How to explore Thailand: 4 luxury itineraries

When it comes to making the most of your time in Thailand, nothing beats a multi-centre holiday. In one unforgettable trip, you can relive tales of the past in historic sites, gaze at screen-saver scenery on the dramatic islands, sip Mai Tais in trendy rooftop bars and explore jungles and oceans brimming with wildlife.


Our team is here to create your dream itinerary, suggesting perfectly paired hotels, unmissable experiences and the right amount of time in each place. While every holiday we plan is one-of-a-kind, here are some multi-centre ideas to spark your imagination.


Wat Arun, Bangkok

For a deep dive into culture and wildlife


This diverse itinerary takes you from the ceaseless energy of Bangkok to the jungle-clad hills of Chiang Mai and Koh Samet’s idyllic beaches. Begin at The Salil Hotel Riverside, a sleek hotel propped on the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. With convenient shuttle boat transfers offering access to the top landmarks, exploring is a breeze. And the best way to soothe away the urban frenzy? Let off steam in the rooftop aquatherapy pool.

Next, we’ll whisk you north to discover the Highlights of the Golden Triangle. Start in Chiang Mai, tasting your way through the night bazaar and wandering between cosy cafes in the walled old town. Then head through the mountains to Chiang Rai, a city steeped in Lanna culture and marked by a turbulent history. Over the next few days, you’ll visit timeworn temples, tiny hilltribe villages and the notorious Golden Triangle, where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand meet at the Mekong River.

Visiting an elephant sanctuary is a must when you're in the north, though not all are created equal. At The Bush Camp Chiang Mai, you'll not only engage with elephants and their mahouts amid soul-stirring scenery, but your stay also supports commendable conservation efforts, including wildlife rehabilitation, local employment and community initiatives.

"Waking to misty mountain views from a safari-style tent at The Bush Camp Chiang Mai was an experience I'll never forget. While the chance to interact with rescued elephants was incredible, discovering the lives of the mahouts' and Karen hill tribe culture was just as enriching." - Jennie Moore, Senior Regional Product Manager

The Bush Camp Chiang Mai

Finally, unwind on the white sands of Koh Samet for the perfect end to your holiday. At Paradee Resort, the attentive staff are just as celebrated as the stunning surroundings. Snorkel over vibrant reefs, indulge in luxurious afternoon teas served right in your villa and savour delights from fresh smoothie bowls to exquisite seafood at the beachfront restaurant.


Koh Khao Phing Kan, known as 'James Bond Island'

For beach hopping around island icons

If you’re drawn to Thailand’s postcard-worthy beach scenes, an island-hopping spree in the south is the way to go. Kick off in Phuket, the lively launchpad to the eye-catching Andaman Sea islands. While renowned for its raucous nightlife, there’s also a softer side to the island. Paresa Phuket, a peaceful pool villa hideaway, is a special find. Aptly named ‘the heaven of heavens’, its prime perch above pretty Kamala Beach on ‘Millionaire's Mile’ and the staff known fondly as ‘angels’, truly make this a divine retreat.

Paresa Phuket

Phuket is perfectly placed on the doorstep of the Andaman Sea islands. Spend a day kayaking around legendary James Bond island or cruise to Koh Phi Phi to snorkel in emerald lagoons.” - Matt Loft, Trading Executive

Journey onwards to a secret gem hiding in plain sight. Koh Yao Yoi is only 30 minutes from Phuket yet is blissfully off the main tourist trail. Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa serves as an ideal base to soak up this authentic slice of Thailand – expect intricately-carved architecture, a waterfall pool and local experiences like cooking classes and Muay Thai sessions. The rooms are magnificent, offering panoramic sea views and private pool villas that promise pinch-me moments aplenty.

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, Supreme Deluxe Sea View Room

Finish on a high note in Krabi at Rayavadee with a stay in a storybook two-story pavilion surrounded by coconut palms. This top-tier resort is home to The Grotto, an iconic cave restaurant nestled under towering limestone cliffs – now a viral sensation on Instagram.

The Grotto, Rayavadee

For summer adventures


Thailand may be revered as a popular winter sun destination, but did you know that Thailand’s ‘Green Season’ from May to October is also a rewarding time to visit? You'll find great deals on hotels, fewer crowds and ample sunshine on the Gulf Coast beaches in contrast to the wetter west coast.

