28 Stunning Hotels in Thailand. Bangkok, Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Tau, Yao Yai, and More

28 Stunning Hotels in Thailand. Bangkok, Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Tau, Yao Yai, and More

Thailand is the home to some of the best hotels in Asia. In Bangkok, glossy city hotels rival those in New York and London. Iconic addresses are scattered across Thailand’s best islands – Aman, Banyan Tree, Four Seasons, Six Senses, and others. Here, you can also find numerous boutique hotels and lesser-known “homes” where friendly service and traditional cuisine allow you to feel like you’ve gained insight into the lives of the locals. I haven’t been to Thailand, but in researching this destination, I’ve compiled a selection of the best hotels where I myself would love to stay (and you know how carefully I choose hotels).


1. The Siam (Bangkok)

The Siam draws inspiration from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. To say that it captures attention is an understatement. The hotel’s subdued black-and-white color scheme blends with bold textures of wood, leather, and stone, creating a stunning effect. However, the hotel’s signature touch is the extensive collection of antiques from the private collection of Krissada Sukosol Clapp, found in every room. Additionally, scattered throughout the hotel are gardens and green shrubbery, giving its spaces a sense of cozy luxury, and around every corner, you can discover something remarkable: curvilinear Thai geometric figures, foliage, intricate tiles, and breathtaking Buddha statues, some dating back to the 16th century. But take a stroll through The Siam, and you’ll find that its design is not the only unique aspect. It has substance too. There’s a media room where an antique film projector takes pride of place, an infinity pool on the riverbank, four restaurants, and a grand spa. The hotel’s gym with a Muay Thai training center is a standalone retreat often frequented by members of the Thai royal family. If you want a unique yet high-class experience in Bangkok, this extraordinary hotel is what you need.



2. Four Seasons Bangkok (Chao Phraya River)

For those who have already explored all the landmarks, this hotel can be very appealing: it features a multi-level pool with thick-cushioned loungers for day-long relaxation, spacious bedrooms with deep baths and DIY cocktail corners, and panoramic windows from different sides offering breathtaking views. The four restaurants, plus the vermouth bar, cater to leisurely lunches: sardine tartines and oysters in minuet at Brasserie Palmier or citrus crudité with crispy rosé on the riverfront terrace at Riva del Fiume. This place seems all-encompassing, down to the Thai spa center where high-tech anti-aging procedures and low-tech bamboo massages take place, and a separate pool for aqua aerobics and paddleboarding. The collection of contemporary art reflects an urban focus: the marble walls of the cave-like lobby display towering works depicting the bends of the Chao Phraya River and the folds of monastic robes, and the gallery wing hosts a rotating exhibition dedicated to local talents. Over the years, boutiques specializing in art have turned this corner of Bangkok into a de facto design district. Now, with the addition of Four Seasons, it has reached its zenith.



3. The Standard Bangkok Mahanakhon (Bangkok)

The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon has been recognized as one of the best new hotels on the Conde’ Nast Traveler Hot List 2023. Perhaps it’s the captivating design by Jaime Hayon and team, but this flagship in Asia was definitely built to impress guests’ imagination. Located in one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the 155-room hotel has already become a landmark. Rooms ranging from 40 sq. m to spacious 144 sq. m penthouses, a pool with a terrace, a modern 24-hour fitness center with world-class TechnoGym equipment, conference rooms, and a dynamic variety of food, drinks, and nightlife – The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon caters to any traveler, day or night. It features The Parlor – a hub for cocktails, work, live music, and lectures, and Double Standard – a fresh take on the classic British pub. The eclectic and unexpected Tease tea room, award-winning Chinese cuisine at Mott 32, and two remarkable high-altitude restaurants – Ojo, a Mexican-style restaurant led by one of Mexico’s top chefs, and Sky Beach – the highest rooftop bar in Bangkok.



