We know that you’ve already added these Public Holidays to your diary (hey, everyone does it). So here are our tips for 2016. Whip out that diary planner and get planning!
Chinese New Year
8 & 9 February
With four consecutive days off we suggest you hop on a short four-hour flight and head to the Maldives. Flights leave Friday night after work and return Tuesday afternoon – holiday maximised! Boasting the world’s first underwater club, Subsix, Niyama is a great shout for groups of friends. Couples looking for a romantic getaway need not worry; the club is six meters underwater at the end of a 500-metre pier – there’s no way the music will ever reach your pavilion!
Easter & School Holidays
25 March onwards
Make use of direct Druk Air flights, Bhutan’s comfy spring weather and take a holiday the kids will never forget. Bhutan has been in the travel spotlight for the past two years, and we have to admit, there’s a reason for it. The country is truly unspoilt, from stunning landscapes to the most beautiful, genuine people we have ever come across. Aman Resorts has created a series of lodges, all creatively unique and sympathetically balanced to their environment, to provide a circular pilgrimage through Bhutan’s spectacular central and western valleys.
Australia is another great option for younger families with great weather and a manageable flight time. Kids will enjoy escaping to the Australian outback and going hiking, exploring the bush on horseback, or touring around in a four-wheel drive. Lord Howe Island is one of our favourite spots and has long been recognised for its pristine natural heritage. With rugged volcanic peaks, lush forests, rolling surf and serene lagoons, it’s encircled by the world’s southern-most coral reef and was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1982. Truly stunning.
Labour Day and Vesak Day
1 and 21 May 2016
While this isn’t the most original of holidays or the most far-flung destination, sometimes the most relaxing breaks are right in your backyard. Visit Koh Samui just as it’s brushing aside monsoon clouds, and before peak season rates pack a punch to your wallet. The Conrad Koh Samui is made up of villas nestled on a cliff side overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. It has plenty of facilities to keep the kids busy, but the private nature of its pool villas make it a great option for couples as well. Take two days off to make Labour day a real break from work, or keep it short and sweet on Vesak Day’s long weekend.
School Summer Holidays, Hari Raya Puasa, & National Day
6 July and 9 August 2016
If you’re tired of the stifling Singapore heat come August, why not cash out some of those annual leave days and go somewhere a bit cooler for a change? For a truly rejuvenating experience head to ‘The land of the long white cloud’, the Māori name for New Zealand, and combine a bit of adventure and luxury with unbeatable, soul-stirring natural scenery.
Kick back at 6-star lodges, hike through stunning Lord of the Rings landscapes, and soar over scenic scapes in a helicopter. New Zealand really does have a little something for everyone: tattooed Maoris for culture-lovers, white water rafting on glacier-covered fjords for thrill-seekers, and some of the finest New World wines for vino aficionados.
Hari Raya Haji
Don’t completely ignore what you’ve heard about the pollution in China recently (it really can be that bad), but do know that October in Beijing is the best time to go and you’re more likely to have blue sky days now than at any other time of year. Add one day of annual leave for a four-day weekend and you’ve got the perfect amount of time needed to tour this incredible city. By October the city has cooled down quite a bit but the bitingly cold temperatures and freezing wind haven’t yet rolled in, making all the walking you’re going to do very pleasant indeed.
For accommodation like no other we recommend Aman at the Summer Palace. Adjacent to the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds, this striking hotel is housed in a series of dwellings, most of which date back over one hundred years.
For the long weekend head up to Hong Kong for a quick city break packed full of the things that make Hong Kong the city it is – amazing dining, eclectic shopping, and one of the most vibrant bar scenes in Asia. Lap it up in luxury at The Upper House, an amazing boutique hotel in the heart of Hong Kong famous for its spectacular views, attention to detail, and its superb restaurant, Café Grey Deluxe.
Christmas & New Year
25 December 2016 and 1 January 2017
This is always an especially cosy time of the year and it’s usually spent with your loved ones. Instead of staying in Singapore, we advise planning well in advance for somewhere special. Think private islands to accommodate all of the extended family, a big ski trip together, or exploring a new country together for the first time.