Thailand if one of the world’s greatest destinations for a luxury holiday. Only a few other countries can match the luxury hotels, gorgeous spas, and the genuine hospitality Thailand has to offer. Be prepared for a total pampering of your body and soul!
You can find luxury hotels in almost any of Thailand’s beach resorts, but below we present luxury experiences for those travelers who settle for nothing but the best.
Phuket – the Jetset Island
Many rich and famous have a home away from home in Phuket. F1 driver, Kimi Räikkönen, has a seaside villa on Phuket, and it’s even rumored that Madonna has a villa on Kamala Beach’s very exclusive hill side strip called the Millionaires’ Mile, just two name a few.
So what draws the high-end tourists to the island? It’s Phuket’s combination of excellent hotels and luxury property market, gourmet-restaurants, high-class golf courses and ease of accessibility. Phuket is even a convenient weekend getaway with direct flights from such international destinations as Hong Kong or Singapore.
Phuket has been blessed with natural beauty. The tropical island’s beaches are long and wide, and Phuket is situated close to Phang-Nga Bay known for its otherworldly karst island scenery . Phang-Nga Bay is the ideal spot for some high-class yachting.
The most glamorous hotels in Phuket have their own private beaches, so guests can be in the middle of the Phuket’s action and still enjoy their privacy.
Probably the most legendary luxury hotel in Phuket is Amanpuri, which was the starting point for the exclusive hotel chain, Aman Resorts, which now has super luxury resorts in 15 countries. The service in Amanpuri is so lavish that even though the hotel is built in traditional Thai style, it’s visitors feel like royalty (who, by the way, are not uncommon guests in Amanpuri). The staff even regularly dampens the sand so that the sand feels cool beneath the guests’ toes.
Amanpuri’s location is superb: quietly tucked away on a secret beach and yet still close enough to enjoy the nearby restaurants and stylish clubs on Surin Beach and Bang Tao Beach.
Trisara is another of Phuket’s classic luxury hotels dwelling in its own serenity in Northern Phuket. Trisara’s private beaches, pool villas, and its spa featuring heavenly 6-handed massage are waiting for the epicurean traveler.
Phuket offers many other great luxury hotels as well like the Andara Resort Villas located on the Millionaires’ Mile.
Stylish Koh Samui
Compared to Phuket, Koh Samui is a newcomer to the luxury market. During the last few years, premier luxury hotel chains have been competing to create the most sought after property, usually on very secluded private beaches.
The Tongsai Bay Resort was one of the first luxury hotels on the island, established in 1987. The Tongsai Bay Resort is still owned by a local family. It’s also the most well loved hotel in Samui, a rare combination of luxury and the feel of a family run hotel. Many customers enchanted by the charms of Tongsai Bay Resort come back time after time again.
Another interesting choice for a luxury hotel in Ko Samui is Six Senses Samui, which is known for its eco-friendly take on luxury. Six Senses has villas made of bamboo and dark woods, and their wall-sized windows offer unparalleled sea views. Most of the villas have their own private plunge pools.
No trip to Ko Samui would be complete without a visit (or five) to the island’s gorgeous spas. One of our favorite spas in the whole Thailand is Samui’s Tamarind Springs. The spa is located in a jungle grove that used to be a meditation place for Samui’s most famous hermit monk in the past. You can’t find a more spiritual place for a spa.
What comes to gourmet side of the trip, Ko Samui has probably the most bustling restaurant scene after Bangkok in Thailand. You will find several innovative, top class restaurants representing both Thai and international cuisine.
Krabi’s Dreamy Scenery
Thailand’s most picturesque scenery is found at Krabi, where the Phang-Nga Bay’s rocky islands rise gracefully from the ocean like an exotic dream.
The most luxurious hotel in Krabi is the Phulay Bay A Ritz Carlton Reserve, located on the area’s most gracious beach, Tubkaek Beach. Thailand’s most celebrated architect, Lek Bunnag, wanted this hotel to be an extraordinary work of art where guests could come to forget their everyday lives. And Bunnag definitely delivered: there is now doubt that Phulay Bay will stay in your cherished memories.