4. Mandarin Oriental (Bangkok)

“It’s a wonderful place, and I love it as never before,” reflected Noël Coward after his visit to the Mandarin Oriental in 1929. Fast forward a century, and witness the multimillion-dollar reconstruction. The grand dame of Bangkok has become even more charming. In most rooms adorned with cream wood, balconies overlook the gardens, pool, and the Chao Phraya River. The deluxe rooms pay homage to literary giants who visited the hotel in the past, including Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, and John le Carré. The Bamboo Bar has been around since the 1940s and has not lost its relevance. Le Normandie restaurant (one of 10 restaurants), awarded two Michelin stars, is now led by Alain Roux. In the spa, accessible by a carved teak boat, let yourself unfold like a lotus flower in the sun. Allow your adventurous spirit to guide you as you explore the ruins of lost cities claimed by the jungle, ride through the countryside on a motorized tricycle, or share a moment of silence in a fragrant temple where the cultures of mountain tribes and Buddhists converge. Connect with gentle giants in the elephant keeper village and help care for them by sponsoring one. The jungle spa offers healing treatments inspired by local wisdom and designed to enhance well-being through immersion in nature. Embark on a cruise along the Mekong River through the morning mist rising above calm waters and get acquainted with the unique cultures of three countries.



5. Capella (Bangkok)

In a city where almost every “smart” hotel brand has already made its mark, something special is needed to turn heads. And when this place finally opened after seven years of anticipation, the elite flocked here immediately. The first Capella hotel in Thailand is the only urban hotel with villas right on the Chao Phraya River—multi-room mansions with private gardens and marble-lined pools. The suites in the hotel’s main building—a block-like, low-rise structure with 101 rooms—feature private balconies, and chef Mauro Colagreco from the French restaurant Mirazur heads the signature Mediterranean restaurant, Côte. Crystal coupes with private-label champagne accompany check-in, late breakfasts, and sick-care services, but that’s where it all ends. While the pearl-like tea lounge nods to Thai motifs in lattice and a sprinkling of local antiques, the rest of the space feels relatively subdued, with light wood, taupe, and cream interiors. The service is quiet but inclusive, and the spa refuses to embrace trendy treatments in favor of modest, age-old healing practices, such as tok sen hammer massage and luk pra kob herbal compresses, inspired by the Thai-Chinese community located right outside the gates. Bangkok’s hotel scene becomes more sophisticated every year, but for now, Capella has the final say.



6. The Mustang Blu (Bangkok)

Only a small sign above the door of this crumbling 19th-century building on the outskirts of bustling Chinatown indicates that it’s no longer the run-down former bank turned massage parlor it once was. After young creatives opened their shops in this once spice-trading district, stylist Ananda “Joy” Chalardcharoen leased the space for her next project, following The Mustang Nero in the suburbs of Phra Khanong. In just five months, she and her team turned this semi-ruined nightlife spot into the most photographed building in the area. They repaired only what was necessary, preserving relics like the original vault door; the three-story atrium was reopened after being closed for decades. Chalardcharoen showcases her design prowess in lacquered corridors, filled with her signature “animals” – a horse and ostrich skeleton in a glass case greet guests in the lobby – alongside carefully arranged books and European antiques. This style continues in the 10 rooms, each with marble-tiled bathrooms, freestanding tubs, and velvet curtains. On the ground floor, the café serves treats like upside-down banana cake and epic chicken herb or baked salmon breakfasts, accompanied by fruits and pastries on ceramic plates illustrated by The Mustang Blu’s owner. At night, the restaurant closes, but finding a top-notch dish in this area with plenty of street food is not a problem. If you want to have fun after dark, Soi Nana is just a few minutes’ walk away, home to the city’s best cocktail bars, including Asia Today and Teens of Thailand. If Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” were set in Bangkok, they would probably film it here.



7. InterContinental Khao Yai Resort (Khao Yai National Park)

A piece of paradise hidden in the historic Khao Yai mountain range against the backdrop of lush tropical landscapes with numerous lakes and abundant trees. Immerse yourself in a world of inspiring experiences and discoveries – from wine tasting on the hills to trekking and outdoor exploration in one of the largest natural spaces in Asia within the national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.



