Visit Bangkok and explore its cultural and architectural gems before travelling by road and boat to the nearby island of Koh Samet.
3 nights Bangkok, including breakfast and excursions; 7 nights Paradee Resort, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.
13 days from £1,695pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Paradee Resort, Koh Samet
An exquisite romantic retreat, the Paradee, meaning ‘The Sixth Heaven’, occupies the quiet southern tip of Koh Samet, with a white-sand beach on one side and sunset views on the other.
Hop on a speedboat for a short trip across the sea from the mainland and step out into the languid charm of this secluded resort set in lush tropical gardens. Alongside a restaurant serving international and Thai cuisine, and a private dining area on the beach, there is a beautiful infinity pool and a peaceful spa offering a tempting range of treatments. Most of the villas feature private pools and enjoy views of the sun rising over the powdery beach. In the evening, head to the bar on the other side of the peninsula to enjoy the dramatic sunsets. During the day you can go windsurfing or sailing, borrow a canoe to explore hidden coves, take boat trips to national marine parks for snorkelling and diving, or simply laze by the pool.
The 40 whitewashed villas are well spaced and feature thatched roofs and huge picture windows. Decorated with teak, rattan and rich Thai silk, and featuring huge four-poster beds, they have a very unassuming but stylish character.
After the beach - 4 days
Bangkok is a vibrant metropolis that engulfs the senses. Spend two days exploring Thailand’s capital, soaking up the atmosphere at its traditional markets and ancient temples. Visit Wat Pho with its famous reclining Buddha, experience rural life in the stilted villages situated along narrow backwaters, and marvel at the exquisite splendour and serenity of the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.
The Riva Surya is a 68 room boutique hotel situated by the Chao Praya River in the heart of Bangkok. The stylish rooms are completed to a high standard while the restaurants serve authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine with a strong emphasis on fresh, locally-grown organic produce.
Paradee Resort, Koh Samet
40 rooms, 1 restaurant, 1 pool
This tranquil, romantic resort enjoys a secluded setting at the southern tip of Koh Samet and is a great choice for those looking to 'get away from it all'. The remote location almost has the feel of a private island and Paradee, which means 'The Sixth Heaven', has the advantage of both east and west facing coastlines, for superb sunrise and sunset views.
Guests come here to enjoy the beautiful setting among lush, tropical jungle with white sand beaches, spending most of their time relaxing with a good book or taking advantage of the excellent snorkelling or diving in the area.
Accommodation is in 40 palm thatched, whitewashed villas, set among the jungle and service is island style and very friendly, with Thai good nature shining through.
The Paradee is more focussed toward adults so families with small children may find it is not particularly suitable for them, however there is a children's pool and babysitting can be arranged upon request.
The island of Koh Samet, in the Gulf of Thailand, is only about three hours by car and boat from Bangkok. Despite being a popular weekend break destination for Bangkok residents, the island is relatively underdeveloped and most of the island is national park. There are few paved roads, a lush jungle interior and a scattering of small lodges and hotels.
The Paradee enjoys a beautifully secluded and remote location on the southern tip of the island, about 20 minutes by road or 10 minutes by speedboat from the nearest restaurants. The setting on a narrow peninsula means guests here can enjoy both sunsets and sunrises with beaches on both sides.
The beach on the sunrise side is the most picturesque with a beautiful, broad strip of white sand and clear, warm water. On the sunset side the beach is more rocky, but this gives the fish a place to shelter so the snorkelling here is excellent.
The Paradee enjoys a picturesque and secluded location yet within easy reach of Bangkok airport. Guests here enjoy the relaxed, friendly atmosphere and the beautiful sunsets.
Although we wouldn't recommend the property for children this is not a couples only resort and at weekends and during Asian school holidays the resort can be quite popular with families.
The palm-thatched, whitewashed villas feature a stylish blend of earthy, Mediterranean style and Asian design for a warm and welcoming feel.
All the villas are spacious with plenty of room to relax both inside and outside and all have air conditioning, wireless internet, TV and stereo/DVD player.
Set among the tropical jungle, these spacious villas are 100m2 in size and share access to a small communal pool with the other Garden Villas as well as being able to use the main resort pool.
