Private Jet Villa

You may recall us telling you in digital issue five of get lost about Private Jet Villa, the plane which has been shifted onto a cliff in Uluwatu and made into a villa.

Well, it’s almost ready for take off. Private Jet Villa opens to the public in late-April however you might have to wait a while to stay there. According to the owner, there are unpaid requests to stay at the extraordinary $7,000 a night villa for the next 11 years.

Workers had to remove an estimated 50,000 bolts, and build an entire new road to get the thirty-tonne Boeing 737 aeroplane disassembled and reassembled in its position on the edge of a 150 metre cliff.

Its right wing serves as one of the most epic decks we’ve ever seen, and the newly released designs of the inside suggest a luxurious stay, with two bedrooms and stunning bathrooms, and wall to floor window views of the Indian Ocean.

The word unique gets thrown around a lot these days, but this really is it: there isn’t another place like this on earth. Pretty cool.


Built among rice field terraces, waterfalls and jungled mountainside, the brand-new, super-lux Avana Retreat in Mai Chau Vietnam is symbolic of iconic south-east Asian beauty.

Avana Retreat was inspired by the discovery of a local waterfall, just ten years ago.

That very waterfall is now privately accessible to guests of the retreat (of which there aren’t many – there’s only 36 rooms here) making it a truly ethereal breakaway – the kind you dream about from your desk every day at work.

There are more private surprises throughout: one villa perches on top of a terrace of rice fields; and three more boast private pools, including an 89-square-metre heated beauty that climbs in tiers, echoing the nearby rice terraces.

Air Asia re-launching flights to Thailand

We have liftoff!

Thai AirAsia X launched the first flights direct to Bangkok from Australia since the pandemic this week.

The budget airline, a branch of AirAsia, have sent plenty of Australians to the top Asian destinations over the years, and the opening of both the Melbourne to Bangkok, and Sydney to Bangkok route will be big news to the hordes of Aussies wanting to get back to the country’s pristine beaches and chaotic cities.

Almost a million Australian travellers flocked to Thailand every year before the pandemic – about 4% of the country. There are about 70,000 Thai born Australian residents.

Initial flight schedule: 

From To Departure time Arrival Days Beginning
Bangkok Sydney 00.30 14.15 Monday
2 December


Bangkok 15.45 21.35 Monday
2 December


Melbourne 00.20 14.00 Wednesday
1 December
Melbourne   Bangkok 15.30 21.15 Wednesday
1 December

Asia’s best swimming pool

Aliya, a stay in central Sri Lanka, boasts what might just be the best swimming pool anywhere in Asia.

The generously sized 12 by 8 metre pool (which feels much larger than that) is situated in the middle of a dense canopy of greenery, gazing out towards Sigiriya – the thousands of years old wonder rock that is the enduring image of Sri Lanka.

King Kashyapa (of sixth century fame) built a palace of exquisite grandeur on Sigirya, which has been both lost and found over the last 1500 years. But if he were to hypothetically see the low-key, relaxed opulence of Aliya, we get the feeling he would have preferred to stay here.

As well as the pool there is a spa with modern and traditional methods, a modern recovery treatment centre for those needing a complete break, thoughtfully designed rooms and villas with their own pools, and the most extraordinary buffet selections get lost has ever seen (curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

As well as being the perfect base to explore Sigiriya, Aliya (Singhalese for elephant) is central to Minneriya National Park. When we visited, four herds of elephants converged into the one area, giving close proximity to over 100 elephants.

Your own private Sri Lankan Beach

There is a sense of ‘laidback chaos’ that courses through the veins of Sri Lanka.

The most relaxed, easy-going people swerve to dodge cows, buffalo and other livestock on the roads, while friendly handshakes bely the rapid Singhalese and Tamil languages that can be heard around the country.

At Maalu Maalu Resort in Pasikudah, however, the ‘chaos’ dial is turned right down: it’s 100% laidback.

Maalu Maalu’s ocean villas are literally eight steps from your bed to the beach…maybe nine or ten if you’re a little bit shorter. This town is the perfect place to unwind and take it easy, Sri Lankan style.

From the soft underfoot, and warm waters of the private beach, it is possible to walk 500 metres out into the sea and still have your head above water.

Maalu in Sinhalese means fish, and Maalu Maalu is the time honoured call that still comes from fishmongers selling their fish after a morning out at sea.

This is the perfect place to unwind, or romance; a four-course dinner is available to book, featuring lobster, tuna, prawns and more – all served on a completely seculded, private beach.

It is one extraordinary experience to eat dinner on a beach with a loved one, with nothing but the sound of gentle waves lapping at shore for company.

Epic Recycled Brewery

Kamikatsu in southern Japan has set its sights on being a ‘zero-waste town’, and judging from their brewery, they’re well on their way.

The building that houses Rise and Win Brewery is made from mostly recycled materials, first and foremost the epic patchwork of windows at the front of the building, all nabbed from abandoned houses in the area and given a new lease of life.