8. Aleenta Retreat (Chiang Mai)

Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai is a relatively new 5-star luxury resort by the AKARYN Hotel Group. Nestled at the foot of the mountains amid shaded forests just steps away from the city, this boutique resort offers spacious suites, 1 and 2-bedroom pool villas, and an impressive 4-bedroom residence made of golden teakwood with antique furnishings and a private pool. Among its main attractions are an open-air restaurant surrounding the pool and inner courtyard, a tea room, a piano bar upstairs, a spa and wellness center, a library, and an art gallery in antique buildings made of golden teakwood. Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai houses the Ayurah Wellness center, offering world-class holistic wellness retreats, mindfulness meditation, and personalized programs, as well as health-conscious cuisine and vegetarian dishes. Free wellness sessions are available to all hotel guests. Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai is a proud member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Aleenta is one of the founders of the Pure Blue Foundation and has not used single-use plastic since 2018. Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai was selected as the “Best Wellness Sanctuary” in The National Geographic Traveller (UK) Hotel Awards 2023.



9. Four Seasons Chiang Mai (Mae Rim)

The treehouse pavilions, private residences, and pool villas are situated on 31 acres of manicured gardens and rice fields in the Mae Rim Valley. At sunset, rice farmers parade through the fields, singing and celebrating the end of the workday. Two buffaloes bathe daily in the lake, which serves as the central point for various activities—from sunrise yoga to pottery making, Thai boxing, tennis, and fabric dyeing. For guests preferring to bask in the sunlight, there are two infinity pools overlooking the pastures. A lush and serene panorama unfolds from all sides. Guests of the private residences can spend the day without seeing a soul in magnificent enclosed houses designed for families who enjoy seclusion in pure luxury: private pools, kitchen spaces for private dining, and terraces for outdoor dining and entertainment. The food here is a highlight, especially breakfast, which combines the flair and cuisine of all countries, from Chinese dumplings to English breakfast. The friendliest staff takes coffee orders.



10. Raya Heritage (Chiang Mai)

Inspired by the spirit of Lanna life in times past, Raya Heritage offers a clean, modern perspective on traditional Thai design. Throughout, superbly curated, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, artifacts, and accessories sourced from local craftsmen, often handmade by them, are featured. The resort’s concept is built on a simple, elegant approach to life and art in Northern Thai culture, as well as the social value of living in harmony with nature and the surrounding community. Nestled in the tranquil nature on the banks of the Ping River, Raya Heritage exudes a serene atmosphere and is the perfect base for leisurely exploration of the region’s unique charms. Raya Heritage offers 38 spacious luxury rooms, located on three levels in lush gardens just steps from the banks of the serene Ping River. The hotel is on the golden list of the best new hotels in the world for 2021.



11. Villa Mahabhirom (Chiang Mai)

Villa Mahabhirom is located just a ten-minute drive from the center of Chiang Mai. It’s a sought-after escape from city life, offering a blissful retreat amidst the jungle. Tall bamboo reeds and palm trees line the paths to 24 traditional Thai teakwood houses, 14 of which are used for guests. With only 28 guests accommodated at once, they resemble more of a home than a hotel. These villas were once Thai family homes, over 120 years old, meticulously restored and renovated. Built on stilts, they feature open living areas, softly lit bedrooms, marble bathrooms, and cozy balconies on the upper level. Larger villas come with private pools and garden areas. Antique furniture and decorations are showcased throughout the hotel—vintage chandeliers, shabby-chic wardrobes, creating the feeling of strolling through an open-air museum. The pool is a work of art, reflecting a well-thought-out setting of green foliage, clay sculptures crafted by a local artist, hanging lanterns, and plush loungers. Breakfast and dinner are also served by the pool. Enjoy delicious Vietnamese dishes for dinner and sip cocktails during the daily happy hour— the only time you might encounter other guests. It’s also an opportunity to see the local deer that roam freely on the hotel grounds.



