From glamper vans to former aristocratic residences, these new hotels outside the Thai capital are well worth the drive
The Raweekanlaya, Bangkok
Raweekanlaya (pictured above), located along the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem canal, occupies a 19th-century mansion originally built for Khun Tat Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya, a royal governess. The property, which features 38 rooms and suites, has been carefully refitted to balance the style of old Siam with modern design elements. Raweekanlaya boasts greenery, a swimming pool and a 120-year-old banyan tree in the center of it all. The property emphasizes a rejuvenating ethos that incorporates spa therapies, fresh air and good food and drinks.
Camp Out Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima
Pretend that you’re living the campervan dream when you check into Camp Out Korat. More boutique hotel than RV campground, this new destination offers an experience that’s both retro and romantic. Here, guests can stay in one of six beautifully decked-out vans that sit beside a lake in Sung Noen district — a short drive away from Khao Yai National Park, but without the cheek-by-jowl crowds. Visitors won’t be roughing it out either. The vans feature plush beds, TVs and air conditioning. Packages include night-time barbecues under fairy lights and private egg-making stations in the morning.
The Birder’s Lodge, Nakhon Ratchasima
At Birder’s Lodge, Khao Yai’s rolling hills rise behind five cottages kitted out with kitchens, soft couches and glass-encased atriums. In a word, the pretty property, situated near Khao Yai National Park, offers a comfortable way to reconnect with nature — without straying too far from the city. The cottages come with barbecues, which make for an ideal way to enjoy dinner under the night sky, surrounded by Khao Yai’s stunning natural scenery. With an onsite café, the lodge is worth a visit even if you’re just looking for a pit-stop on your way into, or out of, the national park.
The Monttra Pattaya, Chang Wat Chon Buri
Set atop a cliff that overlooks Pattaya Bay and Koh Larn, the surprisingly affordable lodge-style The Monttra — “monttra” means magic in Thai — boasts villas and, among other amenities, its own private beach. In Pattaya, that’s a rare thing. Among the 23 suites, the emphasis is on open spaces within natural surroundings. With other special touches, including an in-house soap concierge — to help you pick out the perfect bath products for relaxing soaks and showers — the Monttra will leave you feeling enchanted.