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Published

Thai delights …

Thai delights

From colorful capital to idyllic island resorts, Thailand continues to enchant travellers in its inimitable style, Writes Cathy Wagstaff

Published in Travel
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  • 1. destinationthailand 02 Thai delights From colourful capital to idyllic island resorts, Thailand continues to enchant travellers in its own inimitable style, writes Cathy Wagstaff. I t is a brand new year and Thailand is gearing up for a new The Tower Club at lebua boasts oversized suites larger influx of visitors after having recovered from the January than most homes and as they are on the 51st to 59th floors floods. Those who are after an exceptional experience the views are breathtaking. Guests have access to the Tower should aim for the top – literally – and stay at lebua, Club lounge, with gourmet snacks and beverages served all Bangkok’s finest five-star all-suite hotel which sits atop the day. Luscious Bulgari amenities are restocked daily and are iconic State Tower, the capital’s tallest building. The rooftop a pleasurable indulgence, especially after a workout in the is capped by The Dome, painted in gold and with sweeping gym or a cooling down in the open-air pool complete with its stairs, which looks like something out of a 1930s Hollywood Jacuzzi jets, and steam and sauna rooms. movie set. It also houses several world-class restaurants and Thailand excels in its culinary offerings and lebua has a bars – all with panoramic views across the city. selection of delightful restaurants where you will enjoy both01 SIGNATURE MAGAZINE VOL 7 2012 69
  • 2. destinationthailand 03 04 05 0601 Evening on the the ambience and indulgence of excellence in cuisine. Anthony Lark. Here all guests, whoever they are, get coast over Lamai Bay. Water skiing, sailing and the spread over 251 square kilometres in the Gulf of 04 Luxury pool villabalcony at the lebua A gourmet experience dining under the stars at The the ‘superstar’ treatment – including access to the Banyan Tree Spa featuring the exotic ‘Rainforest’ – Thailand, are characterised by hundreds of limestone at Karma SamuiTower Club, Bangkok 05 Private pool villa, Dome must not be missed. resort’s armada of yachts, catamarans and speedboats a hydrotherapy experience combining the best of monoliths carved into dramatic shapes by years of02 Arriving at the Karma Samuilebua lobby Mezzaluna, the signature fine-dining restaurant to visit both the well-known islands and the lesser European spa and hydrothermal therapy with the Asian erosion. Diving is particularly spectacular off the Koh 06 The spa at03 Pool villa at serves modern innovative cuisine; Sirocco specialises known, more hidden bays and beaches. There is wellness philosophy – are all at guests’ fingertips. Samui coast, the most famous site being Sail Rock Anantara, PhuketTrisara, Phuket in Mediterranean and has a sweeping deck; Breeze little reason to leave the serene confines of Trisara as Another favourite is Karma Samui, with 36 pool north of Koh Phangan which has an 18m natural rock (where the movie The hangover was filmed) serves everything you could want – from your own private pool villas cascading down terraces to the sea. The Karma chimney swim-through and is rated as one of the best up the best in Asian cuisine while Café Mozu offers and dedicated cook, sensational spa and yoga, pilates, Spa massage therapists are excellent. It is also home places to see whale sharks. Other sites can be found Indian and Lebanese dishes and delicious wood-fired Thai kickboxing classes and even Buddhist monks for to one of Samui’s most popular restaurants and the in the north of Angthong National Park and close to the pizzas poolside. meditation – are all here for guests. dramatic overwater bar, the Rockpool Mediterranean Gulf’s diving mecca Koh Tao which has 21 diving sites Distil (with an Oyster Bar that also serves Iranian On the other side of the island lies Anantara Phuket Tapas and Oyster lounge, with an award-winning chef off its shores. caviar and Atlantic lobster); Ocean 52 (with innovative Villas, quietly tucked away on the edge of Sirinath who draws diners from all over Samui. For those flying Thai Royal Orchid business class a cocktails) and the famed Sky Bar on the rooftop of the National Park. Here you can trek through the jungle visit to the Bangkok spa lounge on your way home will 63rd floor (one of the world’s highest outdoor bars) are by elephant, take a cruise to the beautiful Similan Recreation add the perfect finishing touch to your Thai experience the places to go in Bangkok after dark to enjoy a drink Islands, relax in your private pool villa and enjoy top It is worthwhile to rent a car to explore the island. For with a complimentary massage before you board. or two overlooking the spectacular city lights. restaurants, including the legendary Sea.Fire.Salt. golfers, a visit to Santiburi Samui Country Club and with its sensational seafood barbecue. The Anantara its championship golf course should be high on the FOOTNOTES Idyllic islands Spa has six treatments suites, with Vichy showers agenda. Each of the holes on this 6,930 yard, par-72 Bangkok: The lebua, www.lebua.com Ideally, any visit to Thailand will combine the bustling plus a Moroccan hamman, featuring double marble course, has its own unique character and challenges. Phuket: Trisara, www.trisara.com city with a visit to at least two islands. heated beds, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, fountains and an From steep uphill and downhill slopes to winding Anantara: www. phuket.anantara.com In Phuket you cannot go past Trisara – meaning invigorating ‘ice’ room. fairways that cut into coconut forest, cliffs and Koh Samui: Banyan Tree, www.banyantree.com/Samui ‘third garden in heaven’ in Sanskrit – South East Koh Samui, Thailand’s third-largest island, is far mountain creeks, it is one of the most unique golf Karma Samui: www.karmasamui.com Asia’s most intimate and exclusive resort and spa, less built up than Phuket. Several leading resorts have courses built in harmony with its natural settings. Santiburi Samui Country Club: www.santiburi.com and created by the Australian who made the nearby opened here. One is Banyan Tree Samui, built in a Also worth exploring are nearby islands .The Thai Airways: www.thaiairways.com.au Amanpuri famous, group director and general manager series of terraces on a private hill on the south-eastern Angthong National Park, made up of 40 islands and70 SIGNATURE MAGAZINE VOL 7 2012 SIGNATURE MAGAZINE VOL 7 2012 71