TC Travel Diaries: Thailand

So what exactly is “TC,” anyway? It’s ID’s lingo for the Traveler’s Collection, our award-winning brochure we at Island Destinations, the Authority for Luxury Travel publish each October, highlighting this year’s crème de la crème of luxury travel – cue the private jets, island escapes and exceptional service…

In order to select these above and beyond properties, our team of experts must personally experience each hotel firsthand to deem them fit for our elite “TC” status. Each year, we invite our top travel professionals from the US, Asia-Pacific and Latin America to join us in our journey to experience the world’s best hotels and their untouched white sand beaches, award-winning spas and five-star dining. Along the way, we make a point to bring along our Traveler’s Collection Brochure to all the amazing destinations it represents.

From Cabo to Curacao, Turks to Thailand, and St. Martin to Maldives, for the next ten days we will be offering our ID Insights from a years worth of fabulous trips to some of the world’s hottest travel destinations. Enjoy!

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Pictured above (left to right): Ariana Wong- Mary Rossi Travel; Hope Yonge- ProTravel; Llajjaira Gomez- Island Destinations; Katie Cherico- In the Know Experiences; Marcia Kirsh- Travel Experts; Debbie Gray- MTA Travel.

First stop, Thailand. In May, the team experienced the new Siam Kempinski Hotel in the lively capital of Bangkok, Akyra Manor in the mountainous city of Chiang Mai, and Amanpuri in the beach-filled province of Phuket.

The Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok has a great location in the city center, with a WOW-factor central courtyard reminiscent of a beach resort in the Mexican Riviera.

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ID’s Insight: After a day of exploration to work up your appetite, make sure to experience an unforgettable meal at Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin. The restaurant is known for its 11-course set menu called ‘The Journey,’ featuring Thai-inspired molecular gastronomy.

After a short flight, we arrived at Akyra Manor in Chiang Mai, a super modern design-focused hotel, centrally located near chic bars and restaurants. This city of culture has so much to offer, from personal monk blessings in the most sacred of Chiang Mai’s temples, to incredible elephant experiences.

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ID’s Insight: In Chiang Mai, you MUST visit the elephant camps – it was a great learning experience and an once-in-a-lifetime moment with these gentle giants. You will bathe, prepare treats, and feed these amazing animals.

One more flight led us our final destination – Amanpuri on Phuket, Thailand’s largest island. A great option for exploring sans car, this peaceful luxury beach resort is set amid coconut palms, offering striking views of the Andaman Sea, divine villas and heavenly spa treatments, a signature of Aman Resorts.

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ID’s Insight: This is a great location for exploring the rich cultural history of Phuket! In between sunbathing and snorkeling, be sure to wander through one (or all!) of the 30 Buddhist temples – it is a refreshing contrast to the hustle and bustle of daily life, and will leave you feeling spiritually and culturally enlightened.

That’s all for now… tomorrow’s stop, St. Martin and Anguilla!

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