As the new year rolls in, we take a look back at 2017's most exciting openings from Chiang Mai to Phuket. 

Jump to: Chiang Mai | Central Thailand | Hua Hin | Chonburi Phuket Phangna Krabi Samui Songkhla | Bangkok


Chiang Mai

Away Chiang Mai Thapae Resort

Rate: starting B2,458/night.

Your health is at the heart of this vegetarian, alcohol-free resort.The hotel inside the walled old city combines Lanna style and colonial architecture for a look of classic elegance. The 39 rooms, which surround an outdoor pool, are done in dark wood and marble that’s offset with deep blue walls and brass lighting fixtures. The hotel takes its philosophy from the five precepts of Buddhism, which means no alcohol and an adherence to body-cleansing food. That spirit is best embodied in Moreganic, the hotel restaurant, where vegetarian Western and Thai dishes are accompanied by herbal drinks. 

9 Soi 1 Kotchasarn Rd., Chiang Mai, 053-904-974, awayresorts.com

Azalea Village Wellness Resort

Rate: starting B1,300/night

Located in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, known for its spectacular mountain scenery, the resort comprises 21 adorably old-school cottages, including four very spacious two-bedroom suites, all designed to reflect the local way of life through natural materials and Thai handicrafts. The nightly rate includes breakfast from the on-site restaurant that focuses on traditional Northern food, using only organic ingredients sourced locally. Seasonal fruits are plucked straight from the farm here and also made available for guests throughout their stay.

168 Moo 13, Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, 089-359-4244. www.azalea-village.com

Makkachiva

Rate: starting B2,800/night
 
Three stories of Lanna-referencing accommodation stand around a stunning, open-air courtyard. Foliage cascades from every balcony down towards a central water feature where guests congregate for breakfast each morning. Standard rooms are half the rate of the big brand competition, but come with twice the attention to detail—each has its own custom artwork created by a local artist, while genuine oriental antiques dot the common areas. The location, just outside the weekend night market zone, means the best shopping opportunities are close at hand, but you don’t need to battle tourists each time you leave the hotel. 
 
Phara Sing, Muang, Chiang Mai, 053-285-196. googl/5ML6Vz

Villa Mahabhirom

Rate: starting B12,355/night
 
Chiang Mai's most beautiful hotel opening in a long time sits not too far from Wat U Mong (Tunnel Temple), the hipster outdoor cafe No. 39 and Baan Kang Wat Community Mall. The property is made up of beautiful antique Thai houses that are over 100 years old, many of which come with a view of the swimming pool or of Doi Suthep. Each teakwood villa consists of a bedroom suite,  study area, spacious marble bathroom and open-air balcony. Two to three villas can be reserved together to form a "terrace villa" or "private pool villa" that each come with a private saltwater plunge pool and garden courtyard. 
 
62 Moo 10, Su Thep, Muang, Chiang Mai, 053-271-200. www.villamahabhirom.com

X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Resort

Rate: starting B7,009/night.

Situated right on the banks of the Ping River, X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Resort takes inspiration from Wat U-Mong, Chiang Mai's Lanna-style temple known for its maze-like tunnels. Red brick walls and carved pathways blend with modern design elements and facilities like a rooftop gym, pool and bar with views of Doi Suthep and the vibrant city of Chiang Mai. The five-story building's 30 rooms come in four types: Tamarind Suite (B7,009/night), View Riverfront (B8,505/night), Grand Suite River (B12,617/night) and Pool Suite River View (B21,495/night). The hotel's riverside location places it a seven-minute rot daeng (Chiang Mai transportation truck) ride from the old city.

69/1 Charoenraj Rd., 053-931-999. x2resorts.com/resorts/chiang-mai-riverside

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Central Thailand

Camp Out Korat

Rate: starting B1,800/night.

Set beside a picturesque lake, Camp Out Korat offers six beautifully bijou campervans for the perfect romantic weekend in the woods. Though you won’t be able to drive anywhere, Camp Out ensures each of its vans is decked out for comfort as well as style, with TV and aircon as standard. Come nightfall, camp staff set up romantic barbecues by the lake for each of its guests, lit up by strings of fairy lights. Other on-site activities include lake swimming, cycling in the woods, and paddling out on duck boats. When the morning comes, pull yourself from the dreamy white linens of Camp Out’s double beds, and head to your own private egg-making station. Here, the resort lays out toppings like onions, minced pork and sausages for guests to cook with their perfect eggs in any style.

