Island life has never looked so good. The azure seas glitter and submerging yourself in them is like stepping into a warm bath. The sand is soft, and the sunsets are possibly the most beautiful in the world. South-East Asia’s signature karsts – forest-covered, gravity defying rock formations jutting from the sea – are a sight to behold. Colourful long-boats rest quietly on the water. Thailand’s islands and coasts are tranquil and beautiful. For a relaxing beach honeymoon, Thailand is the perfect choice. But it doesn’t stop there. For couples who are looking for a magical combination of beaches, bustling city, adventure, awe-inspiring wildlife and ancient culture, the search stops here. Read on to discover five destinations that prove this stunning country has it all.
1. Metropolitan luxury
No trip to Thailand should miss out on a night in Bangkok! The country’s capital city is a feast for the senses: bustling, noisy, all bright lights and colours – and you can’t forget the delicious smell of Thai food that radiates from the markets. But, don’t worry, numerous premier hotels also offer welcome respite to the weary traveller.
Where to stay: Without a doubt, the Banyan Tree Bangkok is our favourite. Escape the busy metropolis into this luxury bolthole. After the long flight, book in for an otherworldly massage at the incredible spa. Bangkok is famed for its rooftop bars and restaurants, but this hotel’s aptly named Vertigo restaurant is the best. Enjoy a candlelit dinner sky high and watch the lights sparkle below. Or, for a more relaxed vibe, head to Saffron Sky Garden, the capital’s highest rooftop garden, which also offers jaw-dropping views –and cocktails to match.
2. Cultural richness
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking the Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai region belongs to an entirely different country. The mountains, rivers and forests are, quite literally, a breath of fresh air after Bangkok’s busy capital. Chiang Mai is the northern capital of Thailand and it has a relaxed vibe, with ancient culture and beautiful wildlife everywhere you look. Resplendent temples decorated in red and gold remind you of the area’s proximity to Burma and Laos. Take a Thai cooking lesson, visit vibrant hill tribes, admire ornate pagodas and head to the famous Sunday Night Market to buy unique crafts. But the real highlight is a trip to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, just 60km from Chiang Mai. Watching these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a honeymoon experience you’ll never forget.
Where to stay: The Legend Chaing Rai Resort and Spa is all about rustic romance, with views of the Mae Kok River and the lush countryside beyond.
3. Classic honeymoon havens
The island of Koh Samui is a long-time honeymoon hotspot. It avoids the main monsoon season, meaning it’s pretty much got year-round sun. For snorkelling and kayaking, the Ang Thong National Marine Park is filled with colourful fish, and tours around the amazing karsts are a low-key way to get out and about. If you’re all about retreats or would like to incorporate wellness activities into your Thai honeymoon, this is the perfect place. Yoga and Muay Thai boxing are great options for keeping active on this island. With plenty of boutique hotel options, you can also find complete seclusion here.
Where to stay: We love Rocky’s Boutique Resort. It has just 50 rooms – intimate, authentic and romantic. Book into an Oceanview Junior Suite for an amazing view of pristine waters.
4. Vibrant island destinations
Phuket is a very popular stay for Thailand’s visitors. As it’s only an hour and a half from Bangkok and ticks so many of those holiday-in-paradise boxes, it’s a convenient location for anyone who wants to keep travel to a minimum. Phuket offers all-important luxury and romance, as well as pristine beaches with stunning karsts. Being the largest island in Thailand, there’s much to do on Phuket, including heading into town to dance the night away.
Where to stay: Most honeymooners opt for peace and relaxation at one of the island’s beautiful resorts. Kata Rocks does just the trick. Find your inner-Zen at this peaceful escape and indulge in the wellness activities on offer. This intimate boutique hotel is quiet, sleek and modern – when staying here, it’s hard to believe there are parties happening on the same island!
5. Hidden gems
But if you truly want to hide away, there is also a wealth of lesser-known options. Koh Samet is just one of these. For the ultimate quiet, castaway experience, head here and immerse yourself in an un-touristic Thai experience. Small coves with colourful reefs are all yours to explore. You might find yourselves one of only a handful of people swimming in the sea. This is slow-paced, barefoot luxury at its best.
Where to stay: Check in to Le Vimarn Cottages & Spa, which nestle into a tropical cove on a white-sand beach. All paths here lead to the sea – the most important feature of an island honeymoon! But the infinity pool is also well worth a dip. Surprisingly, what really sets this place apart is the fantastic Italian food. A wood-fired oven provides mouth-watering pizzas for when you want a little reminder of Europe.