The Best Hotels in Thailand for Every Traveller

Jaw-dropping scenery at Six Senses, Yao Noi
Jaw-dropping scenery at Six Senses, Yao Noi | Courtesy of Six Senses Yao Noi / Expedia
Photo of Hamish Roy
12 December 2020

As famous for its mist-swirled mountains as it is for turquoise lagoons, Thailand is capable of firing every sense and stoking all manner of imaginations. Are you a dreamer who wants to stargaze in the rainforest canopy, or a committed cyclist who’d rather navigate the bustle of Old Bangkok’s markets? Here’s our pick of hotels to suit every persuasion.

Santhiya, Koh Yao Yai

Resort, Luxury
Map View
Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort 2
Courtesy of Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort / Expedia
Diehard romantics will fall for Santhiya, an eco resort on Koh Yao Yai – one of Thailand’s lesser-trodden isles. The Andaman Sea-facing villas are built almost entirely of teak, which has been carved and engraved by Thai craftsmen at the top of their game. In the evenings, have sundowners delivered to your Jacuzzi before heading out to one of the resort’s six restaurants.
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Anantara, Koh Phangan

Resort, Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas
Courtesy of Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas / Expedia
Skirting the edge of one of Thailand’s most famous beaches, Anatara Koh Phagnan was conceived with sun seekers in mind. The resort’s standalone villas are a far cry from the island’s backpacker haunts, finished with dark-wood furniture, light-flooded bathrooms and private plunge pools overlooking the lagoon. If lying on the beach all day isn’t your idea of fun, try topping up your tan with a session on the sea-facing yoga platform, or over cocktails at the beachfront bistro.
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Keemala, Phuket

Resort, Treehouse
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Keemala
Courtesy of Keemala / Expedia
The otherworldly villas at Keemala Phuket are themed around fictional clans, encouraging guests’ imaginations to run wild. Take the Birds Nest Villas, said to be inspired by a clan that embraced decadence, philosophy and astronomy. Stood on stilts that put you flush with the forest canopy, each nest-like villa has a sun deck and a private pool overlooking the treetops and the beach beyond.
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The Inside House, Chiang Mai

Boutique Hotel, Luxury
Map View
The Inside Hous
Courtesy of The Inside House / Expedia
Built in the Lanna Colonial style of the 1920s, the Inside House is one of the most beautiful buildings in Chiang Mai. Capable of charming the most demanding design devotees, the porcelain-white hotel looks as if it rose from the page of a wistful novel, complete with ornamental arches, palm-filled lounges and an entrance overlooked by a wizened Bodhi tree. If you can, swing for one of the pool suites, which have transportive terraces and marble-lined pools.
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Bangkok Publishing Residence, Bangkok

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Bangkok Publishing House
Courtesy of Bangkok Publishing House / Expedia
The birthplace of Bangkok Weekly magazine, Bangkok Publishing Residence is one for lovers of the written word. The interiors of this former printing press read like a love letter to Bangkok’s 1960s-era printing boom, captured by the retro-industrial furniture, cast-iron printing equipment and vintage writing desks. The roof terrace is a greenery-swathed lookout that’s perfect for sundowners.
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Rayavadee, Krabi

Resort, Hotel
Map View
Rayavadee 2
Courtesy of Rayavadee / Expedia
Reachable only by boat, Krabi Island hotel Rayavadee is perfectly placed for digital detoxes. You’ll bed down in one of the impressive pavilions, slotted between palm-stitched gardens that flank not one but two white beaches. You’ll slip into a more natural pace of life in no time thanks to the superlative spa and excursion programme, which includes snorkelling, hikes to nearby waterfalls and traditional Thai cooking classes.
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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
    A favourite among wellness warriors, Six Senses Yao Noi crests a white beach in Phang Nga Bay, where James Bond faced off with the golden-gun toting villain Scaramanga. It’s apt that both men had an appetite for indulgence, as you’ll be in for some serious spoiling here. The spa area is as big as a village and includes treatment rooms, lounge areas, a juice bar, a meditation pavilion and more.
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    Ad Lib, Bangkok

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    Ad Lib
    Courtesy of Ad Lib / Expedia
    Cocktail connoisseurs will relish the bar at Ad Lib Bangkok, which channels the tropical modernist style popularised by architect Geoffrey Bawa. The window-walled bar and terrace are surrounded by mature ficus trees with low-hanging aerial roots, creating a curtain of greenery that shuts out the city. You’ll feel whisked away long before happy hour – which is actually two hours – arrives.
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    Old Capital Bike Inn, Bangkok

    Eco Hotel, Inn
    Map View
    Old Capital Bike Inn
    Courtesy of Old Capital Bike Inn / Expedia
    Stays at Old Capital Bike Inn Bangkok include free bike hire and night cycling tours. The rooms capture the soul of Old Bangkok with their dark-wood floors and antique furniture; suites go a step further with their elegant four-poster beds. Owners Natiya and Jason are brimming with knowledge, not least the best local restaurants and cycling routes in the area.
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    Lanjia Lodge, Chiang Rai

    Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel, Eco Hotel
    Map View
    Lanjia Lodge
    Courtesy of Lanjia Lodge / Expedia
    Lanjia Lodge Chiang Rai helps to support the region’s hill tribes, making it a good match for eco-minded adventurers. The low-impact lodge stands high on a fertile hillside, overlooking the Mekong Valley and the border with Laos. Profits from the lodge go towards improving the living conditions of Hmong and Lahu villagers, who can give batik classes to visitors and lead them on jungle treks.
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    These recommendations were updated on December 12, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.