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Luxury Tourism in Thailand

November 13, 2017 | admin

 

Luxury Tourism in Thailand

Thailand has always been a destination of choice with its world-renowned Thai cuisine and tourism attractions: from islands and beaches in the East and South, to the highlands in the North and the bustling city of Bangkok. In the last decade, Thailand has seen the emergence of luxury accommodation,luxury tourism products, such as spectacular health and wellness resorts and spas, Michelin Star restaurants, rooftop bars, extravagant shopping malls, pool villas,and luxury transport options,such as private yacht and jet. This module givesexamples of what Thailand has to offer luxury travellers.

HOTELS & RESORTS

In recent years, luxury hotels and resorts in particular have honed their unique selling points to give guests a memorable experience. Some of the offerings include:seclusionamid nature with 5-star service and facilities; customised health and wellness packages; private helicopter transfers from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport directly to the resort; andan in-house photographer/videographer to record those memorable holidays.The following are examples ofthe more unique offerings:

In the North

DharaDhevi Chiang Mai

DharaDhevi features 5-star accommodation with spectacular Lanna-style exterior architecture as well as colonial style furniture and exquisite artworks. Highlights include the Dheva Spawhich offers holistic and Ayurvedic treatments, Sunday brunch and afternoon tea with signature macarons, and awide rangeof recreational activities for guests of all ages and interests, including rice farming, Muay Thai, art & craft workshops, meditation and yoga. www.dharadhevi.com

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

Situated in Mae Rim District out of Chiang Mai city,the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is a 5-star resort with typical Thai charm. Its afternoon tea served on an outdoor terrace is probably Chiang Mai’s best afternoon tea with a view.The property is surrounded by rice paddies and guests can experience Thainesswithactivitiessuch as a Thai-inspired spa treatment, a Thai cooking class, a Muay Thai class, a basic Thai language class and rice farming. www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai

137 Pillars House

With only 30 rooms (all suites)in an old teak wood house, built 125 years ago and set in beautifully maintained gardens with original trees, 137 Pillars House is one of Chiang Mai’s most charming accommodations. Attention has been paid to every detail, from the spectacular exotic gardens which can be seen from the veranda and patio of all the suites, to the 400-thread count linen. The hotel also serves one of Chiang Mai’s best afternoon teas. www.slh.com/hotels/137-pillars-house

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle,Chiang Rai

Surrounded by jungle, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle offers the ultimate in glamping. The resort is located near the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Guests are taken by long-tail boat along Mekong and Ruak Rivers to reach the resort. The all-inclusive glamping package includes:round-trip airport transfers, all meals, house wines, in-room minibar, elephant trekking and spa treatment. The tents are beautifully furnished with a living area, a hot tub, and both air-con and heating. (Chiang Rai can be cold in the cool season.) From the resort,guests caninteract with rescued elephants in their ownhabitat, explore spectacular mountain trails through bamboo jungles, and unwind in their superb luxury tents. www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle

Rachamankha Chiang Mai

Rachamankha is one option for a more authentic experience, right in the heart of the historic old city of Chiang Mai. This 25-room boutique hotel is situated close to some of Chiang Mai’s best known attractions such as Wat Phra Singh temple and Sunday Walking Street. Each room has its own unique design and layout. All the furniture and decorations are the owner’s own collector pieces. Another unique selling point is the al fresco restaurant on the patio which serves Lanna, Burmese and Shan cuisine. www.rachamankha.com

Central and Eastern Region

The Siam, Bangkok Set on a premium river frontage, this -room luxury retreat ‘The Siam’ features Bangkok’s most spacious suites and is the kingdom’s premier urban resort offering intimately private pool villas with rooftop terraces. During the day, guests can explore Bangkok by boat departingthe hotel’s private pier, pamper themselves at the spa, explore the grounds and discover a veritable treasure trove of curios. Alternately they can simply unwind with a sunset cocktail at the riverfront bar.