12. Hotel Des Artists, Ping Silhoette (Chiang Mai)

The sparkling temples of the old city of Chiang Mai enchant, and the vibrant Nimmanhaemin district keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to artisanal coffee and local designer boutiques. However, the leafy Wat Ket, which incorporates both, remains one of the most beautiful places in the city. Along its streets, art galleries are situated, and riverside restaurants under banyan trees, illuminated by fairy lights, serve soinudl khao and cocktails. Here, you can find the most charming boutiques occupying villas from a bygone era. Still, the Ping Silhouette Hotel is inspired by even earlier times when this part of the city was a thriving multicultural trading area, dotted with warehouses in Chinese style. Behind the facade with a glazed tile roof and antique French shutters, there is a stone-paved courtyard where large glassless windows frame well-groomed bonsai trees and cozy tea corners. The long pond with golden fish serves as a Zen antidote to bustling markets, and ancient artifacts from China (decorative doors, stone horses) expand the theme. The rooms are decorated in white and teal colors, and most of them have terraces overlooking weeping willows and the inky-blue pool in the garden by the river. In the cafe adorned with teapots in the Shinozari style and blue-and-white ceramics, they prepare breakfasts of Thai rice porridge and sweet treats like pa tong go donuts, served in bamboo baskets with a steamer. It’s a vibrant performance on the local scene, dominated by teakwood, and an ideal spot for this curious corner.



13. 137 Pillars House (Chiang Mai)

Located within the ancient city walls of Chiang Mai, just steps away from the intricately adorned Wat Gate Temple, 137 Pillars House appears as if it has arrived in a beautiful 19th-century rural oasis, equipped with all the modern conveniences. Built in the 1880s as part of the headquarters of the East Borneo Company, 137 Pillars House is a beautiful teakwood building that has been meticulously restored to reflect its 19th-century origins. The 30 luxuriously appointed suites feature patterned tile floors, four-poster beds, and verandas with rocking chairs—all in an elegant Anglo-Lanna style. With fragrant tropical gardens, an open-air pool, excellent cuisine, and an atmospheric spa, you can forget about the existence of the 21st century. The undeniable atmosphere of sophistication at 137 Pillars House is partly explained by the interplay between nostalgic design, decor, and modern amenities of a contemporary hotel. Each of the spacious suites has a veranda or patio overlooking the stunning gardens.



14. Six Senses Yao Noi (Phang Nga)

The breathtaking view of Phang Nga Bay from Six Senses Yao Noi is truly awe-inspiring. It sets the stage for everything the resort has to offer: sunrise yoga, water sports, watching classic movies under the stars, and world-class cuisine in six restaurants and bars. Six Senses has perfected the concept of hillside island retreat on Yao Noi. En route to the resort by speedboat, you kick off your shoes, and drifting signs point to the white sandy beach, a crescent-shaped hilltop pool, and a collection of villas with thatched roofs. Everything here feels like an adventure: discovering the spa hidden in the jungle inside traditional longhouses, navigating through multi-level bamboo and plank restaurants for dinner, and watching movies on the beach under the stars. Observe pairs of hornbill birds and take one of the hotel’s bicycles to explore the entire island, passing through a fishing village and rubber plantations along the way.



15. Chiva Som (Hua Hin)

Chiva Som is the undisputed leader in Thai spas. When they emerged on the scene 27 years ago, the concept of spa retreats in Thailand was unheard of. Since then, many contenders have appeared, but none have yet surpassed the original with its life-affirming combination of cutting-edge fitness (new equipment includes Vision Bodysuits resembling Iron Man costumes), medical diagnostics (blood analysis, gene testing), traditional Asian healing therapies, and highly intuitive staff. There are 16 different retreats to choose from — stress and pain relief, physical enhancement, immune boosting, rejuvenation for the elderly — each precisely tailored to your mental, physical, and emotional needs. This is a place where you can change lifelong habits.



16. The Standard (Hua Hin)

In the beach town where mega-resorts that could be anywhere dominate, The Standard Hua Hin brings a much-needed dose of youthful energy to a place usually associated with retirees and well-heeled Thais escaping Bangkok. Instead of teakwood floors and jasmine garlands, guests are greeted with fresh, modern art and midcentury-modern furniture. Bamboo-lined paths lead to boho-beach villas (where disco balls hang in the bathrooms). The main action happens at the pool, where the Bangkok bon vivants lounge under candy-striped umbrellas, and two restaurants serve drinks and Thai snacks until 10 pm.



