If you’re thinking about a trip to Thailand, here are some recommendations on where to stay.
Thailand is so popular, and with good reason. It’s a wonderful cultural experience for families, it has divine spas and idyllic beaches for honeymooners and those wanting to relax in style. There is great shopping in Bangkok, plus the food is affordable and truly delicious.
I picked the brains of travel agents and long-time visitors to Thailand for their hotel recommendations and here are the ones that came out tops:
Designed and furnished by renown Australian spa designer Bill Bensely, this hotel is set against a backdrop of dense tropical rainforest with rare wildlife. It’s gorgeously peaceful right on a white sandy beach with an infinity pool and incredibly stylish rooms. It’s also famous for probably the best bed you’ll ever sleep on! Phuket was famous for its tin mining and this resort seamlessly blends rustic timber with shiny metals in a sublime Thai meets West industrial design. Make sure you stay for a Sunday because their brunch is iconic!
Right in the heart of bustling Patong Beach, this is a great choice if you want to be able to walk to the bars and markets, dine at local Thai restaurants – or just eat pizza! The hotel had a major renovation last year and rooms are bright and airy. There are 3 pools with the all-important swim-up bars. The resort is set in 5 acres of tropical gardens so once you’re ensconced within, you have no idea how crazy it is out there. Access to the beach is across the road.
This is a large hotel (470 rooms) and great for families or friends because it has its own beach which is a destination in itself, and two huge lagoon-sized pools. AND they have their own baby elephant on site. Awwww. They also have 10 restaurants and bars, a cooking school and a kids discovery centre, plus heaps of activities and facilities available so you need never leave the beach. It’s only 5-minutes from Patong and 30-minutes from Phuket town for when you need a shopping fix or a night on the tiles. They will organise temple visits, elephant treks and cruises to outer islands like Phi Phi too.
Located on the beach at secluded Pai Plong Bay, one bay along from the main resort area of Ao Nang. It is accessed by speedboat from Nopparatthara Pier, a short tuk tuk ride from Ao Nang, or by walking through the national park via a staircase and trail. White sand stretches half a km and views of the limestone formations are magic. They also have a kids’ club so your little ones can have as much fun as you – while you lie by the pool with a book and a chilled glass.
Traditional Thai architecture makes you really feel like you’re in Thailand. This hotel is an easy walk to Phra Nang Bay, Krabi’s best beach. There is a huge swimming pool and waterfall that is shaped around the resort edged in palm trees, including a children’s pool and another with that all-important swim-up bar! You’re only a few minutes from Ao Nang village but catch a tuk tuk back as there’s a bit of hill to climb with all your shopping.
This would be the best romantic hotel. It’s about 25 minutes drive from Ao Nang. Secluded and gorgeous on a beautiful beach. The highlight is your room and suites all have outdoor bathrooms and sunken stone bathtubs – which are perfect for a moonlight soak. The Tubkaak Suite also has its own private infinity pool. There are no crowds here, just peace and tranquility.
KOH SAMUI _________________________
This resort is unique for original rice barges that have been converted into rooms. It has even featured on CNN. It’s great for couples and families as the beach is lovely and you can walk to nearby hotels to try other restaurants and bars. There is a kids club and a free shuttle to the main markets. The rooms are spacious and the beachside restaurant is perfect for whiling away the evening.
This is one for the romantics! A luxury resort that is wonderfully remote with a private beach. Many of the villas (70%) have their own private pools. Take one of the hotel’s kayaks and explore the coastline, or swim in the sea – if you can drag yourself out of the spa. There are 3 restaurants or you can have the staff arrange a bbq in your villa or a private dinner on the beach.
Anantara Resorts are well known for their amazing spas and this one is no exception. Each room comes with a stone bathtub – filled with petals – within the bedroom if you slide the doors back. The main infinity pool drops into the white sand of Bophut Beach. If you’re feeling energetic, take a wind surfer or sail boat out. Dine in the Italian or the Thai restaurants, or get the staff to set you up anywhere in the resort you like.