Luxury Travel in Thailand – How Much to Budget and Where to Go
Set against a dramatic backdrop of tropical vegetation, towering limestone castes and sugary sand beaches, Thailand is no longer an unknown, remote destination. The cat’s out of the bag and backpackers and shoe-string travellers have been flocking to the utopian shores for quite some time now. Filled with budget accommodations and cheap-as-chips hostels, Thailand also happens to be home to some of the most uber-luxurious hotels, luxury tours and ultra-swanky itineraries for those with plenty of zeros at the end of the bank balances.
Luxury travel in Thailand – What to expect
For those wanting to splurge when in Thailand, there are plenty of top end attractions and activities for any and all luxury travellers.
Leaving the kingdom without experiencing the wonders of the famous Thai massage might in fact be a sacrilege, or at the very least a very big regret of most. With its gorgeous setting of sun-kissed beaches and crashing, turquoise waves, the spa resorts in Thailand are first-class and a must-do on any luxury travellers list. Luxury pampering in the Land of Smiles is an exquisitely soothing combination of holistic, eastern therapies and first-class facilities. Our favourite beauty spas in Thailand would have to be, the Banyan Tree Spa in Phuket, the Royal Natural Spa in Bangkok, Explore Spa in Chiang Mai and Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa in Koh Samui.
For those high-end travellers longing for more adventure than that offered by a 2-hour aromatherapy massage and decadent body wrap, Thailand has excellent yachting experiences along the Andaman Sea. Picture yourself on a private yacht bobbing gently along the azure waves, sipping champagne and eating a tropical fruit platter. Is there anything better than looking out at sea while scrumptious seafood is being barbequed and the whole day is stretched out before you? Customised day-trips to many of the most popular hot-spot destinations, as well as overnight-trips are all on offer for those seeking a wonderful overdose of vitamin-sea.
Luxury accommodation in Thailand ranges from private chalets in wild rainforests with private infinity pools, glamping in stunning tents on the floating platforms of the Khao Sok Lake, treehouse villas with all the first-class facilities that your heart could possibly desire, and even pent house suites on top of skyscrapers in the capital with dizzying views of the city and Chao Phraya River. All of this pairs beautifully with the world-class wining and dining options that abound for travellers who are eager to live the high-life during their Thai holiday.
Private cooking classes, cultural shows and golf courses
Other fun activities for the luxurious-minded in Thailand are fun and romantic private cooking classes, private culture shows, or a day spent on one of the immaculate golf courses with spectacular views and world-renowned amenities.
Classic Eastern & Oriental Express train journey
Not to be missed is also the elegant and luxurious train journey on the Eastern & Oriental Express from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Glamorous and plush interiors, superb staff and exquisite, meandering views of ancient marvels and glittering cities; this train ride is one of the most special train journeys in the world. Lastly, for high-end travellers who long for a peaceful and luxurious travel experience immediately after arriving in the airport, both Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok offer First Class Airport Representatives. These representatives assist you with everything for either your arrival or departure, luggage handling, shorter queues as well as an exclusive VIP lounge to relax in before your flight.
Top itineraries and destinations for luxury travel in Thailand
Travellers seeking first-class service, exceptional service and exclusive, decadent amenities would be wise to visit either, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui. These destinations have activities and facilities that offer superb indulgences and extravagant attention to every detail ensuring that your travel experience and customised itinerary are everything you envisioned prior to hitting ‘confirm’ on your flight tickets.
Bangkok luxury travel itinerary
With a population of over 8 million and an annual increase in tourists visiting each year, exploring the capital’s hotspots can be rather overwhelming for most.
For travellers with generous budgets who long to mute the chaos of Bangkok, booking a private tour of the city’s canals rather than boarding the busy Chao Phraya Express Boats can be a wonderfully relaxing reprieve from the standard mayhem. These private tours can be customised according to personal needs and can include temple visits to Wat Arun, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra amongst others. This is also a stress-free way of viewing the famous floating markets.
