Luxury travel to Thailand
ITC Luxury Travel recently sent some of our Travel Specialists on a trip to Thailand to see some of the luxury destinations they offer for themselves. Here’s what Platinum Account Manager Jackie Sampson reported back:
“This was my first opportunity to visit and explore the Far East and the reality exceeded all my expectations.
We started our tour of Thailand in Koh Samui - a one hour flight from Bangkok (where our arrival happened to coincide with that of an extremely popular South Korean film star - we thought at first that the paparazzi had been alerted to our arrival!).
Koh Samui is the third largest island to the east of the mainland, but still only some 55km to drive entirely around. Our first stop was Six Senses Samui for a site inspection and refreshments, followed by a stay at the Four Seasons Samui - this hotel is stunning with jaw-dropping views and the advantage of a 'private beach' - none of the beaches in Thailand are completely private but the Four Seasons has the advantage of a bay location making their beach difficult to access for outsiders - the Banyan Tree Samui has the same advantage. Whilst on the island we also had the opportunity to visit Kamalaya - a wonderful holistic experience - and made the most of our time on island by experiencing elephant trekking, and of course visited the Golden Buddha - a must in Thailand.
We then flew to Phuket - a much more developed and larger island to the west of the mainland. We feature some fabulous hotels here including the Trisara and the Amanpuri both located in the quieter north-west corner of Phuket. The Amanpuri was the very first Aman property and is therefore the flagship hotel within the group and the blueprint for all those that have followed. There are some superb excursions available in Phuket including sea caving; a magical experience where a guide takes you in a canoe through caves into hidden lagoons in the limestone rocks.
From Phuket, we took a boat to visit the Six Senses Yao Nao and then a further boat to the Ritz Carlton Phulay Bay and then onto the Rayavadee in Krabi - we feature so many fabulous hotels in Thailand it is difficult to have a favourite as they all are so very different and there really is something for everyone.
From Krabi we flew into Bangkok for the final couple of nights to wander and enjoy the 'big city'. ITC features the Shangri La, the Peninsula and the Mandarin Oriental - all located on the river with fabulous views of the city. We also have two hotels in the business district; the Four Seasons (with views of a golf course in the middle of the city!) and the Banyan Tree, close to the malls and markets if shopping is your thing. Absolute 'must dos' in Bangkok include shopping at Pat Pong market where haggling is essential and dinner or drinks at Moon Bar and Vertigo at the top of the Banyan Tree hotel which is 59 floors up and open air - a truly unique experience.
A wonderful trip and I look forward to my next adventure to the Far East…”