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Built in 1876, this riverfront hotel in Bangkok is one of the world’smost classic luxurious properties. The unique blend of comfort and luxury, itsprime location and professional service, together with the facilities and activities to cater to everyone’s desire, makes a stay at this hotel an unforgettable one.Dining here is also second to none with Lord Jim’s serving some of the best seafood;the international buffet, le Normandie serving the best Frenchcuisine;Sala Rimnaam serving traditional Thai and theAuthor’s Lounge perfect for an afternoon tea. www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok

The Okura Prestige Bangkok

Located in the heart of Bangkok, the Okura Prestige Bangkok hotel is a stylish, elegant, luxurious and contemporary 5-star hotel which combines comfort and convenience with the warmth and charm of genuine Thai hospitality. All rooms and suites enjoy impressive views of the Bangkok skyline through e-coated triple-glazed windows. Highlights here also include Yamazato Restaurantserving traditional Japanese cuisine and Sky Bar serving a variety of cocktails. www.okurabangkok.com

The Sukhothai Bangkok

The Sukhothai Bangkok is like a sanctuary in the heart of Bangkok. The design of this 5-star hotel is elegant and classic. The decor in the common areasmaintains a strong Thai theme with replica Chedis submerged in a scenic water gardenin the main courtyard, and walkways decorated with carved wood.Its Celadon Thai Restaurant serves award-winning Thai cuisine from the various regions of the country, amidst a pond of flowering lotus. www.sukhothai.com

Sala Resort&Spa Ayutthaya

Sala Resort & Spa Ayutthaya is a luxurious riverfront accommodation with a deck opening onto the Chao Phraya River and the famous Phutthaisawan Temple.
At Sala Ayutthaya Eatery & Bar, diners can indulge indelightful food and drinks while enjoying the breathtaking views of nearby temples and river life. Though the architecture and interior design are clean and neat, each of the twenty six bedrooms is individually styled. www.salaresorts.com

La Residence, Hua Hin

La Residence is an elegant, colonial style beachside residence in Hua Hin. This 480sqm property features two bedrooms with en-suite marble baths, a sprawling upstairs balcony offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand, a sumptuous downstairs living room, plus elegant dining room, kitchen, sitting areas, and marble foyer, indeed enough space to generously accommodate up to six people. The grounds of La Residence also offer your own infinity pool, walled gardens and direct access to the beach. Huahin.intercontinental.com/la-residence

Soneva Kiri KohKood, Trat

The award-winning Soneva Kiri KohKood in Trat defines itself as barefoot luxury accommodation. The 24 resort villas and 11 private residences located either on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes of the rainforest, all offerinfinity pools, chic decorations and personalised services. Guests can enjoy a myriad of activitieswithin the resort, including: watching amovie under the stars at Cinema Paradiso, being fascinated by the night sky at The Observatory;pampering themselves at the spa, or taking fine dining to new heights at the resort’s unique Treepod Dining experience where food isdelivered by anacrobatic zip-line waiter. The resort also offers a special package which includes transfers by private jet from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the resort, access to Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge at the Airport, full board and all-inclusive activities. A private air transfer service between Soneva Kiri and Siem Reap can also be arranged.

http://www.soneva.com/soneva-kiri

Southern Region

Rayavadee, Krabi

The multi-award winning Rayavadee is situated atPhranang Peninsula on the border of the Marine National Park – an area renowned for its natural beauty and rich flora, fauna and marine life. The accommodation was designed to nestle between the trees, none of which were removed during the construction. The resort also minimises the negative impact on the surroundings with a focus on sustainable water and waste management as well as energy efficiency.Rayavadee’s unique natural setting makes it the perfect place to refresh your mind, body and spirit. www.rayavadee.com

Six Sense Yao Noi, Phang Nga

Located on a small island of Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga, just a short speedboat ride from Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket, the luxury Six Senses Yao Noi offers guests a sense of privacy between elevated villas. Sea view villas offer unbeatable stunning views over Phang-Nga Bay, whilemountain view villas face a lush rubber plantation. The highlight of this resort is its Hilltop Reserve,a restaurant and pool area with the best sea view from Koh Yao Noi. For ultimate convenience, the resort also offers a private helicopter service from Phuket Airport to the resort. www.sixsenses.com

Sri Panwa, Phuket

Perched high atop Cape Panwa with breathtaking views of the South-eastern tip of Phuket, Sri Panwa is another of Phuket’s luxury private pool villas and spa resorts with fantastic views. Its Baba Nest Exclusive Rooftop Bar is listed as one of the world’s most stylish and exclusive rooftop bars with a360° panoramic view of the surrounding islands and the Andaman Sea. It was voted the World’s
‘Hotelwiththebestviews’ by Beach Tomato UK, was voted among the Top 3 Beach Bars worldwide by CNNGo and was voted Top 2 World’s 50 Best Beach Bar by CNN International. www.sripanwa.com