Following your riverside/temple adventure why not indulge in a luxurious pampering session at one of the capital’s swanky beauty spas. Opt for a traditional Thai massage or one of the many other decadent beauty treatments and indulge in a delicious high tea once your treatment is over.
Your evening would be well spent at one of Bangkok’s upscale rooftop bars and restaurants where you can sip a cocktail and observe the panoramic magic of the city from above.
Chiang Mai luxury travel itinerary
Popular for its misty mountains and lush jungles, any visit to Chiang Mai would be incomplete without an interactive visit to one of Chiang Mai’s ethical elephant parks. Thai Elephant Care Center in Mae Sa Valley offers guests the opportunity to care, feed and learn about Thailand’s elephants in a manner that is kind and considerate of these exceptional creatures.
For travellers craving an indulgent day of pampering, be sure to check out The Oasis Spa for a combination of ancient Thai rejuvenation techniques and modern facilities. The private outdoor showers and private villas only add to the magic.
For any luxury travellers in Chiang Mai on their honeymoon, it is possible to have your very own traditional Lanna wedding ceremony. This includes a personalised ceremony, getting blessed by a monk, planting a love tree to commemorate your love here in Chiang Mai’s soil; and then feasting on a delicious lunch of local dishes.
Phuket luxury travel itinerary
No trip to Phuket is concluded without a day out at sea exploring the breathtaking islands, famous beaches and observing the wonders below the waves. For the luxury traveller this is easy to achieve by hiring a private yacht for the day, sailing to the world-renowned, James Bond Island, surrounding Andaman Islands and soaking up the sun. Admiring the striking views from the vantage point of a pristine and beautiful boat, without all the jostling and jam-packed crowds (that Thailand has sadly become infamous for), is reason enough to fork out the extra Baht for those who can afford it.
The Similan Islands and Phi Phi Islands can also be explored via speedboat for those who want to explore the emerald waves with more voomah and gusto.
Another fun way to send an afternoon in Phuket for those with heavy wallets, is a private Phuket Island afternoon tour and rum tasting session. There are private tours that take guests to more secluded and better-kept-secrets in the city, sunset viewpoints, a local cashew nut plantation and to the Chalong Rum distillery.
Koh Samui luxury travel itinerary
This famous island in Thailand is most enjoyed by travellers craving a beach-escape and wanting a few days or weeks of relaxing in tropical paradise. The stunning natural scenery, beauty spa resorts, excellent seafood and abundance of bars selling icy coconut cocktails make this the ideal getaway for those with generous budgets.
Luxury travellers would be wise to hire a private boat to visit the spectacular limestone pinnacles soaring out of the sparkling waters. A tropical lunch on board with plenty of time spent to read, sunbathe, snorkel and unwind is what Koh Samui is famous for.
Why not spend the evening having a decadent seafood dinner under the stars after visiting a local market for fine silks and tailormade suits styled and cut to perfection?
Best luxury hotels in Thailand
The world-recognised Four Seasons Hotel chain has made a name for itself here in sunny Thailand with exquisite hotels set up in Koh Samui and Chiang Mai; as well as a lavish tented camp established in Thailand’s Golden Triangle. Aside from the more recognised hotel chains, Thailand is also home to a wide array of luxury accommodation that are quite literally, fit for royalty.
Luxury hotels in Bangkok
This iconic 5-star hotel is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. Not only is the location excellent, but the facilities are lavish, the dining world-class and the spa facilities almost unparalleled. Rates begin at THB 15,000 but go up to a very hefty, THB 160, 000 for the supreme Oriental Suite.
The Sukhothai Bangkok
The owners of this fine establishment describe The Sukhothai Bangkok as an ancient kingdom living within a thriving metropolis. This hotel has sprawling acres of lush gardens and lotus ponds and promises a peaceful and otherworldly escape from the bustling capital. Rates for a night are charged from THB 5,000 to THB 80,000.
Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
An outdoor pool, poolside bar, two restaurants and a first-class beauty spa, the Bangkok Marriott Hotel is a reputable and recognised brand that is synonymous with luxury and class. Nightly rates start from around THB 5,500.