Garden Pool Villa
These villas are the same as Garden Villas but with the additional benefit of a private plunge pool.
Beach Front pool villa
These villas offer the same accommodation as the Garden Pool Villa but are set on the beachfront with panoramic sea views.
Beach Front pool villa 101
Beach Front Pool Villa 101 is one of 2 villas that offer the best views in the resort over the sea and beach. It also has a private plunge pool.
Beach Front pool villa 102
As with Beach Front Pool Villa 101, this villa offers one of the best views in the resort, overlooking the sea and beach and also has a private plunge pool.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
While most rooms have a private pool, the resort's infinity pool has views out over the beach and sea beyond.
For those looking to do more than simply relax and soak up the sun, snorkelling and kayaking are free of charge while windsurfing and sailing is also available at an additional cost.
Koh Samet is an excellent location for diving with colourful reefs and diverse marine life.
Although there isn't a dive centre at the resort, they will be happy to arrange diving courses and excursions for you via their sister property, the Ao Prao Resort. With calm waters and depths ranging from 5-25 metres, there is something available for both novices and more experienced divers. Two of the most popular locations are Koh Talu and Koh Kudee.
Food & drink
There is one restaurant at the hotel which offers alfresco dining under a high thatched roof and serves an extensive and varied selection of Thai and international dishes. There is an excellent wine cellar and the resident chef is on hand to prepare meals to your wishes.
The pool bar serves snacks and drinks but the Sunset Bar overlooking the west beach is the spot to visit for a sundowner and some of Thailand's fabulous sunsets. Evening entertainment is also available at the Sunset Bar.
The relaxing spa has four treatment rooms based on the elements earth, wind, fire and water. Each room has its own outdoor bathtub, rainfall shower and relaxation area and two also feature a private steam room.
A frenzy of sights and sounds invigorates the senses as you arrive in Bangkok, a vibrant metropolis sprawling around a majestic meander in the Chao Phraya River.
Bangkok is Southeast Asia’s main hub, around which the entire region revolves; it is a big, working city where you will see real Asian life.
Things to see in Bangkok
Sights abound, with the soaring spires and bright-tiled roofs of the Grand Palace, the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, a million bright blooms at the flower market or the quiet timber elegance of Jim Thompson’s House among the highlights, but there’s something of interest around every corner: quiet temples where saffron-robed monks sweep leaves from the paths, shrines where devotees light candles and incense, and ancient stilted houses teetering over quiet residential canals.
Getting around by boat
The river itself is a constant delight, busy from dawn to dusk with barges and boats, and a quick and easy way to get around. For this reason we generally try to use hotels by the river, though there is a wide selection to choose from throughout the city.
Riva Surya Bangkok
Accommodation: Riva Surya Bangkok
This brand new boutique addition to Bangkok's array of hotels moves away from the traditional area for tourist hotels and sits on the banks of the Chao Praya River away from the busier sections in town. With just 68 rooms it is considerably more personal than most of Bangkok's larger hotels and offers a style and charm reflecting a modern Thai outlook. The restaurant concentrates on fresh organic produce, serving a selection of Thai, Chinese and Western dishes and offers wonderful views over the river. River views can also be enjoyed from the swimming pool. There are four room categories ranging from the Urban room up to the spacious Premium Riva View room and all are well equipped with modern facilities such as iPod docks and free Wi-Fi and are decorated to a high standard. Connecting rooms are also available on request. Please note that after the water taxis have stopped in the early evening you will need to use taxis or tuk-tuks to get to and from the hotel.
Day by day
Fly from London to Bangkok.
On arrival in Bangkok you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy a full day with your guide exploring the many different sides of the city.
Take a longtail boat to discover traditional stilted homes and communities in the city's canal network.
Today you have a private car to transfer you to the jetty at Rayong, from where a short boat trip will bring you to your resort on the southern tip of Koh Samet.
At leisure to relax at the Paradee.
At leisure to enjoy the facilities of the Paradee or explore nearby islands.
At leisure at the Paradee.
Relax on the island of Koh Samet.
Days 10 - 11
At leisure at the Paradee.
Late afternoon return to Bangkok by private car in time for your flight to Bangkok.
Early morning arrival into the UK.
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Tailoring your trip
This itinerary is designed to give you a flavour of what is possible.
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