One of the great things about Thailand is you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy many of the amazing luxury experiences the country has to offer. From high society dining to private sightseeing flights, there are a variety of ways to make your holiday to Thailand extra special. In no particular order, here are our selection of luxury experiences to try out on your next trip to Thailand.
1) Travel back to a bygone era on the Eastern and Oriental Express
Travelling by train is a wonderful way to explore Thailand and for anybody who wants to travel in style, the Eastern and Oriental Express is the way to do it. The scenic rail trip runs between Singapore and Thailand travelling through spectacular vistas featuring rice fields, rural villages and verdant jungle. The luxury trip also takes in the wartime sites at Kanchanaburi with the train crossing the iconic River Kwai Bridge.
2) Licensed to thrill on a sightseeing flight over the Andaman Coast
Take to the skies in southern Thailand for a memorable flight above the breathtaking scenery of the Andaman Coast. Channel your inner James Bond as you fly over Phang Nga Bay and the islands that were used as a location for Scaramanga’s hideaway in the classic 007 movie, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. Get a birds-eye view of the floating village of Ko Panyee and marvel at the small islands and limestone karsts that form the incredible seascape. Flights by helicopter can be arranged over locations in Krabi and Phuket with Skydance.
3) Sample a high society afternoon tea
For a slice of affordable luxury, make time for a decadent afternoon tea with local flavours adding a tasty Thai twist to the occasion. A number of Thailand’s most prestigious hotels offer the chance to enjoy a ‘hi-so’ afternoon tea amidst beautiful surroundings. In Bangkok, head down to the Chao Phraya River and the fabulous Authors’ Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental. Enjoy the views and ambience at this famous old hotel that hosted the likes of Noël Coward, Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad. Or enjoy an afternoon at the historic House on Sathorn, an elegantly restored mansion house adjacent to the W Hotel.
In Chiang Mai, you’ll find a host of afternoon tea choices. Enjoy the relaxed ambience and classic heritage teak buildings at Villa Mahabhirom or 137 Pillars House. Travel out into the Chiang Mai countryside and take in the mountain views at Four Seasons or stay in the city and take afternoon tea by the banks of the Ping River at the Anantara or Na Nirand.
4) Treat yourself to a health and wellness treatment
Relax with a luxurious spa treatment or unwind with some of the best wellness treatments on the planet. The Chiva-Som in Hua Hin has consistently been voted as one of the best destination spas in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine (UK edition). Further south, the multi-award winning Kamalaya on Ko Samui is another fabulous tropical retreat which will recharge your body and soul while over on the Andaman Coast on the island of Phuket, look no further than the Asaya Spa at Rosewood Phuket.
5) Taste the high life in Bangkok
For a refined evening where you can enjoy cocktails or dinner with a view, pay a visit to any of Bangkok’s rooftop bars and restaurants. Sample the offerings at King Power Mahanakhon or head to the five-star Centara Grand Hotel to take in the views at Red Sky Bangkok. And for even more exclusivity and luxury, take the elevator that leads up to the CRU Champagne Bar. The bar is where the helicopter landing pad once was and you’ll get a spectacular 360-degree view of Bangkok from this lofty vantage point.
6) Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant
Thailand enjoys a long standing reputation as a haven for foodies. Eating tasty street food is a part of the enjoyment of any trip to Thailand, but the country also has a burgeoning reputation for fine dining. First launched in 2017, the Michelin guide to Thailand now covers restaurants in various parts of the country including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket and is an excellent resource for finding luxury dining options.
In the Thai capital, the Michelin guide awards two stars to R-Haan with its menu of authentic Thai food featuring regional dishes and royal cuisine. And if you are travelling to Phuket, don’t miss the outstanding Seafood at Trisara.
7) Cruise on the River of Kings
For a special treat when you’re in Bangkok, take an evening dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. Relax on board The Manohra, an elegantly restored rice barge, and enjoy the ambiance at night on the ‘River of Kings’.
8) Charter your own boat
Hiring your own boat in Thailand doesn’t have to be the preserve of the rich and famous. If you are travelling with friends or family, hiring a speedboat complete with crew can be a practical solution so that you can set your own itinerary to go island hopping or snorkelling. If your itinerary includes Ko Samui, you can charter a yacht with expert crew on hand to sail you around the magnificent Ang Thong National Marine Park. Over on the Andaman Coast, charter a yacht or catamaran in Phuket and explore nearby Ko Racha Noi and Ko Racha Yai in style. And if you are a keen sailor, don’t miss the annual Thailand Yacht Show or Phuket Race Week.
9) Take a balloon flight in North Thailand
Soar high above the Chiang Mai countryside on an unforgettable balloon ride. Balloon flights are operated by experienced and fully qualified pilots with balloons checked by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. Following your morning flight, enjoy a champagne breakfast and savour the memories from this bucket-list trip.
10) Ride in a VIP tuk-tuk
Riding in the back of a tuk-tuk is one of those quintessential experiences that you have to try at least once during a trip to Thailand. To take your tuk-tuk adventures to another level, check out the VIP vehicles at The Tuk-Tuk Club. You can actually drive your own tuk-tuk fitted with added extras to make this unique driving experience even more enjoyable. With extra leg room, comfortable leather seats, cool boxes, bluetooth speakers and walkie talkies, this is a sanuk way to experience the beauty of North Thailand. And with an emphasis on responsible tourism, it’s also a great way to visit places off the beaten track and connect with local people.
