When you're planning that much-awaited holiday you've talking about for yonks (and "we just never have time!"), and it finally comes together, it's hard to find the kind of places that make sense on all fronts—is it hot bar adjacent? Does it have brilliant pool? Is it close to all the good shopping? Don't worry—we curated all of that for you. Here's our list of the way to do Thailand right—girl's trip style!
The Peace Resort, Bophut
Oh, but this place is a baby paradise! With clear, blue ocean and waters as far as the eye can see, this place isn't just a great spot to hang back with a cocktail, it's deliciously gorgeous for all thos Instagram photos you'll take on your. #NoFilterNeeded!
See this pretty room? This is exactly the room you need to get when you're hitting Samui with the squad. It's a Beachfront Pool Villa, and it's totally worth splashing out on (no pun intended).
It'll comfortably let five of you sleep in style (the main bedroom has the most ginormous bed you'll ever encounter), and you have your own teeny-tiny pool for when you and your girls just want kick back with sangria in the middle of the night and stare out at the sea.
It also has a bathroom to die for. Think combination jacuzzi-shower-tub, and in all in beautiful teakwood.
Full Moon at Anantara, Bophut
This is ideal for a low-key, but aesthetic dinner just before you hit the club scene. The Japanese Miyazaki prefecture steak and American USDA prime 120 days grain fed steaks are definitely worth trying, if you're always complaining (like I am) about how there's a huge dearth of good steak in India. The risotto is also incredible, especially when you pair it with a custom-mixed pina colada (that they make for you at the table, and my it's potent). Don't forget to finish with the 'Full Moon Kalhua' Tiramisu
Ark Bar, Chaweng Beach
Yes, it's as crazy as that picture. It's crazier. And wicked fun. The drinks are served in giant, plastic cups, they're basic—but they get the job done. What you're here for is the vibe—think frat party, except seven times the size, and on a beach. Also throw in fire-eaters and thai dancers for extra fun.
It's this simple—you'll party in Samui, you'll party in Bangkok, but there will be days you need a breather—just hanging, catching up and girl talk turned up full volume. That's what Koh Phangan is ideal for—and Buri Rasa in particular. It's a quiet, beautiful hotel on a quiet, beautiful island with little to do but lots to give. Buri Rasa, with it's blue-and-white theme, it's lush green backdrop and it's rooms literally on the beach, is where the world has been hiding its peace and quiet. Unless, you know, you turn up around the Full Moon Party period, in which case the island transform into Wilderness Central.
The Bistro @ The Beach, Anantara Rasananda
Okay, maybe we're a bit partial to Anantara. But it's because the properties and the restaurants are quite extraordinary—enough to make you want to end up eating there all the time. Worth trying are the sumptuous Phangan Ceviche (Yellow fin tuna, avocado, soya, shallot, chili, coriande and seaweeds crisps), Seared Beef Tenderloin Tataki (with Pickled green papaya, peanuts and massaman dressing), and Lobster Tail Linguini (with fresh tomato, rock lobster chili, basil, white wine).
End your meal with their signature Mango Crème Brulee (with Mango salad, mint, sugar caramel, crust pistachio and cinnamon sticks) or, if you're feeling super-indulgent, the Banana Dreaming (served with Palm sugar caramel, chocolate peanut fudge and coconut ice cream).
Siam Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok
If you're all resorted-up by the last leg of your trip, the Siam Kempinski is the perfect way to switch to the swanky, #citylife part of your trip. In the heart of the centre, right at the pulse of best shopping (read: Platinum mall, Esplanade, and connected by an indoor foot over-bridge to Siam Paragon), this hotel is definitely worth the bucks.
PS: It has one of the most killer breakfast buffets I've encountered in all my years. Plus, a spa to die for (if you're the massage type) and a gym that's as good as an independent fitness club (if you're the working-out type). You can have a little vacay without leaving the hotel. But you must leave it, so you can...
Red Sky Bar, Centara Hotel
This gorgeous place isn't just stunning because of the iconic view, it's because the food is unbelievable (I mean, sure, you can drink too—but I'd eat there every time). We'd recommend either the French Duck Confit (with Sarladaise potatoes, sautéed spinach & Cabernet red wine sauce), Wagyu Beef Tenderloin 'Rossini' (with foie gras, truffle, wild mushrooms and Madeira sauce), or the Kurobuta Pork Belly (with stuffed macaroni and braised young lettuce), depending on where your tastes lead you. Start with either a Nova Scotia Lobster Risotto or Scottish Smoked Salmon and end with any of or all of their decadent desserts (the Warm Apple Crumble with mango sorbet and the Valrhona Chocolate 'Fondant' with a warm caramel centre, Amarena cherry ice cream in particular, spring to mind).
Blue Elephant Cooking School & Restaurant
This is such a fun place to hang back with your girls, because quality doesn't have to involve loud music and copious amounts of booze. A fun, unwinding cooking class is the ticket to a fun conversation and even more fun memories from the trip. A chef here teaches you to put together Thai delicacies like Penang Curry and Honey-Ginger fish.
Also, if cooking isn't your thing, just eat the fruits of their labour in their renown restaurant downstairs. So good.
The Apsara Dinner Cruise by the Banyan Tree Hotel
This is an experience made for a girl's trip. When I went on this one, I thought it was 'too romantic' for a girl's trip. It turned out to be quite the opposite. The mellow sitting, and being away from things led to us having the deepest, most heartfelt conversation we'd had the whole trip.
Plus, you know, there's being on the beautiful river and curated Thai cuisine to add to the experience (if great chats aren't enough).
All in all, Thailand is the ideal place to catch up with your girls because it pretty much has everything a bachelorette should have—great food, great booze and of course, great views.