Thailand Beach Resorts
For many people, the thought of Thailand immediately evokes the image of pure white-sand beaches, turquoise waves lapping against the sand, and lazy afternoons sipping cocktails on lounge chairs under a palm tree. For those who wish to make their Thailand vacation a beach getaway, there are a plethora of Thailand beach resorts simply waiting for travelers to put their feet up, relax, and have the vacation of their dreams in an idyllic tropical paradise.
Finding the ideal beach resort in Thailand depends greatly on what travelers are looking for and expecting. Many Thailand beach resorts, particularly in heavily touristed areas such as Pattaya Beach, the upscale Phuket beach resorts, and popular Koh Samui, are built on prime beachfront real estate close to both the convenience and liveliness of a tourist town, as well as the crystal-clear waters. These Thailand beach hotels cater to those willing to shell out the money for ease, service, and major pampering. Many Phuket beach resorts, for instance, are world-class establishments in their own right. The Le Meridien resort located on Patong Beach is a good choice for those desiring an all-inclusive option. Set among 40 acres of land in a secluded cove, Le Meridien offers not only luxury rooms, but also unique Thai-Chinese architecture, two lagoon pools, more than ten restaurants and bars, a historic cruise liner, and of course, a Thai cooking school. These features, combined with close proximity to historic sites as well as the sandy beach, scuba diving sites, and the bustling town of Patong, make Le Meridien a gem among high-end Thailand beach hotels.
Thailand is also, however, a magnet for budget backpacking travelers, and there are also many budget and mid-range Thailand beach resorts, even in heavily touristed areas, that offer beach bungalows, the intimacy and charm of a boutique hotel, or basic chain hotel rooms, at reasonable prices. A budget beach resort in Thailand can be found, at the sacrifice of perhaps some of the finer details—monogrammed towels, valet service, world-class spas, and the like—but often on very good locations close to less popular but still beautiful beaches.
Bay View Beach Resort
For those who wish to experience a more earthy and authentic stay not found at the large Phuket beach resorts, for instance, many lesser-known and less-popular beaches in Thailand offer beautiful scenery and budget accommodation. Thailand simply has so many miles of sandy shoreline that it is quite possible to find a beach resort in Thailand that won't break the bank. Good places to start are the beaches of Koh Phangnan, Koh Samui's less developed sister island, where a budget traveler can rent a bungalow on the beach for weeks on end, and where a boutique hotel on the beach is quite affordable. Koh Phi Phi and Rai Leh also have some budget accommodation available, though these hotels may not be right on the best beachfront property. Mid-range options offer better locations; the Bay View Beach Resort on Koh Phi Phi, for example, offers two-level bungalows situated among leafy jungle on the quieter end of a white sandy beach. It is conveniently located about fifteen minutes' walk to the shops and parties of Phi Phi village, but its best feature is the great view over the beach and ocean from the private balcony of each bungalow.
For vacationers who are spending most of their time in Bangkok but wish to get away to the beach, Pattaya Beach is a relatively easy distance away and offers many large Thailand beach resorts ranging from the mid-range and family-friendly to the luxurious spa resorts. Pattaya is the home of the world's largest resort, the Ambassador City in Jomtien Beach. The Ambassador is enormous, with more than 4,000 rooms, and is set on 40 acres of lushly landscaped grounds. Its rooms look out over the ocean or the lovely gardens, and it is situated right on the white-sand beach, with many choices for water sports and leisure activities. Rayong and its 62 miles (100 kilometers) of modest beaches also offers a quieter and cheaper option for finding a beach resort in Thailand less than 125 miles (200 kilometers) away from Bangkok.
In general, steering away from the main tourist centers will mean more affordable and better value resorts become available, with the requisite sacrifices in quality and service. Of course, if money is no object, Thailand offers some of the best luxury beach resorts in the world, so whatever you choose, you're sure to find the perfect place for your taste and vacation budget.