With the holiday season in full swing, we take a look back at the year's best new hotel openings, from Chiang Mai to Phuket. 

PATTAYA

Veranda Pattaya

This chic new resort sits right on Na Jomthien Beach to the south of Pattaya. Designed by Office of Bangkok Architects and T.R.O.P., the 145 rooms stick to a modern, bright-blue theme, ranging from the ocean-front 40-sq-meter room with a sea-view bathtub to the 136-sq-meter villa with two bedrooms and a swimming pool terrace with sun loungers.
211 Moo 1, Na Jomtien Soi 4, Pattaya, 038-111-899. www.verandaresortandspa.com
 
Price: Starting from B3,823
 

CHIANG MAI

Art Mai Gallery Hotel

Each room comes adorned with work by prominent Thai artists—including Bangkok king of cool Jitsing Somboon (head designer at Playhound by Greyhound) and revered impressionist oil painter Charoon Boonsuan. The 79 rooms are each equipped with a painting canvas to let your imagination run wild.
21 Nimmanhaemin Soi 3, 053-894-888, www.artmaigalleryhotel.com
 
Price: Starting from B6,992
 

The Core

This is the hotel backed by Krisna "Ball" Amitrasoon, the celebrity at the center of the Malin Sky pub brawl drama. Though ordered shut by police in November due to licence problems, The Core expects to reopen by late Jan or early Feb. Inside, the hotel takes inspiration from local craftwork, specifically indigo tie-dye. Its geometric cut-out facade hides a cozy resort-like interior of blond wood and white walls that’s complemented by a rooftop restaurant that lets you take in stunning views of Doi Suthep. 
99/64, 99/105-107 Moo 1, Huay Kaew Rd., Chang Puak, 053-218-163-4. www.fb.com/thecorehotelchiangmai
 
Price: Starting from B2,400 (reopening in Jan/Feb)
 

X2 Vibe Chiang Mai Decem Hotel

Normally highly priced and exclusive, the X2 brand went down a budget route for its latest Chiang Mai hotel. X2 Vibe still combines the same designer-y sense of style as its sister properties—beds floating in the middle of rooms, industrial fixtures, glam bathrooms. It’s also right on the doorstep of the hip Nimmanhaemin neighborhood.
10/18 Moo2 Super Highway, Chiangmai-Lampang Rd., Chang Phueak, 053-214-828. www.x2vibe.com
 
Price: Starting from B1,300
 

The Chaya

This two-story boutique hotel is inspired by the red wood buildings of Myanmar. All rooms include free soft drinks, while Executive rooms and above come with booze, too. Guests can take their all-day breakfast whenever they want, with coffee from Chiang Mai’s Doi Wawee.
141 Suandok Rd., 053-245-995. www.fb.com/the.chaya.resort
 
Price: Starting from B3,920
 

Moto Velo Cabin

The sleek new hotel and cafe from Chiang Mai-based architect firm Deco-Moda mixes wood, steel and marble for a chic look right in Chiang Mai’s historic heart, near the Three Kings Monument and Tha Pae Sunday night market.
56/4 Rajvithi Rd., Sriphum, 098-584-9445. www.motovelocabin.com
 
Price: Starting from B1,500
 

Hillsborough The English Country House Hotel & Leisure

This English country house-themed hotel sits on the west side of the foothill of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park—also dubbed Chiang Mai's "millionaire mile" for its popularity as a second-home destination among the rich. The hotel has a restaurant and cafe that are both decorated in the same English country style, with an antler chandelier and fireplace.
75, Moo 10, Baan Denkratai, Baan Pong, Hang Dong, 052-001-811, 087-673-1964. www.hillsboroughchiangmai.com
 
Price: Starting from B3,500
 

PHUKET

Amatara Wellness Resort

Taking over the spot of the gone-for-good Regent Phuket Cape Panwa comes Amatara Wellness Resort, which claims to be the home of Thailand's first luxury hammam, aka Turkish bath spa. The original spa pavilion has been transformed into modern rooms bearing lots of Turkish and Moroccan influences, offering a signature 150-minute holistic program, dubbed the Thai Hammam Experience.
84 Moo 8, Sakdidej Rd., Vichit, Cape Panwa 076-318-888, www.amataraphuket.com
 
