So, you decided to travel to Thailand but don’t know where to start? I felt the same way when I was planning my first trip to Thailand. Depending on how many days you have in Thailand may change where you want to stay, but this Thailand travel guide will lay the foundation for the best areas to stay when visiting Thailand. Not only that, but it will include hotels to choose from, making it that much easier!
Choosing where to stay in Thailand will ultimately depend on the experiences you want, but here is how I would rank them.
Overall Favorite: Krabi, which is perfect for beach lovers and families.
Party Scene: Bangkok speaks for itself
Digital Nomad Hub: Chiang Mai. We spent several weeks here and even volunteered with Asian Elephants.
More Spiritual: Pai is known to be a more spiritual place, and you will find more solo travelers and backpackers.
Unique: Chiang Rai offers a more unique and local experience as it is not as popular but equally beautiful as other areas in Thailand.
With that being said, let’s get into the details!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Best Cities and Towns to Stay in Thailand
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital, and though slightly more expensive than other areas, it is still well worth the visit. By staying here, you will have access to a plethora of attractions and a very vibrant nightlife scene. Bangkok has a rich culture, and you’ll never be short of something to do here!
The only downside to Bangkok? It can get pretty chaotic. It’s a very popular city for tourists to visit due to the many landmarks that reside here. So, just be prepared for many crowds and a lot of noise!
Most people feel fine with 2-3 days in Bangkok. Some may stay for 5, but two was good enough for us.
Short list of some of the best things to do in Bangkok:
First time in Thailand? Make sure to check out my Thailand travel tips!
Where to Stay in Bangkok
When deciding where to stay in Bangkok, location is important. Here are some excellent choices, especially if this is your first time visiting.
Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel and Towers
Located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, I had to kick this list off with The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel. If you’re a lover of a good view, you will adore it here.
Inside the hotel, you’ll find two outdoor pools, a 24-hour fitness center, a sauna, a hot tub, and even a tennis court. The dining options, though, are where this hotel really thrives.
The Riverside World Cuisine restaurant has an all-day buffet, and Giorgio‘s Restaurant features delicious Italian dishes. But it gets even better! If you love grilled food, they have an outdoor seating area where you can tuck into a delicious steak and enjoy the gorgeous views of the river.
The hotel is also right by Bangkok‘s biggest shopping mall and there is a free shuttle boat system to take you to and from the main center.
Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
The best part about visiting a chain hotel? You always know what you’re getting.
Located 28 km away from the main airport, this hotel is convenient and stylish. While staying here, you can indulge in relaxing spa treatments or lounge by the outdoor pool.
They also have a rooftop lounge bar with panoramic views of Bangkok and multiple restaurants where you can try anything from traditional Thai dishes to hearty American meals.
Inside the hotel, there is a currency exchange area and a fitness center, and the rooms are fully equipped with contemporary decor and modern amenities. What more do you want for your trip?
Banyan Tree Bangkok
Stay in the heart of Bangkok at the Banyan Tree Bangkok Hotel.
This hotel is all-out luxury. You’ll have incredible views, access to a swimming pool, a rooftop bar, a spa, and seven outstanding dining options!
The hotel is also located right in the middle of Bangkok’s central business district and moments away from popular attractions such as the Asiatique Riverfront and the outdoor night market.
There is also a free shuttle service available every single day, so you can visit the town as much as you would like.
The hotel restaurant offers a mix of Thai, Chinese, and Western dishes, so you will never go hungry! Make sure to also take advantage of their fitness center, steam room, and sauna too!
Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok
If you want easy access to the city, this is the hotel to stay at.
You’ll be just 200m from MRT Sukhumvit Station, which will take you all around the main city, and you will also have easy access to the vibrant nightlife that resides in Bangkok.
As for inside the hotel, you’ll find an outdoor pool and restaurants that serve both Thai and international dishes. They even have a restaurant located on the 28th floor, which has spectacular views of Bangkok’s skyline – make sure to check it out!
Oh, Wi-Fi is also easily accessible within the hotel, which is great news for digital nomads.
Additionally, 24-hour service is available, so you can always chat with the friendly staff, who are more than happy to point you in the direction of all the best local hotspots.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a stark contrast to Bangkok. This city is much more like a relaxing oasis where you can recharge your batteries and appreciate nature. Chiang Mai is located in the north of Thailand and has gorgeous mountain views. The city is also renowned for its charming small villages and a strong sense of community.
Chiang Mai is especially popular with the digital nomad crowd. There is a huge expat group here, they have excellent Wifi, trendy resturants, and outdoor activities.
We spent several weeks in Chiang Mai, but usually, 4 days will do the job.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
The Nimman Hotel – SHA Plus
This is where we stayed when we visited. At the time, we were on quite a budget and heard a lot of good reviews from other travel friends. We enjoyed our short stay at the Nimman Hotel and this was before they had the pool. I especially love the Nimm area because it is very walkable and has lots of restaurants.