17. Banyan Tree (Samui)

Overlooking the azure waters of the Gulf of Siam, Banyan Tree Samui is nestled amidst lush jungles in the private bay of Lamai. This luxurious resort on Samui combines the best elements of tropical relaxation: pristine beach, blissful spa experiences, individually crafted cuisine, local impressions, a personal Villa Host concierge, and unparalleled views. Spend your day on the private beach, offering kayak rentals and private boat excursions, or indulge in afternoon tea at the beachfront restaurant. Visit in April-May, and you might be fortunate enough to witness newly hatched turtles making their way to the ocean. Be sure to experience the spa, especially for the hydrothermal massage. The Rainforest treatment involves a steam room visit, followed by an ice shower and culminating in high-pressure water jets directed at the muscles of the back. Retreat to this paradise where stress magically disappears upon your arrival.



18. Four Seasons Koh Samui (Koh Samui)

Discover the laid-back island life of Thailand at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui. Here, you can spend your days exploring pristine sandy beaches lined with tropical greenery and calm blue seas, relaxing by the pool with a refreshing drink, or unwinding on a private deck overlooking the idyllic Gulf of Siam—all with every imaginable convenience. Villas with thatched roofs cascade down the hillside, some facing the Gulf of Siam, while others open directly onto the beach. All are decorated in cool ivory and taupe tones, with dark wooden shutters, netted beds, and egg-shaped baths. More energetic guests can rent a yacht, practice Thai boxing, or participate in coral planting. And as the sun sets, everyone should gather at the Rum Vault for a tasting in tiki-light.



19. Langkhai Garden (Koh Tao)

Langkhai Garden is a tropical resort with luxurious villas located on the fantastic island of Koh Tao. Koh Tao is the quietest of the islands in the Chumphon Archipelago, just a 25-minute drive from one coast to the other, so you’ll quickly get acquainted with the island. Surrounded by the sea and lush jungles, get ready to encounter eagles soaring in the sky and squirrels running around, relaxing in your saltwater private infinity pool with breathtaking sea views. Langkhai Garden is situated a bit “off-town,” away from the hustle and bustle of the center, ensuring tranquility for maximum relaxation during your stay. This place is the result of a three-year project by a French couple who met on the island and dreamed of opening their own establishment. And they did just that in 2018. If you choose the right time, you might be lucky enough to swim with turtles or whale sharks. Once you get into the leisurely island life, you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from the villa. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway with your loved one.



20. Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (Krabi)

Beyond the limestone mountains rising above the Andaman Sea, virgin tropical forests, otherworldly beaches, and crystal-clear waterfalls of Thailand, you’ll discover a secluded paradise in one of the most enchanting places in the world. Embark on a journey of discovery to Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, a tranquil corner where Thailand’s charm and natural splendor blend with an aura of tranquility and luxury. Explore this 5-star beach resort in Krabi, where you can wake up to beachfront yoga, spend the day hiking the majestic Dragon Crest Mountain, and unwind over dinner with an ocean view. Each of the luxurious villas and private pavilions at the resort blurs the lines between the indoor and outdoor world, showcasing personal pools and views of the ocean and gardens. Escape to an oasis with spacious layouts, personalized butler service, and traditional Thai design elements.



21. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort (Chiang Rai)

Embark on an adventure at Anantara Golden Triangle, a mountainous sanctuary surrounded by 160 acres of bamboo forest and meticulously landscaped gardens designed by Bill Bensley. Located on a ridge in northern Thailand, overlooking the borders of Myanmar and Laos, this historic Chiang Rai hotel places you amidst mountain breezes and lush jungles, with countless natural riches and cultural landmarks of Chiang Saen right at your doorstep. Let your spirit of adventure guide you as you explore the ruins of lost cities claimed by the jungle, zip through the countryside on a tuk-tuk, or share a moment of silence in a temple filled with fragrances where the cultures of mountain tribes and Buddhists of the region converge. Interact with gentle giants at the Elephant Camp village and contribute to their care by sponsoring one of them. The jungle spa offers healing treatments inspired by local wisdom, designed to enhance well-being through immersion in nature. Cruise along the Mekong River through the morning mist rising over the calm waters and get acquainted with the unique cultures of three countries. Readers of Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia named the hotel the best rural resort in Thailand in the Best Awards 2022.



