In this issue of WINDOW on Phuket, we bring you a selection of boutique hotels, resorts and villas from around Thailand. Trawling through booking sites to find just the (boutique) place you’re looking for can stretch your patience, so we were delighted when we discovered boutiquehotel-thailand.com
Founded in 2013 by internet gurus Ted Valentin and Jonotan Heyman, their objective was to “...create a collection of the best boutique hotels in Thailand. Hotels that are so unique and beautiful that you do not want to leave your room.”
I’d say they’ve mostly succeeded. It’s a valuable resource that picks out the key points of each property, backed up by lots and lots of photos. That “mostly” is because there are some in their listings that are stretching the ‘boutique’ moniker just a bit. But, hey, nobody’s perfect. Although there’s a booking ‘button’ on each listing, it clicks through to one of the big booking sites where you can take care of business; or you could, just as easily, shop around having identified a shortlist of perfect places.
Rates shown below were the lowest bookable rates bookings at the time we prepared this information.
1. The Boathouse Phuket
Kata Beach, Phuket from THB 4,230
The ultimate beachfront boutique property – and yes it sits right on one of Phuket’s best beaches – with a reputation for excellent dining and an award-winning wine cellar. Completely refurbished in 2017, the facilities are first rate, the all-sea-facing rooms unique and the service reminiscent of a bygone era.
That many guests have been returning for extended stays since the hotel first opened speaks volumes.
2. The Pavilions
Layan Beach, Phuket from THB 5,650
Overlooking Layan Beach and the Andaman Sea, The Pavilions intimate hilltop retreat is truly the lap of luxury. Superbly appointed villas with private infinity pools are hidden away on the jungle-covered hillside. The two dining options include Firefly, the poolside restaurant that sees regular events including art exhibitions, jazz evenings and more. The fine dining restaurant, The Plantation, recently launched ethically sourced, sustainable new menus, including the ‘Plantation Journey’ – a nine-course discovery of Thailand’s rich cooking culture.
The area surrounding The Pavilions is rich with dining and shopping opportunities, not to mention the long beaches that run for kilometres. Of course, when you’re staying in heaven, you may not want to leave.
3. 137 Pillars House
Chiang Mai from THB 16,025
Just a short walk from the Ping River and Wat Gate Temple and based on an colonial-period teak house, 137 Pillars House offers 30 luxury suites. Palette Restaurant, Jack Bain’s Bar, The Parlor, Wine Cellar, The Dining Room, Kitchen and Private Dining ensure pampered guests have a memorable culinary experience.
4. The Hotel Zealonta
Ko Lanta from THB 1,700
This simple hotel is conveniently located near the Police Station and Saladan Pier. All rooms come with fridge, bathroom, TV and a balcony. A continental breakfast is served on site and Free WiFi is available at the hotel.
5. Nibbana Bungalows
Hinkong, Koh Phangan from THB 2,500
Private beach, garden with BBQ area and a concierge service set this bungalow resort apart. Air-conditioned 1-bedroom bungalows boast their own terrace. Bicycle rental is available nearby and the main beach town of Haad Rin is 16km away.
6. The Place Luxury Boutique Villas
Koh Tao from THB 7,000
About 4km from Mango Bay, sheltered, peaceful and private, these 1-bedroom pool villas feature a spacious open-plan bedroom, dressing room, living area and kitchenette. The bathrooms are just stunning and the villa front opens completely to give access to the private sea view pool.
7. Erawan Villa Hotel
Bangrak Beach, Koh Samui from THB 2,400
With only five rooms/villas, and set in the middle of Bangrak Village, this charming small hotel boasts an outdoor infinity pool and direct beach access. The teak villas feature bedroom, living room and bathroom as well as a kitchenette equipped with microwave and that all-important a coffee machine. Bo Phut’s Fisherman’s Village and the airport are both a short drive away.
8. Somewhere Only We Know
Baan Khai, Koh Phangan from THB 9,600
An amazing private resort with just two roomy villas perched in the jungle above two private beaches, featuring a private bar, restaurant and jungle spa. Reached either by boat if the weather permits or by a short walk through the jungle. Living areas and bathrooms are open to nature; bedrooms are enclosed and soundproofed.
9. The Other Side Villas
Koh Lanta from THB 2,790
Just five minutes south of Lanta Old Town, The Other Side Villas are on the sunrise side of Koh Lanta – away from most of the tourist activity. There’s a choice of 2-bedroom villas or a “master suite” in this resort that has gone to great lengths to blend with, and preserve, the local environment. People who like this other side are those who enjoy cycling, kayaking, reading or just relaxing surrounded by nature.
10. Family Tree Hotel
Krabi Town from THB 1,960
One of Krabi’s top-selling properties, this town centre, 8-room trendily-designed hotel with garden is the epitome of a low-cost boutique property; it offers much more than meets the eye at first glance. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms (as you’d expect) but they also, surprising for this price range, all have a spacious seating area. Flat-screen TV, fridge, kettle and desk are standard features and continental breakfast is served in-house.