Once upon a time, long, long ago, Thailand’s islands offered paradise locations with beach-huts-in-the-sand style accommodations. Today, the country’s beach destination beauties are far more sophisticated, and islands such as Phuket and Koh Samui court the discerning, upmarket traveler in glamorously upmarket style.
Thailand is a top tourist destination for wealthy ASEAN visitors and well-traveled global millennials. Luxury vacationers love Thailand not only for its natural beauty but its promise of a uniquely Thai experience, its identity as a chilled-out wellness oasis, its fabulous dining, and its simply spectacular rich-list of high-end vacation villa stays.
Anyone who has ever vacationed in Thailand knows it is a special destination that you cannot help but fall in love with. The islands are tropical paradise retreats with white-sand beaches fringing turquoise blue waters. The people are beautifully gentle, friendly, and effortlessly hospitable. The dining culture is out of this world whilst the local Thai cuisine with its sweet, sour and salty flavors is world-class. The relaxed ambiance, quirky Thai style, and focus on wellness create a vacation experience that is totally Thai and absolutely fabulous.
Upbeat Patong in Phuket and vibrant Chaweng in Koh Samui are both super-popular tourist hotspots where visitors flock for bright lights, bars, restaurants, and entertainment. However, both islands boast secluded beaches and idyllic bays along with water-sport havens too. Boat and dive trips, island-hopping cruises, activities around the water, and the relaxed beach vibe are irresistible. Promising divine sunset views, Samui’s west-coast beaches are mesmerizing whilst Phuket’s so-called Millionaire Mile is gorgeous. Both islands offer some fantastic beach clubs too with the famed Nikki Beach Koh Samui adding more than a touch of glamor and Café Del Mar bringing the hedonism of Ibiza to Phuket’s western shores on Kamala Beach.
Luxury resorts are found all over the world of course, but what makes Thailand so gloriously special are its absolutely incredible luxury vacation villas. The best of these unique properties shine with splendid architecture, first-class features, and outstanding design from beautifully styled interiors to hip al fresco spaces. The ultimate in luxurious facilities, an infinity pool defines a villa’s outdoor space with poolside lounges and private dining plus inspiring views and a beachfront location; all exuding 5-star and beyond vacations that fit with the lifestyle of luxury vacationers.
Whilst Thailand definitely has a laid-back vibe, especially on the islands, destinations such as Phuket and Samui cater for an A-list lifestyle too. The Andaman Sea is a tropical maritime playground with Phuket setting sail with exclusive yachting adventures and sunset cruises that cater for private charters and small-group parties. The island of Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand, is close to the Ang Thong National Marine Park with its spectacular marinescape of 42 islands with jet-set, on-the-water expeditions to explore delights such as Sleeping Cow Island and Monkey Island.
Phuket Old Town, with its quaint shophouses, colonial architecture, and Sino-Portuguese heritage is also home to some great boutiques and specialist Thai designer shops such as Ban Boran antiques and textiles, a real Aladdin’s cave of artistic expression and stylishly individual buys with some amazing silks, jewelry, and vintage furnishings. Phuket’s first luxury mall The Garden also defines the island’s well-to-do status.
One element of the luxury lifestyle on offer for tourists in Phuket and Koh Samui is the wonderful world of wellness. Thailand is a holistic haven where you can enjoy yoga at your villa sala by the pool, mediate with a breathtaking sea view, and embrace the bliss of a beachside massage in an exquisitely designed spa or even in your own villa treatment room.
Therapeutic local spa treatments for the body include Thai herbal compress, yogic-style Thai massage, facials with face massage as well as soothing massages with essential oils, not to mention some foot therapy with a scrub and massage treat. Beyond the spa, Thailand is also a medical tourism hub and combining a villa stay on the island with a cosmetic procedure in either Phuket or Bangkok is becoming increasingly popular with luxury vacationers who want to add a beauty package to their beach retreat.
Bathing in warm waters under a cobalt-blue sky as green palms sway by an idyllic beach when it is wintertime at home is an absolute joy. Thailand is a tropical monsoonal climate and luxury vacationers who like to travel often to escape the cold elsewhere can enjoy year-round sunshine on the islands. Phuket promises the best weather during November to February when it is less humid, cooler, and beach days are simply idyllic. Sun-worshippers enjoy the heat from then until May with monsoon season bringing rains which are incredibly dramatic along with bursts of sunshine too. Evenings are always warm and perfect for sunset drinks and al fresco dining. Samui experiences its hottest days in May with rains refreshing the island in November and the loveliest temperatures for swimming in the sea during April.
Thai cuisine may be the most loved in the world, however, there is an appetizing International foodie culture in Thailand with Phuket boasting an astounding array of fine-dining restaurants. Samui too has, more recently, become a reputable dining destination serving up 5-star dishes with creative culinary flair. With Michelin Guide debuting in Bangkok at the end of 2017, the focus is on Thailand’s luxury restaurant scene as a whole.
If you are used to the jet-set lifestyle then you understand that inspired stays, extraordinary experiences, and desirable destinations really create golden memories. The allure of Thailand’s beaches and tropical rainforests are timeless and luxury villas sparkle like jewels in golden settings, resonating with your whole being. It is this magical landscape that you remember long after you have left Thailand and what ultimately brings you back again. Looking out at a grand view, taking a dip in your villa infinity pool or walking along soft sands inspires the imagination and broadens your horizons, one priceless moment at a time.