The brewery itself isn’t too shabby either; the taproom featuring a delicious, rotating selection of kegs.

The beer itself follows the lead of the rest of the town, composting the by-products of the brewing and using wheat grown nearby for beer that is truly local.

There’s everything from a lighter summer ale through to a stout, and a tasty looking BBQ-inspired menu.

Party Time at Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club

When a press release comes our way saying a new property is a “hedonistic bolt-hole” well, we sit up and take notice!

There’s a new player in town at Koh Samui’s party central Chaweng Beach and this player oozes glamorous 50’s swagger and style. Imagine a Palm Springs, South Beach Miami vibe with a Thai twist and it is party time at Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club

Sitting just a few steps away from a sumptuous stretch of silky white sand, you’ll enjoy access to the best sunsets, dining, entertainment and people-watching on Samui. SEEN Beach Club Samui, the hard-hitting party central next door, throws epic pool parties with top DJs and world-class entertainment on tap. The resort’s social swimming pool feels like a hopping bar, with snug cabanas and a mixology station that moonlights as a check-in area.

This place will be the coolest joint on Samui.


Live like a Japanese samurai warrior for one night in this newly converted private guest room at Hirado Castle on Hirado Island in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The contemporary golden interior design of the private quarters are juxtaposed against the rough, ancient exterior of what was once a very regal and traditional Japanese castle. Once home to the famous Matsura clan, the castle was first constructed in the 16th century. The bathroom has sweeping views over the Sea of Japan and the Hirado bridge below. Open to just a pair of guests each night, you’ll also get a kagura show and tea ceremony on arrival. But it’s definitely a very pricey cuppa.

From AU$11,700 per night.

The House on the Very, Very Large Slope

When it comes to titles that don’t quite tell the full story, ‘The House on the Slope’ might just be the biggest undersell in history.

First of all, the ‘slope’ is actually a 7000ft mountain in the Himalayas. Bit of a decent slope, if you ask me.

Secondly, the term ‘house’ is understating things as well. The accommodation is not only homely and has a roof, which you would expect of a ‘house’, but also allows the things that makes it special to shine. This is, of course, mainly it’s location.

Camouflaged amidst a virgin pine, oak and rhododendron forest, the house is made almost entirely of stone bricks that have been hand-carved from local stone. The structure stretches across multiple terraced fields, giving a unique kind of layered look. An all-glass skylight runs through the roof and transitions into the front wall of the house, where you get breath-taking views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks such as Trishul and Nanda Devi. Not a bad thing to wake up to in the morning.

Imagine enjoying an altitude-filled brekky in the morning on the terrace in the morning, drinking coffee in the mountains, in the freshest of air. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Top Four New Japan Stays

The Land of the Rising Sun is finally reopening.

Everyone’s second favourite country has been closed to tourists more or less since the start of the pandemic. Bloody ages, if we had to put a number on it.

Now, after months of cautious movements, the Japanese government has released all restrictions, effective from the start of October.

The fact that this 2,194 km² bundle of, energy, onsens, snow, delicious food, and cool weird shit is open again warms our hearts, and makes us feel like travel is truly back in business.

Since it was last open, a number of cool places have opened up to stay – check out four of the best below:

Kai Poroto


Inspired by the art and architecture of the indigenous Ainu people, all 42 rooms of KAI Poroto have views of Lake Poroto. All 42 rooms are absolutely stunning as well, combining traditional architecture with more modern styles in a way that Japan seem to do so well. There is an onsen, and it is filled with Shiraoi waters, a rare type of onsen water that contains organic minerals.

Click here for more info.

Appi Kogen Resort – Opulence in the snow


Tohoku’s first luxury resort will be ready for the next winter (December – March), set upon stunning snowscapes that are renowned by locals as ‘miracle silky snow’.

A large lounge overlooks the slopes, where there’s also a 400 year old beech tree surrounded by epic artwork. Most of the 38 rooms overlook the white stuff too, so you can watch people strut their stuff while enjoying a sake underneath the sheets. WARNING: You might never make it outside.

Click here for more info. 

Shiminka Villas


Shinminka Villas are five almost identical timber villas (with several new additions in 2022) spread out across the lesser-known Okinawa islands. With entirely transparent outer walls, this simple but aesthetically pleasing accommodation allows you to blend in as part of the natural environment during your stay. There’s a large bathtub, as well as a hammock, and there’s one villa with a pool as well. Take it easy.

Click here for more info. 

Izu Cliff House

Izu Peninsula

No prizes for figuring out what the Izu Cliff House is. It is a house on a cliff.

This doesn’t do it quite do it justice though. Two professors from Tokyo got married in the 1960s and decided to build this work of art, overlooking the stunning Izu Peninsula in the remote Minamiizu area, in 1971. It has only recently been open to the public to stay in.

Stunning floor to ceiling windows, thoughtful Japanese interiors and one of the best decks get lost has ever seen – this is an absolute gem.

Air BNB Link