Sung Noen, Nakhon Ratchasima, 065-626-9280. www.fb.com/campoutkorat

Le Bassin Erawan Resort

Rate: starting B2,000/night.

A minimalist haven in the depths of the jungle, Le Bassin Erawan Resort celebrates the simpler things in life. The wooden raft house perched on the riverbank (B3,800/night) is nothing fancy, but its vintage four-poster bed and large sliding doors facing the river give it a rustic charm. On land, rooms are simple but comfortably furnished concrete structures with spacious terraces extending out over the river (B2,000-2,500/night). Want the full glamping experience? Stay in one of the huge, colorful tents for B2,900/night with breakfast and dinner included. River kayaking and rafting are also available upon request.

Tha Kradan, Si Sawat District, Kanchanaburi, 092-617-5111, www.lebassinresort.com

Kwai Tara Riverside Villas

Rate: starting B3,100/night.

Kanchanaburi's latest floating paradise comprises 20 modern loft-style villas. While the Canal Access Villas give you beautiful views of the mountains, we love the spacious 80-meter Floating Villas, which bob over the water complete with their own stylish hammocks, river terrace and upper deck. It doesn't have to be just down-time, though—jungle rafting, elephant riding and kayaking are all on offer, while free rafts leave the resort at 4:30pm everyday if you fancy a tour down Kwai Noi River. 
 
214 Moo 6, Wangkrajae, Sai Yok, 093-925-8883. www.kwaitara.com 

Sriwilai Sukhothai 

Rate: starting B3,500/night.

The 54 rooms are garnished with Sukhothai-Lanna lanterns, colorful cushions contrasted with white-washed walls and four-poster beds. Touting eco-credentials, the resort uses solar panels to heat its water and a zero-chlorine system for the infinity pool. Its location is gold, too, right opposite the UNESCO-protected Sukhothai Historical Park, meaning you can begin exploring first thing in the morning. 
 
214/4 Moo 2, Muang, Sukhothai, 055-697-445. www.sriwailaisukhothai.com

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Rate: starting B2,000/night.

Submit to that pent up FarmVille ambition with a weekend at this eco-tourism spot in Khao Kho, Petchabun Province. Uncle Tom's Cabin is named not for the American novel but for the farm’s owner, Uncle Tom, who cooks a mean wood-fired pizza to go with the kitchen’s specialties made with vegetables plucked right out of the lush backdrop. The accommodation is bare and simple, and that’s the point. An Earthen House, a sort of bungalow, goes for B2,300/night while a Big Tent, furnished with comfy beds and thick blankets, is B2,000/night (breakfast included). What better way to exorcise the muggy spirit of Bangkok than crisp Japanese melons, sweet cherry tomatoes, dewy mornings and green horizons. Khao Kho is about six hours' drive from Bangkok.

89 Moo 10, Tamboon Thung Samo, Khao Kho district, Phetchabun, 086-600-5377. www.fb.com/UncleTomCabinAtKhaokho

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Hua Hin

Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Park

Rate: starting B2,690/night.

What’s better than a water park? A water park on your doorstep. Holiday Inn has entered the playcation game with their new branch inside Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Park. Wake up with a ride on Abyss (Thailand’s largest water slide) or float down Lazy River with this hotel’s unlimited access to the water park. The 300-room, family-friendly resort is just 15 minutes from downtown Hua Hin. For those looking for a break after a day on the slides, there’s a resort spa, a 26th-floor pool bar and a rooftop bar with a glass-bottomed deck. Also on the rooftop is the hotel’s restaurant, which serves Thai, Japanese and Mediterranean tapas with a view of Hua Hin bay. The beach is also within reach—just a 10-minute walk or a short ride on the free shuttle. 

129/129 Petchkasem Rd., 032-809-999. goo.gl/9camQz

Varinah

Rate: starting B3,100/night.

Located along Prachuap Khiri Khan's peaceful Samroiyod Beach, Varinah is a relatively small resort that hits the price-to-style sweet spot. The 48 guest rooms and eight private pool villas start at an enticing B3,100. The 50-sq-m villa comes with its own private pool, outdoor Jacuzzi and roof deck with panoramic views of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park—yours for about B6,400/night. While the resort is about 30 minutes’ drive from Hua Hin city center, the stunning fourth-floor infinity pool, library, fully-equipped fitness and seaside restaurant mean you probably don’t need to leave.