Kata Rocks, Phuket

Overlooking the crystal clear waters of Kata Beach and the Andaman Sea, Kata Rocks is among the most iconic 5-star resorts in Phuket. So far it has won more than 40 International Property and Hospitality Awards. Its signature Sky Pool Villas (from 1 bedroom to 4 bedrooms) offerpanoramic ocean views with generous indoor and outdoor living areas and a full range of modern amenities. Upon arrival, guests are assigned a ‘Rock Star’ personal concierge for the duration of their stay. Its Infinite Luxury Spa has also been recognised as one of the world’s best spas in numerous international awards. It provides a personalised and highly distinctive experience. There’s even spa menu for kids aged 5 to 12 years. One-bedroom ‘Spa Villa’ comes with its own luxurious private treatment room that includes daily spa massage treatments in the privacy and comfort of your own luxury pool villa. www.katarocks.com

Point Yamu by Como, Phuket

Situated on the hill at the end of Point Yamu on the east coast of Phuket, the scenic view from this property is unbeatable. Two other highlights here include Nahmyaa Thai Restaurantand Shambala wellness retreat spa. As there is no beach access, the property can organise a boat trip to take guests to Koh Rang Yai which is a private island. www.comohotels.com/pointyamu

Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carton Reserve Krabi

Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve inKrabi is a luxury beach resort which blends local culture in the most magnificent of ways. Phulay Bay offers private luxury villas and pavilions together with an array of amenities and facilities including an infinity pool, spa, fitness centre, yoga, and Pilates studio combined with a tantalising selection of casual and formal dining options. www.ritzcarlton.com/krabi

The Naka Phuket

This 94 pool villa resort is situated on 17.4 acres of gradually sloping cliff in a discreet area of Kamala Bay on the west side of Phuket. The resort is only accessible via an isolated mountain road making it the perfect location for those seeking the ultimate seclusion.Each villa features an elegantly designed overhanging bedroom, suspended 6m overthe edge offering guests a unique sleeping experience.Its restaurants have been designed to make the most of the pleasant viewswith Wiwa, the resort’s principal restaurant, serving a combination of classic and popular Thai & Western dishes right next to the beach; and The Meka Sky Lounge serving a range of healthy meals and drinks, while guests enjoy the Andaman Coast’s stunning sunset. www.thenakaphuket.com

Iniala Beach House, Phang Nga

Iniala Beach House is one of Phuket’s most memorable private villas. Each of the suites is uniquely designed by a different designer and has its own service staff which includes driver, butler, chef, spa therapist and housekeeper. www.iniala.com

The Naka Island

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa is located on a small island off Phuket, just 25minutesaway from Phuket International Airport, Phuket Town and Patong. During the stay, guests can take advantage of the water sports (kayak, stand up paddle board, and wind surfer) free of charge; try Muay Thai, Tai Chi or Yoga;join a Thai cooking class; pamper themselves at the spa; or simply relax and enjoythepanoramic views of Phang Nga Bay and Phuket coastline. Its 1,600sqm gated Royal Horizon Pool Villa features a 546sqm infinity pool and expansive pool deck with picture-perfect views – ideal for watching a romantic sunset. Next to it are three 450sqm Seaview Pool Villas. All three villas can be connected by a private walkway, transforming the space to an expansive 2,500sqm, ideal for larger groups. www.nakaislandphuket.com

Vana Belle KohSamui

Vana Belle is a luxury accommodation on Chaweng Noi Beach of KohSamui. Their Ocean View Pool Suite features 172sqm of space with a sea view, an outdoor bathtub and an infinity pool. Outstanding amenities include 24-hour fitness centre and wellness spa, 24-hour on call butler service for top-tier suites and villas, and a schedule of daily activities suitable for all ages and interests. www.vanabellekohsamui.com

W Retreat, KohSamui

The hilltop W Retreat KohSamui is nestled between Maenam and Bo Phut, a mere 20minutes drive from Samui International Airport. The 74 private pool villas sit up on the cliff overlooking the pristine beach. The 162sqm Ocean View Escape Villa is positioned at the highest point of the propertywith floor to ceiling windows offering simply the best views. The villas offer high-end 46-inch flat screen TVsfor in-room entertainment and other facilities such as a coffee machine. Namu restaurant offers modern Japanese cuisine whilstThe Kitchen Table offers international and Pan-Asian cuisine. www.wretreatkohsamui.com

The Slate, Phuket

Located on Nai Yang Beach just a short drive from Phuket International Airport, and surrounded by the protected Sirinat National Park, the Slate is probably Phuket’s most unique luxury resort. Its bold contemporary and edgy look was inspired by Phuket’s history as a tin mining town – even its custom-made cutlery are shaped like mining tools. Some of the décor and furniture are the owner’s own collector pieces. Every room and suite is generouslyspacious, particularly its one and two bedroom private pool villas which offer between 650sqm and 1,000sqm of interior space, abundant terraces and free-form private pools. Guests can combine villas together creatingup to four bedrooms, three swimming pools and up to 2,500sqm of expansive luxury for one group. Other highlights include the award-winning Cocoon spa and Black Ginger Thai restaurant.

Trisara, Phuket

Trisara is one of Phuket’s luxury accommodations with its own private beach. Its private villas and residences sit on terraced, tropical hillsides and look straight out to sea. Activities include a 30minute private helicopter flight over Phang Nga Bay, a cruise around the nearby islands, morning yoga sessions, and spa treatments. Its unique service is the in-house digital studio, a pioneering service that curates compelling visuals – in video and still images – to record your holiday experience, on site and around Phuket. Its creative team works with guests to personalise storytelling moments that are artful, whimsical and original. http://trisara.com/

FINE DINING

Thailand is not only one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, but it is increasingly noted for its exciting culinary scene which extends beyond just delicious Thai cuisine. Besides Thai street food, which can be found almost 24/7, several restaurants and bars were voted among Asia’s and the world’s best restaurants.

The Michelin Connection

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Bangkok

Dubbed the ‘Chef of the Century’, Joel Robuchon is the most-awarded restauranteur in the world with 25 Michelin Stars. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is a fine dining French restaurant in Bangkok. The establishmentis divided into L’Atelier – for dining with a view of the open kitchen, and Le Terrace – for private dining. www.robuchon-bangkok.com

Sra Bua by KiinKiin, Bangkok

Sra Bua at Siam Kempinski Hotel is the sister restaurant to the Michelin starred Thai restaurant KiinKiin in Copenhagen. The concept and menus here feature famous Thai dishes with a modern twist in presentation like the Roasted Cashew Nut Soya Meringue. Guests are often not able to identify the dishes on first sight. www.kempinskibangkok.com

J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain, Bangkok

This Asian friendly, classical French dining, J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain offers discerning Bangkok diners a truly incomparable culinary journey inspired by a highly-respected Michelin Star chef Jean-Michel. For guests who cannot decide what to order, every last Sunday of the month, there is an all you can eat ‘Redefining Sunday Brunch’ by Jean-Michel Lorain featuring a large variety of exclusive and innovative dishes created by Chef Jean-Michel Lorain, all of which use the finest and freshest French produce sourced from the best suppliers. www.jaime-bangkok.com

Savelberg, Bangkok

With 25 years’ experience, Chef HenkSavelberg founder and owner of the MichelinOne Star restaurant Savelberg in Holland, established his first branch in Asia at Oriental Residence in Bangkok CBD. The menus here feature modern French cuisine with Dutch interpretations and are served in 4, 6 and 8-course set meals. www.savelbergth.com

Nahm, Bangkok

Australian chef David Thompson’s famed Nahm – inspired by Thai street food – is recognised globally for its authentic Thai food. Its London branch used to be the only Michelinstarred Thai restaurant overseas while the Bangkok branch at Metropolitan By Como took 22nd place in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant in 2015. www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok/dining/nahm

Ginza Sushi – ichi, Bangkok

High-end sushi from Ginza by former Michelin One Star Chef Masakazu Ishibashi arrived in Bangkok bringingsignature menus with prime quality ingredients. At Sushi-ichi, particular attention is paid to the selection and preparation of tuna and sea urchin. www.ginza-sushiichi.jp/english

Western Cuisine

Le Normandie, Bangkok

Located on the fifth floor of Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s Garden Wing, Le Normandie is definitely Thailand’s French fine dining restaurant with the best view of the Chao Phraya River. The elegant surroundings featuring vintage crystal chandeliers and stunning flower arrangements create a unique air of French sophistication. www.mandarinoriental.com

Opus Italian Wine Bar and Restaurant, Bangkok

Since its opening in 2009, Opus has been a serial award winner and one of Asia’s best wine bar/restaurants. Its menu features contemporary Italian dishes such as slowcooked baby octopus in slightly spicy fresh tomato sauce, charcoalgrilled Alaskan snow fish served with asparagus and cubes of marinated fresh Norwegian salmon. Its wine selection is also second to none. www.wbopus.com/

Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen, Bangkok

At Lenzi’s Tuscan Kitchen, Chef Francesco Lenzi brings you region-specific Tuscan cuisine, focusing on the sourcing of ingredients and the use of traditional techniques, in an elegant and private environment with impeccable service.An open kitchen showcases the preparation of each dish and its wine cellar houses hundreds of bottles of wine,suitable to compliment all of the menu items. www.lenzibangkok.com

DK David’s Kitchen, Chiang Mai

DK David’s kitchen at 909 is rated as one of the finest restaurants in Chiang Mai. The menu is a mix of French, European, Thai and fusion food. The signature dishes include risotto with wild mushrooms and white truffle foam,and grilled duck

Cuisine de Garden, Chiang Mai

Located in Chiang Mai‘s Hang Dong area, Cuisine de Garden offers guests delicious food in a cosy atmosphere. Its open kitchen allows guests to watch their meal being prepared by the talented chef and kitchen team who take fresh ingredients, mix them with a little science, and turn them into an artfully crafted meal. Try the ‘Terrarium’ smoked salad, which is playfully served inside a smokefilled glass jar. www.cuisinedegarden.com

La Bottega di Luca, Bangkok

La Bottega di Luca is an Italian fine dining restaurant serving delicious food from only fresh and traditional ingredients prepared using traditional Italian methods. La Bottega has a cosy indoor space and an amazing outdoor terrace furnished with leather sofas and high tables where guests can escape Bangkok’s busy streets. There is also a private dining ‘wine’ room available for up to 14 guests. www.labottega.name

Sensi, Bangkok

Peacefully tucked away from the congested streets of Bangkok, Sensi’s chic and elegant décor provides the perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a lively
gathering. At the Chef’s Table, situated in front of the kitchen, customers can see the chefs at work, enjoy the aromas and listen to the sizzling sounds of the dishes being prepared. Fresh ingredients, and a wonderful selection of the finest wines, cater to every taste, and make Sensi one of the top Italian restaurants in Bangkok. www.sensibangkok.com

NakaraJardin, Chiang Mai

NakaraJardin restauranton the bank of the Ping River in Chiang Mai serves high quality French cuisine and desserts. From 2.30 to5.30pm, it also offers an afternoon tea, with a selection of sandwiches and desserts.

Thai Cuisine

Le Grand Lanna, Chiang Mai

Le Grand Lanna Restaurant at DharaDhevi serves some of Chiang Mai’s best fine dining Thai cuisine. The place is decorated in Lanna style with indoor and outdoor seating. Recommended dishes include roasted Tiger prawns with salt and pepper, spicy and sour seafood soup, and grilled snow fish topped with mixed crispy herbs. Every evening, guests can enjoy a traditional music and dance performance. www.dharadhevi.com

Bo.lan, Bangkok

Bo.lan showcases Thailand’s finest ingredients by sourcing only the best organic produce and preparing every dish according to traditional recipes. Set menus are designed by chef/owners Duangporn ‘Bo’ and Dylan Jones to create the perfectly balanced tastes and textures customary of Thai meals. The menus here change seasonally according to the availability of the best quality ingredients. www.bolan.co.th

Issaya Siamese Club, Bangkok

Located in a 90-year-old colonial Thai-style house in the heart of Bangkok, Issaya Siamese Club by Chef Kittichai ‘Ian’ features a Lounge Bar upstairs and Thai restaurant downstairs. The menus feature the best organic ingredients and mindblowing presentation. Highlights of its menu include pomelo spicy salad, lamb Matsaman, and lobster steamed curry wrap,whilst its signature cocktails are Le Issaya Cocktail and Pandan Cooler. www.issaya.com .

Le Du, Bangkok

Le Du’s modern Thai-inspired menu presents food in creative, visually exciting ways, yet retains the true taste of the original dish. Recommended dishes include five-spiced egg with pork belly and tofu garnished with herbal ice and powdered pistachio; river prawn in prawn head broth with chili oil and burnt lemon grass; sea bass and spiced pork marmalade with puffed rice and herbal nage and green chicken curry with okra and pureed bitter eggplant. www.ledubkk.com

Patara

Patara is recognised as one of Thailand’s leading restauranteurs and pioneers for over four decades. Her upscale fine dining Thai restaurant, Patara, is popular both at home and abroad with branches in Geneva, London, Vienna, Singapore and Beijing. To provide diners an experience of Thai cuisine at its very best, the food is a delicate balance between locally and internationally sourced ingredients.In Bangkok, Patara is located in a converted heritage home in one of Bangkok’s culinary hubs, Thonglor. www.patarathailand.com

Blue Elephant, Bangkok and Phuket

With 8 stunning restaurants in 7 countries, great food, inspiring ambience and a welcoming service, Blue Elephant is one of the best known fine dining Thai restaurants worldwide. On top of that, the brand also runs English language cooking schools in Bangkok and Phuket. Both its restaurants and cooking schools in Bangkok and Phuket are located at the sites of historic mansions, built over a century ago. Every dish is prepared according to traditional recipes and presented in an elaborated setting. www.blueelephant.com

Chinese Cuisine

Shang Palace, Bangkok

One of Bangkok’s all-time favourite Chinese restaurants, Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok serves authentic Cantonese cuisine. Shang Palace’s signature dishes include Steamed Sticky Rice with Crab Meat and Buddha Jumps Over the Wall (double-boiled clear soup with Chinese herbs).

http://www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/shangrila/dining/restaurants/shang-palace/

China House, Bangkok

Housed in a beautifully restored two-storey colonial building, The China House serves fine dining Cantonese cuisine, from an à la carte menu, unlimited Dim Sum lunch (Tuesday – Friday)and Brunch Buffet (Saturday & Sunday). Recommended dishes include black pepper wagyu beef tenderloin, stir fried lobster loin with carrot sauce, and traditional ‘Beijing’ style lacquered goose. www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/fine-dining/the-china-house/

Japanese Cuisine

Mugendai, Bangkok

Mugendai is Bangkok’s multi-award winning Japanese restaurant. At Mugendai, the finest ingredients and the most exquisite produce is flown in as often as five days a week to guarantee the freshness and quality of the food.

http://www.honten.mugendaibkk.com

Yamazato, Bangkok

Located on the nd floor of the ultra-luxe Okura Prestige Bangkok hotel, Yamazato is the place to come in Bangkok for genuine high-end Japanese food. The à la carte menu is based upon the centuries-old traditional KaisekiRyori (Japanese haute cuisine). Yamazato also features two teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar stocked with the freshest seafood from Tsukiji. www.okurabangkok.com

CLUBS & BARS

Bangkok is dotted with rooftop bars and restaurants, especially around Sukhumvit, Ploenchit and Silom areas. Below are just a few of those with unique selling points.

The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar,Hotel Muse Bangkok

Located on the th and th floor of the Hotel Muse Bangkok, the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar offers an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere overlooking the city skyline, though here it’s the funky 1920s atmosphere, rather than the view, that keeps the customers coming back. The bar is named after the secret bars of the Prohibition period.The menu focuses on local and western gourmet dishes. www.hotelmusebangkok.com

Vertigo & Moon Bar,Banyan Tree Bangkok

Situated on the 61st floor of Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok CBD, Vertigo & Moon Bar is one of Bangkok’s most popular and highest rooftop restaurant and bars offering stunning views of Bangkok’s cityscape and the Chao Phraya River. If it is too windy or wet, or for those who prefer to stay in-doors, Vertigo Too on the 60th floor provides an alternative. www.banyantree.com

Skybar& Sirocco,lebua at State Tower

Sky Bar& Sirocco Mediterranean Restaurant on the 63rd floor of Tower Club at lebua features a panoramic view of the winding Chao Phraya River and Bangkok city. The venue’s popularity has soared since it was featured in the Hangover. www.lebua.com

CRU Champagne Bar, a G.H. Mumm Bar at Centara Grand at Central World Bangkok

One of Bangkok’s newest rooftop bars, CRU Champagne Bar offers Pink Mumm No.1 Champagne exclusively in Thailand, along with bespoke elixirs fit for angels and much-loved cocktails from around the world. It also offers 360degree views of Bangkok’s city skyline. http://champagnecru.com

SPA, WELLNESS and HEALTH RETREATS

Thailand’s wellness spas and health resorts,and especially the unique Thai traditional massage, are world renowned. Nowadays, some health and wellness resorts tailor individual packages for their guests, for example focussed on weight loss, detox or yoga training. Most of these resorts guarantee the quality of their services with a World Class Spa standard certified by the Thailand Ministry of Health, a Thai Spa Excellence Quality certified bySGS in collaboration with Thai Spa Association or anASEAN Spa Standard.

