Thailand is one of the best places in the world if you’re looking for luxury at a reasonable price.
And nowhere does the Kingdom get more opulent than on its spell-bindingly beautiful islands.
Exclusive in their remoteness and blessed with white sand beaches, cerulean blue waters and lush tropical landscape, the islands’ most incredible resorts routinely match the wonders of their natural surrounds with their spacious and impeccably designed interiors, superior facilities and world-renowned examples of Thai hospitality.
Next time you’re heading down for a long weekend in Andaman paradise, be sure to push the boat out and opt for one of these luxury hideaways – they’re the perfect setting for romance and rejuvenation.
Thailand’s Most Luxurious Resorts
Four Seasons is a brand associated with unadulterated luxury, and the Koh Samui edition is certainly no different.
Located to the northeast of the island near Laem Yai Bay with views over the Gulf of Siam, the 5-star resort sits on a white sand beach among lush forest complete with a 50-metre infinity pool, tennis courts, a gym and even Muay Thai bootcamps and classes. There’s also a fully decked out spa, three restaurants and bars, and ample opportunity to dine on the beach and indulge in a private wine tasting.
Regarding accommodation, it’s your choice between private residences and villas of varying sizes. You can even stay in the four-bedroom Owner’s Residence, which comes complete with its own yacht, butler, chef and private infinity pool.
Koh Phi Phi Don
Typically frequented by backpackers on their Siamese adventures, the islands of Koh Phi Phi do have a quieter, more luxurious side – and nowhere is this more apparent than at Zeavola. Requiring a private boat transfer to Laem Tong Beach in the north of Phi Phi Don, Zeavola is more like its own self-contained village rather than a typical resort. With two restaurants, a gym, spa, pool and a highly regarded dive centre, you certainly won’t get bored during your stay.
The accommodation is villa-only; spacious inside and out, furnished typically Thai and equipped with outdoor rainfall showers. Whether you choose a suite on the beach, in the garden or up in the hillside with your own private pool, luxury and exclusivity is guaranteed.
Phuket is home to a generous handful of luxury resorts but Trisara – translated from Sanskrit to mean ‘the garden in the third heaven’ – is undeniably idyllic.
Found on the northwest coast of Thailand’s largest island, overlooking the Andaman Sea, Trisara’s accommodation is a mix of suites, villas, private residences and even a boathouse with each enjoying a private pool. The most opulent is probably the 6-bedroom ocean front residence, complete with a 22-metre private infinity pool, a pavilion, outdoor dining sala, a full bar, billiards room and private cinema, set over three storeys.
Trisara also offers a spa, golf, scuba diving, tennis, Muay Thai, a 45-metre salt water main pool and even private helicopter flights over Phang Nga Bay.
Again, the key to Pimalai’s luxury can be found in its Sanskrit translation: ‘a little patch of heaven’.
Situated on almost a kilometre of sandy beach amidst 100 acres of tropical paradise, Pimalai’s philosophy is the fusion of natural beauty with classic luxury. Whereas much of the rest of Koh Lanta is giving in to the development of numerous tightly-packed tourist resorts, the patch of land that Pimalai finds itself on is secluded and exclusive, attended to only by the island’s abundant wildlife.
Pimalai is boutique in feel with interiors decorated in typical Thai style, with flashes of Balinese details. Hotel rooms are large and come with a private verandah and views over either the sea or the beautiful gardens. Suites, pool and beach villas are also available for those after the last word in luxury and space.
Anantara is another international brand associated with divine luxury, and the villas in Koh Phangan certainly don’t fall short of expectations.
Located on the exclusive Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, quiet serenity characterises the Anantara, which is complemented by the array of rejuvenating activities and amenities on offer: spa, infinity pool, seaview wine cellar, yoga, cooking school, diving and other watersports. The resort enjoys around 400 metres of beach front and is framed by lush gardens and imposing mountains too.
Each suite and villa comes complete with a private plunge pool. The biggest available is the Ocean Pool Villa at 220 square metres, with a large terrazzo tub, open-air bathroom, courtyard, tropical sala and ocean views from the bed.
6. Chiva Puri
Off the coast of Trat in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Chang is slowly coming into its own as a holiday haven and Chiva Puri is the resort leading the emerging luxury brigade.
