Twilight hour, golden hour, magic hour – call it what you want, the setting of the sun is a photographer’s dream, creating nature’s canvas in the sky and filling it with an array of colours and styles: pink, orange, red, yellow, golden, amber, mauve, purple; soft and calm, fiery and streaky, clear and majestic. Here we’ll look at 5 hotels where you can sit back with a cocktail in hand and wind down as the sun sets below the horizon.
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With most of Phuket’s major development straddling the western coast, there are plenty of hotels resorts from which to watch the sunset. But probably the best vantage point from which to experience this on the island of golden beaches is at arguably the island’s most luxurious resort: Trisara – transliterated as ‘third garden in heaven’, and with good reason! Occupying two headlands and its connecting stretch in northwestern Phuket, although the resort only has 39 villas (and as many more 2-6 bedroom private residential villas), the enormous footprint of the property ensures maximum privacy. The resort, set within one of Phuket’s most splendid national parks offering lush greenery, enjoys a small but private beachfront, a rarity for a Thai resort, and each room, suite or villa comes with a private infinity pool, with some layouts where the pool seemingly extends into the sea. Laze on the hammocks by the beach, sip a cocktail at the beachside pool, or enjoy a seafood dinner on your villa terrace as the sky lights up.
California loves its sunsets. The entire state is renowned for its long driveways and highways that snake along the coastline, and the renowned Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur sits perfect for a long drive up from Los Angeles to San Francisco (or vice versa) – in between the two major cities. With sizeable and unique accommodation such as ‘cliff’, ‘coast’, ‘peak’, ‘tree’ and ‘mountain’ suites, the resort is known for its curved and circular designs that open out to picturesque panoramas, marrying natural elements such as wood (an inspiration taken from the nearby Redwood forest) and stone with contemporary architectural finishes.
It is only appropriate that the rustic resort of Six Senses Laamu, with a focus on the natural, makes it into a list that looks at a natural phenomenon. With villas scattered around the island and on three overwater jetties, some labelled sunset villas are earmarked for prime sunset viewing. But the rest of the resort’s guests congregate at Chill Bar, a bar built over the water with hammocks and lounging beds, with a view facing west to the often fiery sunsets over nearby islands.
Owing to its unique location high above the Caldera, Grace Santorini makes our list of top sunrise and sunset spots. With an elevated position and an elongated resort structure, this iconic Greek resort enjoys the sunrise to one side, and sunset to the other, replete with the whitewashed stone and cool blue pools that have made Santorini famous. Its highlight is the two-bedroom 4,300-square-foot villa (although also available as a one-bedroom rental for honeymooners) which comes with its own spa: hammam, Jacuzzi, treatment room and a heated pool.
This architectural gem provides a magnificent foreground to the spectacular natural backdrop of the setting sun. Perched precariously on Uluwatu’s cliffs at the southern tip of Bali, the aptly named sunset cabana by the main pool and restaurant protrudes past the cliff hanging over the sea, framing beautiful sunset night after night. With a picturesque view, beautiful location and cutting-edge design, it is no surprise that the resort attracts several daytripper tourists from around Bali who come by for drinks, snacks and early dinners just to catch a glimpse of the sunset. To ensure maximum privacy, retreat to your 2- and 3-bedroom villas, which offer the same view, your own private sunset cabana and a spectacular private infinity pool to top it off!