Price: Starting from B8,255
 

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach

Situated on the Northern end of the island, a bit south of Phuket International Airport, the completely refurbished resort is home to 180 rooms surrounded by the lush tropical forests of Sirinath National Park. Its vast pool and ultra-quiet private beach are the prime reasons to check it out.
92, 92/1 Moo 3, Sakoo, Talang, Nai Yang Beach, 076-625-555. www.marriott.com
 
Price: Starting from B5,472
 

Novotel Phuket Phokeethra

Phuket’s ever-improving old town has attracted a big-name international hotel brand away from the beach for the first time. Taking up residence in what was the old Thaworn Hotel are 180 newly decked-out, modern and bright rooms. The Sky Lounge also brings a touch of speakeasy-like elegance to the area, complete with panoramic views of the town, the bay and the mountains.
40 Chanajaroen Rd., Talad Yai, 076-397-777. goo.gl/T6rdJb
 
Price: Starting from B3,155
 

The Nai Harn

After an 18-month remodeling, the 30-year-old Royal Phuket Yacht Club has been transformed into an ultra-luxe, 130 guest-room hotel with beachfront terrace pool and sunken seats overlooking the Andaman Sea. Along with top-notch amenities, suites are equipped with four-poster daybeds and “press for Champagne” buttons on their terraces. The cellar is even curated by prolific wine know-it-all James Suckling, former senior editor of Wine Spectator magazine.
23/3 Moo 1, Vises Road, Rawai, 076-380-200. www.thenaiharn.com
 
Price: Starting from B19,760
 

Point Yamu by COMO Pool Villas

The ever-stunning Point Yamu by COMO hotel has unveiled 27 brand new, vast pool villas ranging in size from 170-620 sq meters. Italian designer Paola Navone keeps the extension in keeping with the rest of the hotel, with a serene, largely white palette accented with aquamarines, Thai motifs and gray Sino-patterned tiles.
225  Moo 7, Paklok, Talang, 076-360-100. www.comohotels.com/pointyamu
 
Price: Starting from B27,900
 

The Habita

Finally, you just might be able to afford a night at Sri Panwa. The luxury resort has just opened 30 pool suites and penthouses, each equipped with its own private infinity swimming pool. Its two casual dining spots include Baba Chino, which serves up creative Chinese dishes ranging from dim sum to Guangdong cuisine, and Baba Hot Box, a meat and seafood grill.
88 moo 8, Sakdidej Rd., Vichit, 076-371-000. www.thehabitasripanwa.com
 
Price: Starting from B13,500

HUA HIN

So Sofitel Hua Hin

Accor Hotels group’s grandiose Hotel de la Paix Hua Hin, designed by famous architect Duangrit Bunnag, has been revamped and rebranded as SO Sofitel Hua Hin. The hotel’s rooms are now themed as either SO Arty or SO Nature, with the latter coming with a four-poster wooden bed. The new Beach Society beach club hosts monthly parties.
115 Moo 7, Bangkao, Cha-Am, 032-709-555. www.so-sofitel-huahin.com
 
Price: Starting from B5,555
 

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa

After a four-year absence, the Marriott brand is back in the holiday town with newly-built beachfront rooms. Designed by A49, the 322-room hotel blends contemporary design with Thai touches referencing the holiday town's history. Notable throughout is the classic round shape of the Pikul flower, long used in royal court ceremonies with the belief that it brings good fortune.
107/1 Phetkasem Rd., 032-904-666. www.marriott.com
 
Price: Starting from B5,684
 

The Radisson Blu Hua Hin

One of the biggest hotel projects in Hua Hin has opened with a stunning, two-story-tall waterfall greets guests at the lobby, while a walkway flanked by giant walls of water topped by elevated swimming pools leads to the beach.
1392 Petchkasem Rd., Cha-am, 032-421-777, www.radissonblu.com
 
