Former model Stephanie Chai seems to have no permanent address, with her job taking her from one country to another for weeks at a time.
“I think many of us who travel so much for work have become citizens beyond borders,” says Chai, who currently just moved to Singapore. “While my nationality is defined by my passport, home is on the go!”
The part-Italian, part-Chinese Malaysian globetrotter founded travel booking website Luxe Nomad in 2012, a company that partners with luxury villas in the Asia Pacific region.
As someone who is an expert on the luxury travel industry and who also lives out a dreamy jet-set life, Chai shares her personal travel recommendations for each type of celebration:
BEST FOR BIRTHDAYS
Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia
Celebrating with friends? Try Villa Vedas in Bali. It’s right along the beach, just 15 mins away from Canggu and has a party vibe about it with a stunning T-shaped pool and a sky pool on the second floor, to boot. There are also no neighbors, so you can party as long or as loud as you like!
BEST FOR HONEYMOONS
Manadhoo, Noonu Atoll, Maldives
BEST FOR PROPOSALS
Queenstown, New Zealand
There’s a great spa in Arthur’s Point called Onset Hot Pools, it’s up in the mountains and overlooks a valley. It gives you a stunning view while enjoying your own private onsen and a bottle of champagne. My brother actually proposed to his fiancée here!
BEST FOR FAMILY VACATIONS
For this, you’ll need a large villa to fit the entire family, of course. Check out the beautiful seven-bedroom villa at The Aquila Phuket that sits on the cliff, overlooking the sea. The expansive estate is a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship. It is the perfect fusion of modernity and traditional Asian design, featuring exotic materials such as teak wood, black Indian granite, and Italian tiles. Phuket has some great beaches and if you like being by the water, there are some amazing yachts and boats to hire for a day trip.
BEST IN BESPOKE EXPERIENCES
Villa Sin Sin
Villa Sin Sin is surrounded by green rice paddy fields. A stay at this villa offers a full immersion into the Balinese village of
BEST IN SERVICE
My five-star rating for best service would go to Villa Ambra. The proactiveness of the team is memorable, guests are treated like royalty, and every aspect of your stay is curated down to the finest details.
Chai also advises that the best time to book accommodations for a trip is “either very early or very late.” She says, “If you’re early to book, there are usually early bird discounts you can get, and when you’re booking last minute and the place is empty, you sometimes score awesome deals.”