Inspiration Destinations Thailand Thailand Your Way: From No Expense-Spared to Under $1k

Thailand Your Way: From No Expense-Spared to Under $1k

June 28, 2024
The Shore at Katathani is a great Thailand option for travellers on a budget.

Whether you dream of a thrifty island escape or top-tier tropical luxury, these Thai stays have you covered no matter the budget.

Few people can resist the allure of Thailand. From picture-perfect tropical islands to lush mountainside temples, there’s something for every traveller in Thailand’s diverse landscape, and the country’s charms are open to everyone thanks to a vast range of stylish stays. Big spenders and budget-conscious globe-hoppers are equally well served with this list of top-tier Thai hotels and resorts, based on a five-night stay.

Under A$1,000

Island Escape by Burasari

An aerial of Island Escape by Burasari, one of our top picks for budget holidays in Thailand - Luxury Escapes
Island Escape by Burasari in Phuket, Thailand

Just 10 minutes from Phuket by boat, Island Escape by Burasari pairs hypnotic beauty with accessible seclusion on idyllic Koh Maphrao, otherwise known as ‘Coconut Island’. Meticulously designed in concert with the surrounding natural features, the resort offers a host of ways for you to embrace serenity. A trip to the on-site spa helps iron out those last knots of city life, while cocktails at the treetop bar and a dip in the pool amp up the dreaminess.

Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai

One of the world’s most recognisable models of five-star elegance, Shangri-La brings its signature sophistication to Chiang Mai. Situated just outside vibrant Old Town, the hotel features traditional architecture with tasteful gold accents to timeless effect. The kids can spend hours on the waterslide, while restoration awaits grown-ups at Chi, The Spa. When you’re ready to explore, step out to sample the foodie scene for which Chiang Mai is renowned at one of its many restaurants, cafes or street vendors nearby.

Anantara Hua Hin Resort

A few hours south of bustling Bangkok, the resort town of Hua Hin welcomes travellers to easy-going shores on the Gulf of Thailand. At decadent Anantara Hua Hin Resort, it’s not hard to see why this seaside town was a long-time royal favourite. Spacious rooms dot the landscape of lush gardens and serene lagoons – a world within a world, housing seven restaurants and bars, as well as tranquil Anantara Spa. Whether you take to the beach or soak up the scenery from the lavish pool, you’re sure to discover the reason for Hua Hin’s regal reputation.

ANANA Ecological Resort Krabi

Amid the towering limestone cliffs and vast greenery of Thailand’s beachy south, ANANA Ecological Resort Krabi offers guests a five-star sanctuary in harmony with nature. Eco-conscious design and understated elegance complement Ao Nang’s awe-inspiring scenery, from dramatic karsts to gently whispering waves – and all an easy 30-minute walk from town. From its volcanic stone-tiled pool to open-air meditation, ANANA connects you with the earth and its many natural wonders, without forgoing creature comforts.

The Riverie by Katathani

Northern Chiang Rai calls to those who seek a more adventurous side of Thailand. Dense jungles and rich cultural heritage may draw you there, but the amenities at The Riverie by Katathani could be the reason you stay. Here, luxury doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Elegant and welcoming design, with a mini-waterpark and soothing treatments at Tivaa Ratrii Spa mean there’s something for everyone. Grab a cocktail at Jujube Pool Bar and settle in for the ideal holiday, just minutes from the city’s bountiful cultural treasures.

A$1,000 – A$5,000

The Shore at Katathani

Fan-favourite The Shore at Katathani is your ticket to private paradise in Phuket. Among the hills, romantic villas boast stylish plunge pools and sea-view terraces where you can drift through the day with a good book and refreshing drink in hand. Honeymooners can indulge with a couple’s massage at Serenity Spa then watch the sun set over a sigh-worthy Andaman Sea at The Nest Beach Club. Whether you start the day with floating breakfast or enter evening with romantic in-villa tapas, your enchanting love nest has everything you need.

Pimalai Resort & Spa

You could be forgiven for thinking Pimalai Resort & Spa is actually an island palace. Off the coast of Krabi on quiet Koh Lanta, this sprawling resort enjoys unadulterated sea views, best enjoyed from the remarkable infinity pool or even your own private hillside pool. Unwind at Pimalai Spa, set off for marine adventures free of mainland crowds, or simply marvel at the island’s rugged beauty with a trip to nearby Khlong Chak Waterfall. At the end of the day, return to your breathtaking villa to sink into bliss with the setting sun.