Sam Roi Yot, Sam Roi Yot District, Prachuap Khiri Khan, 098-464-4958. www.varinahresort.com

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Chonburi

Costa Well Resort

Rate: starting B2,990/night.

Costa Well Resort brings Greek style to the quiet fishing town of Bangsaray. The facade is heavy on the white and crowned by blue domes, a color scheme that continues within, where the blond wood furniture and expansive view makes for a peaceful, airy vibe. Tucked out of sight of town, the resort is in a perfect location for families with the nearby attractions of Cartoon Network Water Park, Nong Nooch Botanical Garden and Pattaya Floating Market. To celebrate its soft opening, the Deluxe Jacuzzi Room starts at B2,990/night, the Deluxe Ocean View Room at B4,600/night and the Two-Bedroom Suit Jacuzzi at B11,400—available for stays now until Dec 24.

555 Na Jomtien Soi 56, Sukhumvit Rd., Sattahip, Bangsaray, Pattaya, 092-019-9555. www.costawellresortpattaya.com

X2 Vibe Pattaya SeaPhere

Rate: starting B2,600/night.

The sleek-looking X2 Vibe Pattaya SeaPhere is actually composed of a group of luxury condo units 100 meters from the Bann Am Por Beach, but they’re already plugging it as a resort as well, with nightly rates starting at B2,600. There are just 65 rooms in total, mixed between one- and two-bed studios, the biggest featuring private plunge pools. Not to miss is the hotel’s rooftop as it features an infinity pool, kids’ playground, sky deck and a garden bar and barbecue area. Bann Am Por Beach sits between the Pattaya Floating Market and Cartoon Network Amazone waterpark, about a half-hour drive south of town.

223 Moo 3, Na Jomtien Soi 32, Sattahip, Chonburi, 038-237-815. x2vibe.com/residences/pattaya-seaphere

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Phuket

 

BaBa Beach Club

Rate: starting B18,000/night.

Phuket’s luxurious Sri Panwa has joined the beach club set. BaBa Beach Club on Natai Beach is as much about parties in the sand as glam accommodation. Sitting on 42 rai of pristine oceanfront land, it offers 16 villas and suites whose B18,000/night entry point ensures that this will be one very exclusive club. There’s a modish energy to the mix of Sino-Portuguese-inspired decor, enlivened by royal blues and splashes of orange. In the middle of it all, the Baba Bar stands primed for beach parties with DJs flown in from around the world. The property promises it’ll have music blaring from day to night, with rooms outfitted with the best sound systems for when you want to take the party indoors.

88 Moo 5, Natai Beach, Phang Nga, 076-490-777. www.bababeachclub.com

Marriott Merlin Beach

Rate: starting B5,645/night.

The resort is huge—414 rooms huge—and with the beaches around Phuket becoming increasingly busy, here you've got your own private beach that's only accessible by hotel guests. Newbies to scuba diving can even take a three-hour introductory course without having to leave the resort. They also offer three massive swimming pools, a modest spa, muay Thai, kayaking and paddle boarding. 

99 Muen-Ngoen Rd., Tri-Trang Beach, Patong, Phuket, 076-335-300.  goo.gl/vjeMqn

Mai House

Rate: starting B6,318/night.

Patong’s newest boutique hotel looks to Phuket Town’s Sino-Portuguese culture to create somewhere elegant and different. Mai House Patong Hill is an alluring blend of turquoise walls, opium den-style daybeds and dangling steel lanterns. The Grand Deluxe Rooms feature bathtubs in the bedroom, or go one step further for the Grand Deluxe Jacuzzi room, which has its own outdoor Jacuzzi hidden behind a veil of tropical foliage overlooking Patong Beach. 
 
5/5 Phrabarami Rd., Patong, Kathu, Phuket, 076-637-770. www.maihouse.com/patonghill 

The SIS Kata

Rate: starting B2,399/night.

This swanky stay comes at a refreshingly low price point. The name means "Stay In Style" and the resort's 124 guest rooms and two suites come in a nautical white and blue color scheme with contemporary chevron patterns throughout. You'll find six restaurants and bars on-site that serve up local dishes with international twists and take advantage of the Kata sunset over the Andaman Sea. Rates start from B2,399.
 
