Thailand Travel Guide

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Take In Chiang Mai From Your Bath on the Balcony at the Akyra Manor

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  Site Where: 22/2 Nimmana Haeminda Road Soi 9, Su Thep, Muang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 50200
April 17, 2015 at 8:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Few things are more exciting than a swanky new hotel in Thailand, but one thing that definitely is is a swanky new all-suite hotel in Thailand. Thai service + Thai food + lots of room to enjoy it = bliss.

The Akyra Manor Chiang Mai (the latest to join the SLH group, was due to open May 1, but has now been pushed back to July 1. You’ll just have to wait 8 weeks longer for its resort-in-a-city style to be unleashed.

What is resort-in-a-city style? Well, it’s in the middle of Chiang Mai, on the trendy Nimmanhaemin Soi, AKA Coffee Street; and yet each suite is centered round its own private “courtyard” (actually a balcony), complete with hot tub. Yes, your own private outdoor space with hot tub in the city center.

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From OE to Louis T, More Hotel Collections Are Coming to Thee

February 5, 2015 at 9:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

Someone make it stop! We’re getting a headache from all the new hotel brands and ‘carefully curated’ collections that are being thrown at us. Luxury Collection has been around for ages, then we had Autograph Collection, then Curio Collection (those three cover Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton, respectively), Loews threw in OE Collection, and now here is Louis T joining the party.

Who is Louis, you ask? The name is derived from Louis T Leonowens (we can see how that last name would have been a struggle to use for the brand), “one of the most interesting and revered foreign characters in Thailand during the 19th Century”

The avid traveler moved to Bangkok in 1862 as a boy, when his mother took the role of governess to the King Mongkut’s children. Today, Louis is remembered as a Siamese royal military captain, private timber-trading magnate and luxury hotelier.

Now you know. Louis T will start by transforming the Mantra Samui Resort on Koh Samui, which will be the first hotel of an “expansive, curated portfolio” where the brand will be “synonymous with independent style and local charm”. There is talk of “many innovations” too, so we will have to wait and see how those pan out. Expect a brand new website to go along with the changes, which, seeing that they are only about to start, we predict will last until next year. Perhaps by then we will know more about the places Louis T will travel to as well.

[Photo: Louis T Collection]

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Hotel Indigo Bangkok Is Open, With Rates From $110 a Night

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  Site Where: 81 Wireless Road, Bangkok, Thailand
January 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Where one door closes in the hotel world, another opens: Four Seasons may be leaving Thailand’s capital in a few months for a good three years or so, but a hop and a skip away from its current Radjadamri hotel, Hotel Indigo Bangkok opened its brand-new doors last Friday.

Above a rendering of the lobby of the 192-room hotel on Wireless Road, with soaring ceilings, funky furniture, and some serious chandelier action: one on the right, three above the bar at the far end, and one a floor up in what looks like a library-esque space.

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Four Seasons Bangkok Will Become Anantara Siam Bangkok On March 1

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  Site Where: 155 Radjadamri Road, Bangkok, Thailand, 10330
December 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

We had heard whispers of this bit of hotel news before, but frankly couldn’t believe it would really happen, and yet here it is: Four Seasons Bangkok will be no more.

From March 1, the 354-room hotel on Radjadamri Road will become the flagship for Anantara Hotels & Resorts, officially known as Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel & Spa.

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Hotel Indigo Brings Its Pretty Guestrooms to Bangkok

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  Site Where: 81 Wireless Road, Bangkok, Thailand, 10330
November 26, 2014 at 8:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

If we think about it for a second, we’re surprised Hotel Indigo hasn’t opened in Bangkok sooner than it will do, just over two months from now: its funky vibe, eclectic design, and often very pretty guestrooms seem like a natural fit for the Thai capital.

From what we can tell, the hotel was originally planned to arrive several years ago, so perhaps the thinking over at Indigo was similar to ours, but February 1, 2015 January 8 it will be in the end. At least that’s the date from which you can currently make a reservation at the 192-room hotel on Wireless Road, across Lumpini Park from Sofitel So. Our first impression, based on the rendering above and some photos below, is certainly favourable, with hardwood floors, window seats, stylish furniture, and an overall look that has a hint of Indigo Shanghai to it.

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7 Hotel Restaurants, 7 Menus To Try In Bangkok Before The Month Is Out

Where: Bangkok, Thailand
November 19, 2014 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Seven hotel restaurants, seven set menus at an affordable price. Sounds like a decent challenge? Then make your way to Bangkok, where seven downtown hotels are taking part in the Taste It All festival.

Taste It All is an annual festival, that used to take place on just one day, but this year – with “Imperial Delight” as the theme – it has been extended through 30 November.

The seven restaurants taking part are:

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What's the Best Hotel Service You've Ever Experienced?

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  Site Where: Layan Beach, Bangtao Beach, Phuket, Thailand
November 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (6)

It may not look much, but what it represents is pretty huge.

