What better way to mark the Year of the Monkey than with a spot of monkey-inspired travel? Quintessentially Lifestyle recommend some of the finest hotels around the world to enjoy a little luxury while hanging around with some of our primate relatives.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Malaysia
One of the Shangri-La’s Kota Kinabalu destinations, the Rasa Ria boasts all the brand’s five-star facilities in addition to its very own orangutan sanctuary. The Rasa Ria Nature Reserve operates in collaboration with the State Wildlife Department of Sabah, rehabilitating members of endangered species. Guests of the Shangri-La are invited to partake in a number of daily nature experiences, including the chance to see orphaned baby orangutans from a viewing platform.
The Rock Hotel, Gibraltar
Legend has it that as long as the Barbary macaques live on the Rock of Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule—the troops of cheeky monkeys have grown to some 300 animals and continue to be a major tourist draw. Explore the famous rock from the Rock Hotel, a handsome Art Deco property that is as much of a local institution as the monkeys. The décor retains much of its original 1930s charm which infusing all the modern comforts.
Komeneka at Monkey Forest, Indonesia
The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is as important a spiritual centre for the Balinese as it is a nature sanctuary. The grounds house three Hindu temples and five groups of Balinese long-tailed monkeys, all utterly at ease with the human visitors. The nearest luxury resort is the Komeneka, which began life as an artists’ residence for the Komaneka Gallery. Five-star accommodations (including pool villas, lush gardens and a spa) and given character with fine contemporary Indonesian and Balinese art showcased throughout.
Hog Hollow Country Lodge, South Africa
Plettenburg Bay’s Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary bills itself as “the worlds first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary”. It is home to 18 species of primates, with lemurs, langurs, black howlers, capuchins, vervet monkeys, gibbons and more roaming free across the property. The sumptuous Hog Hollow Lodge is within an hour’s trail walking distance, made up of 16 contemporary rustic suites, a three-bedroom villa and lodge. Thoughtful touches include homemade hand baked cookies in each room, carefully sealed from the prying hands of the monkeys around the site.
Anjajavy l’Hôtel, Madagascar
The only Relais & Châteaux property in Madagascar, the Anjajavy l’Hôtel fully delivers the collection’s signature qualities of intimate service, tastefully plush accommodations, superior cuisine and a unique experience. Traditional rosewood villas are thronged along the beach amidst a private reserve spanning 550 hectares. Guests can expect to enjoy the company of the island’s famous lemurs, with seven species of the privates making their home in the Anjajavy reserve.
Aqua Amazon, Peru
The Aqua Amazon is more floating luxury boutique hotel than your typical cruise ship. With just 12 cabins, the vessel provides an intimate, flexible travel experience as it explores the Peruvian stretch of the Amazon River, threading through the ancient rainforest and its incredible bio-diversity. Guests can soak up the ever-changing scenery from the comforts of the sleek cabins and its floor to ceiling windows, or get up close and personal from the fleet of customized skiffs. A team of naturalists guides is on hand to point out the exotic creatures, from caimans and otters in the river, to great egrets, macaws, toucans, three-toed sloths, and—of course—the howler, black spider and capuchin monkeys. Sister vessel Aria Amazon also offers luxurious wildlife cruises along the Amazon.
Korakukan Jigokudani, Japan
The Japanese macaques in Jigokudani Monkey Park have become something of a national icon. These clever creatures have adapted to the regions snowy winters by taking dips in the many local hot springs. Winter or summer, visitors come year round to get a glimpse at the beloved ‘snow monkeys’. Korakukan is a traditional ryokan set right in the park, offering an authentic and comprehensive guest experience, from the mountain cuisine to the old-fashioned rooms and the onsens (be prepared to share with the monkeys!).
To book these or other travel experiences, contact Quintessentially Lifestyle.
Text with permission of Wish hr partner, Quintessentially Lifestyle.