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Pampering yourself in Thailand isn’t hard to do. This land of friendly, tourist-oriented people excels at providing all-encompassing tropical retreat experiences. From world-class dining options to a a huge range of spa treatments, we’ve prepared this list of luxury hotels for your next holiday in Thailand.
Travel to this Koh Samui beachside resort for the extravagant villas with swimming pools. Stay for the indulgent pampering. Many villas and suites – adorned with marble and wood panelling – come with open-air showers and generous deck space. After splashing in your pool or soaking up the sun, tuck into Italian food at Pangaea Restaurant (try the Lombard-inspired ossobuco veal,) or else opt for chef-curated in-villa meals if you can’t bear stepping away from your poolside sanctuary.
Set on a verdant hillside, Kalima Resort & Spa is a wise retreat choice that still keeps you close to the bustle of Patong Beach. Villas with private pools and luxury suites with expansive sea views augment this sunny locale’s embracing cuddle. Come evening, if your family wants longer on the beach, fret not – the resort built a sandy artificial hillside beach, along with a nine-hole mini-golf course to keep the good times rolling.
In the green hills of Chiang Rai, Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa offers a variety of suites with terraced woodland vistas. The garden park, with deer and a macaw reserve, is loads of fun. Explore nearby Buddhist temples and golden pagodas (like Wat Phra That Doi Thong), then wander back to the resort for an invigorating body scrub. Next, select from a menu of red wine, coffee or lavender salt for a healing body mask. Unwind at the end of the day with brandy or whiskey at the Fireplace Bar, which does indeed feature a large stone fireplace under a sloping ceiling.
This destination, with views across Pattaya Bay, will spoil you rotten. Once you leave your suite, frolic on the beach before moseying over to the Devarana Spa. Herb-based body treatments – lasting more than two hours – will refresh your skin with heaps of therapeutic mud. The bistros, bakeries and restaurants on the premises ensure that your belly will always be full. If meals on spikes appeal, the poolside skewer restaurant was made for you, with sweet and savoury dishes (even hamburgers) cooked – or at the very least presented – on long metal skewers.
Soneva Kiri is for anyone who ever fancied living on their own private stretch of island. The rainforest villas (with private pools) dotted around a small western arm of Koh Kood Island are only the beginning of your stay. Take a dip beneath Yai Ki waterfall, try your hand at SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) through a mangrove forest, or book an in-villa barbecue and watch your personal chef grill fresh seafood for dinner. When the sun sets, wander over to the ultramodern observatory to gaze up at the stars and planets in the pristine night sky.
Fronting Emerald Bay, Rosewood Phuket is a treat for your senses. Stay in modern suites or villas – private pools, decks and daybeds feature – with touches of Thai design, located near the secluded Tri Trang Beach. Thai seafood, Italian cooking, along with down and dirty (but truly delicious) seafood options can be had in the various eateries. Assess your health at the spa with a wellness or body composition consultation, and perhaps try a stretching session, deep cleanse or collagen-lifting treatment.
East of Phuket lies Koh Yao Noi Island. The island, brimming with postcard-ready seashores surrounded by colourful coral, makes for an exceptional tropical setting. Lay your head down in a thatched-roofed hillside villa with an infinity pool. During the day, enjoy kayak trips, beach and jungle walks, or book a cookery class. Hit the spa later on for a deep tissue massage – or else try an “age-defying” or antioxidant facial to erase your worries. Chow down at several different dining spots, where sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients (and excellent wine) are par for the course.
Want to isolate yourself from the rest of Phuket, like you’re on HG Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau (but without those weird experiments)? If that’s the case, Amanpuri, on a secluded peninsula, is the way to go. Private villas with temple-inspired architecture can easily accommodate groups of varying sizes. If looking for a break from the rat race, a multi-day medical detox immersion or weight management program can kickstart a whole new you. If visiting for fun, paddle boarding (including a bike-like “pedal” board) and scuba diving options abound, letting you make the most out of the warm, aquamarine sea that surrounds the hotel.