Luxury hotels in Phuket
COMO Point Yamu
Like something out of a fairytale, COMO Point Yamu is a stunning resort situated at the tip of Cape Yamu overlooking the striking limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay and sweeping views across the Andaman Sea. The hotel offers a gentle fusion of modern contemporary design and Thai luxury. There is a wellness retreat on site as well as two superb restaurants offering Thai and Italian cuisine. Rates vary from THB 10,000 to THB 65,000.
Set in the magical rainforest of Kamala, this hotel offers its guests top of the rage treehouse villas with private pools and enchanting facilities. The evergreen wonderland is one of the most unique and special accommodations that Thailand has to offer. Rates vary between the clay, tented and bird’s nest pool villas but prices range from THB 15,000 to THB 30,000.
This luxury resort and timeless hotel in Phuket has idyllic views of the Andaman Sea which blends seamlessly with its architecture and interior design. Romantic, picturesque and exceptional quality this is a great option for travellers longing for the finer things in life. Accommodation options range from a pavilion room or a villa and prices start at about THB 22,000.
Luxury hotels in Koh Samui
Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort and Spa
This secluded hideaway provides guests with the utmost privacy, luxury and relaxation during their stay in the famous Koh Samui. Private pools, a shared pool, a spa, restaurant, bar and function facilities make staying at the Le Meridien ideal for travellers who long to relax and unwind and to have everything within arm’s reach. Rates begin at THN 8,000 for the night.
Anantara Lawana Resort and Spa
Just a few steps away from the postcard-perfect ocean of Chaweng Beach, this resort has a treehouse restaurant, a beachside infinity edge pool, Thai boxing classes, cocktail mixing classes, yoga classes, fruit carving classes, a poolside bar, a spa; and is well-located to any snorkelling, diving and golf courses. Rooms start from around THB 4,500.
This upscale, boutique hotel in Koh Samui is perfectly located in the centre of Lamai Beach and focuses on a harmonious blend of Thai architecture and contemporary design. Pool villas and Thai villas as well as standard suites are available, and all rooms guarantee a memorable and special stay on the island. Rates begin at THB 4,000.
Luxury hotels in Chiang Mai
The Dhara Dhevi
This is the perfect spot for the those seeking luxurious amenities and a traditional northern Thai experience. There is a world-acclaimed restaurant and beauty spa on site; and the Dhara Dhevi is the only hotel in Chiang Mai that offers its guests daily traditional Northern Thai arts and crafts demonstrations. These demonstrations include basket weaving, rice pounding, paper cutting, flower arranging etc. Prices for a night are in the TBH 20,000 region.
137 Pillars House
A 5-star hotel with gorgeous old-world charm, 137 Pillars House is set on the picturesque banks of the Ping River. This hotel has a fascinating history and has a peaceful and charming ambiance. Nightly rates are around THB 18,000.
Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai
A classically, luxurious option for the night for travellers seeking fantastic service, excellent location and lavish attention to décor and detail. Rates for a room are about THB 10,000.
How much to budget for luxury travel in Thailand
Taking into consideration one’s 5-star accommodation, daily luxury excursions, transport costs and fine-dining food; luxury travel cost per day in Thailand will be around THB 8,000 per day. This is determined at an average night’s stay of about THB 8,000 per couple sharing; and excludes all alcoholic drinks and souvenirs purchased.
While a holiday in the Land of Smiles for luxury travellers does still work out to be rather costly; compared to travelling through parts of Europe, North America or Australia; Thailand offers its visitors pretty decent value for money. Thailand has been receiving an increase in tourists every year and so it is no longer the most affordable country in South East Asia, however, the friendly and hardworking locals are excellent at creating accommodations, facilities and services that are sure to blow away even the most discerning and demanding of guests. In recent years, Thailand seems to have become the new stomping ground of the rich and famous and the locals have catered beautifully for this relatively new gap in the market.