Chiang Mai Marriott Hotel
Chiang Mai Marriott Hotel is everything you could want in a hotel.
Located within Downtown Chiang Mai, you’ll have a bunch of activities right on your doorstep.
It is also worth mentioning that the hotel is beautifully decorated. It has a gorgeous blend of both European and traditional Thai design, which creates an incredibly calming atmosphere.
While at the hotel, you can indulge in a menu of body massages and herbal spa treatments, and the rooms have pretty great views of the city or Doi Suthep Mountain.
As for the restaurants inside the hotel, you can choose from popular Italian dishes or an international buffet with an interactive open kitchen, which I always love! You can also find additional cocktails and snacks right by the pool.
The Inside House
If you’re considering The Inside House, my best advice is to read the reviews on this one. The reviews will totally convince you to go.
From a delicious breakfast to unmatched service, this hotel has gained such a great reputation.
Most importantly, this hotel is located by some of the best attractions in Chiang Mai, including Chedi Luang Temple, Wat Phra Singh, and Chiang Mai Gate.
The rooms have free Wi-Fi, free toiletries, and city views. As for the rest of the hotel, there is an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden to relax in, a restaurant, and a bar.
Phor Liang Meun Terracotta Arts
Located just 100 meters from Chiang Mai Gate (an ancient area of Chiang Mai) this accommodation is definitely worth considering.
The hotel itself is beautiful. It has a stunning outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden, and an on-site restaurant.
It’s a four-star hotel, but the service seems to be leaning far closer to five stars. There is a 24-hour front desk with friendly staff and concierge services who can give you advice on where all the gems are hidden.
Some of the rooms have city views, but each is equipped with modern amenities such as a coffee machine and a fridge.
As for food, you’ll be surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the area, but you can find a daily breakfast buffet inside which serves both American and Asian options.
Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai
If you plan to stay in Chiang Mai for a month or more, renting an apartment is your best bet! We planned to stay for one month, so we went apartment hunting while staying at the Nimman Hotel. The best way to do an apartment search is to always do it in person. After checking out multiple buildings, we chose the Pattita Apartment building.
Krabi – One of The Best Places to Stay in Thailand
Krabi is where we had the most fun in Thailand and definitely one of the best places to stay in Thailand. I love the vibe, and I am also a beach person, so there is that. Krabi is located on the west coast of southern Thailand.
It is known for its incredible sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, and dense forest. The location is great if you want to try out diving or discover tropical sea life! If I had to describe Krabi in one word, it would be scenic.
Some of the best things to do in Krabi include:
- Hang out at Railey Beach
- Take a guided jungle hike
- Visit the hot springs
- Try out snorkeling or diving
- Climb the Tiger Cave
- Take a speedboat trip
- Take a day trip to the Phi Phi islands
Where to Stay in Krabi
BlueSotel SMART Krabi Aonang Beach – Adults only – SHA Extra Plus
This adults-only accommodation is as breathtaking as it is convenient. By staying here, you’ll be close to the beach, markets, and fire shows. Aonang is one of my favorite beaches in Thailand, and in my opinion, it is the heart of Krabi.
You will also have access to the adults-only rooftop pool, where you can indulge in a fantastic view and even more fantastic cocktails.
Additionally, you’ll find a restaurant that serves anything from pizza to seafood and traditional Thai cuisine. Oh, you can also request vegan and gluten-free options, too!
Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa Krabi – SHA Plus
This resort is completely breathtaking! The outdoor pool within itself is making me want to book tickets to Krabi right now.
Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa Krabi faces the beach and has everything you could need for a relaxing vacation. It features a fitness center, a restaurant, and a poolside bar. It is also conveniently located near several popular attractions, such as Pai Plong Beach and Ao Nang Beach.
This resort is family-friendly. They have a kids club service, so if you’re a parent, you can have some well-deserved “me time.”
Kokotel Krabi Oasis
Kokotel is an affordable hotel down the street from Ao Nang Beach. By staying here, you’ll have access to an easy shuttle service that will take you straight into the town, and friendly staff will help you get to know the city. The hotel itself is quirky and budget-friendly. We stayed here with no issues. The breakfast was not my favorite, but this was a couple of years ago.
There are outside bars across the street and plenty of stores and food. At the beach, you will find plenty of long-tail boats bringing you to Railay Beach!
Phuket (phoo-ket) and Krabi are often compared. However, Krabi is far cheaper than Phuket, and Phuket is more of a metropolitan city. Many say Phuket is a little more touristy, so if large crowds are not your jam, you may want to consider Krabi instead.
Phuket is located in southern Thailand and is the biggest island of Thailand. It has a much more lively atmosphere than Krabi, but you can still find plenty of areas in which to appreciate the abundance of nature.
