We’re huge fans of boutique beach hotels as they offer something a bit more unique and cosy than the big chain hotels. Think intimate spaces, personalised service, quirky design, cool pools and local connections. Here are our recommendations for the best of the boutique on the beach…
Aleenta Hua Hin – Pranburi Resort & Spa
The award-winning Aleenta Hua Hin offers just the right blend of relaxation and revitalisation. The 25 residences are just footsteps from the beach. Most come with private pool and all offer picturesque views. Restore your inner calm with holistic wellness retreats that deliver transformative, life-rejuvenating experiences. Pranburi is just 20 kilometres south of Hua HIn, but is much more rural and less developed with just a handful of hotels along its long tranquil sandy beach.
The Sarojin – Khao Lak
For a sanctuary amidst stunning scenery, look no further than The Sarojin, set on a heavenly 11-kilometre-long white sand beach in Khao Lak. The 56 luxurious rooms are spaced out amid 10 acres of lush tropical gardens. All have huge indoor garden bathrooms with sexy rainfall showers and dinosaur egg-shaped tubs. Romance is celebrated here with candlelit dinners next to a jungle waterfall, a private dinner in your sala, or a gourmet barefoot breakfast on a secluded beach – it’s your choice. The incredible Similan and Surin Islands are no less than an hour away by boat, direct from The Sarojin beach.
Paresa – Phuket
With a lofty location set high on the cliffs above Kamala Beach, Paresa certainly lives up to the Sanskrit meaning of its name ‘heaven of heavens’. Many of the villas come with their own private pools and all have seductive seaviews. Splurge on a Cliff Pool Villa which comes with a cantilevered infinity pool and a wine cellar – fully stocked! The restaurants have views to die for, or you can opt for a romantic dinner by the infinity pool or a private BBQ in your villa.
Trisara – Phuket
This tranquil beachside resort is hidden within 40 acres of fragrant tropical gardens on a hillside above a secluded cove. A fabulous 45m saltwater lap pool stretches along the resort’s beachfront. The pool suites and villas are generous in size and all have panoramic ocean views. Dining is a fine art at Trisara with ‘farm to table’ cuisine. Romantic beachfront dinners and in-room barbecues can also be arranged, and don’t miss the fun Sunday Jazz Brunch. From the jetty on the beach the Trisara cruises will take you out to small islands to swim, snorkel and sunbathe.
akyra Beach Club Phuket
North of Phuket island is the beautiful Natai Beach with its powdery white sands and spectacular sunsets. Set on these pristine sands is akyra Beach Club – a contemporary boutique resort with 58 stylish rooms, suites and villas. Wellness is at the heart of akyra Beach Club with yoga classes, meditation, cycling, aqua gym, beach volleyball, Thai boxing – even boot camps! Or you could just chill out in the pool on the floating lounge chairs and then sip sundowners in a cosy cabana while listening to cool tunes from the resident DJ.
SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach
SALA Phuket is located on peaceful Mai Khao Beach, miles from the riff-raff tourist crowds. This 11km-long beach is still beautifully undeveloped as it is part of the Sirinat National Park. The suites and villas, of which 63 out of 79 have private pools, are decorated in calming whites and warm greys with giant egg-shaped bathtubs and Portuguese-style tiles – a nod to the island’s ‘Sino-Portuguese’ history. There are two large beachfront swimming pools, a world-class seafront restaurant and bar, a soul-soothing spa and lots more.
Pimalai Resort & Spa – Koh Lanta
Nestled within lush tropical forest with direct access to a 900-metre-long pristine sandy beach, Pimalai Resort & Spa is the epitome of a romantic hideaway. The award winning five star resort features luxurious deluxe rooms, suites and villas located on the rainforest-covered hill leading down to Kantiang Bay – one of Koh Lanta’s finest and quietest beaches. Facilities include two infinity pools, three restaurants, fitness centre, scuba diving centre and a spa. Complimentary non-motorised watersports are available, as well as yoga, Thai cooking classes and bicycles.