Thailand’s New W Hotel
Looking for Thai-inspired serenity with an urban twist? Head to the recently opened W Retreat Koh Samui, just an hour’s flight south of Bangkok. This Starwood brand’s Southeast Asian debut is a sexy addition to the isle’s secluded northern shore, with its striking open-air lobby, where circular, lime-colored ottomans float in a man-made pond. Scattered along a golden-sand peninsula, the 75 glass-walled villas have private pools and bedrooms with views of the azure Gulf of Thailand. True to W’s street-smart ethos, the resort offers plenty of distractions (DJ lessons, anyone?), but for a real adventure, ask your concierge to arrange a midnight squid-fishing trip, then have your catch cooked up at the Japanese Namu restaurant. It’s a tantalizing formula that’s sure to work as well at the hotly anticipated W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak, slated to open next month. Doubles from $600.
W Retreat, Koh Samui
Bringing a long-lacking dose of mod design and youthful exuberance to this ever-popular Thai resort island, W Hotels’ first “Retreat” property in Southeast Asia hews to the brand’s urbane aesthetic. Fans of the cheeky W formula will find all the requisite diversions, from morning Thai boxing classes to midnight mojitos at WooBar. Seeking serenity? The resort occupies a coveted peninsula on Samui’s quiet northern coast. While the lure of the beach may be hard to resist, guest rooms offer plenty of watery temptations as well: all of the 75 glass-walled villas have private pools, and the best offer shimmering Gulf of Thailand views.