22. COMO Point Yamu (Phuket)

The resort is situated on the tip of Cape Yamu, a tropical peninsula on the eastern coast of Phuket, offering views of the serene Phang Nga Bay. COMO Point Yamu features 79 rooms and suites, along with 27 private villas designed by Paola Navone, showcasing interiors with “sino” patterned tiles and breathtaking views of the bay. From the outside, the architecture of COMO Point Yamu may seem almost brutalist, too gray and strict to match the winding coastal location. However, step inside with Asia’s coolest crowd, and you’ll discover that the hotel is light and airy: concrete columns break sunlight over Phuket; sharp lines frame the glowing green bay, crowned by the ripple of limestone hills; a 100-meter pool with white tiles overlooks the Andaman Sea shore. Abundance of blue reflects the waters of the Andaman Sea. Fiery orange refers to the attire of local Buddhist monks and the colorful heritage of Phuket’s Peranakan culture. It’s these appealing features, along with top-notch service, tantalizing cuisine, and a wonderful spa, that have made this hotel a favorite among both Thais and travelers.



23. Amanpuri (Phuket)

The first Aman resort, located on its own peninsula amidst the sounds of whispering coconut palms and the sighs of the Andaman Sea, promises guests spaciousness, serenity, an idyllic white-sand beach, exceptional restaurants, and a holistic wellness center. Pledging seclusion and tranquility in the embrace of nature, the individual pavilions of the flagship resort have undergone careful reconfiguration, enhancing the legacy of Thai design. Soon, the newly designed Nama restaurant by Kengo Kuma and a new private spa center will be introduced.



24. Trisara (Phuket)

In this secluded retreat cascading down the slope of a tropical hill to the quiet corner of the elite Layan Beach on the northwest of Phuket, seclusion is guaranteed. Spread across 40 acres with the fragrance of frangipani and 2,000 meters of Andaman Sea coastline, there are 39 villas with peaked roofs and 30 palatial private residences – all with private pools and panoramic sea views – spaced far enough apart for guests to frolic naked without being noticed. Fully dressed, you can dine at Pru restaurant, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Phuket and the only Michelin Green Star restaurant in Thailand, or join one of the island’s liveliest Sunday champagne brunches. Barefoot again, visit the temple-like Jara Spa and try integrative Thai therapy, combining massage with wooden mallets and chisels, and perhaps a bit of magic.



25. Roukh Kiri (Khao Yai)

In Khao Yai, a secluded hillside retreat in the style of Hampton located two hours north of Bangkok, you’ll find the Rouch Kiri resort. Spread across a mango orchard, the 12 villas feature typical pitched roofs and walls paved with cobblestones. Even the sliding barn doors are made from recycled wood, devoid of any excess, creating a small village of elegant homes in whitewashed and linen rural minimalism. Picture windows open into bathrooms, and private sandstone pools are nestled in fields of feather grass, offering views of the emerald-green valley below. The same valley views can be enjoyed from the communal fireplace—nights here can be cool—and from the restaurant made of reclaimed wood, serving a menu with ingredients from the organic garden and featuring classic dishes (try the crab with rosemary). Finally, a resort in Khao Yai that is worth a visit.



