Latest Stories

My Square Meter

Incorporating tropical gardens into wonderful properties


ANANTARA Premier Suite

What’s the best way to improve any property in the most natural way? Put in a tropical garden, of course! Any time a property has well-planned landscaping, especially a beautiful garden, the surroundings become more striking and remarkable.

I was quite impressed with the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa (www.anantara.com), which has four-and-a-half hectares of lush greenery complementing the Thai-style structures of the hotel. Adding beauty to the naturalness of the entire property is the timeless Chao Phraya River, flowing beside Anantara and creating great synergy with its tropical gardens.

Surrounded by swaying palms, decade-old Banyan trees and blooming nature, the luxurious resort has superb lifestyle facilities including an expansive pool and pocket courtyards that lead to 11 dining restaurants around the hotel. The Anantara Spa is nicely placed in the South Wing, decorated with river stones and giant palms.

LUSH tropical garden grounds of Anantara Resort & Spa, Bangkok

Redefining the resort’s luxury accommodations, the entire South Wing and its 169 rooms and suites were refurbished a couple of years ago. Contemporary Thai deign is reimagined through backlit mirrored panels and etched inscriptions, and the warmth of solid makha wooden flooring is balanced by the softness of Thai silk.


Space, light and views of the scenic river or lush gardens are accentuated by floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings. Three Deluxe room types are positioned to overlook tropical grounds or the age-old river life or are right beside the river.

POOL and garden of The Governor’s Residence in Burma (Myanmar)

The Junior Premier Suites feature a separate lounge with a full-length sofa, large ottoman and work desk, as well as a luxury bathroom with marble flooring and walls. Anantara’s Premier Suites boast a separate bar, an elegant dining area and a lounge area. The wrap-around balcony is accessible from both the living area and bedroom, and reveals impressive river views.

Anantara Resort truly lets its guests experience Bangkok’s colorful contrasts and indulgent waterfront lifestyle. With every room enjoying views of the lush garden setting, it is easy to never leave the resort.

Another great example of bringing in a verdant garden into a property’s look and feel is the Governor’s Residence Hotel (www.governorsresidence.com) in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar). This romantic, colonial-style mansion is blessed with a tropical garden and serene lotus ponds. Located in the elegant surroundings of the Embassy Quarter in Yangon, the quaint hotel is called the “Garden of the East.”

DECADES-OLD Banyan tree and garden of The Governor’s Residence Hotel

Upon entering the teak house, guests are instantly transported to decades past. The generous gardens only lend to the retro ambience, with shady trees and lotus ponds next to the fan-shaped pool.

The colonial house has Burmese charm set in this majestic, historic hotel. A lantern-filled garden lines the wooden walkway to the verandah with high ceilings and fans.

Refreshing views

Of course, in our own country, there are great examples of lushly gardened resorts. The Farm at San Benito (www.thefarm.com.ph) is a sprawling resort in Lipa City, with villas spaciously set apart from each other and abundantly surrounded by coconut trees and other tropical plants.

RIVERSIDE photo of Anantara Resort & Spa in Bangkok

The Farm’s refreshing views complement the Philippine style-structure and native interiors with modern amenities. It is a center for holistic healing and wellness and the classic tropical garden sets the backdrop for all the resort.

Strong design elements, bold foliage, dramatic plant colors and ponds make The Farm a garden paradise. The informal paths and “jungle” plantings with luscious palms and colorful foliage are perfect for the timber furniture and resort-style interiors.

A selection of perfectly placed palms and bamboo gives The Farm its tropical look. Several pocket gardens and waterfall features make the resort so relaxing and conducive for health and wellness.

The Farm recently opened The Narra Pool Villas, which have hill views of the palms and fruit-bearing trees. Each villa has its own private pool, and they are all spacious and beautifully designed. Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors make the outdoor charm flow into the inner space.

That’s three countries and three great examples of how to incorporate tropical gardens into wonderful properties. With our tropical weather and rich soil, there are so many more examples throughout the region. I only wish I could feature them all.

Visit www.tessaprietovaldes.com or follow @tessavaldes on Twitter.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: column , property , tessa prieto-valdes , tropical gardens

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace