Thailand Travel Guide

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Christmas Is Canceled At The Sheraton Koh Samui, It'll Now Open March 2015

September 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sometimes there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. At least, so think Starwood, who are on track to open a Sheraton in Koh Samui. It will join their current roster: a W Retreat, a Le Méridien, and Vana Belle, part of the Luxury Collection.

The Sheraton will take over the current Imperial Samui Beach Resort, which had 141 rooms. It’s on the same beach as the Vana Belle, and only two hotels away.

Unfortunately, all good things come to those who wait. The Sheraton was down to open in December, but it’s not yet listed on the Starwood website, and (HT Flyertalk) it’s now showing up on Starwood’s forthcoming hotels list, and is down for March 2015. Although, since it’s not yet available to book, even that may be optimistic.

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W Hotels Announce Another New Property, This Time in Phuket

Where: Phuket, Thailand
September 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM | by | Comment (1)

2018 is still a long time away but W Hotels is getting very excited for it. Just after announcing plans for W Brisbane, the Starwood design brand has announced W Phuket Phang Nga Bay.

This will be the third W Hotel in Thailand and fortunately, it does seem a bit different from the other W hotels out there, at least in terms of layout. The interior offerings are W all the way.

Here's how the property is described:

W Retreat Phuket will be located on Koh Yao Noi, one of the largest islands in the Phang Nga Bay archipelago between the eastern coast of Phuket and western coast of Krabi on the mainland. The W Retreat will provide an integrated lifestyle experience with 79 standalone villas, starting from 155 square meters in space. All villas will feature private outdoor areas and plunge pools as well as superlative views of the limestone cliffs that dot Phang Nga Bay.

W Retreat Phuket - Phang Nga Bay will also offer a lobby lounge, an all-day dining restaurant and a specialty restaurant and bar. It will feature 120 square metres of modern meeting and event space; FIT, a well-equipped workout facility and swimming pool; and a contemporary spa with six treatment rooms. The W Retreat will be accessible from both Phuket International Airport (HKT) and Krabi Airport (KBV), with a fleet of high speed sea vessels, a private jetty and helicopter landing pad for ease of guests transfers.

And don't forget about Whatever/Whenever service! We'll circle back with more news on this property...in 2017.

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The Best Room to Book at The Shangri-La Bangkok

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  Site Where: 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, Bangkok, Thailand
July 15, 2014 at 11:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Riverside room in the Krungthep Wing

Like Los Angeles, Bangkok is a city that seems to go on forever, sprawling out over a total area of over 600 square miles. This means that there’s no shortage of hotels and no shortage of neighborhoods. But if you’re looking for the finest lodging in the city, it doesn’t get much better than the Shangri-La.

Although its location puts you well outside the city center and quite far from many of the attractions (such as the Grand Palace), cheap taxis, nearby river taxi and public transit stops allow guests to maintain their mobility while indulging in the five-star comfort of the Shangri-La. We don’t need to say much more in that sense – the Shangri-La’s reputation for luxury definitely precedes it – but given that the property in Bangkok has two separate wings with two separate entrances, you might be wondering which is the best room to book.

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Killer View: Krabi's Centara Grand Resort in Southern Thailand

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  Site Where: Krabi, Thailand
July 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Thai beachtown of Krabi is located two hours east of Phuket, offering visitors a handful of national parks and barrier islands to explore in the Andaman Sea. The 192-room Centara Grand Krabi is the area's most luxurious property, and it's also the most secluded, tucked in at the base of a national park and surrounded by cliffs on both sides.

The resort is a combination of low-rise buildings and individual villas built up into the cliffs, and the real treat comes from the balconies of the rooms that sit up the highest: A breathtaking killer view that looks out over the resort to the ocean and rocky coastline. Looking the other direction at night, the sky lights up and the palm trees silhouette against the clouds.

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When a Novotel Costs More than The Peninsula, Something's Up

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  Site Where: Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
July 1, 2014 at 8:26 AM | by | Comment (1)

It’s no secret Thailand’s tourism industry is suffering from the events of the past few months, with one of our last visits showing hotels noticeably quieter than we’re used to. One hotel seems to be doing fine though, thank you very much: the Novotel Bangkok Airport.

While we’ve appreciated its 24-hour flexi policy (meaning no matter the time you check in, you have your room for 24 hours), and have overlooked somewhat high rates for Bangkok in the past for both this and its convenience being next to Suvarnabhumi’s terminal, the hotel’s rates now really seem from a completely different city.

We recently paid around 7,000THB ($225) for a night in the hotel, booking well in advance, and saw rates creeping towards $250 and up later on – more than a room in town at hotels like the The Peninsula, the St. Regis, or Sofitel So.

