Five Thai island retreats

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Enjoy the luxury of quiet beaches, unspoilt atolls and fine hotels, says Eleanor Whitehead

The Racha , Koh Racha

The Racha's 70 villas have been elegantly designed to blend in with the environs of Koh Racha Yai – trees even grow through some of the rooms. Nature walks and snorkelling are the main draws of this diver's haven just off Phuket, but the resort also offers a spa, yoga pavilion and four dining options. For the ultimate view, book the five-story lighthouse, with its circular top deck.

The Racha, Batok Bay, Koh Racha Yai, Phuket (00 66 76 355 455; theracha.com). Doubles start at 8,142 baht (£148), including breakfast.

Costa Lanta, Koh Lanta

With contemporary architecture set amid tropical gardens, Costa Lanta strikes just the right balance between modern design and a tropical escape. The rooms are set back from the coastline amid the trees and are decked out with poured-concrete and timber walls and a partially open-air bathroom.

Costa Lanta, 212 Moo 1, Saladan, Koh Lanta Yai, Krabi (00 66 2662 3550; costalanta.com). Doubles start at 3,025 baht (£55), including breakfast.

Paradee, Koh Samet

The small island of Samet is a national park, peppered with dazzling beaches either side of a forested ridge. At its narrowest point in the quiet far south, you'll find Paradee, opening onto the east and west coasts of Ao Kiew. The 40 villas are luxuriously furnished with teak, rattan and Thai silks and most come with private pools and Jacuzzis.

Paradee Resort, Ao Kiew, Koh Samet, Rayong (00 66 38 644 283; paradeeresort.com). Doubles start at 17,800 baht (£322), including breakfast.

Zeavola, Koh Phi Phi

Brought to fame by Alex Garland's novel The Beach, Phi Phi is firmly on the backpacker trail. But the beaches of the north are largely unspoilt and this is where you'll find Zeavola, the island's only five-star hotel. Each villa has a private garden, and the rooms are adorned with hand-printed panels and batik.

Zeavola Resort, 11 Moo 8, Laem Tong, Koh Phi Phi, Ao Nang, Muang Krabi (00 66 75 627 000; zeavola.com). Doubles start at 11,770 baht (£214), including breakfast.

Six Senses Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood

Opening in the spring, this is set to be one of Six Senses' most expensive resorts. It has been designed to protect the island's unspoilt beaches, rainforest and waterfalls. But don't expect rusticity. Rooms have private pools, and facilities include astronomy lessons, a sting-ray-shaped den for children and the option of dining in the treetops.

Six Senses Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood (00 66 2631 9777; sixsenses.com/soneva-kiri). Doubles start at €1,473 (£1,228), room only.

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    Day In a Page

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?