Begin your summer adventure in Bangkok, where you can explore bustling malls and markets and cool off in the rooftop pool at Oriental Residence Bangkok.

Oriental Residence Bangkok

After the buzz of city life, retreat to the countryside with our Secrets of Central Thailand tour. Over two days, you’ll dive into Ayutthaya's rich history, uncover the moving stories of Kanchanaburi and visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets to sample delectable local cuisine right from the vendors' boats. During all this sightseeing, you’ll have time to relax by the river at Cross River Kwai, a quirky, industrial-style haven with floating cabins and round-the-clock bubbly breakfasts.

Cross River Kwai

A stay at Cross River Kwai is a must-do in my book; it’s the perfect antidote to the hustle of city life in Bangkok. I highly recommend upgrading to an Xfloat Luxe cabin which comes with your own kayak and a private rooftop deck with 180-degree views. Be sure to set your alarm early – the sunrise views are breathtaking.” - Marco Rocha, Product and Commercial Director

Wrap up your trip on sun-kissed Koh Samui, a top pick during the summer due to its mostly warm and dry weather. Rocky’s Boutique Resort is our go-to spot for romantic moments; this Kuoni UK exclusive resort has the best of both worlds: a quiet setting tucked between three golden beaches, yet with the lively restaurants and night markets of buzzy Lamai close by.

Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok

For the ultimate in romantic luxury


Although once primarily a backpacker's magnet, Thailand is now firmly on the map for luxury lovers and there are many ways to explore this beautiful country in five-star style. This upscale itinerary includes a string of world-class hotels that deliver the wow factor from start to finish.

Begin at Banyan Tree Bangkok, one of the capital’s most exclusive addresses. See the city from all kinds of luxurious angles: whether you’re floating down the Chao Phraya River on Apsara, the hotel’s vintage-styled rice barge, or taking in the views from the stylish sky-high Moon Bar.

For an unforgettable stay, Banyan Tree Bangkok tops my list. The location is fantastic; the Sala Daeng area has a sophisticated bar and restaurant scene. Plus, you're just a stone's throw away from the bustling Silom district and Patpong night market.” - Tom Waite, Regional Product Manager

Leave the city behind and embrace the bohemian vibes of Koh Lanta, an enchanting island off the coast of Krabi. Layana Resort & Spa is every bit the image of paradise, set on two miles of tranquil beach with a low-key vibe. Embracing the wellness activities is encouraged, think morning yoga sessions as well as floral baths and facials in the award-winning spa, but you’ll feel just as relaxed whiling away the days lounging under a parasol by the infinity pool.

Lastly, head to the sleepy shores of Khao Lak, a 15-mile-long ribbon of sand pinned between tropical jungles and a vibrant underwater world. Here you’ll find one of Thailand’s most romantic hotels: The Sarojin. Set among lotus ponds and frangipani trees, this boutique oasis offers extraordinary dining and spa treatments for a perfect, pampered finale to your lavish Thai escape.

Candlelit Jungle Dining, The Sarojin

The Sarojin in Khao Lak is my top pick for a special occasion. The team of imagineers can arrange private dining options that are truly exceptional – like a shipwrecked-style picnic on a sand isle or a romantic dinner beside a candlelit waterfall. Plus, you'll love the laid-back mornings – sparkling wine breakfasts can be served as late as 6pm!”- Aleatta McCaffery, Personal Travel Expert, Kuoni Harrogate


How to get there


Reaching Thailand is more convenient than ever with British Airways' new direct route from London Gatwick to Bangkok. Starting October 28, 2024, flights are available three times a week, providing a direct link to the heart of Thailand. Plus, if you’re looking to extend your adventure to include a tropical island escape, Qatar Airways provides seamless connections to Phuket. Talk to our experts who have firsthand experience travelling with our preferred airline partners and let us help you craft a smooth and memorable trip to the Land of Smiles.


Inspired?


Our travel experts have explored every corner of Thailand and are ready to share their insights to help craft your dream itinerary. Ready to start planning your adventure? Download our Thailand brochure, give us a call or drop by our store to discuss holiday ideas in person.

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This feature was created on 13th May 2024. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flanagan.

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