The hottest new destination in Thailand is Krabi, and the new Dusit Thani hotel makes it a must-visit destination for the summer.
Dusit Krabi Thailand: Lobby
Credit: Courtesy Dusit Thani

When it comes to beach destinations in Thailand, Phuket, which needs no introduction, has been the reigning king for years. But beachgoers and vacationers looking to dip their toes in the Andaman Sea should set their sights on lesser-known Krabi, which is a 45-minute boat ride from Phuket and equally as stunning.

Krabi has managed to fly mostly under the radar among the international crowds, but in the last two years, airlines and hotels have been ramping up business in the area, making it more tourist-friendly. On July 1st, the Dusit Thani (doubles from $225) became the latest luxury hotel to open here, making it a must-see summer destination.

The 240 guest rooms at this beachside resort are spread out among eight low-rise buildings linked together by lush, verdant forests, ponds and mangrove gardens. The décor favors contemporary designs and modern Thai architecture—instead of traditional Thai, which is a welcome change from the over-the-top décor that seems to dominate most of the country’s beach resorts. Accommodations are spacious, ranging from 490 square feet for deluxe accommodations to 1,615 square feet at the club suite level (which has a private plunge pool).

Dusit Krabi Thailand: Exterior
Credit: Courtesy Dusit Thani

There are three restaurants on the property; Malati specializes in authentic Indian and Royal Thai cuisine, featuring freshly caught seafood like a spicy Thai-style crab. The hotel also has two sea-facing pools and three bars. Guests can sip cocktails under palm trees while enjoying the white sandy beaches and take in the picturesque limestone karsts rising from the water.

The in-house spa is steps from the beach and hidden by centuries-old trees and tropical gardens. Opt for Thai, Balinese and Japanese massages, and a full range of facials, scrubs and baths.

Equipment for snorkeling, sea kayaking, windsurfing and sailing are available at the on-site water sports center, and the hotel arranges scuba diving trips and guided rock climbing excursions at nearby Railay Beach. More than 130 unspoiled islands surround Krabi, and a private long tail boat can whisk visitors away for a day of exploring.

Ashley Niedringhaus is based in Bangkok, and writes about Thailand for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @A_Nieds or on Instagram at @SometimesWojno.