1. Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood
Remote yet accessible by a 60 minute flight from Bangkok on the resort’s private plane, phenomenal Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s 4th largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. Soneva Kiri is not only the best hotel in Thailand but also one of the most exclusive resorts in the world, offering an unrivalled combination of luxury, environmentally friendly design and unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences. The 36 resort villas (including 11 private residences) are amongst the largest in the world. Located on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes in the rainforest, all have stunning infinity pools, impossibly chic furnishings, personal electric buggies, and impeccable service courtesy of private butlers. Highlights include the open air cinema Paradiso, Benz’ mangrove restaurant, the chocolate & ice cream parlour, the children’s den and the spectacular Treetop dining pod.
2. Rosewood Phuket
At an exquisite location along a 600 m (2000 ft) beachfront at Emerald Bay, Rosewood Phuket is a tropical beach hideaway akin to an ideal ocean village. Innovative design with subtle Thai influences blends organically into a lush natural landscape, while sun-weathered shores and glistening, crystalline waters help celebrate luxury island living. The environmentally sensitive, contemporary architecture style utilizes indigenous materials such as stone and timber throughout and features floor-to-ceiling windows in all private and public areas to offer a fully immersive experience of the hillside forest surroundings. Featuring 71 pavilions and villas, the resort offers a secluded island escape and celebration of the brand’s ‘A Sense of Place’ philosophy, taking inspiration from the natural landscape, diverse cultures and unique sensibilities of this distinctive southern isle.
3. Six Senses Yao Noi, Phuket
Six Senses Yao Noi sets the highest benchmark for island resort living in Asia. Located beyond Phuket in awesome Phang Nga Bay, there’s a sense of privacy and adventure. The resort’s 55 elevated pool villas present generous personal space and a variety of views. Sea view villas offer glorious vistas over Phang Nga Bay, while mountain view villas face a plantation of rubber trees. Natural materials used in the modern architecture, together with excellent personal service, support the Six Senses philosophy of creating exceptional experiences. There are dining options aplenty at Six Senses Yao Noi, with several restaurants and bars, and an international wine cellar. The Living Room presents Thai and world cuisine and an open grill, while The Hilltop offers Thai set dinners and light lunches. There’s also an excellent Six Senses Spa, and the property offers many exciting excursions and activities.
4. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
Hidden within exotic bamboo jungles overlooking Myanmar and Laos, this luxury hotel offers tailor-made, all-inclusive experiences in an exquisite bamboo jungle close to some of Thailand’s oldest civilizations. The Four Seasons Tented Camp at Golden Triangle contains just 15 tents, where guests can stretch out in 54 square meters (581 square feet) of living space appointed with leather-and-hardwood bush chairs, paddle fans and a hardwood desk, or soothe your muscles in a custom-made wooden hot tub on the outdoor deck. At night, sundowners are offered at the Burma Bar, then afterwards, guests enjoy unforgettable dining experiences in a safari camp atmosphere at the Nong Yao Restaurant. A stay at the lodge includes a comprehensive list of activities, such as walking with the resort’s resident elephants, or absorbing the tropical tranquility with an open-air massage among the treetops.
5. Amanpuri, Phuket
Amanpuri (which means “peaceful place”) was the very first Aman, which is known today as the world’s most exclusive hotel brand. The luxury hotel is located within a former coconut plantation overlooking the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Thailand’s island of Phuket. Amanpuri is entirely self-contained on a verdant peninsula sloping down to Pansea Beach and its pristine, sheltered cove. This timeless retreat is in harmony with its idyllic setting, with ancient Ayutthayan architecture determining the design of its pavilions and villas, which overlook lush vegetation and the pristine Andaman Sea. Interspersed throughout a ltropical garden, the Thai-style pavilions and villas are approached by elevated walkways, and all have a private outdoor sala (room) for dining and relaxing, shaded by tropical flora. Sloping roof lines frame soothing, spacious interiors, furnished with Thai textiles, art and antiques.