255 Kok Tanode Rd., Karon, Muang, Phuket, 076-609-555. www.thesiskata.com 

Avista Hideaway

Rate: starting B6,600/night.

The southern end of Patong Beach is currently one of the hottest places to stay on the island. This resort boasts clean lines with a luxurious tropical edge, its 150 guestrooms coming with rich local woods and natural stones. Three saltwater swimming pools are split over different levels, while food and drink ranges from Sizzle steakhouse and Vista all-day dining to the Rendez-Vue Rooftop cocktail and tapas bar. 
 
39/9 Muen Ngern Rd., Patong, Kathu, Phuket, 076-681-681. www.avista-hideaway-phuket-patong.com

Akyra Beach Club Phuket

Rate: starting B2,500/night.

Just a 20-minute drive from Phuket International Airport, the Andaman-facing hotel goes with a deep blue theme for its 42 rooms and 17 villas, the highlight of which is the 125-sq-meter beachfront two-bedroom villa. The decor features Sino-Portuguese patterned flourishes on everything from the floor tiles to the cushions, matched with dark wooden furniture.
 
32/7 Moo 5, Kokkloi, Takua Thung, Phang Nga, 076-592-500. www.theakyra.com/phuket

2Rooms Boutique House

Rate: starting B3,000/night.

Designed and owned by Phuket's Dhamarchitects, the two rooms are situated on the second floor of a 100-year-old twin shop-house on Soi Rommanee that was formerly an old-school coffee shop. These days, it stands out not only for its bright pink facade, but also its relatively shallow nature compared to other shop-houses in the area. The large, suite-like rooms consist of dark blue walls, a king bed and breezy balcony. Downstairs you’ll find popular dessert cafe Torry’s Ice cream.

Soi Rommanee, Thalang Rd., Phuket, 076-354-335. www.fb.com/2roomsboutiquehouse

Maiton Private Island

Rate: starting B2,900/night.

You can now stay on the Andaman Sea's largest private island, Koh Mai Ton, which sits about 9km from Phuket. Maiton Private Island operates more like a family-run Airbnb than a resort. Activities on the island include outdoor massages with a view, and diving at the underwater reef. You can also kayak, snorkel and take a boat around the island for a dolphin-sighting trip. 
 
100 Moo 7, Wichi, Muang, Phuket, 085-835-3456.  www.maitonprivateisland.com 
 

Phangnga

La Vela Khao Lak

Rate: starting B7,800/night.

The heavily geometric design is the latest work by TROP: terrains and open space, whose credits include Casa de la Flora, Botanica Khao Yai and Veranda Pattaya. Along with a backdrop that will rock your Instagram feed, most rooms also come with a bath or outdoor jacuzzi, as well as a grand seven-foot bed. Other on-site facilities include Kokulo Beach Club which features all-day live DJs, Spa QaQula which comprises five treatment rooms offering massages and restorative therapies, a picture-perfect, free-form pool and natural landscaping. 
 
98/9 Moo 5, Khuk Khak, Takuapa, Khao Lak, Phang Nga, 076-428-555. www.lavelakhaolak.com
 

Krabi

The ShellSea 

Rate: starting B8,800/night.

This resort links directly to the Shell Fossil Beach, known for its distinct natural formation of shell fossil plates. Only two other fossil beaches of its kind are known to exist. Sea View and Beach Front rooms also come with their own balcony. The resort's Otium Spa features six treatment rooms, as well as a fitness centre on the upper deck, with floor-to-ceiling windows for a view of the resort. 
 
999 Moo 6, Sai Thai, Muang, Krabi, 075-819-519. www.theshellsea.com
 

Samui

The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

Rate: starting B16,400/night.

Turning a former coconut plantation into 175 luxurious suits and pool villas, The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is decked out in a tasteful blend of neutral tones and natural stone. Standard rooms come at 25-percent discount from now through Dec 22 (with prices starting at B13,875/night), offering stunning view of Samui’s coastline, as well as access to two private beaches, the resort’s beachfront pool, spa pavilions, six dining outlets and a vast reef that’s perfect for swimming. Or for B29,000/night, you could book an Ocean View Pool villa, which comes with an outdoor pool perched overlooking the sea.

9/123 Moo 5 Tambon Bophut Koh Samui Surat Thani, 077-915-777. www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/koh-samui 

Khwan Beach Resort

Rate: starting B4,000/night.

