With the holiday season in full swing, we take a look back at the year's best new hotel openings outside of Bangkok.


AWA Resort

Situated on Kai Bae Beach, AWA Resort offers a contemporary blue-and-white decor finished with oriental art pieces and Chinese-style decorative tea pots. There are five room types including a huge 108-sq-meter beachfront suite.
02-261-6364, www.awakohchang.comhttp://www.awakohchang.com


Wendy The Pool

This relatively isolated island has welcomed a new resort on Khlong Chao Beach. The beachfront boutique is all modernist wooden cubes with tastefully rustic accents, such as Sino-Portuguese-style tiles and whitewashed furniture. 


OZO Samui

Located on Chaweng Beach, this is another new hotel decked out in blue and white. A reasonably priced option on the increasingly upscale island of Samui, rooms range from 20-26 sq meters and come with sound proofing and blackout curtains.
077-915-200, www.ozohotels.com


Monkey Dive

High-end beach destination Khao Lak recently welcomed this alternative accommodation option. Under a diving theme, the design hostel is decked out in vibrant colors and graphics of underwater creatures. There’s also a café on-site.


Escape Khao Yai

Offering 48 contemporary rooms and six pool villas, Sansiri’s debut hotel is set right by Khao Yai National Park. Breakfast is available until 2pm, while the hotel restaurant, Green Oak, offers a farm-to-table concept using organic vegetables grown at the resort.
044-756-669/70, www.escape-hotel.com

Thames Valley 

This one adds to the area’s themed attractions with the chance to pretend you’re staying in the English countryside. The 58-room resort also features the Castle Restaurant, which serves English favorites like fish and chips in a manor house setting, and Clotted Cream Tea Room, where you can find TWG Teas and pastries.

Botanica Khao Yai 

The hotel consists of 116 contemporary rooms, an onsen spa, two swimming pools, a barbecue pit, a library lounge and a jogging track. Panoramic views of the national park, which is just 3km away, complete the experience.


X2 River Kwai 

Eight stark cabins are positioned with views of Kwai Noi River. The resort boasts an industrial chic design and facilities like an infinity riverfront pool with sun loungers and sun beds, a library, free Wi-Fi and iPads for loan. Bicycles are also available for guests to explore the surrounding countryside.
034-552-125, www.x2resorts.com



The 11 gorgeous Western-style suites are inspired by the early Rattanakosin Era. The traditional Thai touches start at the entrance, where you’re asked to take your shoes off. The food, too, ranges from local Thai treats to hampers packed with fresh-baked pastries. 
053-327-777. www.sireeampan.com


Happy Nest Inspiring Hostel

The border province welcomed a cute design hostel which aims to present traditional art and culture in a modern setting. Packages like bike tours are also available.


Sala Ayutthaya 

Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Pratu Chai, opposite the renowned Wat Phutthaisawan, the recently opened and very stylish boutique resort consists of 26 rooms, and is decked out with modern white furnishings as well as Eastern-inspired décor in the form of wood fittings and tiger-motif walls. 


Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort 

Situated on a hillside overlooking Kamala Cove at the southern tip of Kamala Beach, the five-star property consists of 199 rooms with unobstructed views of the Andaman Sea. Their Regency Club offers exclusive access to a large infinity pool, personalized check-in/out, and complimentary beverages all day.

Kata Rocks 

The new five-star boutique resort consists of just 34 secluded oceanfront pool villas overlooking the Andaman Sea. Each villa is equipped with its own infinity pool, spacious living area and iPad.
076-284-750, www.katarocks.com

Point Yamu by Como 

The hotel is situated at the peaceful tip of Cape Yamu and features 106 rooms and villas created by Italian designer and architect Paola Navone. Guests can enjoy ocean-facing views from each room as well as the spectacular 100m swimming pool and signature treatments at the eight-room Como Shambhala Retreat.

Iniala Beach House 

Iniala Beach House is possibly Thailand’s most luxurious resort, and made headlines with the visit of Kim Kardashian. Situated on Natai Beach, the 10 rooms here were each designed by 10 international designers including Brazil’s Campana brothers and Jaime Hayón of Spain. Stays start at a hefty BTK, but rest assured owner Mark Weingard gives 15 percent of the resort’s revenue towards health and education projects in Thailand, Indonesia, and India.
076-451-456, www.iniala.com

U Zenmaya 

The 50-room resort on Kalim Beach incorporates Sino-Portuguese touches in its rooms, which ranged from balcony Jacuzzi to seaview suite. Like other U Hotel properties, guests can personalize their pillow type, tea, soap and music prior to arrival.

Le Coral Hideaway Beyond Phuket  

Phang Nga Bay has welcomed another stylish resort located on the serene Natai Beach. The property consists of 58 rooms offering views of the Andaman Sea.


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