6. Banyan Tree Phuket
Encircling the sparkling waters of a saltwater lagoon, Banyan Tree Phuket is a tropical fairytale where the roads are lined with casuarinas and palms, the fields are bright with Allamanda blooms and the Bang Tao Bay always sparkles in sapphire brilliance. The luxury hotel is a glorious spread of Thailand’s elegant architecture complemented with every modern amenity imaginable. The hotel is cradled within Laguna Phuket’s exclusive community, a 400-hectare former abandoned tin mining site that includes 3 km of sandy shores and is home to more than 30 restaurants and bars (with free use of inter-resort transportation by shuttle vehicle or lagoon boat). This is the perfect destination for travelers who seek a luxury hideaway, a golf getaway, a relaxing staycation or a base from which to explore this beautiful island’s heritage, culture and stunning beaches.
7. The Siam Hotel Bangkok
The Siam hotel – opened in 2013 – is in a category of its own and unique to the Thai capital. With only 39 suites and 3 acres of property along the river, guests are able to experience a resort atmosphere and a level of exclusivity that is not available at Bangkok’s larger luxury properties. The suites at the Siam are amongst the largest in city, all outfitted with plush furnishings, super-sized king beds and lofty ceilings. Each room has been individually designed with original turn of the century oriental artwork and antiques. Guests can also choose for an intimately private pool villa and bask in either Thai, Chinese or Colonial surrounds. Every villa is awash with lush internal gardens and features a private swimming pool and open-air roof terrace, perfect for private sunbathing, evening cocktails or tête-à-tête dining.
8. Rayavadee Krabi
Rayavadee is situated in the heart of Krabi’s beautiful Phranang Peninsula on the border of Krabi Marine National Park, an area renowned for its natural beauty and rich flora, fauna and marine life. When the resort was built more than two decades ago, it was with the idea of creating one of Thaialnd’s best luxury hotels that offers living in balance within a unique environment. The Rayavadee nestles discreetly amidst tropical gardens and coconut groves against a backdrop of sheer cliffs, lush jungle foliage and the clear waters of the Andaman Sea. In addition to stylish, five-star accommodation, Rayavadee also boasts fine cuisine, one of the most unique relaxation spas in Thailand, and warm, attentive service. Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, the resort is also the perfect Thailand honeymoon destination and setting for intimate, personalized wedding celebrations.
9. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
Set on a tropical hillside that unfurls into the ocean, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is an away-from-it-all escape that perfectly blends in with its spectacular natural environment. This is one of Thailand’s best luxury hotels and a wonderful place to experience Koh Samui’s island perfection. The resort’s hillside luxury villas are shaded by coconut groves and overlook the mystical Gulf of Siam and the talcum-white sands of the private bay. All villas feature a private outdoor deck, aqua-inspired interiors and a lovely infinity pool. Guests here start their day in paradise with yoga, enjoy healing rituals inspired by nature at the Secret Garden Spa, relax to ocean sounds with a massage on the beach, savor afternoon tea at Koh Thai Kitchen, or pamper themselves with one of many private dining experiences.
10. Keemala Phuket
Curving shapes and a highly unusual architecture are the inventive dwellings of Keemala, an all pool villa wonderland nestled well away from the Phuket crowds and overlooking Kamala Village and the Andaman Sea. For fun seekers the resort is close enough to Kamala Beach and the liveliness of Patong Beach and all the dynamic action that Phuket has to offer, yet far enough removed to step back and take time to enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the rainforest and a plethora of holistic activities and cuisine to aid wellbeing. Shaded by an enchanted canopy of rainforest and connected together by a network of jungle walkways, the resort’s 38 villas are designed for guests wishing to experience a rustic, yet lavish, escape. Some villas are built in the canopy, featuring two floors complete with a private pool, upper level master bedroom, and a large lounge and dining area on the lower level.