The Gap Year Upgrade

Long famed as a mecca for cost-conscious travellers, resplendent with cheap hostels and wild bachelor parties - Thailand is getting a makeover. Aspiring to compete with wealthy enclaves in Mustique or the Maldives – Thailand offers new getaways that offer a level of style that feels very new for a place that's been a tourist attraction for a very long time. And those gap year visotors who have moved on in their lives, are returning with their families and looking for a very different experience. 

Independent Thai hospitality group Manathai Hotels & Resorts is new to Thailand, and is ideally suited for those rediscovering Thailand on their own terms. The group has snapped up a stunning collection of boutique properties near to some of Thailand’s loveliest beaches and are giving them grown up, luxury makeovers – but still with a local feel and an affordable price tag. They are ideal for those looking for authentic Thai experiences, distinctive design and affordable luxury. 

Manathai’s COO Christoph Berger says: "Manathai Hotels & Resorts understands that individual travellers, families and couples want to engage with a destination on their own terms. They crave individuality, choice and authenticity - and that's what we deliver." We work with three absolutely lovely Manathai resorts) set alongside beaches on the Andaman Sea or Gulf of Thailand. 

The newest, Manathai Surin, Phuket is newly opened and this 68-room uber chic beachfront boutique resort feels like a sanctuary, with aromatic lotus ponds enclosed by three-metre high hedges, which create a peaceful retreat-like ambiance. A gorgeous spa and a restaurant cooking dishes based on recipes passed down through generations of Thai families make this one rather special. Between now and October 31st 2016 the hotel is offering their special Advance Purchase rate where guests can save up to 20% on any room or suite if they book 45 days in advance. Prices start from £58 per night which includes accommodation in a Deluxe Room with breakfast and transfers. 

Manathai Koh Samui offers all the glamour without the hefty bill: children 16 years and under stay, play and eat for free. Defined by elegance, this boutique colonial-period style beachfront resort is a sanctuary set on the serene sands of Lamai Beach opposite a fishing village and facing the Gulf of Thailand with a mountain backdrop. Wander into an old-world charm where walls adorned in cheerful yellow jasmine hues are complimented with soft white details to frame a vision of a bygone Thai era. This boutique hotel, which opened its doors on July 1st 2015, seeks to give guests an ideal experience and a real sense of the place with stunning vistas of powder- white sands and turquoise waters. Five restaurants give limitless dining options Manathai Koh Samui is a 50 minute flight from Bangkok and 20 minutes from Samui International Airport, offering 46 suites, including six family suites, two with bunk beds and a range of other suites up to 200-square metres in size, 102 Deluxe Balcony Rooms, a fitness centre, a kids club and childcare services, two swimming pools and complimentary Wi-Fi. 

A stylish new boutique beachfront resort, Manathai Khao Lak is ideal for the active family. Promising a more authentic local experience, (all guests are greeted with a traditional Thai water blessing) Manathai Khao Lak offers pristine beaches, cave kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, diving at the nearby Similan Islands and trekking in Khao Sok National Park, the world’s oldest evergreen fore. There are elephant treks, waterfalls, canoeing in breath-taking Phang Nga Bay and world-renowned dive sites. 

The location is ideal. Just a one hour’s drive north of Phuket Int’l Airport, on Bangsak Beach, Manathai Khao Lak sits on a perfect stretch of unspoiled coastline with uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea. And with 158 chic and contemporary rooms, all surrounded by manicured gardens, Manthai Khao offers a lovely alternative to the straining tourist resorts that take up much of the mainland. Additionally, its beachfront restaurant, Pad Thai, offers traditional Thai dishes inspired by iconic Thai street food including 16 different and delectable variations on the traditional Pad Thai. Manathai Khao Lak's recreation, services and facilities includes a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a 24-hour reception and concierge service, 24-hour security, complimentary Wi-Fi, room service. Prices start from £58 per night. 


For more information on the special opening rates, please visit 

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