Hard to believe but Hua Hin, a tranquil resort destination, lies near the rambunctious Bangkok. Hua Hin offers something for everyone. Wine lovers flock their to enjoy their favorite drink, golfers roam its many courses (there are over then of them to help you test your swing) and vacationers take advantage of its beaches and posh hotels. Best of all, the vacation town is a hidden gem meaning that it doesn’t suffer from overcrowding the way some other places do.
“The more I travel the more convinced I am that the ultimate luxury at a hotel is not the toiletries or the linen — it is space. A large bathroom, open areas, outdoor seating options, a giant bed to sink into and loads of space to move around … that to me is real luxury.”
Bangkok’s luxury hotels have consistently maintained a remarkably low rate profile over the past decade, a phenomenon that is welcomed by luxury seekers in the know, but to Bangkok hotel owners and managers’ chagrin. Thailand has seen a soaring and sustained growth in the tourism industry as well as a strong economy, yet despite these positives, the rates at the top tier hotels in Bangkok have refused to show an increase, instead they have remained stagnant. This is thanks in part to a very impressive pipeline of evermore luxurious properties opening throughout the Kingdom, but particularly in Bangkok.
Rosewood Bangkok is one of the latest entries to the Bangkok luxury hotel scene in recent times and the author states that he had an opportunity to visit it. The Rosewood is beating all odds with its 159 keys. The author states that it is achieving high rates in Bangkok. The design approach undertaken by Rosewood is revolutionary and impressive. Design & Concept firm Avroko carried out a non-uniform approach with emphasis on the restaurants and bars, while Celia Chu Design and Associates worked on its rooms and public areas. The author states that coming back to the subject of rates, top tier hotels in Bangkok have been averaging rates of $200 to $240 for years and that is very bad for their reputation. The question is, will other hotels find the courage to follow Rosewood’s move or will the market cause a correction in the pricing strategy?
“Taking a step back, and looking at recent entries like the Waldorf Astoria, and upcoming 101 key Capella, what is clear is luxury properties are shifting in terms of key drivers of the segment of art, fashion, residential vibe, bar and restaurant offerings, wellness and events.”
Waldorf Astoria is never an average hotel, but the newly opened Bangkok location is certainly making an impression in Thailand, some even calling it the queen of hotels. It’s certainly lush and lavish, featuring half hotel, half condo style with brilliant views, a retail center, a restaurant, lavish spas, and a host of additional amenities and feature that you won’t find at the average hotel. Hand detailed designs and articulate scheming also add to the luxuriousness of the hotel.
“Thai art and craft traditions and references to the original New York Waldorf Astoria’s art deco stylings abound, along with lines that reference the organic exterior curves of that highly visible building.”
Thailand has more than 1400 islands. For one to find one he can call his own is not easy. One has to choose between islands in Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and even Maya Bay which the government had to shut down recently because it was overly crowded. The author found himself in this dilemma in his first trip to Thailand so that in his second trip, he sought just one island that he would call his own. To achieve this, he had to leave Phuket to a little known island that was its neighbor called Koh Yao Noi. This island is about thirty minutes ride from Phuket. The island at Koh Yao Noi has kept to its traditional ways. Although it has hotels, the muslim community engages in fishing and coconut farming, and live a quiet life that is quite distinct from the noisy living of Phuket. They settled in a new resort, 9HornBills. After settling down, their guide took them on a journey through the island and its attractions which was a history lesson of sorts.
“This island sits in the middle of the giant Phang Nga Bay, about 30 minutes boat ride from Phuket.”
Rayong, Thailand is a beach city that has fewer foreign tourists than Hua Hin or Pattaya. It is situated 120 miles south of Bangkok. The province of Rayong has 60 miles of coast. The city of Rayong has great seafood and many popular tourist attractions. The ideal time to visit is between November and February, this season has less rain than the monsoon season between June and October. There are buses to take you from Bangkok to Rayong that have A/C.
“Rayong city is the major draw of the province, and makes for a great base for eating amazing seafood and exploring all the nearby attractions that Rayong has to offer.”