Found on the beach on the island’s southwestern coast, you can enjoy the serene views on offer from the salt water infinity pool, beachfront restaurant and massage tables. If you fancy something a bit more active, the resort can arrange trekking, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba expeditions for you.
Accommodation comes in the form of spacious, Thai-traditional rooms and suites, while the Beachfront Villa allows privacy and a sense of getting back to nature like no other, with its outdoor shower and position amongst the trees. As a bonus, it’s comparatively very cheap compared to the other international hotel brands in this selection.
7. Dusit Buncha
Tao is one of Thailand’s favourite islands for diving, but while much of the tiny island has given way to mass tourism and consequent environmental damage, the Dusit Buncha resort on the northern tip is doing it’s best to stay eco-friendly while maintaining a high standard of luxury and a quiet natural beauty.
Their unique eco-system sees each bungalow kitted out with solar cell systems while the resort has clearly been designed so as to best complement the surrounding scenery and take advantage of the panoramic seaviews. Dusit Buncha overlooks the Koh Nangyuan islands and is a great spot for snorkeling with an abundance of marine life on its doorstep.
Accommodation here is strictly villas only with a few offering something a little extra by way of luxury: whether that be a private pool, a sunset view or a terrace. Again, it’s comparatively very cheap.
On the beautiful, powder-white sand shores of Ao Kiew Beach is Paradee resort: a paradise among the jungle landscape.
The resort is home to just 40 villas, each of which enjoys at least an unparalleled 100 square metres of living space – the Suite Villa has a massive 200. Space isn’t the only draw: each comes with a private terrace, outdoor sala, sun loungers and most also have a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi too.
A main infinity pool, pool bar, 24/7 fitness centre and a library are also at your disposal here. If you venture forth to the beach, you can enjoy snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, fishing and even windsurfing.
9. The Library
The Library is one of Samui’s more quirky boutique luxury experiences; contemporary design, artistic details and minimalist decoration are the orders of the day here.
Perhaps the most luxurious aspect of the resort is the space on offer. Even the smallest units enjoy 67 square metres of living space with a terrace, while The Bookmark signature suite is over 100 square metres with a triple king size bed, iMac, mood lighting, indoor Jacuzzi, walk-in closet and rain shower.
The Library is probably best known for its unique Red Pool that looks over beautiful Chaweng Beach – it’s continually included in the rankings for the world’s most stunning hotel swimming pools. Also on offer is The Fit – a gymnasium – and, of course, a library, stuffed to the brim with books, music and movies to enjoy.
As well as simply dripping in luxury, the award-winning Amanpuri tilts its head towards Thailand’s splendid past with its Ancient Ayutthaya-style architecture amidst a coconut plantation overlooking the Andaman Sea.
Accommodation comes by way of pavilions and villas in the hillside, each decked out with private terraces, salas and a huge amount of space. Many offer views of the ocean and garden, as well as private pools. The villas are particularly opulent: two live-in staff, Thai art and antique furnishings, and private pools in each. They range between 2 and 9 bedrooms.
Touting itself as a holistic sanctuary, the Amanpuri offers a full spa experience as well as outdoor meditation sala, a gym and pilates studio, yoga pavilion and four floodlit tennis courts. The resort can also organise trekking, scuba, kayak, cruises and golf excursions for you.
Room prices: From around ฿25,000 a night
11. Soneva Kiri
Soneva Kiri is the most luxurious way to take in the untouched delights of Koh Kood, boasting as it does some of the largest resort villas in the world, all decked out with private infinity pools, electric buggies and private butlers.
The resort describes itself as ‘barefoot intelligent luxury – no news, no shoes, Thai style’ – and you can certainly get away from it all here. There’s no need to leave the resort if you don’t want to; it’s home to an open-air cinema, mangrove restaurant, treetop dining pod, an ice cream parlour and an observatory. You can even go snorkelling with a marine biologist if you fancy a spot of adventure during your stay.
Villa sizes start from 403 square metres with the largest totalling almost 3,000. Situated in the hilltops, this premium villa faces the sea and is served by a number of open-air bathrooms. There’s a huge swimming pool – complete with water slide – a private gym, steam room, game room and outdoor sala.
What’s your favourite luxury Thai resort?