With the extension of the current lockdown, travel may still feel like a distant dream, but that doesn’t mean we’re not already plotting where to go next — as soon as it’s safe to do so, of course. Here, we’ve compiled a list of highlight hotels that have opened or are opening in 2021 around Thailand. From the historic town of Ayutthaya to the sandy beaches of Hua Hin and Phuket, get inspired and start planning your next vacay.
sala bang pa-in
Opened in May 2021
As the SALA Group’s ninth property in Thailand and the fifth of its sala boutique brand, sala bang pa-in is an intimate haven for historically-minded tourists seeking an escape from their usual vacation spots. Nestled on a private island between Ayutthaya and Bangkok, this 24-key resort boasts serene views of the Chao Phraya River amidst a setting steeped in history. The hotel’s very own handcrafted wooden motorboat is ready to sweep guests away on sightseeing tours, sunset cocktail cruises, and complimentary trips to the nearby Summer Palace, and a speedboat is also available for charters and group events. For those who prefer to do their exploring on land, there are plenty of picturesque cycling and jogging routes that set off from the hotel. After a day of adventuring, guests can enjoy a riverside meal at the sala bang pa-in eatery and bar, which serves up Thai and international fare made with ingredients grown in the hotel’s onsite garden.
V Villas Phuket
Opened in May 2021
Cradled into the hilltop 39 metres above the pristine Ao Yon Bay, V Villas Phuket is the perfect destination for couples or families seeking utter privacy, indulgence, and secluded beaches. Within each of its 19 villas, guests can luxuriate in round-the-clock butler service, a private infinity pool, and en suites with twin spa baths. Guests who wish to take their pampering one step further are invited to enjoy the bespoke treatments and wellness retreats at the spa. AKOYA|Star Lounge, their rooftop bar inspired by the eponymous oyster pearl, offers sumptuous lounge seating, live music and a world-class wine and champagne list — perfect for taking in the panoramic views of the night sky and sea.
dusitD2 Hua Hin
Opened in July 2021
There’s much to love about the dusitD2 Hua Hin, Along with its stylish accommodation, pet-friendly amenities, and distinctive eateries, the new opening from leading development company Dusit International enjoys a stellar location right by Hua Hin’s main beach and popular local attractions such as Cicada Market and Bluport Hua Hin Resort Mall. Travellers looking to recharge, relax, and explore on their holidays will find a perfect home base within its 152 guest rooms and suites. Each option comes furnished with floor-to-ceiling windows and all-modern fittings that include high-speed internet access and 55″ 4K UHD Smart TVs. Alongside the rooftop infinity pool, expansive gardens and fully equipped gym, the hotel caps off its amenities with a wellness spa and a kids club outfitted with a sandbox, treehouse, and children’s swimming pool, to ensure that every member of the family has something to smile about.
Kimpton Koh Samui
Opening in the fall of 2021
This ‘beachfront beauty with island charm’ will be the second Kimpton hotel to open in Thailand, after Bangkok’s Kimpton Maa-Lai debuted in October 2020 quickly became a go-to for those looking to escape the bustle of the city within its lush spaces. Much like its predecessor, the 138-key Kimpton Koh Samui will be pet-friendly, with an emphasis on immersive guest experiences and playful yet sophisticated design, set against a backdrop of stunning Gulf of Thailand views. Four distinctive restaurants and bars will provide visitors with plenty of options, and the hotel’s amenities will be rounded out by a pool, spa, fitness centre, kids club and a 124 sqm meetings and events space. Given its prime location within driving distance of Chaweng Beach, Fisherman’s Village Walking Street and Koh Samui International Airport, this resort is poised to become a star property in the area.
Meliá Chiang Mai
Opening in November 2021
Located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s city center and just 6 km from the airport, Meliá Chiang Mai is set to become a cosy modern hideaway for visitors to the historic capital of the Lanna Kingdom. At this five-star situated high above the River Ping, northern Thai charm meets Spanish elegance in a tribute to the Meliá brand’s roots. This unique blend of cultures can be felt in all 260 rooms in its inventory, as well as the menu in its signature restaurant, which blends Thai culinary techniques with Mediterranean flavors. A stay at the Meliá would be incomplete without a trip to its 22nd floor, which features two rooftop bars connected by a glass bridge offering peerless views of the river and Doi Suthep Temple.
The Standard Hua Hin
Opening in November 2021
As a beloved holiday destination for countless Thais and tourists, Hua Hin hardly needs an introduction, and neither does The Standard. After establishing a presence in cultural hubs like London and New York City, the brand has become synonymous with a high-low blend of the hip and the luxe, and this opening marks their first Southeast Asian outpost. The Standard Hua Hin will provide beachfront access and 199 rooms with 21 pool villas, and an aesthetic inspired by their waterfront resort in Miami: expect midcentury cool and retro details. After guests have worked up an appetite enjoying the main pool area, they can choose from a number of eateries, including Lido, an all-day Mediterranean spot with indoor and al fresco dining, and Praca, a Thai restaurant offering authentic cuisine and craft cocktails in a carefully restored Heritage House. We predict that the Juice Cafe will also become a go-to for visitors hoping to feel their best while on vacation.
InterContinental Khao Yai National Park
Opening in November 2021
When it came to drafting his vision for the InterContinental Khao Yai National Park, designer Bill Bensley was inspired by the region’s historical role as a hub of railway transportation. The design of this 61-key resort tells the story of a travel-loving train conductor named Somsak, with its crown jewel being the 16 80 sqm suites built from heritage train cars found across Thailand. Each of these 80 sqm rooms has been individually upcycled to reflect Somsak’s voyages to destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Saigon and Khon Kaen, so guests will truly feel transported to the golden age of train travel during their stays. The resort is set on a 100-acre site endowed with more than 50,000 trees and views over seven lakes, making it difficult to believe that such an oasis is merely two and a half hours away from Bangkok by car (or, of course, by train).
Writer: Petch Kingchatchaval