This is a plate of turmeric, which I was handed the week before last during my stay at the Anantara Phuket Layan, Anantara’s newest Phuket hotel, which opened in January in a cove at Layan, near Bangtao Beach.

Why was I handed a plate of grubby roots? Because the previous day, I’d learned that in Thailand, turmeric is a widely used remedy for mosquito bites (FYI: it works brilliantly). So the following morning, I asked the breakfast staff whether there was any turmeric in the kitchen. No, they said, but we can go and buy some for you if you'd like. I said no thanks, and thought no more of it, going off to the beach to itch. Twenty minutes later, a member of staff rushed up, proffering this plate of turmeric. Now that is customer service.

Of course, service standards in SE Asia are always head and shoulders above those in the West, but Anantara Layan really stood out, even by Asian standards. Over the course of three days there, here’s what various members of staff did:

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10 Lessons For Luxury Hotels From The $24 Rooms At The Atlanta Bangkok

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  Site Where: 78 Soi 2 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand, 10110
November 12, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

One of the more aloof members of Atlanta staff

Yesterday we introduced you to the Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok and its militant anti-sex tourist policy. The Atlanta is a budget hotel – rooms start from 800THB ($24) and go up to 1950THB ($59). But despite its low prices, it’s run with a rod of iron – it opened in the 1950s and checking in today is like stepping back in time a few decades. And its attention to detail is certainly better than plenty of five star places we’ve stayed in. Why? These 10 reasons why, for starters:

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Enjoy Your Zero Tolerance Welcome Drink At The Atlanta in Bangkok

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  Site Where: 78 Soi 2 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand, 10110
November 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comment (1)

Another day, another hotel welcome drink. A pineapple milkshake, since you ask – so far, so blah.

But wait, what’s that on the coaster? Ah yes:

ZERO TOLERANCE & SLEAZE FREE ZONE

NO SEX TOURISTS, JUNKIES, LOUTS & OTHER DEGENERATES

Welcome to the Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Atlanta has warned you of its guest policy. “SEX TOURISTS NOT WELCOME,” shouts the homepage. “Visitors who object to any of The Atlanta's policies or who intend to spend their time in Thailand whoring, behaving badly, indulging in alcohol abuse and illicit drugs should stay elsewhere,” says the long caveat page. The message is repeated on the email confirming your reservation. And if you hadn’t got it by then, this is what greets you beside the front door:

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Phuket Just Got A Fourth Novotel

October 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

One can never have too many hotels on Phuket, and for Accor, nine just isn’t enough. Hence the arrival of Novotel Phuket Karon Beach, which opened three days ago on Karon Beach (not exactly an exclusive location, but good if you want the feel of a resort).

The fourth Novotel on Phuket, it’s newly built with 224 rooms, which look rather nice, if not groundbreakingly original. There are three restaurants, two bars, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool (this rendering on the Facebook page looks nice, though we’re a little suspicious there’s no photo on the website yet).

There’s even a “video games area” (shudder) and a kids club.

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Le Méridien Brings Golf and Competition to Bangkok Airport Next Month

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  Site Where: 789 Moo 14, Bangna-Trad Road, Km 10.5, Bangpleeyai, Bangplee, Samut Prakan, Thailand, 10540
October 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

Being in the middle of a brand refresh isn’t stopping Le Méridien Hotels from opening new properties, with next month the addition of Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa. While it’s too early for some of the new brand elements to pop up in the room design, the first images show an attractive, if relatively safe, contemporary look, golf course views, and a balcony with sunbed.

The tenth Starwood hotel and third Le Méridien in Bangkok, the hotel brings some much needed competition to the city’s airport hotel game, dominated by the Novotel BKK Airport at the moment. Being a 15-minute drive away, Le Méridien can’t quite beat the Novotel’s terminal location, but with fresh rooms and much more extensive facilities, it should shake things up nonetheless.

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Phuket's Kata Beach Is Getting Ready To Rock

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  Site Where: Kata Beach, Phuket , Thailand
October 9, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comment (1)

You’ve heard of Ibiza Rocks. Possibly Mallorca Rocks, too. But you almost certainly won’t have heard of Kata Rocks, a new hotel in Phuket, Thailand.

That’s because it’s a separate entity – done by Infinite Luxury, a Phuket-based, English-started design company. Kata Rocks will open November 28 on the southern end of Kata Beach, with a slightly different feel than Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks – it’s for grown ups, for starters. Think a bunch of those modernist houses from the Hollywood Hills transplanted onto the hillside (and beachside) of Phuket. In fact, there's more than a hint of Malibu to it, too.

The aim at Kata Rocks, rather than to get blasted and dance like Leo DiCaprio, is to indulge in “effortless and luxurious relaxation” – now that’s something we can get behind. Accommodation is in 34 individual Sky Villas rather than rooms – and they look fantastic, with bright white, modern interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea, TVs set into the ceiling and – get this – their own private pool.

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