A visit to Thailand might include hiking lush mountains, touring ornate temples, and sampling savory street food. But I say a stay in this Southeast Asian country isn’t complete without a stint on its stellar beaches, where accommodations on the turquoise Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea range from boutique lodging to private villas to large resorts.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of Thailand’s best beach resorts. Rather, you might consider the highly rated options below to learn more about the variety of oceanfront properties as you plan a trip to the friendly country known as the “Land of Smiles.”
Here, in no particular order, are some incredible beachfront resorts to experience in Thailand.
1. Kimpton Kitalay Samui
Opened in January 2022, the Kimpton Kitalay Samui evokes a traditional fishing village with its two-story main building and welcoming dark-wood verandas that encourage gathering among guests. In fact, one of the highlights of a stay at this beachfront resort is a daily complimentary social hour where Thai snacks and drinks are served. Another bright spot that my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed on a hosted visit here: a lavish buffet and a la carte breakfast that’s included in every room rate.
While the Olympic-sized, iridescent-tiled swimming pool is a centerpiece amenity at this 138-room Kimpton resort, spacious villas have their own private pools and some guest rooms have terraces that lead to other swimming pools — plenty of ways to cool off in the tropical heat! Complimentary activities include kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to use on the calm bay off of Choeng Mon Beach.
2. Soneva Kiri
Arrival at Soneva Kiri on the unspoiled island of Koh Kood is via a 90-minute flight from Bangkok aboard the resort’s private Cessna aircraft, which sets the scene for an exclusive and upscale stay in one of 33 villas that range from one to five bedrooms. Whether next to the beach or hidden in the jungle on the hillsides, every villa has a private pool and comes with an electric buggy or bicycles to explore the winding forest paths.
Activities at this island resort include stargazing with the resident astronomer, watching a movie at Cinema Paradiso that floats above a jungle lagoon, snorkeling amid thriving coral, and dining in the treetops with a unique Treepod Dining experience.
3. Banyan Tree Krabi
Set on a secluded beach and adjacent to the tropical rainforest of a national park, Banyan Tree Krabi has 72 rooms and suites that all feature private pools. Its location is convenient for trips by boat to pristine Hong Island. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, hike to the top of Dragon Crest Mountain for epic ocean views. The area’s only hydrotherapy facility is found at the resort’s spa; the circuit comprises a steam room, sauna, ice fountain, two plunge pools, and a heated bed, among other relaxing and rejuvenating features.
4. Avani+ Khao Lak Resort
About 60 miles north of the Phuket International Airport, Avani+ Khao Lak Resort is located on the sparkling shores of Thailand’s Andaman Sea. This property has 327 rooms and suites, five dining venues, and four swimming pools. A two-story, staffed kids’ club features age-appropriate play zones and activities for children as young as 4 through the early teen years. There’s also a splash zone and mini slides for young guests.
Active guests appreciate the tricked-out AvaniFit gym with a climbing wall and Thai boxing ring. The AvaniSpa has six treatment rooms in a garden setting for facials and massages, and it offers kids’ services as well.
5. Cape Kudu Hotel, Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is in the Andaman Sea between Phuket and Thailand’s Krabi province. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Cape Kudu Hotel, Koh Yao Noi is a boutique property with 55 light and airy rooms and villas. The hotel has an infinity pool, a small fitness center, and a spa on site. Guests can borrow a bike to cycle around the island, book a snorkel tour or sunset cruise, or take lessons in batik painting, Thai cooking, or Thai boxing (Muay Thai). Previous visitors appreciate the hotel’s low-key vibe, friendly staff, and the property’s stunning views of small islands dotting the blue sea.
6. V Villas Phuket
Thailand’s largest island is home to hundreds of lodging options from budget to luxury. The V Villas Phuket, an elevated seafront luxury resort that opened in 2021, stands out for its panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and exclusive villas immersed in surrounding nature. Each of the private 19 villas has its own pool and the services of a butler.
While the property is set in a hill 125 feet above Ao Yon Bay, guests have access to the beach below, but it requires descending (and then ascending!) a few flights of steps. Your butler can arrange a beachside picnic under an umbrella with a spread of Thai dishes. Evenings bring the perfect opportunity to enjoy cocktails at Akoya Lounge, with 360-degree ocean and night sky views.
7. Rosewood Phuket
Rosewood Phuket on the southeast side of the island is on a 2,000-foot stretch of beach on exquisite Emerald Bay. Here, the 71 luxury guest rooms set amid natural landscaping are categorized as either pavilions or villas, and all feature private pools and plenty of space — the smallest lodging starts at 1,399 square feet.
The resort offers four dining venues, three swimming pools, and the Rosewood Explorers Kids Club with an indoor play area, an outdoor water playground, and loads of activities that introduce children to Thai culture. Asaya Spa hosts a variety of wellness treatments and services, from meditation and sound therapy to classic Thai massage and sugar scrubs.
8. SAii Phi Phi Island Village
Koh Phi Phi Don
The stunning Phi Phi islands are located in the Andaman Sea and are known for their natural beauty. SAii Phi Phi Island Village sits on the shores of Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest of the archipelago, but still tiny at under 4 square miles. Its accommodations include 189 Thai-style bungalows and 12 hillside pool villas all set amid tropical foliage. Guests can learn about the resort’s efforts to protect the local bamboo sharks and clownfish at the on-site Marine Discovery Centre.
Through the on-property Diving Centre, young guests can get introduced to scuba diving with a “Bubblemaker” course in one of the resort’s swimming pools, while certified divers can head out to the colorful coral reefs with expert dive guides. Other activities include daily yoga and Thai language classes.
9. Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa
On Pak Nam Pran Bay, boutique Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa is a laid-back coastal retreat composed of 25 beachfront suites, residences, and villas. No two TV-free accommodations are the same, and some have alfresco (yet private!) toilets and showers. This area on the Gulf of Thailand is known for its kite surfing, so you might spend your day on the beach watching participants zoom around the bay — or try it yourself with a lesson the resort can arrange. Otherwise, book a treatment at the on-site Ayurah Spa, borrow a bike to cycle along a coastal path, or kick back in the oceanfront infinity pool.