Some of the best things to do in Phuket:
- Take a day trip to Phi Phi islands
- Enjoy your canoeing trip to sea caves
- Visit an elephant sanctuary (although the North is much better)
- Join a guided hiking tour
- Attending an authentic cooking class.
Where to Stay in Phuket
Framed with ancient Thai sculptures, this hotel is otherworldly.
Sawasdee Village Hotel boasts natural ponds and gardens enveloped in rich wood furnishings – it is seriously breathtaking!
If you can pry yourself away from the luxury of the hotel, you will find Kata Beach just 10 minutes away. There is also a free hourly shuttle service, which will take you there – so there is no need to worry about navigating the island.
While staying at the resort, you can enjoy traditional Thai massages, relax in the hot tub, or even take an authentic cooking class. There is also a main pool and a children’s pool.
Stay Wellbeing & Lifestyle Resort
Another incredible place to stay in Thailand is the Stay Wellbeing and Lifestyle Resort. Situated in Rawai Beach, you’ll be just 6 km away from the ocean, which means you’ll be waking up with an ocean breeze – the best way to wake up, in my opinion!
This is a family-friendly accommodation option, offering a children’s playground, an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a gorgeous garden.
Inside the resort, you’ll have access to free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour front desk, and modern rooms (some of which have mountain views).
The hotel also offers a buffet or American-style breakfast, and you can visit the on-site restaurant, which serves a variety of dishes, including French, Italian, and Mediterranean dishes. You can request vegan and vegetarian options.
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket, an IHG Hotel
Located in the middle of Patong Beach, this resort is convenient, affordable, and just has all those feel-good vibes.
The Holiday Inn Resort is separated into two different wings. The main wing is popular for kids and has family-friendly rooms, whereas the other wing is much more of a fabulous resort for the adults, which is great if you are traveling in a large group!
They, of course, have a gorgeous outdoor pool and swim-up bar on the adults-only side!
If you want a beach with fewer crowds, Koh Lanta is where you want to be! Koh Lanta is known for its long coastline, boasting dozens of beaches, and has that real sense of escapism.
This is one of the islands that isn’t hugely popular with tourists (yet) and is often visited by couples honeymooning or taking a romantic getaway break. So, if you want a much more laid-back, relaxed experience and are not bothered about seeing Thailand’s landmarks and attractions, this is a beautiful place to be.
Where to Stay in Koh Lanta
Oasis Yoga Bungalows
Speaking of romantic getaways, Oasis Yoga Bungalows are perfect for that! The resort is split up into various bungalows with balconies, air-conditioning, a minibar, and private bathrooms.
The area is also located just one minute away from the beach and 52 km from Krabi International Airport.
The restaurant offers a variety of services to make your stay comfortable, including massage services, sightseeing arrangements, and a scenic outdoor pool.
One thing to know about this accommodation option is that they sell out quickly! So, if you’re lucky enough to find an available date, I wouldn’t hesitate to book.
Long Beach Chalet – SHA Extra Plus
Long Beach Chalet offers Thai-style bungalows and has such a Bohemian and tropical vibe that I am obsessed with it!
There are accommodation options right by the beach as well as in the gorgeous garden. If you book in advance, you may be able to request which view you get.
Most excitingly, you can book a variety of watersports and different day trips from the resort and the 24-hour staff can help assist you with transport too.
This can be an affordable option with rooms later in the year.
Coco Lanta Resort – SHA Extra Plus
Coco Lanta Resort is right within the thick of all the best attractions. You’ll be 15 km from The Old Town and 25 km from the National Park.
Admittedly, to get to this resort, you do have to take a two-hour boat and car ride, but it will be well worth it.
The resort itself is equipped with an outdoor pool, massage services, and free Wi-Fi. They also have a bike and car service so you can easily get to the main areas. The popular restaurant is also open from 7 AM to 10 PM, so you can try a variety of dishes at pretty much any time of the day.
Pimalai Resort & Spa – SHA Extra Plus
For a luxurious and elegant accommodation option, you should consider Pimalai Resort and Spa for a great place to stay in Thailand.
You’ll be nestled between the lush tropical forest and be surrounded by ocean views.
By staying here, you’ll be able to spend your day lounging by the infinity pool, drinking fresh cocktails, and even trying out a game of tennis or two.
The resort also offers three unique restaurants where you can try out Thai and Western dishes.
Chiang Rai is similar to Chiang Mai as it is located in Northern Thailand. It has similar mountain views and royal temples that make the entire area feel majestic. Chiang Rai is most known for its unique display of Modern Art, its hill tribe villages, and its lush nature.
Most spend a couple of days in Chiang Rai.
