During my last trip to Thailand I had the chance to experience some of the country’s finest hotels. My travels took me to Bangkok for a short visit, where I stayed in Arun Haveli, and then I took a domestic flight south to the Thai countryside. In Khanom, I resided in Aava Resort & Spa, and in the province of Phattalung I visited Sri Pak Pra Resort. My journey ended in Koh Samui, where I could relax a little bit
Each hotel caters towards luxury but is unique on its own. Read along cause your favourite one might be one of my top-5 hotels in Thailand!
5. Arun Residence
Arun Residence is a small 4-star boutique hotel located next to the Chao Phraya River. I was surprised one could find a boutique hotel offering magnificent views of the Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), that is still affordable. From my experience, the views are the real added value.
I stayed in Arun Haveli, a separate villa in one of the alleyways next to the hotel. The room has its own proper kitchen with modern utilities. The bedroom is separate but sliding doors can be opened to access the living room. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows give access to the waterfront terrace. Before you enter the bathroom, you’re passing through a large dressing room. Arun Haveli has more than enough room
Their outdoor restaurant The Deck offers accessible Thai dishes.
4. Aava Resort and Spa
Off to the countryside! When visiting Aava Resort and Spa you’ll find yourself along Nandan Beach in the Khanom province. It’s owned by a Finnish couple and hosted by a French general manager, so it really caters towards international people. The Scandi design is strong in this hotel, but thankfully it still has some local touches here and there. Poolside villas even offer ladder access to the pool, how cool is that!
What was surprisingly pleasant, is that the Nandan beach is not crowded at all. The area is still relatively quiet and I hope they manage to keep it that way. If you walk 50m to the left or right, you’ll find locals trying to catch their daily fish with traditional nets.
Khanom is also known for its rare pink dolphins.! Yes! Pink dolphins! If you don’t believe me, it’s easy to do an excursion to see them for yourself! We only saw regular dolphins but that didn’t make it less impressive. These creatures are hard to capture on camera though!
3. Sri Pak Pra Resort
Another amazing resort in the countryside! Sri Pak Pra is located in Khuan Khanun in the Phatthalung Province. It has the vibe of being a luxury resort, but everything feels so authentic. What’s special is that the area is very swamp-like and villas are built on poles over the pond. There’s not much to do in the area so it really is a proper hideaway. But what an amazing hideaway it is! My favourite lazy thing to do was to enjoy the views and watch the birds from the swing on the terrace. You can rent free bikes in the resort to see the countryside, but what’s even better is to go explore on the water! Behind the swimming pool, small boats can dock and take you out on the open. You’ll come across quirky structures that locals use for fishing, you’ll sail through a magnificent lake covered in pink lilies, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot some water buffaloes!
The buffet and restaurant in Sri Pak Pra offer a mix of European and Thai flavors. In the province of Phattalung, forget about luxury resorts and forget about homestays, just book your stay in Sri Pak Pra.
2. Anantara Bophut Resort
I’m really starting to get the appeal of luxury resorts. Back in the day, I always got Club Med vibes from resorts and looked out for smaller boutique hotels. Anantara Bophut proved me wrong and showed that even luxury resorts can overflow with charm! Most rooms are located around the stunning central garden.When creating this resort, they really did an amazing job to make it look like your own intimate paradise. Hospitality is important here; staff is genuine in their conversations and very friendly and helpful!
The world-class spa is unrivalled. Seriously, when you visit Anantara Bophut you cannot leave before you tried it yourself! Private dinners can be arranged, in the romantic garden or near the beach.
I’ll post a full review later on!
1. Vana Belle Resort, Koh Samui
Honestly, it was extremely hard to choose between Anantara and Vana Belle. But the impressiveness of the Vana Belle Resort and the professionalism of the staff clearly blew me away so this is the real winner here.
I had a Pool Suite. The Pool Suites are located in three-story high buildings. But even when you’re on the third floor like me, you still have your own private 4ft deep infinity pool! I’d actually never seen something like this before.
Vana Belle is the type of resort where each room or villa has its own private butler, and they drive guests around with golf carts. So it really caters towards guests that come to Koh Samui to be spoiled to the max! You can read more about my short stay later on the blog!
Seriously, if you’re in Thailand and find yourself in one of the provinces or areas where these hotels are located, I strongly advise you to book! Personally, I didn’t come across a single inconvenience in these hotels and that certainly helped making my trip to Thailand an unforgettable one!