Luxury travel is not easily defined. One person’s luxury is another’s burden. Some see luxury as enjoying the best life should offer, others seek solitude and privacy in the belief it is life’s greatest luxury.
Simply put a luxury holiday in Thailand can have it all, because luxury is inclusive in the Kingdom. Even the über rich can enjoy a unique local, unique Thai travel experience that combines a seductive blend of luxurious style and serenity with signature Thai hospitality.
Personal concierge services in Thailand have grown exponentially during the last decade to cater to the growing legions of luxury travellers. Most target international visitors to the Kingdom with services that go well beyond just trying to facilitate a smooth-as-silk immigration entry.
By traditional definition, a luxury travel experience should go beyond snapping up the most sophisticated residence in a dream destination. The true value of being able to afford it all is in living in the moment and enjoying quality time with loved ones. Little details like bespoke journeys, personal consultants, Thai translators and concierge services take ultra-lux travel in Thailand to the next level.
Private staff also help guide ultra-lux travellers on a unique Thai travel experience. This allows guests to get up close and personal with local Thais who provide goods and services to luxury travellers who in turn contribute directly to the local economy.
And ultra-lux travel services are continuing to evolve at an incredible rate. Whether it’s enhanced accommodation in a far-flung Thai destination, customising travel around a dietary restriction or exercise regimen, or arranging private security to accompany guests, fulfilling exceptional requests is part of the professional Thai concierge’s daily routine.
Accommodation enhancements are also popular buzz words for ultra-lux travellers who desire top-quality bed linen, duvets and pillow or even fine towels, bathrobes, and slippers. Other services could include room redecoration with distinct flowers and local art, or specialised fitness equipment including weights, bicycles, athletic clothing and footwear.
Glamping options in Thailand’s Northern Region include the historic Golden Triangle bordering Myanmar and Lao PDR. There luxury travellers can get off the beaten path in a perfect escape from the rest of the world.
There are unique excursions that include interacting with rescued elephants in their home habitat, exploring spectacular mountain trails and bamboo jungles, and unwinding in superb luxury tents. Often ultra-high worth individuals experience wanderlust like the rest of us, channelling a 19th century explorer’s spirit without having to do without life’s finer pleasures.
Luxury tented accommodation in Thailand often offers stunning views and handcrafted furnishings, as well as an array of memorable experiences for the discerning traveller. One example is being pampered in an outdoor spa nestled amidst bamboo groves, which is equal parts luxurious and adventurous.
Luxury tented glampsites also embrace history on the banks of the River Kwai in the Central Region, offering spectacular locations along the river and close accommodation to Hellfire Pass, a railway built by the Japanese forces during World War II. Natural spring water pools fed by nearby waterfalls are found beneath camps on the edge of the river, providing a great place to cool off or watch the sunset.
A collection of top-of-the-line tents have been popping up recently with private bathrooms, air conditioning, private verandas and designer rustic furniture. Turn-of-the-century brass fans spin over beds, and other flourishes make for a top-notch luxury experience.
Many might be surprised to know that ultra-lux travellers are also just as likely to volunteer to help local communities like a regular tourist. They quietly include generous philanthropy in their travel profile that could, for example, provide bicycles to kids in rural Thailand, or clean drinking water for at-risk communities around the country.
Big hearted luxury travellers often make large contributions that go unreported but leave a lasting impression on local communities.
There are Thai companies that personalise a luxury volunteering travel experience to meet individual needs and desires. They offer a wide range of opportunities including working with children, animals, or community and environmentally focused initiatives. These are available to solo travellers, groups or families.
Luxury travel in Thailand is pushing the definition of what affluence buys. Increasingly luxury travellers seek out indigenous travel experiences, often forgoing lavish accommodation and superyachts for unique on-the-ground outings. Those who do so are rewarded by personal interactions with Thai culture and the country’s greatest tourism asset – its Thai people.
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Editor’s note: images seen in this article are the entries of the TAT Newsroom Contest 2014