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Thailand is Southeast Asia’s most accessible nation for international travelers, and it’s by far among the most luxurious. With so many five-star options to choose from, these high-end resorts turn to experiential opportunities to help you decide where to stay. Here are five recommendations for the best luxury properties designed to maximize your down time in Thailand’s most beloved regions.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
This idyllic property set among the rice paddies of Chiang Mai is focused on total wellness. The benefits of its organic garden with local and international produce, a yogi trained in the Himalayas, and its world-class spa will no doubt revitalize your mind and body, but where Four Seasons Chiang Mai truly stands apart is in cultural and spiritual wellness. Take part in rituals with Buddhist monks, bathe a water buffalo, paint one of the region’s iconic handcrafted parasols, and learn the importance of rice farming with a hands-on lesson in the property’s lush, tranquil paddies.
On the northern tip of one of Thailand’s most desirable islands, Six Senses Samui is home to 66 private villas with unrivaled views of the Gulf of Thailand. Six Senses can easily help you explore the surroundings with jungle drives, boat trips, or even sunrise kayak tours to a neighboring island. The resort also provides guests the opportunity to connect more deeply to the island through service projects such as assisting with beach and temple cleanups, or spiritual workshops like learning how to prepare meaningful offerings in a combo program that includes meditation.
Bangkok is noted for its calamitous streets and anything-goes nightlife, so a luxurious respite is a must in this capital city. 137 Pillars Suites Bangkok provides all the 5-star accommodation and services needed to recharge in style without sacrificing access to the city’s local pulse. Located within minutes of the EM District (Bangkok’s massive complex of three luxury malls), 137 Pillars brings design and fashion directly to guests with designer partnerships to debut fashion presentations and art fairs that take over multiple floors of the property. Foodies can relish in pop-up dinners with renowned visiting chefs and organic food and wine festivals on site.
Coveted for its natural spectacles, the western province of Krabi is home to Rayavadee Krabi Resort’s 101 plush pavilions and villas scattered among the coconut groves of this coastal paradise. Travelers come from around the globe to experience not just the waterfalls, hot springs, and mangrove forests surrounding the resort, but the towering Phi Phi Island rock formations not far offshore.
Rayavadee offers sea excursions complete with secluded beaches and brightly colored tropical fish, and land adventures like the 1000-step climb to the vista at Tiger Cave Temple or jungle walks that may stumble upon spectacled langur monkeys, but one of the region’s most unmissable moments is found directly on the property itself. The Grotto is a surreal dining venue naturally carved below the limestone cliffs of Phranang Beach and it’s the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail after a day of exploration.
Amanpuri can be found on one of Thailand’s most alluring islands, Phuket. While the nearby town of Patong offers a nightlife scene that could almost rival Bangkok’s, Amanpuri has few peers in the realm of individual wellness. Enroll in a 3-day Wellness Immersion at Amanpuri that begins with a thorough consultation and screening before a personalized course of treatment is assigned to reach your goals of weight management, detox and cleansing, or stress management.
Every day in each of the immersion programs includes a tailored menu, spa treatment, group movement class, private movement class, and wellness session with a specialist, and additional arrival and departure perks. And if you’re visiting with a spouse or friend who isn’t on a personal journey of his or her own, your program is adapted not to contradict your travel partner’s vacation goals, so you’ll both find the harmony you seek.