Despite the fact that 15 million foreign feet grace its idyllic beachscapes each year, Thailand luxury frequently delights more discerning travellers. Its postcard-ready vistas, rich culture and fascinating heritage have often earned it a place on lists of the world’s most luxurious destinations.
Indeed, its greatest appeal lies in the fact that it has something to offer any kind of traveller. From adventure-seekers and foodies to nature-lovers and amateur historians, there is something here for everyone. Millions of reviews online demonstrate that for many, Thailand is an escape into luxury. The destination certainly offers experiences that are distinct to the region. They are unlike any other you may find elsewhere in the world. Here is what the luxury traveller can look forward to in the Land of Smiles.
Celestial Sky, Magnificent Shoreline
Stretching from the Thai Gulf to the Andaman Sea, bays and beaches punctuate the sprawling Thailand coastline, many of which are remote and exclusively accessible to particular resorts. Crystal Beach, in Samui, is a prime example. Large boulders surround a protected bay that is home to a shallow reef. Here, you can expect powdery, white sand and azure water that is refreshing in the morning and warmer in the afternoons.
Krabi, another iconic beach destination, is a picture of bliss, with traditional longtail boats bobbing on the water against a backdrop of lush, green vegetation. Krabi’s most exclusive beach, Railay, is only accessible by boat and is perfect for sunset dips in the ocean.
Rich Cultural Heritage
Thai people have an equivalent phrase for “Hakuna Matata” – a phrase coined in Lion King. The phrase “mai bpen rai,” loosely translates as “no worries.”
This singular phrase has come to epitomise the easygoing nature of the Thai people. People all over the world revere the Thai for being the most respectful and polite people any traveller will meet. To step onto its shores is to step into an inviting and captivating world.
Thailand’s religious history and affiliations with Buddhism and the Chinese strongly underpin its culture.
Towering temples and historical places of worship dot the landscape. These have become some of the nation’s most popular sights.
Traditional Thai dancers have become synonymous with the country’s rich sense of culture. Dancers are recognisable by their vibrantly coloured costumes, gold adornments and ethereal movements. Kohn, the masked dance form, was once only performed for the royal family. Today it is often accompanied by narration and is performed outside of the royal court, although it is still venerated and held sacred.
A Toast to the Good Life
Thai cuisine is renowned around the world for its decadent flavour. Thailand plays host to a myriad of Michelin-starred restaurants that cater to a range of celebrity and VIP clientele. In one of the most recent developments, a “White Glove” delivery service began delivering takeouts to wealthy patrons in black sedans chauffeured by professional butlers.
At the top of Thailand’s list of characteristic dishes is Tom Yung Goong (spicy shrimp soup). The dish features lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fresh chillies and other ingredients indigenous to the region.
One of Thailand’s most popular luxury restaurants towers 61 floors above ground. Vertigo, at the Banyan Tree Hotel, offers unprecedented views of the cityscape and is a popular sundowner destination. Vertigo has an à la carte menu but also a 4- or 5-course dinner option complemented by a menu of signature cocktails.
There is certainly no shortage of luxury travel experiences for visitors to Thailand who prefer the finer things in life. You can travel vintage-style on the Eastern and Oriental Express, a scenic train journey that runs between Singapore and Thailand. A number of Thailand’s leading hotels also offer high-tea experiences in the afternoon, overlooking views of the urban sprawl or the countryside, depending on your preferences.
And, of course, no luxury Thai experience is complete without a visit to a spa or wellness centre. Voted as one of the top destination spas in the world, the Chiva-Som in Hua Hin offers chakra-balancing treatments, detoxifying body therapy as well as acupuncture, among other treatments.
And if the open seas call, you can charter a yacht, complete with an expert crew. They offer an unmatched culinary and relaxation experience at sea.