The Best Beach Hotels in Thailand

Thailand is home to some of the world’s best beaches, along with plush resorts with endless sea views
Thailand is home to some of the world’s best beaches, along with plush resorts with endless sea views | © Michael Snell / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
23 December 2020

With a ravishing coastline stretching for 3,129 kilometres (1,944mi), Thailand is paradise for anyone who longs for lazy beach days. It’s home to some of the world’s best beaches, known for powder-soft sand, jungle-cloaked cliffs and hidden coves for adventure. Show-stopping islands include Koh Samui and Phuket, where hills blanketed in dense jungle tumble into crystal-clear water, and plush resorts hug private bays with endless sea views.

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Spa Hotel
Map View
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui / Hotels.com

Peace and quiet come as standard at this blissfully romantic resort on the northwest coast of Koh Samui. Doing nothing is easy in one of the 60 villas, each with a private terrace, plunge pool and expansive sea views. If you prefer something a little more strenuous, there are complimentary classes in everything from massage to kite-making, alongside a watersports centre, divine spa, private cinema for two and even a Muay Thai boxing ring.

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Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa

Resort, Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa / Expedia
A hotel named after the Japanese word meaning “to find inner peace” was always going to excel at relaxation. This Bophut beach resort on Koh Samui doesn’t disappoint, with terracotta-tiled bungalows stuffed with home comforts, 80 metres (262ft) of white-sand beach, an open-air restaurant with traditional Thai dancers and a glass wine cellar stocked with 300 labels. Switch off completely at the hushed spa, which offers Ayurvedic and traditional Thai treatments.
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Six Senses Yao Noi

Boutique Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Six Senses Yao Noi 2
Courtesy of Six Senses Yao Noi / Expedia

No need to feel confined to the resort at this beautiful hotel on Phuket. Though it’s tempting to drift between the private pool of your thatched suite and the idyllic hillside spa village, the outstanding excursions offered by Six Senses should not be missed. Try a guided cycle trip past the island’s rubber trees plantations, take a Muay Thai lesson, volunteer at a local school or sail across unspoilt lagoons on an island-hopping tour.

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Trisara Villas and Residences Phuket

Resort
Map View
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Courtesy of Trisara Villas and Residences Phuket / Expedia

Don’t panic about getting a sea view at Phuket’s Trisara Villas & Residences. All 39 villas offer panoramic outlooks over the glittering Andaman Sea, which you can enjoy from your personal terrace and giant infinity pool built into the hillside. There are 40 expansive acres (16ha) of gardens to enjoy as well, with a spa, gym, 45m (148ft) lap pool and three excellent restaurants including the Deck, which hosts an unmissable Sunday jazz brunch.

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Sri Panwa Phuket Luxury Pool Villa Hotel

Resort, Luxury
Map View
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Courtesy of Sri Panwa Phuket Luxury Pool Villa Hotel / Expedia

With previous guests including everyone from Avicii to Snoop Dogg, Sri Panwa keeps seriously stylish company. Clinging to the Cape Panwa peninsula on the tip of southeastern Phuket, the resort is hidden within 40 acres (16ha) of rainforest with tuk-tuks to whisk guests between the waterfall pool, the secret underground nightclub, the spa and jaw-dropping pool villas cut into the cliff. Book in advance for sunset drinks at Baba Nest, a floating rooftop platform with sweeping sea views that might just be the world’s most photogenic bar.

Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort

Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
Map View
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Courtesy of Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort / Expedia

Foodies are truly spoilt at this chic 122-villa resort in Koh Samui. Guests can feast on sizzling Thai stir-fries at the pool bar, enjoy a private candlelit barbecue on the beach or sign up for a cookery class to recreate Thai flavours at home. But the romantic Tree Tops restaurant is truly unmissable, with just eight tables tucked between the foliage, and seafood dishes that melt in your mouth.

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  • Banyan Tree Samui

    Spa Hotel
    Map View

    Hugging an immaculate white sand beach on the Gulf of Thailand, this all-villa resort is buried in a dense jungle on Koh Samui’s southeastern corner. Though every villa has its own private pool and hot tub, it’s difficult to resist the captivating charms of the private bay where tranquillity is guaranteed via a ban on motorised watersports. Instead, enjoy windsurfing, kayaking and paddle-boarding or simply swim in the glowing emerald sea.

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    COMO Point Yamu, Phuket

    Chain Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
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    Courtesy of COMO Point Yamu, Phuket / Expedia

    Escape the daily grind at this luxury resort on Cape Yamu, a tropical peninsula on Phuket’s Phang Nga Bay. The hotel overlooks the UNESCO-protected Phang Nga Bay – made famous by the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun – and is a dream for couples, families and thrill-seekers keen to dive, rock climb and whizz through the mangroves on a white-knuckle ATV ride. The less daring should stick to the hotel’s renowned wellness offering, including garden yoga, mini-massages, workshops and energising health dishes.

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    Avani+ Samui Resort

    Resort, Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of Avani+ Samui Resort / Expedia

    Can’t decide between a quiet week on the sunlounger or checking out the nightlife of Koh Samui? This peaceful resort is tucked into one of the island’s quietest corners, with pools leading straight to the beach, free yoga sessions and excursions to explore the jungle with an expert guide. Yet those wanting livelier interludes can take a free daily shuttle to the party beaches of Chaweng and Lamai, or head to the hotel’s own 1950s-style beach club 45 minutes away for visiting DJs and day-to-night parties.

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    The Tongsai Bay

    Boutique Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel
    Map View
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    Courtesy of the Tongsai Bay / Hotels.com

    The wide curve of golden sand at Tongsai Bay is not just a beach, but the focus of this friendly family-run hotel. You can spend your days paddling, kayaking and snorkelling in the bathwater-clear waters, then enjoy open-air movies and live music performances held on the waterfront in the evening. Elsewhere, there are two pools (one is adults-only), a floodlit tennis court, a gift shop, sweet spa cottages and three restaurants, including the renowned Chef Chom’s Thai.

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    These recommendations were updated on December 23, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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