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 Panyi and marvel at the small islands and limestone karsts that form the incredible seascape. Flights by helicopter or sightseeing plane can be arranged over locations in Krabi and Phuket with Avanti Air Charter and 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. And in North Thailand, the luxurious Dhara Devi in Chiang Mai offers a feast for all the senses.
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 sky-bars. The highest is Mahanakhon Skybar which is located at the top of the tallest building in Thailand and makes for a memorable evening. Or head to the five-star Centara Grand Hotel where you can enjoy the food, drink and 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.
For yet more impressive rooftop views in Bangkok, head to the ever popular Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree or make a beeline for Park Society at So/Bangkok where you can enjoy superb views over Lumpini Park.
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.
For a special treat when you’re in Bangkok, take an evening dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River on the Manohra, an elegantly restored rice barge. Alternatively, the Supanniga Eating Room bring a guarantee of quality with their champagne dinner cruise featuring a 6-course, home-cooked Thai menu.
7) 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 which is usually held in January in Phuket.
8) Take a balloon flight over Chiang Mai
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. To make your day even more special, add on a luxury spa treatment at the award-winning Fah Lanna Spa in Chiang Mai.
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9) Experience barefoot 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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