From Bangkok to Koh Samui: The best new openings in Thailand

The land of smiles is shining again: After two years of border closures, lockdowns, and the coronavirus outbreak, Thailand’s government recently announced that it will make the visit (almost) as friction-free as it was before the pandemic: fully vaccinated Indians are no longer required to be tested or quarantined on arrival.

Fortunately, the pandemic hasn’t halted all development: From an island health haven in Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River to grassroots creative hubs thriving in the far south, the past two years have seen dozens of exciting new projects. all over the country. Below, the best hotels, spas, restaurants, and things to do in Thailand—from Bangkok and Chiang Mai to the beaches in the south—to bookmark your next visit.

All listings in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon
The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon

Shrimp are served at JHOL in Bangkok
jihol

Bangkok

Don’t take a beeline to the beach after landing in Bangkok: With tourist numbers still a thing of the past before the pandemic, there’s never been a better time to wander the capital for a few days.

The busiest opening of the past year was Capella Bangkok and Four Seasons Bangkok, which share a marble-walled property along the Chao Phraya River. Capella’s trump card are the riverside villas – the first of their kind in the city – which open onto private plunge pools in the waterside lounge garden. Nearby, the seven bars and restaurants at the Four Seasons are worth a beating even if you’re not spending the night. Highlights include real Cantonese dim sum at Yu Ting Yuan, and drinks at the Argentine-inspired BKK Social Club that taste as if they came straight out of Buenos Aires.

To get rid of the tensions caused by the pandemic, RAKxa offers a lot of treatments. In this next-generation wellness retreat on a forested island just outside Bangkok city limits, hop between cryotherapy booths, crystal therapy sessions, vitamin-filled IV drops and traditional Thai treatments (Tok Sin Hammer massage and herbal burning treatments) performed by a physician who practiced his ancestors at the court of King Rama II.

This June, the city’s star-studded collection of hotels will shine even brighter with the arrival of The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon, which will transform the upper floors of the historic Mahanakhon Tower into a boldly decorated sanctuary led by Spanish artist Jamie Hayon. It’s hot on the heels of the brand’s debut in Thailand three hours south, where The Standard, Hua Hin (Hot List 2022 winner) exudes a Miami-meets-Hollywood vibe as a sunny seaside retreat.

Yet more space? Immerse yourself in a four-bedroom Siri Sala for full access to a gorgeous riverside villa a short ferry ride from the Grand Palace. Other features include a private chef, 65-foot saltwater pool, and a guided cruise around the Klong (Channels) Bangkok Noi.

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