First of all, Phulay Bay’s well chosen staff, which numbers 6 to every guest, make it their personal mission to help you put every care from your mind.
The hotel’s atmosphere is perfectly complimented by the lush surroundings. One side of the hotel commands sweeping views of the horizon where rocky islands appear to be floating on the sea. The other side enjoys the calming sights and sounds of the jungle that lines the beach.
Serene Koh Yao Noi
A one hour boat trip from Phuket or Krabi will take you to Koh Yao Noi Island deep in the midst of Phang-Nga Bay’s alluring wonderland. On this serene island, far from tourist trails, is the sumptuous Six Senses Yao Noi hotel, where the villas and pools are open to breathtaking views over Phang-Nga Bay. Each villa is equipped with its own private pool.
Ko Yao Island Resort offers a more affordable but altogether memorable experience. If peace and plenty of space is what you’re looking for in a luxury hotel, then Ko Yao Island Resort is the place for you. Here you will find a handful of charming villas scattered across extensive grounds. These romantic villas are designed without walls, leaving them free to take full advantage of the fabulous karst island scenery. But when guests require a bit more privacy, all they need to do is draw down the bamboo shades.
Ko Kood – Luxury on a Faraway Island
Those who want to enjoy the luxuries of a world class hotel while relaxing in a remote deserted island, should choose the Soneva Kiri by Six Senses located on the secluded Ko Kood Island.
There is probably no more exotic and luxurious hotel in all of Thailand. This hotel even has its own time. All the clocks are set to be one hour behind so as to give the guests a longer and more relaxing evening.
Even though this hotel is quite isolated, located near the Cambodian border, there is no need to worry about gruesome transportation. Guests can catch a ride to the island from the hotel’s own private plane.
Luxurious Rice Fields in Northern Thailand
Of course, Thailand is not all about finding the perfect beach paradise. For some, a holiday dreamland can also be found nestled between the verdant mountains and rolling countryside of the Northern Thailand.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is surrounded by lushly green rice fields. The hotel even serves its guests rice grown in the hotel’s own fields, and on the breakfast table you can enjoy organic marmalade made from homegrown papayas and mangoes.
However, if you want to immerse yourself in natural jungle setting, Four Seasons Tented Camp is one of Thailand’s most exciting resorts, a luxurious tented camp located in the once notorious Golden Triangle area near the Burmese border.
Or if you fancy learning about elephants, you should book your stay in Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. The resort is running its own, highly regarded elephant conservation project, which also lets visitors get first hand experience of the gentle giants.
Luxury Stopovers in Bangkok
Luxury travelers shouldn’t forget Bangkok! Thailand’s capital is often ranked among the top tourist destinations in the world. Bangkok is a treat for all the senses. Its oddly fascinating combination of futuristic architecture and ancient traditions may even remind you of such Sci-Fi classics as Blade Runner.
Try to include at least a brief stay in Bangkok on your itinerary to explore its fabulous temples, gigantic shopping malls, and enjoy the famous nightlife.
Bangkok is also home to some of the world’s best Thai restaurants such as Nahm in the Metropolitan Bangkok Hotel.
However, the number one choice of a hotel for the luxury traveler in Bangkok is the Mandarin Oriental located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. Opened in 1887, this hotel is one of Asia’s legendary landmarks. Famous former guests include Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham (who nearly died of malaria during his stay).
Year after year, Bangkok’s Mandarin Oriental is voted one of the top hotels in the world. The Mandarin Oriental owes much of its fame to its unfailing service. If nothing else, at least go for the afternoon tea and immerse yourself in a distinguished part of Bangkok’s rich history.
Then again, if you are already familiar of Mandarin Oriental, and you want to try out something new, you should book a room or a villa on the fabulous The Siam.
It is quite impossible to properly explain the lure of The Siam or show it in photographs, instead the hotel has to be experienced. The Siam’s heart and soul are the huge antique collections of its owners shown in the hotel. Wherever one looks in The Siam, there lays something beautiful and elegant pleasing the eye.