Thailand’s tropical resorts usually then take centre stage, west-coast islands in the Andaman Sea like Phuket complemented by east-coast islands in the Gulf of Thailand like Koh Samui.
And whilst teak sunloungers, infinity- edge pools and championship golf courses beckon here, excursions to national parks and ancient temples combine with round-island safaris and shopping trips to local villages to ensure the good life never gets monotonous.
Phuket The Banyan Tree Phuket is one of Asia’s most renowned resorts. Encircling a sparkling saltwater lagoon, it’s hidden away beside the silvery sands and bright waters of Bang Toa Bay on the north-western coast of the island.
Breathtakingly situated above Kamala Beach, this truly splendid resort overlooks the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea. With a choice of stunning accommodation, most featuring private pools, a stay here is perfect for couples and families alike.
The only resort in Phuket where ocean views and private pools come as standard, Trisara blew everyone away when it first opened late in 2004. The property quickly won a slew of awards recognising anything from the quality of its food to the attentiveness of its service; its remote location on Phuket’s undeveloped north-west coast contributing to its highly-developed sense of romance.
Phuket Sweeping views of the Andaman Sea and panoramas of Phuket’s legendary hills make this five star boutique hotel one of the most romantic destinations in Asia. The Pavilions, Phuket overlooks Bang Tao Bay with its own stretch of Layan Beach and boasts five types of villas, nestled among Emerald coconut groves,white sandy beaches and sweeping azure bays.
A boutique beach resort that evokes the spirit of former resident and nobleman’s daughter, the legendary Lady Sarojin. Contemporary Asian architecture, first class hospitality and attention to detail are its hallmarks
Impressively large villas and vast private residences await you at this luxurious and intimate resort; all coming with a private pool, expansive terraces, and the services of private butlers. The food here is as exquisite and varied as the possible dining locations; be it poolside, on the beach, a rocky outcrop, or even up in the trees.
Krabi Phulay Bay is the very first Ritz-Carlton Reserve, a much-anticipated portfolio of intimate sanctuaries designed to be chic yet casual, luxurious yet indigenous. Of course, all of them are also highly service-orientated and private butlers will be at your service 24-hours a day. They’re also tucked away in some of the world’s most picturesque spots - Phulay Bay’s own setting on the Andaman Sea offers unblemished vistas of Krabi’s rugged shoreline, as well as its dramatic limestone karsts. Everything here has actually been designed on a grand and oversized scale.
Koh Yao Noi, off Phuket Located on a small island in Phang Nha Bay, Six Senses Yao Noi offers privacy and adventure. Modern architecture, natural materials, glorious views over the bay and the surrounding hillside and tropical landscapes make this a very special place
Located within easy boating distance of Phang Nga Bay and Phi Phi Island, Rayavadee does the impossible and manages to hold its own amidst all this natural beauty. And whilst it can only be reached by a 10-minute boat trip across the Andaman Sea, it is actually tucked away on a stunning peninsula, and limestone cliffs, lush jungles and sugar-white beaches all contribute to its paradisiacal ambience.
This luxury resort is secreted away on a steep wooded hillside overlooking the mystical Gulf of Thailand. Oversized villas are defined by their hedonistic bathrooms and contemporary Thai décor – turquoise or seafoam colour schemes and teak or rosewood furnishings
Koh Samui This all-pool villa resort is perched on a series of cascading terraces overlooking the sapphire waters of Lamai Bay. Whilst it showcases all the very best elements of any tropical getaway by Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, lucky guests can also take advantage of the largest private infinity pools on Koh Samui, as well as the island’s only hydrotherapy wellness facility.
Napasai by Belmond, a Leading Hotel of the World, nestles in a grove of cashew trees beside a sandy beach on the north coast of Thailand’s Koh Samui, a tropical island paradise of hilly jungle and waterfalls that sweep down to white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Gulf of Siam.
If panoramic ocean vistas from bedroom to bathtub sound like your kind of thing, then book a week at this exclusive beachside bolthole now. Six Senses Samui might have been inspired by an eco-conscious Thai fishing village, but make no mistake about it, this is ‘village’ living at its most self-indulgent. Indeed, after you’ve been welcomed with chilled lemongrass cloths, organised by the LIFE department and enjoyed a fourhanded massage in the spa there’ll be no going back.
Koh Lanta, Krabi On a pristine beach where lush jungle meets the ocean, Pimalai is the very definition of serene peace and luxurious solitude. A glorious 50 minutes ride on the resort boat from the bustle of the mainland takes you to a perfect boutique beach resort where the watch words are peace, privacy and pleasure and crowds are a distant memory.
Only 30-minutes by speedboat from Samui Island, this ‘Small Luxury Hotel of the World’ is an eco-chic hideaway inspired by its back-to-nature setting on Phangan Island. Its lushly forested hillside overlooks a private beach and crystal clear bay, and whilst island villages, elephant treks and even full-moon parties can all feature here, such is Santhiya’s escapist vibe that it’s all very easy to ignore if you want to.
The first phase of Santhiya Koh Yao Yai - 30 Santhiya Ocean View Pool Villa Suites and 4 Santhiya Grand Pool Villa Suites, opens 12.12.12., a magical number perhaps, for what is certainly a magical paradise. Santhiya can be summed up in two words. Natural beauty. Or perhaps eco-chic. The stunning teakwood architecture takes its inspiration from the rich King Rama V period.
Set on the southern tip of stunning Koh Samui and with peerless views towards the mainland across the Gulf of Thailand, the villas of the Conrad Koh Samui offer luxurious vacationing between the sea and the lush tropical rainforest. Rich décors of dark woods and cool cream soft furnishings and sumptuous marble bathrooms offer chic comfort and luxury.
Keemala is perfect for a romantic getaway or wellness escape, an all pool villa resort that embraces Thai cultural philosophy through its spa treatments, design and dining experiences. Its magical location, on a hillside surrounded by rainforest, makes it a relaxing retreat where you can unwind from the stresses of modern living
The mythical forests of Thailand inspire everything from the suites and villas to the healing treatments at the spa at Vana Belle, a resort hidden in a cove close to the famous white sands of Chaweng Beach.
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