Price: Starting from B3,840
 

KHAO YAI

Nhapha Khao Yai Resort

Khao Yai's latest eye-catching hotel sits on land that used to be a rock mine. Designed to blend with the craggy surrounds, each room combines floor-to-ceiling windows with marble-stone walls. As it’s owned by Thavorn Ko-Udomvit, a renowned lecturer at Bangkok's Silpakorn University and the guy behind Ardel Gallery of Modern Art, the hotel is full of art pieces from leading local and international artists.
Bungtoey-Khlongdindam Rd., Moo 14, Moo-Si, Pakchong, 093 636 9999. www.nhapha-khaoyai.com
 
Price: Starting from B8,000
 

U Hotel Khao Yai

U Hotels addeed yet another themed-hotel to Khao Yai valley with this Euro-pastiche property inspired by French countryside chateaux. The hotel is arranged in a village-like complex packed with landscaped gardens, ponds and a large free-form swimming pool.
99/22 Moo 1, Moo Si, Pak Chong, 044-079-999, www.uhotelsresorts.com/ukhaoyai
 
Price: Starting from B2,959

RATCHABURI

Navela Hotel & Banquets

The small art town has welcomed a new hotel where vintage touches like cane furniture meet with crisp, contemporary decor. Design gimmicks play on the area’s indigenous craft goods, like ong mangkorn (giant water jars) and homespun patterns, while balconies look out on uninterrupted views.
9/9 Moo 5, Dontako, 032 206-599. www.navelahotel.com
 
Price: Starting from B3,840

SRA KAEO

Velo’s Hotel & BMX Pump Track

Located in Sa Kaeo province in the easternmost part of Thailand, these coole, bike-themed lodgings feature a BMX circuit designed by world mountain bike champion Claudio Caluori. The 20 "Bike Type" rooms also come with their own bike parking and sit right next to the track. 
65 Thanavithee Rd., Aranyapateth, 037-231-458, www.fb.com/velohotel
 
Price: Starting from B1,500

AMPHAWA

Chuchai Buri Sri Amphawa

The gemstone millionaire Chuchai Chairitthilert this year revealed the guest lodgings at his sprawling, controversial riverside lifestyle complex. The rooms combine a hodgepodge of European and colonial styles while the ground floor is home to shops and restaurants.
338, 338/1-3, 366/2 Lieb Natee Rd., Amphawa, 034-129-900. www.chuchaiburi.com
 
Price: Starting from B5,297
 

Weara Waree 2499 hotel

This charming riverside hotel takes over an old wooden house dating to 1956. There are just four bedrooms right on the banks of the Mae Klong River, very near the popular weekend market. Do note that the hotel only accepts one group of guests per night.
11/2 Soi Bangjakreng, Mae Klong, Samut Songkhram, 099-048-8899. www.fb.com/BaanWeaRaWaRee
 
Price: Starting from B2,000

CHANTHABURI

Peggy’s Cove Resort

Sitting on Khung Wiman Beach, this new resort takes influence from the brightly painted weatherboard cottages and rickety driftwood bridges of the real Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. It even has a lobby styled after the village's chapel. The resort is just one kilometer from the Nern Nang Phaya viewpoint which looks out on the province’s iconic curvy beach road.
44 Moo 7, Kungwiman Beach, Sanam Chai, Na Yai Am, 039-460-345. Peggyscoveresort.com
 
Price: Starting from B3,613

AIRPORTS

Sleep Boxtel Thailand at Suvannabhumi Airport

Don Muang and Suvannabhumi's Sleep Boxes

Finally, both of our main airports have installed beds for rent. The revamped Don Muang International Airport Terminal 2 offers Sleep Box, where the 25 rooms are fully-equipped with bedroom amenities, while the main Suvarnabhumi Airport has followed suit with the 12-room Boxtel Thailand.
 
Price: Sleep Box starts from B1,000 for three-hour stay and Boxtel Thailand is B600 for two-hour stay