Thailand’s a big old place, and even if it’s the simple choice of an adventure versus a city-break, holidays to Thailand need focus. Or do they?
You may be aware of the rising popularity of multi-centre holidays. They’re often useful as a sweetener deal for the kids, rewarded with three days in the Crazy Lagoon Room of a theme park hotel in exchange for sacrificing three days of their precious time looking around ruins somewhere else.
Moreover, the rise of multi-centre holidays is indicative that we’re unsatisfied with just scratching the surface of a destination. We want to dig deeper and explore more hidden corners of the world. And where better to discover lost, hidden treasures than big, old Thailand?
Here we look at how to do two holidays to Thailand in one, with two Thai hotels that showcase the very best of this deeply fascinating country. Your only choice is which way round to do it. Do you take to the urban jungle first? Or do you explore the rainforests before dipping back into modernity?
The Road and The Rembrandt
Rembrandt Hotel & Towers, Bangkok
Bangkok is a wonderfully mixed bag: a sociable city of real diversity, rich history and cutting edge style and technology in one. The Rembrandt Hotel & Towers gives you not only a sense of Bangkok’s timeless style, but also a perfect view from the upper floors and outdoor pool. The Rembrandt’s classic architecture is quite distinctive, grand, sophisticated and elegant, much like its marble-floored, mahogany-tinged lobby or spacious rooms. Needless to say, the impeccable Thai approach to hospitality here is exemplary.
A great view comes from a great location, naturally, and The Rembrandt enjoys one of Bangkok’s hottest addresses just off Sukhumvit Road. At roughly 400 kilometres the road also known less poetically as Thailand Route 3 is one of Thailand’s longest roads. It snakes from Koh Kong on Thailand’s easternmost point, near the border with Cambodia, up the coast of the Gulf of Thailand through Trat, then Pattaya, and lastly into Bangkok where Route 3 enjoys celebrity status. This fashionable district exudes an enticing, bustling hum year-round, and its restaurants, shops and nightlife represent the beating heart of Bangkok. With this in mind The Rembrandt is the perfect launch pad from which to experience all elements of Bangkok, from old to new, social and cultural.
And as anyone who’s had an experience of Bangkok before will tell you, you’re going to need some respite. It’s one of the world’s craziest cities, in a good way, but it doesn’t half wear you out. Chances are during your time here you’ve ventured out of the city to explore the seaside resorts, quite probably by following Sukhumvit Road eastwards. Now, you could plonk yourself on a 12-hour flight back to Blighty, or perhaps given a taste for the tropical you could take things a bit further…
Peace of Samui
Peace Resort, Koh Samui
And so it is we have two very different holidays to Thailand in one. From the heart of Bangkok in all its nutty wonder we take a mere 50-minute flight across the Gulf Of Thailand to Koh Samui. Koh Samui is a popular tourist destination for good reason, but the Thai island retains an authenticity and the bliss of seclusion, and still has many hidden gems to discover.
A gem too is the aptly named Peace Resort on Koh Samui’s north coast, tucked along the verge of Boput Beach. It feels a million miles away, even if the airport is only a 10-minute drive. A village-esque set up of villas and bungalows are found dotted about the seaside setting of snaking paths and tropical foliage including multitudinous coconut trees and bougainvillea. Its eco-friendly, sustainable approach only serves to immerse you further in the naturally beautiful landscape. Should you choose to indulge a day in the Peace Tropical Spa, purpose-built to pamper you senseless, you can literally feel like you never left the rainforest.
The stark contrast to Bangkok’s constant hustle is refreshing to say the least, but like the sprawling urban jungle so too does Samui scream to be explored. Around the site of Peace Resort there are a number of beautiful beaches, fishing communities, exquisite golf courses, and Samui’s famous Chaweng Beach is just a few minutes further on. Elephant trekking or mountain bike rides are fantastic way to see the landscape in full, and you could also head to the boat pier and take a day trip to nearby islands Koh Pha Ngan – the ‘Full Moon Party’ island – or Koh Tao – an island less-trodden and widely regarded as one of the best diving spots on the planet.
With so much on offer it can take several holidays to Thailand to fit it all in, but the age of multi-centre holidays is upon us as travellers seek to uncover everything they possibly can with their available time and budget. After all, why just have the one trip when you could do two?