26. 9 Hornbills Tented Camp (Koh Yao Noi)

One of Thailand’s best islands, with its hilly fishing villages and deserted beaches, resembles Samui or Koh Phi Phi before major brands arrived. Riding a scooter on intersecting dirt tracks, tourists are more likely to encounter grazing water buffaloes than sunbathing foreigners, and most of the sand remains blissfully quiet. Here, you’ll feel far away from the bustling Phuket, located 30 minutes away by speedboat across the strait, which became the main reason why Swiss entrepreneur Jean-Michel Ghermi and his business partner set up the inconspicuous Koyao resort here almost 20 years ago. A little further up the hill is the tented camp 9 Hornbills, named after the nine hornbill birds that Ghermi encountered during his first survey of the area. Ten safari tents are set on the site of a former rubber plantation with their own pools and large gardens, as well as canopy beds and tropical outdoor showers lined with salvaged wood—just one of the many environmentally conscious design details borrowed from Six Senses, located across the hill, which Ghermi also managed. The bar at the top of the estate is a great place for a casual cocktail, and the sister hotel has an excellent restaurant and a private beach connected to the camp by buggy. Ready-to-work butlers can organize everything from candlelit dinners to island picnics and floating breakfasts served in Thai tiffin boxes. But what attracts the most attention here are the giant moss-covered karst formations submerged in the ocean—perhaps the best view in the world.



27. Hotel Gahn (Khao Lak)

Opening a hotel along the rather dull main road instead of the honeyed beaches of the area may seem like an imprudent move for a boutique hotel, but owner Rabia Anusasananun believes it’s the right choice. With a twinkle in her eye, she explains that she built it in memory of her late grandfather, who arrived in Thailand in 1928 aboard a Chinese junk to work in the thriving tin mining industry of the time. Over time, these migrants assimilated into the local culture and are now known as the Peranakan people, and their descendants still live in the Chinese-Portuguese settlements scattered across the Malay Peninsula up to Singapore. In this project, the family sought to preserve their rich traditions while reimagining them for the next generation. To bring their vision to life, they enlisted the architectural firm Locomotive, based in Phuket, which drew inspiration from the ancestral home with its terrazzo floors and arched columns but added fresh touches by introducing concrete ceilings and vintage desk lamps. Artwork on each of the five floors provides interesting insights into Baba culture, and in the small shop, you can purchase colorful batik products. In the Juumpo restaurant adorned with relics from the old family kitchen, Anusasananun herself prepares main dishes based on recipes passed down by her grandfather, with the melt-in-the-mouth mu hong (braised sweet pork with herbs) being a definite highlight. The nearest beach is a five-minute taxi ride away, but it’s a small compromise to make for this charming retreat from hotels that could be anywhere and are most commonly found in the city.



28. Baan Pomphet (Ayutthaya)

This temple-strewn place, perhaps known as Thailand’s historical capital, has been given a modern makeover with a flurry of attractive cafes, dessert bars, and cool hotels. One such place is an eight-room hotel and restaurant located on the T-shaped bank of the river at the confluence of the Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers. Borrowing its name and design from the adjacent Pom Phet brick fortress, Bangkok-based architectural studio Onion created a structure reminiscent of an MC Escher artwork, made of handmade red bricks and reclaimed wood, with steps, stairs, and roofs laid out in various patterns. Elaborately carved wooden lamps from Chiang Mai and door handles shaped like the monkey god Hanuman balance straight lines with more organic elements. The scaffold-like structure connects two buildings with a pedestrian bridge and marks the entrance to the guest-only area, where an ancient Bodhi tree shades the pool from the sun. In contrast to the tactile exterior, the rooms feature strict minimalism but are cozily decorated in jackfruit yellow or green, with beds resembling pods and bathrooms adorned with black tiles. The ground-floor rooms have a small outdoor shower, and the corner room on the second floor is worth booking for its view of the fortress. Travelers from Bangkok, just 50 miles away, visit the restaurant to try passion fruit and pineapple smoothies and giant river prawns from the grill. At sunset, the wooden shutters on the roof swing open, revealing a well-stocked bar—order a bael fruit shakerato or a rose and Thai basil mojito while sipping and watching the last boats of the day pass along the hyacinth-covered river below.



Agree, all these hotels are truly stunning, and it would be fascinating to stay in each of them. Write which hotel you find the most interesting.

Enjoy your time!

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