Some things to do in Chiang Rai include:
- Attend a temple tour
- Attend a trekking day trip
- Partake in an authentic cooking class
- Visit the waterfalls
Where to Stay in Chaing Rai, Thailand
The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa
For a totally relaxing experience, you will want to head to the Boutique River Resort & Spa. Situated on the bank of the Mae Kok River, this resort has panoramic views of scenic mountains and rolling hills.
The best word to describe this hotel? Luxurious. You’ll find an outdoor infinity pool with massage jets and a selection of three restaurants.
The best aspect about this hotel is that it’s split into individual villas – which makes it a great option if you’re traveling as a couple. Inside the villas, you’ll find an open living room with large windows that overlook the river.
Also, get ready to embrace the outdoors, as you may also have a garden and an outdoor bathroom! The hotel is situated around a 20-minute car drive from Chiang Rai airport, and you can access both bike and car rentals from the hotel.
MORA Boutique Hotel
The staff at a hotel can make or break a location, but the Mora Boutique Hotel is praised online for its cheerful and helpful staff.
Inside the hotel, you’ll find a swimming pool and what many consider a delicious buffet breakfast. The rooms are filled with amenities to make your stay comfortable. They also have a gorgeous garden where you can spend time relaxing.
The Chiang Mai International Airport is around 4 miles away and popular attractions such as the Chiang Mai Saturday night walking street and Statue of King Mengrai are close by.
Nak Nakara Hotel-SHA Extra Plus
This is another affordable option for places to stay in Thailand!
This hotel is located just a short distance away from the city‘s most renowned temple, and local restaurants are just a five-minute walk away.
It is also close to the city’s vibrant nightlife and Chiang Mai’s main bus terminal and airport, where you can explore the city more easily.
As for amenities within the hotel, you will find free Wi-Fi throughout the entire building, massage services, and an outdoor pool to enjoy.
PAN KLED VILLA eco Hill Resort – SHA extra plus
If you’re looking for something quieter and surrounded by nature, this is the accommodation to choose.
The entire area around this hotel is well known for cycling since you can easily access the attractions this way. As for the hotel, you’ll find an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, and a shared lounge.
There is a bar to grab some delicious cocktails and a restaurant that serves Asian and International cuisine. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available if you request them.
You will wake up to a garden view and since they also have 24-hour room service, you can enjoy a whole menu of midnight snacks!
Pai is a town in Northern Thailand. It is located on the banks of the Pai River, and it’s known for its nearby gorgeous hot springs and waterfalls. Pai has a charming allure with boutique shops, traditional clay houses, and a diverse cuisine. Pai is also known to be a more spiritual place and off-the-beaten path. The scenery here is also otherworldly!
Most spend 3-5 days in Pai.
Things to do in Pai:
- Visit the Pai hot springs
- Try out water rafting
- Take a motorbike sightseeing tour
- Visit Pai Canyon
Where to Stay in Pai
Pai Village Boutique Resort
Located on the bank of the Pai River is this tropical Village Boutique Resort.
This resort is embedded in tropical gardens, and it looks amazing!
At the resort, you’ll stay in rustic wooden cottages and be surrounded by a natural oasis. The Koi Pond garden and panoramic mountain views are only a few of the advantages of staying at this hotel.
The hotel also has a selection of massage therapists where you can enjoy spa treatments! They also have an on-site restaurant where you can tuck into local specialties and indulge in a glass of wine (or two).
As for getting around Pai, the resort is located 10 minutes away from the main bus station, and Pai’s main airport is a 15-minute drive away.
Popular attractions such as Pai’s market and Wat Pa Kham Temple are also close by.
Pai Princess Resort
Looking for a resort with the best view? This is it. Pai Princess Resort is an oasis set among breathtaking green pastures and scenic mountains.
The stilted cabins provide an intimate countryside experience while still having all the convenience of modern amenities.
The resort offers rooms with balconies, a garden to relax in, and is within close proximity to some of the best attractions. You’ll be five minutes away from the center of Pai, where you can find a whole host of restaurants and bars, too. The nearest airport is Mae Hong Son Airport.
Complimentary breakfast is also served with a view, and you can even get to know their friendly companion, Thanos, the dog!
Buzzas @ Pai Chan
Admittedly, this is much more of a hostel experience than a hotel experience, however, if you’re hoping to travel to Pai on a budget, this is a great option.
You will find some great amenities within this hostel, despite the price. This hostel features an outdoor swimming pool, a shared garden, and a restaurant.
Moreover, this hostel is located right at Pai’s bus station and a 12-minute walk away from the famous night market. There is also Wi-Fi throughout the hostel, which makes it a popular choice for solo digital nomads.
Where to Stay in Thailand
You should have a much better idea of where to stay in Thailand now, with some fantastic accommodations to choose from. If you have any questions about where to stay in Thailand, or feel like I left something out, let me know in the comments below!
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