Bangkok-based editor-in-chief Matt Leppard and features editor Jennifer Chen share the latest hotel, boutique, and restaurant openings in Thailand. Plus: Where locals are vacationing now.
The 282-room Le Méridien Bangkok (doubles from $260) opens this month in the Silom business district—a refreshing change from the flashy, rough-silk décor common in Thai hotels. Neutral-toned rooms are accented with flourishes such as crimson headboards and black mosaic bathroom tiles.
Seventy-five miles southeast of Phuket are the Lao Liang Islands, a pair of pristine pint-size retreats in the Andaman Sea. Adventure lovers go here to kayak through limestone caves and dive with manta rays and whale sharks. Stay at the Sivalai Beach Resort (doubles from $157) on nearby Ko Mook.
Up-and-coming design duo Manisa Sakdiyakorn and Saitarn Karncharanwong sell their Japanese-inspired tailored shirts (think Thom Browne with a touch of Junya Watanabe) and multi-pocket canvas totes at Papercuts and The Pencil Sharpener.
At the Wanara Eatery (dinner for two $35), fashionistas gather to feast on Thai-fusion dishes like bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin in red curry amid dramatic black metal wall sculptures and gold-hued portraits of elephants and tigers.