Six Senses Samui

The spa at Six Senses Samui, one of our top picks for Thailand stays - Luxury Escapes
Six Senses Samui in Thailand

Six Senses Samui isn’t like other resorts. An illusory infinity pool that stretches into the horizon and acclaimed cliffside dining give this resort an enviable edge, but it’s a connection to Koh Samui’s abundant natural resources that set it apart. Visit cute baby animals at the organic farm onsite or join a Garden to Glass adventure for the chance to pick ingredients and follow your in-house mixologist as you infuse them in the freshest cocktail in town.

Home to a luxurious spa, you can alternate between the dry sauna and steam room, join in for grounding yoga or sit in quiet contemplation during a cleansing meditation practice. Or for a real reset, indulge in Tibetan singing bowl therapy with one of the spa’s Reiki masters.

TreeHouse Villas

In the famed Phang Nga Bay between Krabi and Phuket, TreeHouse Villas curates an adults-only experience to be remembered. Among the quiet shores and mysterious mangroves of Koh Yao Noi, this jaw-dropping paradise delivers on the promise of treehouse fantasy with stunning architecture, designed to blend with your lush jungle surrounds. Cross a suspended bridge to your romantic two-story retreat and a world of relaxation, with private plunge pool and spectacular balcony. Descend to the island below for abundant adventure for the nature-lover and avid beachgoer alike.

A$5,000 – A$10,000


World-class snorkelling, private villa pampering and a picturesque Phuket location set Trisara apart from the competition. Unmatched sea views greet you each morning, beckoning you to dive in and discover a kaleidoscopic world of marine life, from parrotfish to sea turtles. Back ashore, unwind at exclusive Jara Spa with carefully planned treatments for restoration. And if the spacious private villas don’t make you swoon, rest assured the Michelin-starred dining at neighbouring PRU will. Expect to be dizzy with delight over the course of a spectacular seven-course degustation menu, using farm-fresh produce and locally caught seafood.

Samujana Villas

Samujana Villas are a luxurious option for travellers to Thailand, while budget-conscious and ultra-lux visitors can find many more beautiful spots too - Luxury Escapes
Samujana Villas on Koh Samui, Thailand

When travelling with loved ones, there’s nothing quite like booking a private villa for ultimate opulence. On easy-breezy Koh Samui, Samujana Villas boast a selection of five-star clifftop stays that border on palatial. Snap-happy travellers will have no trouble finding picturesque shots that evoke the timeless glamour of the Hollywood Hills or exclusive Capri. Bright, minimalist design and incomparable ocean views from your sleek infinity pool will make you feel like the glitterati. Samujana Villas pulls no punches when it comes to quality hospitality either: daily butler service, in-villa dining and access to a spa and semi-private beach ensure you never have to leave your secluded haven.

Soneva Kiri

With only 33 private villas and beautiful beaches straight from a postcard, Soneva Kiri on laidback Koh Kood gives Thailand’s other islands a real run for their money. In the enchanting Gulf of Thailand, Soneva’s five-star fantasyland is framed by thick jungle and humbling sea views. Within, discover rich wooden interiors and timeless tropical design, plus an exclusive spa and seven onsite restaurants. The crowning culinary jewel? An utterly unique Treepod Dining Experience. In a private bamboo pod set among the rainforest canopy, your personal waiter will send up a curated selection of refreshing drinks and sensational small plates – all delivered by zipline.


Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

A Jungle Bubble is one of Thailand's most luxurious and unique experiences, and one of our top picks for the best value Thailand stays - Luxury Escapes
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand

In northern Chiang Rai, at the very borders of Laos and Myanmar, lies the hidden sanctuary of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. Renowned for its efforts rescuing elephants, the resort offers these peaceful giants a new home among the jungle – which means your visit is a stay in their world. From plentiful opportunities to watch them play, bathing in the nearby river, to joining the captivating creatures on a daily walk, the elephants are the star of the show. Get up close with a stay in a glass-domed Jungle Bubble, blanketed by the galaxy above. From an exclusive elevated deck, watch the elephants wander as you savour meals prepared by your private chef.

The resort spares no expense on luxury amenities, from the open-air Lanna Resort Spa to Spice Spoons onsite cooking school and a selection of sumptuous dining across three restaurants. For something completely different, join a Royal Enfield Classic 500 sidecar safari through the thrilling northern jungles. It may be farther down the path, but with its unbeatable location overlooking the Golden Triangle, Anantara is a secret garden worth travelling for.

Eager to start planning your Thai escape? Check out our guide to Thailand for first-timers.

Prices are correct as of publication date and may be subject to change. Hero image: The Shore at Katathani.

About Finn
With an insatiable appetite for fine food, live music and the world's very best craft chocolate, Finn loves stumbling on the unexpected by taking the path less travelled (after meticulously planning the route, of course).

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