Situated on Maenam Beach, on the island’s north coast, this collection of luxury tents comes kitted out with mod-cons like air-conditioning despite their 19th-century expedition vibe—think four-poster king beds, oil lamps, vintage wooden chairs, leather trunks and daybeds. The location is close to the weekly walking street on Maenam Road and famous island food staples like Ko Seng. Oh, and it's adults only. 
 
67/61 Moo 1, Maenam Beach, Surat Thani. 062-565-0796. www.khwanbeachresort.com 

Baan Talay Pool Villas

Rate: starting B4,300/night.

Perched amid coconut trees on a mountain overlooking Chaweng Noi Beach, these villas offer a real tropical hideaway. Both the one-bedroom pool villa and two-bedroom deluxe villa come with a fully-equipped kitchen and private plunge pool. 
 
6/9 Moo 3, Chaweng Noi, 077-422-771-2. www.baantalaypoolvilla.com 
 

Celes Beachfront Resort

Rate: starting B8,500/night.

The hotel sits just outside Fisherman’s Village—a former French outpost lined with beautiful old wooden Chinese shop-houses. Its design complements the beautiful natural setting with lightly toned wooden buildings, high ceilings, and white walls and furniture. The standard rooms offer reasonable value for money, while the beachfront villas, with private sun loungers and an outdoor pool, run about B18,500/night.

175/3 Thaveerat-Pakdee Rd., Surat Thani, 077-900-999. www.celesresorts.com 

Sensimar

Rate: starting B15,800/night.

Take your partner for an escape at this resort where they guarantee there won’t be a single child in sight. We love the clean, oriental-luxe vibe, as well as the “adults-only" protocol, assuring a peaceful stay. Given the nightly rate of under B4,000, its hardwood floors, spacious rooms and vast, beachside infinity pool are also a notch above many places. The resort sits on Maenam Beach, 10km away from Samui Airport. 
 
44/134 Moo 1, Maenam Beach, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 077-953-035. www.sensimarsamui.com 
 
 

Songkhla

Baan Nai Nakhon

Rate: starting B1,300/night.

Bursting with color and retro trinkets, Baan Nai Nakhon bills itself as the first boutique hotel in Songkhla’s scenic old town. The owner transformed a three-story, near-century-old private residence into six photogenically fitted-out bedrooms. There’s a leafy private courtyard where you can enjoy your morning coffee with home-made roti before heading out to nearby Samila Beach and later exploring Songkhla Old Town Walking Street (open Thu-Sat, from 5pm). The owner, who lives on-site, will happily give you more local pointers. Rates include breakfast.

166 Nang Ngam Rd., Bo Yang, Songkhla, 095-438-9323. www.fb.com/baannainakhon

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Bangkok

137 Pillars

Rates: starting B4,500. 
 
Born in Chiang Mai (and where Owen Wilson stayed when he was in town shooting 2015’s No Escape), 137 Pillars began as a hotel revamp of an old colonial villa. The new Bangkok property features 34 guest suites as well as 179 private residences on Sukhumvit Soi 39. 
 
59/1 Sukhumvit Soi 39, 02-079-7000. 137pillarshotels.com

Salil Hotel Sukhumvit 57

Rate: starting B5,607/night.

The new Salil Hotel Sukhumvit 57 recalls the splendor of a timeless London: immaculate tea sets, monochrome marble, an extravagant chandelier, brass fixtures. The classic grey and cream palette of the rooms is contrasted with subtle wallpapers of European birds alighting, cheekily, on trees of East-Asian provenance. The three room types– Premier Room (B5,607/night), Deluxe Suite (B6,372/night), and The Living Suite (B10,195/night)–are designed to feel like a home, each with a kitchen space equipped with utensils, a fridge, and a microwave. 

24 Sukhumvit Soi 57, 02-072-2882. www.thesalilhotel.com

Park Hyatt

Rate: starting B8,400/night.

The finishing touch to Central Embassy shopping mall takes residence in the Amanda Levete-designed building’s spiraling tower. Having fallen behind schedule by over two years, Park Hyatt is finally almost ready, and committed to an opening date of April. The 222 luxurious guestrooms, including 32 suites, all come with floor-to-ceiling windows and spa-like bathrooms. The top three floors are home to Penthouse Grill + Bar, which also promises a breath-taking panoramic view of Bangkok.  

Central Embassy, 88 Wireless Rd., 02-012-1234. bangkok.park.hyatt.com

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