11) Arrive by helicopter at The Peninsula, Bangkok
Enjoy the rock star treatment and arrive by helicopter at one of Thailand’s most prestigious hotels, The Peninsula. Hotel guests arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport are met and escorted to the nearby helipad for the scenic 10 minute flight to the hotel. Passengers arrive and depart The Peninsula through the hotel’s dedicated Paribatra Helicopter Lounge. Located on the 37th floor, the lounge features a reception area to ensure a smooth and easy check-in. The Peninsula also offers helicopter ‘flightseeing’ trips around Bangkok.
12) Airport transfers with added panache
For extra comfort and convenience, book a limousine service to take you to or from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. Arrivals at the airport can order a limo at the official Airports of Thailand (AOT) counters. Alternatively, you can book in advance and have the AOT staff waiting to greet you in the arrivals hall.
A number of private companies such as Oriental Escape also offer VIP limousine services. If you’re staying at any of Bangkok’s swankier hotels, most will also offer transfers via luxury car to and from the airport. The Peninsula can arrange transport in style with Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Benz limousines. These cars and chauffeur are also available for hourly rental for journeys within Bangkok and further out of town.
13) Wake up to the sight and sounds of elephants
Situated in the Chiang Rai countryside, the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is one of the most prestigious hotels in North Thailand. An already amazing experience is made extra special with the addition of the unique Jungle Bubbles. Observe elephants in their natural habitat with an unforgettable overnight stay.
14) Unwind in Khao Sok
There’s also the chance to engage ethically with elephants in Khao Sok in Southern Thailand. The Luxury Tented Jungle Camps at Elephant Hills were the fist of their kind in Thailand. Set amidst the outstanding natural beauty of Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand, this is a truly memorable stay. Choose from two luxury camps: the Elephant Camp and the floating Rainforest Camp. Taking glamping to another level, this is the perfect way to experience the natural wonders of Khao Sok in comfort.
15) Luxury camping in the Golden Triangle
With a spectacular natural setting in North Thailand, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle offers luxury tents to enjoy the views and serenity. Interact with rescued elephants, walk along mountain tails and soak up the sights and sounds of this gorgeous region of Thailand.
16) Regal retreats
For accommodation with a regal touch, take a look at Chakrabongse Villas. Located in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin area, this luxury boutique hotel was originally built in the early 1900s by Prince Chakrabongse as a retreat from life in the royal palace. His granddaughter, Narisa, now oversees one of the most unique hotels in the Thai capital.
At Deva Manor in Bangkok’s royal Dusit district, visitors have the chance to dine at the former palace of the Prince of Chanthaburi. Constructed in the 1890s, this elegant building has been sympathetically restored in recent years and is now open to the public for private dining or afternoon tea.
17) Romantic dining at The Sarojin
For a surprise proposal or a special anniversary, The Sarojin offers ‘Just for 2’ private dining in the setting of your choice. Travel in style on The Sarojin’s private yacht and allow yourself to be ‘shipwrecked’ for the evening on a secluded sand isle and dine under the stars looking out to the Andaman Sea. Or relax as your own private chef prepares a beach barbecue for two. And for a truly memorable evening, The Sarojin’s private chef will serve up a delicious dinner in a stunning jungle waterfall setting.
18) Treetop dining on Ko Kood
Over on Thailand’s East Coast, the island of Ko Kood is home to the luxurious Soneva Kiri. This tropical hideaway hosts one of Thailand’s most unique dining experiences. Allow all your senses to be tantalised as you dine amidst the treetops courtesy of Soneva Kiri’s incredible bamboo pods where specially trained waiters deliver the food via zipline.
The treetop pods are closed at certain times of the year for regular maintenance and safety reasons. Please check directly with the resort if you are planning to visit.
19) Stay on a private island
For a secluded getaway, book a stay at Cape Fahn Hotel. Located on a tiny private island just across from Ko Samui, this is the perfect luxury escape for anybody seeking tranquillity and privacy.
20) Hire your own family villa
If you’re travelling with family or a group of friends, hiring a private villa can represent excellent value for money. These spacious properties are often equipped with private pools and are usually designed with a style that blends classic Thai architecture with modern comforts. Check out the family villas from Elegant Resorts and enjoy a luxury Thailand holiday without spending a fortune.
21) Experience beachfront luxury
Whichever region of Thailand you travel to, there are a bevy of world-class hotels to choose from. For barefoot luxury with sea views, take a look at any of the amazing luxury hotels on Thailand’s beautiful islands. On the Gulf Coast island of Ko Samui, the Santiburi Resort and Sala Samui have reportedly hosted British racing drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Over on the Andaman Coast, the Amanpuri is one of Phuket’s most luxurious hotels and has played host to a plethora of A-list celebrities. If you’re travelling to Krabi, the Rayavadee is another well-regarded luxury hotel with a fabulous location on the Phra Nang peninsula. Located on the small island of Ko Yao Noi between Krabi and Phuket, Six Senses Yao Noi provides epic views of Phang Nga Bay to go with the exquisite service. And on the Phang Nga mainland to the north of Phuket, there are some amazing luxury beachfront hotels in Khao Lak to choose from including The Sarojin and Casa de La Flora.
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