If you’re looking for an easy place to escape to over the holidays, consider Phang-Nga. The peaceful shores north of Phuket just got another major player with the opening of Le Meridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa. Located along Bang Sak beach, the 269-room hotel features 10 types of rooms—including private pool villas and suites—all with their own spacious balconies (from B3,400/night). The rooms are centered on three impressive lagoon pools that overlook the Andaman Sea. Adding to the laid-back but luxurious holiday vibe are a slew of casual restaurants, including an open-air beachside grill, a tropical beach bar called Coconut Joe’s, a poolside bar and L’Uccello Pizzeria, which slings wood-fired pizzas and unique antipasti at dinnertime.