Current travel to mainland Thailand is tricky. Visitors must obtain a special tourist visa, then bring a PCR test. Once you pass those thresholds you must quarantine for 7-14 days. Thankfully, four of the main tourist islands of Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao have opened and you don’t need to follow any of the protocols above to enter as long as you are vaccinated. While some of the islands can be quite remote, here are some of our top recommendations for checking-in, plus a little island hopping and a safe way to make that happen.
Above: Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Spa
Anantara: Koh Samui and Koh Phangan
Guests can once again dive-in the Gulf of Thailand’s pristine national parks, untouched beaches, and unforgettable cultural sites. Each of the three resorts offer Muay Thai classes, Spice Spoons cooking classes and unique Dining by Designs along with pampering experiences at Anantara Spa, such as yoga, meditation and exercise classes will enhance your stay.
If you can’t decide on which trio to call home for a week or two, Anantara on Bophut Beach in Koh Samui is known for the powdery white sands near the enchanting Fisherman’s Cove, along with Bill Bensley-designed tropical gardens. Lawana, also on Koh Samui, is for those who enjoy being closer to city streets, shopping or buzzing nightlife, yet it’s enshrouded along the quiet north end of famous Chaweng Beach. North of Koh Samui, Rasananda on Koh Phangan is tucked away at the base of a lush mountain, amid towering coconut palms and just steps from the soft-sands of Thong Nai Pan Noi beach.
Above: Anantara Lawana Koh Samui
All of Anantara’s three resorts in the Gulf of Thailand are SHA+ approved in accordance with local government and World Health Organization guidelines. Additional measures include all team members being fully vaccinated plus the implementation of Anantara’s “Stay with Peace of Mind” program- a rigorous set of sanitation procedures and social distancing measures to ensure guest safety.
Above: Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan
Three Options at Banyan Tree in Phuket
The 5-star spa resort is one of Andaman’s greatest treasures in Phuket where guests can anticipate expansive all-pool villas nestled around a lagoon with luxury amenities. They are also offering enticing deals from now until November 30, 2021.
For the Banyan Tree in Phuket, packages include daily breakfast and one preferred perk per night such as Thai dinner at the signature Saffron restaurant, a 60-minute massage or 18-hole golf green fee at Laguna Golf Phuket and children under 12 years eat and stay for free.
If you are traveling with a family, Angsana Laguna Phuket features a 300-meter free-form swimming pool, yoga center, kids club, access to water sport activities, and Angsana Spa Laguna Phuket.
Until September 30, 2021 you can receive resort credits with redeemable amenities such as a seafood BBQ at the beach and airport transfers.
If you would rather have an apartment-style accommodation on your trip, Cassia Phuket offers 2-bedrooms with living spaces, that include all hotel amenities such as laundry and housekeeping. Until October 31, 2021 receives food and drinks credits that might include a lavish Thai southern seafood dinner.
Above: Double Pool Villas by Banyan Tree Phuket
Island Hop with Aman and VistaJet
If you fancy a little island-hop between the two Aman properties in Amanpuri Thailand and Amanpulo in the Philippines (who has recently eased restrictions for fully-vaccinated visitors), check out VistaJet’s Safe Havens collection.
Both locations are renowned for space, privacy and peace with Amanpuri offering the discretion and tranquility of a private island. And, you will have access to the resort facilities, including a new Integrated Medical Immune Support Immersion program, designed and led by expert physicians aiming to restore peak physical health. A dedicated 24-hour butler and Thai chef are provided to help minimize contact yet maximizing personalized attention and care.
Accessible only via private plane, Amanpulo is located on the island of Pamalican where the snorkeling I draw. Other pastimes include a guided tour through the forest, a sunset cruise and or the spa, along with private locations for picnics and beachfront barbecues.
Above: Amanpulo Shoreline