Kamalaya,KohSamui

Thailand’s award-winning Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa resort, Kamalaya Holistic Spa and Resort, offers a combination of traditional meditation and wellness programs to meet specific needs, from stress burnout to weight loss.
Guests can experience a life-enriching healthy holiday, with programs providing solutions for detox, stress and burnout, and programs for yoga and healthy lifestyles. The team of international naturopaths can personalise health programs for each guestbased ontheir extensive range of holistic medicine, spa and healing therapies. Centred around a monk’s cave that once served Buddhist monks as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat, Kamalaya’s essence is expressed in its name, ‘Lotus (kamal) Realm (alaya)’, an ancient symbol for the growth and unfolding of the human spirit. www.kamalaya.com

Chiva-Som,HuaHin

Located on the beach of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chiva-Som is a world-renowned luxury health resort which combines international standards with Thai hospitality. Personal wellness programs are designed to achieve various goals such as weight management, toning and slimming, relaxation and de-stress, general well-being, fitness and anti-aging. They are deliveredthrough the integration of naturopathic and conventional medicines with focus on balancing and rejuvenating the Mind, Body and Spirit.

http://www.chivasom.com/

Thanyapura, Phuket

Based on a three-dimensional coaching model for the mind, body and soul, Thanyapura Phuket has been established to help everyone optimise their potential and live a more fulfilling life through education, mind management, health and sport.All of the packages at Thanyapura are personalised and start with a one-on
one consultation with doctors and lifestyle professionals to ensure the treatments and procedures are right for each guest. www.thanyapura.com

Absolute Sanctuary, KohSamui

Absolute Sanctuary is one of Asia’s top wellness resorts for yoga, fitness, health, lifestyle and weight management. The programs are designed to meetthe individual goals of each guest, whether that’sdetox, de-stress, weight management, yoga retreat, or simply lifestyle improvement. All rooms and suites feature colourfulMoroccan-style décor. www.absolutesanctuary.com

SPECIALISED SHOPPING

Luxury shopping malls include Siam Paragon, Central World, Central Embassy, and Em Quartier in Bangkok. But visitors to Thailand looking for high
quality and uniquely Thai souvenirs should also check out the Thai brands and the places that specialise in specific local products. Examples of establishments selling uniquely Thai products that we can recommend include:

Antique gold handicrafts of Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai

Gold collectors should not miss a visit to Si Satchanalai District in Sukhothai, where the craftsmen still make gold ornaments using traditional methods. The gold here is claimed to be 99.9% pure so its colour is more yellow than the gold widely seen anywhere else.

Thai silk by Jim Thomson

Jim Thompson was an American architect and art collector who fell in love with the art of hand-woven Thai silk. He dedicated his life to help upgrade the quality and weaving techniques of Thai silk and promote it to the world. He opened his first shop in 1950 in Bangkok and today Jim Thomson is the world’s best known Thai silk brand with shops and showrooms in every part of the world. For more information, see www.jimthompsonfabrics.com.

Silver handicrafts of Wualai Street, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is well known for its silver handicrafts, from bracelets, necklaces, and pendants to bowls and home decorations.Wualai Street is packed with silversmith shops and visitors can see how the craftsmen create their pieces of art. For those wishing to create their own unique jewellery, Nova Artlab in Chiang Mai offers basic jewellery making workshopsof 1 to 5 days duration designed for complete beginners. Seehttp://nova-collection.com/artlab-jewelryschool/ for more information.

Hand woven Thai silk with gold thread in Baan ThaSawang Village, Surin

Thailand is renowned worldwide for its high quality Thai silk, and the small village of Baan ThaSawang in Surin specialises in ‘Pha Yok Thong’ – the ancient and royal art of weavingsilk using fine gold thread to create elaborate patterns. Some pieces require8 weavers and at least 4 months to finish.

Beauty and Spa Products

With its bounty of native plants, together with the recipes and techniques passed down from generation to generation, there is no wonder that Thai beauty and spa products by brands such as Thann, Panpuri, Erb and Harnnare well-known worldwide. These products range from massage oils, skin and hair care, aromatherapy, to candles and home fragrances.