to spare–but hey, it covers four of you!–then you can fly from anywhere in Asia on one of VistaJet’s super sleek planes to stunning and remote Raja Ampat in Indonesia.
Here, you’ll hop aboard your luxury phinisi boat where Emmy award-winning underwater filmmaker and marine conservationist Shawn Heinrichs will let you discover some of the world’s most iconic marine species, before you hit West Papua to meet rarely encountered tribes. Just don’t forget to take some lai see for the crew.
Rosewood Lunar New Year Hamper
Arguably the best part about Lunar New Year is the eats, especially alongside family and friends. If supporting local restaurants isn’t an option (because of course we know they need it) then a Lunar New Year hamper guarantees memorable home dining. Rosewood Hong Kong takes festive feasting to the next level with their Harvest Hamper at an auspiciously priced HK$9,988 (US$1,300), bringing treats including Chinese New Year Pudding, a ginseng gift box and gourmet treats such as abalone, sea cucumber and their fabulous XO sauce. Then toast with a bottle of 2015 Rosso Montalcino–and a Moutai Flying Fairy. Cheers!
Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore Staycation
Even though you’re in the Lion City, fear not: tigers still get the royal treatment, especially at the sleek Fullerton Bay Hotel. Their Staycation by the Bay package from SG$612 (US$450) offers cracking views of iconic Marina Bay from your balcony, breakfast, a bottle of wine and 50 percent off spa treatments.
Seasonal amenities include exclusive Fullerton Lunar New Year red packets, while you can also book an afternoon tea with special Lunar New Year flavors. But nothing quite says good fortune quite like rolling in a Roller, so our tip is to throw in the optional hour-long Rolls-Royce ride at S$642. #newyearballer
Genting Dream Cruise for New Year
If you fancy hitting the waves for New Year, then the Genting Dream‘s three-night sailing from Hong Kong in a Penthouse Suite runs HK$19,388 (US$2,500) per person. You’ll get 111 square meters of ultra-luxurious nautical real estate to kick back in, but there’s also a whole host of auspicious activities along the way. Feng shui talks and fortune forecasts, Chinese opera performances, lion dances, a lucky bazaar and endless culinary treats–yes, that’s you, suckling pig and poon choi–will ensure that your Tiger is always entertained and never hungry while on board, because sometimes Lunar New Year travel is more about the journey than the destination.
The Peninsula Beijing Staycation
Courtesy of The Peninsula Beijing (2)
Few destinations mark Lunar New Year in as much style as the Chinese capital and the city’s Peninsula Hotel is offering a festive escape in their Grand Premier Suite that will have little ones in particular loving every minute. That’s thanks to activities including making traditional tangyuan glutinous rice balls and cupcakes, while the colorful God of Fortune Caishen will tell stories of ancient traditions–as well as hand out gifts and lucky prizes. Handily the one-night package includes one massage for mom or dad and plenty of downtime to enjoy the glam, elegant suite. Rates from RMB8,000 (US$1,250 ) between February 8 and 21.
Celebration Suite, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (2)
If there’s a more aptly named place to mark New Year than the Celebration Suite, then we’re yet to find it. The seriously swanky pad sits within the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and beckons local guests to ‘travel’ cross town for a Lunar New Year staycation offering the tiger plenty of optional festive frolics. You can make your own lai see packet, try calligraphy or go for a ‘Glam Ready’ spa treatment to look your finest. Then tuck in to special turnip cakes from MasterChef Theresa Yiu before toasting with your included bottle of bubbles. All yours from HK$6,000 (US$770) per night.
Charter Yacht Northern Sun in Thailand
Budget? What budget? For those wanting true privacy and luxury, then a Phuket-based charter yacht, Northern Sun, should see you right. US$160,000 per week will definitely remind you of your good fortune as you and 11 family and friends are welcomed aboard. There are jet skis and scuba gear, wakeboards and kayaks but the big kids in us are most tempted by the inflatable water slide, two decks high. Customize your menus to reflect delicious auspiciousness and bust out your finest red swimsuit to truly ring this Lunar New Year in with an opulent splash.
Soneva Fushi Water Retreats
Ahhhhh, the warm azure waters of The Maldives. They’re always a draw, but especially when you’re in one of the eight–a very auspicious number–Water Retreats at Soneva Fushi. The world’s largest overwater, these 832-square-meter two-bedroom stunners are the perfect escape for families thanks to vast pools and slides that whoosh you straight into the ocean. A favorite spot for A-List superstars, Soneva is also hosting a ‘Chinese New Year Journey’ where guests can try Chinese delicacies and drinks before a gala dinner featuring live music and traditional Chinese entertainment. Yours from US$5,500 per night.