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It Would Be Awesome If All City Hotels Would Do This

Where: Bangkok, Thailand
June 27, 2014 at 10:36 AM | by | Comments (4)

Back in January, we got in a cab in front of our hotel and took it across town. A few minutes after arriving at our destination, we realized that our phone was no longer in our pocket and had fallen out in the cab. What ensued next was about an hour of panic and scrambling, calling the cab company and trying to get in contact with the driver. Because we didn't have the cab number, we were completely out of luck, never able to get in touch with the driver to see if the phone was still there in the back seat.

It was an experience that happens to the best of us when traveling, and it was obviously not something to blame on anyone else. But this week, a simple gesture by a hotel helped to make sure it didn't happen again. We bunked up at the Shangri-La in Bangkok, and every time we hopped in a cab, the bellman handed us a little card with all our cab's information on it. Luckily, we never had to use it, but we thought it was a really solid move, and one that would be a lifesaver if we forgot something in a cab. It would have certainly helped us back in January.

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What It’s Like to Visit Bangkok Right Now

Where: Bangkok, Thailand
June 11, 2014 at 9:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

A lot has happened since we last wrote about the situation in Bangkok. Back in January, we looked at how hotels were impacted by the anti-government protests; fast forward five months and one regime change later and the headlines about whether it is safe or not to visit Thailand continue.

We just had a brief stop in the city last week and here’s what we found:

- Hotels continue to operate as normal, though it was much quieter than we’re used to – official figures aren’t available, but visitor numbers and occupancy are down.

- Life seems to continue as normal as well; if you hadn’t known about the events of the past few months, you probably wouldn’t notice anything at all in most places.

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Learn How to Throw a Muay Thai Punch at Four Seasons Koh Samui

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  Site Where: Koh Samui, Thailand
June 6, 2014 at 8:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

If that triathlon preparation is making you want to punch something, or you’ve done your swim-cycle-run madness and still have some energy left, perhaps a round of kick-boxing may appeal?

Rather than a sweaty back alley gym, Four Seasons Hotels brings a more pleasant option with the installation of a Muay Thai boxing ring – with sea views – in its resort on Koh Samui. It’s best not to let yourself be distracted by the views though, as the hotel can pair you up with a resident muay thai champ to train you in the “art of eight limbs”, using fists, feet, shins, knees, and elbows.

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This July, X2 Resorts Will Open Its Latest Design Boutique, By 'The Bridge On The River Kwai'

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 138 Moo, 4, Nongya, Muang District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand, 71000
May 5, 2014 at 7:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

X2 Resorts is a design-conscious chain of luxury accommodations in Asia and Australia, ranging from villas, to intimate resorts, to extended stay rentals. This July, X2 will open the industrial-strength doors to its latest resort destination, X2 River Kwai (yes, that River Kwai), located in Kanchanaburi, about 90 minutes west of Bangkok.

The locality is forever memorialized in WWII history and on film. It is here that the Japanese set up base camp for POWS to build the Thai-Burma Railway and the "Bridge on the River Kwai." The 1957 film of the same name won seven Oscars, four BAFTAs, and three Golden Globes, and is an eternal classic. The recently released Railway Man tells quite another embracing story, also shot on location here as well as in the UK and Australia.

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Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok Accepting Rezzies for May 1

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  Site Where: 489 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey Nua,, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand, 10110
April 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

On May 1, Radisson Blu welcomes guests to its first hotel in Thailand’s capital, the Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok. The brainchild of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Radisson Blu Hotels extends its reach into Asia, as does everyone else, while continuing to offer up its universally appealing style of hospitality.

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Inside the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Grand Club Lounge

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  Site Where: 494 Radjadamri Road, Bangkok, Thailand
April 24, 2014 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, we're having a look inside the recently renovated Grand Club Lounge at the Grand Hyatt Erawan in Bangkok, Thailand.

While the mixed-use complex that will eventually house the Park Hyatt Bangkok is still going up, the Tony Chi-led renovations at sister hotel Grand Hyatt Erawan are now complete, including the 17th floor Grand Club lounge facing Radjadamri Road.

A small number of rooms are located on the same floor, but if you have access to the Grand Club, it’s worth seeing whether you can get one – if not there – on floors 16 or 18. These are connected to the 17th by a staircase, which beats taking the elevator up and down. We loved some of the artwork on display, like the sculpture above at the entrance.

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Dean & Deluca Has Already Moved into the Bangkok Edition

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  Site Where: Chong Nonsi, Bangkok, Thailand
April 21, 2014 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

If that headline implies hope of an opening date for The Bangkok Edition itself being around the corner, we’re going to ruin it for you straight away: looking at the state of construction at the Mahanakhon Tower – see below for further photos – we’ll say it will be at the very least the 2016 that Edition Hotels itself currently lists on its website before that happens, if not a bit closer to a decade after we first looked at the crazy-cool development (Jenga!).

That hasn’t stopped Dean & Deluca from opening in early March though, and if the crowd we saw here this past weekend is anything to go by, the urban Bangkok set is all over the barista-crafted lattes and $11 ham & cheese sandwiches. If you’re looking for the affordable Bangkok, you certainly won’t find it here.

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