With a weakening baht, newlyweds watching their cash would do well to recover from their wedding – and celebrate their new life together – by choosing a honeymoon destination in Thailand. There are plenty of great choices, so whether you’re a sunny beach lover or are fond of forested mountains, you don’t need to spend a fortune travelling to have a wonderful honeymoon.
Those wanting a special seaside getaway could try Ko Samui’s Laem Set Inn, which bills itself as being an "eco-friendly" resort, comprised of recycled timber houses in tune with Zen philosophies. The honeymoon or "Lipa-Noi" suite is the most remotely located bungalow on the premises, and was renovated in 2000. The interior is open-plan, and the bungalow features a balcony with a tub to cool down in while watching the sunset.
The suite is priced at US$250 per night, and must be booked well in advance. While breakfast isn’t included, activities such as mountain biking, snorkelling, sea kayaking and sailing are. Some of the profits from the resort are put towards an orphanage for 200 children being built near the resort. Bangkok Airways flies every day to Ko Samui, with one return ticket priced at Bt6300.
For a more remote beach getaway, try Golden Buddha Resort, on Ko Phra Thorng (Golden Buddha Island), two hours north of Phuket in the Andaman sea. The resort is the only one on the island, which is reached by longtail boat from Kuraburi Pier. It’s set on a narrow peninsula, on one side of which is a seven-kilometre beach, and the other a quiet cove. This is a place for nature-lovers, with birdwatching, snorkelling, canoeing and hiking the most popular activities.
They have a package, suitable for honeymooners, at US$310 per person for five days and four nights. It includes transfers, accommodation and all meals. Best time to visit is November to April for water-based activities, but the resort is open year round. Thai Airways flies to Phuket daily, from where transfers can be arranged. Return tickets are priced at Bt4540.
Couples who prefer romance in the mountains might be tempted by a package on offer by The Regent Chiang Mai Resort and Spa, located in Mae Rim Valley, a 20 minute drive from downtown Chiang Mai. The three night/four day honeymoon package, available until September 30, costs US$1,090 (plus 18.5% service charge and applicable government tax) per couple. The deal includes airport transfers, accommodation in a mountain view pavilion suite, daily American breakfasts, a bottle of wine, a three-course candlelit dinner for two, one herbal aromatic steam treatment for two and use of the health club. The resort’s style and design is reminiscent of a traditional northern village from the Kingdom’s Lanna Period, and is set among 20 acres of lush green landscape. Thai Airways flies to Chiang Mai daily, with one return ticket priced at Bt3,740.
A more budget-conscious choice for mountain-lovers is the 37-rai Phu Chaisai (Mountain of Clear Hearts) Resort, designed by ML Sudavdee Kriangkrai and situated on a gardened hill among the mountains of Chiang Rai. Visitors to the newly-opened resort can take walks, go horseriding, take a treatment at the spa, or laze in the common room. Doi Tung, golf courses, the Golden Triangle, Mae Sai, and Chiang Rai airport are all a 20-minute drive away.
The honeymoon suite is priced at Bt7,500 per night, but packages can be negotiated – call in advance to have something tailored to your needs. Thai Airways flies daily, with one return ticket priced at Bt4,400.
For those who simply can’t spare much time, a retreat to Bangkok’s luxurious Oriental Hotel might instead be an appropriate, once-in-a-lifetime indulgence. Honeymoon couples staying at the hotel receive a complimentary bottle of wine, a pair of souvenir silver napkin rings featuring the Oriental logo, and heart-shaped chocolates and fruit carvings.
A special 125th anniversary package that honeymooners can take advantage of until September includes one night’s accommodation in a deluxe room superior room, limousine transfer (one-way only), one 90-minute spa treatment, American breakfast, high tea with management in the Author’s Lounge, a guided tour of the hotel, and a special 125th anniversary gift. The package per couple is US$490++ per night.
Laem Set Inn: 077 233300 or 077 233 299
Golden Buddha Resort: 02 863 3180 or 01 464 4338
The Regent Chiang Mai: 053 298 181
Phu Chaisai: 01 602 8635
The Oriental: 659 9000