Thailand offers a range of high-end accommodations, activities, time-saving tools and individualized hands-on support to create a world-class luxury holiday
No one does white glove service quite like Thailand’s tourism industry. In the Land of Smiles, visitor experiences are all about going above and beyond. Service with a smile is already a staple of Thai culture, so luxury tourism providers are always looking for new ways to outdo themselves, adding extra perks, becoming more hands-on and paying attention to the details.
White glove service is the standard at Thailand’s five-star hotels and resorts, from private butlers who do everything from unpacking to planning cocktail parties, to penthouse suites packed with the finest amenities. And it’s not limited to accommodation.
Whether it’s a simple and inexpensive service like fast-track immigration, or the offbeat experience of guerrilla gourmet dining, there are many ways to add a touch of indulgence to vacations in Thailand. Here are just a few.
Photo Cr: Mjets
Thailand is home to Southeast Asia’s best air service providers, with Bangkok acting as a hub for five-star connections. Around the region are plenty of exotic destinations only serviced by small airports and budget domestic airlines, so chartering a private jet offers a high-class travel experience away from long line-ups, crowds and hassles. Air service providers can coordinate everything from A to Z, whether chauffeured ground transfers or in-flight catering, hotel bookings and excursions.
VIP Helicopter Service
Chartering a helicopter is perfect for covering shorter distances within Thailand, especially to and from remote beaches and islands. Flying inside the cockpit is an unforgettable experience, providing not only butterflies but amazing views of primeval forest and pristine waters. Prices start at around 90,000 baht (US$3,000) per hour. Helicopters can fly wherever you wish, provided there’s a helipad available.
Advance Aviation is Thailand’s largest VIP helicopter charter service, with a fleet of top-notch EC-135 and EC-130 helicopters. Founded in 2010, the company has branches in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Photo Cr: Mjets
VIP Escort Service and Fast-Track Immigration
Queuing for immigration at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport or Don Muaeng Airport can be time-consuming; waits of up to an hour or more aren’t unusual, and are not a pleasant way to start or end a vacation or business trip – especially when travelling with young children.
Thankfully, many companies provide VIP meet-and-greet services and fast-track immigration for when you touch down. After getting off the plane, you’re escorted to expedited immigration and customs clearance. Whether you already have a visa or are picking up a visa on arrival, fast track always beats the regular queues for prices starting as low as 1,000 baht per person. Fast track is a service often offered by hotels and tour companies, especially in packages combining limousine pick-up, baggage porters and other white glove essentials.
There’s no better way to start a beach vacation than by travelling in style. Hiring a stretch limo to get to resort towns like Hua Hin and Pattaya from Bangkok is convenient, comfortable and perfect for families or groups.
Kick back on luxury leather sofas and enjoy a fully stocked bar, or complimentary soft drinks and ice. If travelling with kids, keep them busy watching DVDs on LCD TVs. High-power sound systems and multi-colour LED lighting can set the mood for parties or romantic getaways. As mentioned, many limo transport companies also offer fast-track immigration service with airport pick-up.
Photo Cr: Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Thailand’s luxury hotels are ever upping their game, outfitting penthouse suites with better amenities and more efficient service. In Bangkok, there are countless five-star stays with swimming pools, sun decks and spectacular views of the city skyline. Spacious rooms, dining areas and fully equipped kitchens can be expected.
Wake up with a freshly made espresso. Order breakfast in bed, tucked in between plush pillows and 300-thread-count linen. After a busy day exploring the city, relax with a soak in your own private jacuzzi. Many penthouse suites also offer the added perk of a personal butler, available to tend to your needs 24 hours a day.
Photo Cr: Keemala
Outside of Bangkok, you’ll find plenty of resort villas nestled into the jungle or directly on island waterfronts. Ultimate seclusion, dreamy vistas and top-notch amenities are what tropical paradise is all about. Relaxation comes easily, from lounging in your own private garden or swimming pool to taking advantage of direct access right from your room onto the white sand beach.
Many luxury resorts around Thailand also specialize in wellness and detox programmes. Guests can reenergize and align their mind, body and spirit by indulging in healthy eating and exercise programmes. Villa gardens provide the perfect tropical oasis for private yoga classes or massages from the hotel’s treatment professionals.
Thailand was one of the first countries to offer butler service in hotels, and that long-standing tradition continues today. Private butlers can take care of a guest’s every whim from the minute they arrive, whether it’s unpacking to serving breakfast or making travel arrangements. Luxury hotels are quick to stress there is no request too big or too small.
The St. Regis Bangkok is constantly lauded for its butlers, a service the luxury property chain has been offering for a century. St. Regis butlers arrange coffee and tea to be served upon arrival, and help with packing, unpacking and garment pressing. The bespoke programme even offers an eButler service, which can be emailed any time of day or night with requests.
Similarly, the Six Senses Yao Noi, set on stunning Phang Nga Bay, employs live-in Guest Experience Makers (GEM) to handle guests’ desires, from booking spa appointments to dinner reservations. They even whisk guests around the resort in a buggy.
Photo Cr. Gula Bankgok
Private Chef and Personal Dining Experiences
Thailand’s gourmet food scene is expanding quickly, from modern Thai food to gastronomical wonders and traditional seafood feasts. In Bangkok, an evening dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya is not to be missed. Extravagant tastes, cooked fresh by a gourmet chef on board, combine with the marvels of glimmering temples and attractions.
Blue Elephant, Bangkok’s premiere Thai cooking school, offers an 11-course Chef’s Table experience prepared by the founder herself. Or if you’re looking for something more off the beaten track, there is the private guerrilla gourmet Nang Gin Kui dinner. Hidden inside a residential building in Chinatown, the guests are treated to a 15-course Thai fusion gourmet menu, with homemade cocktails, international wines, seasonal fruits and more. Floor seating on cushions with a spectacular view of the River of Kings makes for an authentic and extraordinary evening.
Photo Cr. Hype Luxury Boat Club
Yacht Excursions and Parties
From the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea, there’s no better place to experience life on a yacht. Thailand’s an amazing destination for putting up the sails, with calm waters and impeccable ground service at marinas.
Photo Cr: Thailand Luxury Limousine
Planning travel itineraries can be difficult and time-consuming, but in Thailand you can put that work in the hands of a seasoned expert. Local guides can create trips that are tailored to personal tastes and preferences, whether you’re seeking adventure or the utmost discretion.
From vehicle pick-up between attractions to walking tours that offer a “live like a local” experience, the options are endless. In Bangkok, tours can take any number of focuses, from street food to stunning temples. There are also fascinating destinations like Ayutthaya and the River Kwai a few hours away. Some companies also offer multi-country trips, like the Bangkok-based tour company Smiling Albino. They offer itineraries that range from Himalaya treks to Thailand’s beaches, with six different countries to choose from.
Photo Cr: Banyan Tree Samui
Luxury Concierge Service
Time is too precious to worry about the details. Luxury concierge service can plan your travels in Thailand. Offering a one-stop service for luxury travel needs for high-end clientele in Thailand and they are now expanding to those in Europe and the rest of Asia.
Research has shown that it’s not a valuable gift or reward that builds human esteem any more but the extraordinary experiences that last a lifetime when you can look back and say: “Yes, I have been there and done that!” Whether it’s a private jet service, VIP fast-track at airport immigration, limousine airport pick-up, eating at authentic local spots not listed in guide books, hot-air balloon trips, a private yacht with 24-hour butler, watching the sunset at the most beautiful spot in Thailand, learning the Thai cultural art of making flower garlands, Thai boxing training with a world champion or going to the most secluded islands or exotic places, Black Tie ensures you have a smooth experience from the moment you set foot in the Kingdom.
Offering private concierge, limousine and jet service at your fingertips through its application Concierge, now available at the Google AppStore.
Thailand Elite is the world’s first country membership programme with benefits for immigration, leisure, business and more.
Preferred treatment at golf courses, spas, hotels, clubs and medical facilities throughout Thailand await members, and the benefits and privileges of Thai heritage and hospitality last a lifetime.
A privilege-entry visa is a multiple-entry visa valid for five years and is renewable as long as Thailand Elite membership is valid. Members are granted an exclusive one-year length of stay for each entry into the Kingdom. Members may complete the privilege-entry visa on arrival at Immigration Bureau offices at Suvarnabhumi, Phuket and Chiang Mai International Airport or at Chaeng Watthana Immigration in Bangkok.
Thailand Elite members can stay in the country as if they were Thai citizens. Extension of the one-year stay can be made every year without the usual need to leave the country.
Elite personal assistants are at the gate to greet members as they arrive. Members are then swiftly guided to an exclusive arrivals lounge where they can complete immigration formalities in comfort and without wasting time. The members are assured a limousine transfer to their hotel or residence. The same service is extended to members who are leaving the country.
Thailand Elite provides 24/7 Member Contact Centre support in several languages including English, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Access and fees at exclusive golf clubs and spas are provided 24 times a year (each), an annual complimentary health check-up is available at leading hospitals, and duty-free shop benefits and special discounts from select partners, hotels, dining establishments and shopping malls are included.