Jan. 2010

HotelTravel.com's Best Thai Beach Resorts to Beat the Winter Time Blues

Tom RacetteBack to press release

PHUKET, 13 January, 2010 – HotelTravel.com recently completed its customer’s poll on Thailand’s most desirable beach destinations to escape the harsh Northern Hemisphere winter, and is offering hot hotel deals in the country’s finest resort areas.

HotelTravel.com Chief Information Officer, Olivier Dombey, said that the allure of Thailand as a tropical beach paradise remained as strong as ever.

“Of course, all Thai beach resorts on offer are not the same – they are as diverse as the tourists who flock to them. Our HotelTravel.com customer’s poll has uncovered a few hidden gems holiday sun seekers might not have heard of before.

“We believed travellers will be amazed at how affordable hotels in Thailand are if they book accommodation on HotelTravel.com,” he added.

Haad Rin Beach, Ko Pha Ngan
This is the home of the world-famous Full Moon Parties, which draw thousands of young revellers every month. However, you don't have to wait for the full moon to enjoy Ko Pha Ngan.  Located across the Gulf of Thailand from Koh Samui, it still offers some of the most tranquil and relaxed resorts in Thailand. Here one can rent a motorbike, dine in tiny family-run restaurants and explore secluded beaches.

Khao Lak, Phang Nga
For those who yearn for Thai beach resorts of the past, then Khao Lak is the spot. The area retains a laidback feel and only a handful of local restaurants and shops line the bumpy roads leading to the beaches. Several nearby national parks provide jungle trekking opportunities or rive rafting. At hotels in Khao Lak you can experience the type of family beach holiday that is fast-disappearing elsewhere.

Pranburi, Hua Hin
Pranburi Thailand is located about 45 minutes south of Hua Hin along the Gulf of Thailand. Its claim to fame is a very clean coastal beach; stunning national parks, rural areas, farmlands and local villages. This relaxing resort area is moving up market but there are still plenty of cheap family-owned bungalows around, including a local favourite called ‘Lazy Beach’. Pristine Koh Talu south of Pranburi is only a short boat ride away.

Ao Sane Beach, Phuket
This charming little beach is a throwback to the Phuket of old. Bamboo huts with coconut palm thatched roofs, with no air-con or television with prices to match. Ao Sane offers the most basic of infrastructure, a small restaurant right on the water’s edge and a few beach bungalows where guests can still hear the roar of surf day and night. Finding it can be a challenge, drive past the All Seasons Nai Harn and under the large hillside resort. Continue through the car park and out the other side till you reach Ao Sane, or carry on until the road ends at the secluded Baan Krating Jungle Resort.

Railay Beach, Krabi
For picture postcard beauty, few beaches can match this one. Accessible only by long tail boat from Ao Nang town, Railay offers soft white sand, crystal-clear water and massive limestone cliffs. Whether visitors go to chill out on the beach, rock climb or enjoy the spas and bars of resorts lining the bay, this is many people's idea of a tropical paradise. It's virtually impossible to take a photograph that won't have friends back home green with envy.

Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach is the most popular stretch of sand on this charming tropical island. There's a reason for that; its wide expanse of beach and gently-sloping sand offers the best swimming all year round. Here there is no road separating the front line of bungalows and villas from the sea, beachfront here means ‘right on the beach’.
Nai Yang Beach, Phuket
Nai Yang Beach is another throw back area that retains its funky charm; a collection of thatch and bamboo restaurants of the kind that tough to find around Phuket. The fact the beach is less than 10 minutes from the airport is one reason it is frozen in time. Mr Kobi's Bar & Restaurant is a classic for good eats and big fun. To find Nai Yang head south from the airport and turn right just past the intersection for the main road to Phuket Town.

Bamboo Island, Phi Phi Islands
Made famous by the movie ‘The Beach’, the beauty of Phi Phi Lei and Phi Phi Don Islands will still leave visitors breathless. Travellers who want a piece of private paradise should hire a long tail or speedboat, pack lunch and provisions then head for Bamboo Island.  This tranquil spot is part of a national park where there are no jet skis, vendors, bars or restaurants; only sea and sand. This is the type of holiday experience that many people dream of, but few ever experience.

Koh Larn, Pattaya
If you want to take a break from the bustling beach scene of Pattaya, then head for the crystal clear waters of Koh Larn. Only a few kilometres off the coast and a 40-minute ferry ride, this is a different world. Roads from a small port village lead to superb beaches, where you can rent a deckchair for the day and dine in small restaurants run by local people.

Long Beach/Lonely Beach, Koh Chang
Far from the hustle and hassle of Koh Chang’s popular White Sand Beach – Long Beach and Lonely Beach are two enclaves with simple beach huts, sporadic generator electricity, and limited running water.  A good day depends on the individual.  Visitors can sunbath, swim, snorkel, go jungle trekking, or explore small fishing villages populating the area. Check out Treehouse Guest House (on both Long and Lonely Beaches) for unique seaside accommodation. -----ends-----  

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