Casa de la Flora
Boutique beach resorts may be abundant in Southern Thailand, but few have the homegrown credentials of these 36 cube-shaped pool villas. The architecture is by top Thai firm VaSLab, the furniture and sculptural accents byAnon Pairot Design Studio, and the landscaping by TROP Studio. The look is fresh Modern Thai, with concrete surfaces, natural stone walls, and wood floors creating a clean look in each of the glass-fronted abodes, ten of which line Khao Lak beach.
67/213 Moo5, Khao Lak, Phang Nga, +66 (0)76 428999,www.casadelaflora.com
The Naka Phuket
Fans of Duangrit Bunnag, the poster boy of minimalist Thai architecture, will know The Naka Phuket’s look well. Dotting a rocky valley down to a private beach on Phuket Island’s west coast, these 94 pool villas are spacious, airy blocks comprised of stone, metal, glass and wood. But there is a difference that distinguises them from his earlier work: each one cantilevers out from the mountainside, giving you an endless 180 degree ocean panorama. According to Designhotels.com, of which The Naka Phuket is a new member, Bunnag avoided destroying old trees by changing the layout of the villas, or even moving them to another part of the 1,740 acre plot entirely.
1/18,20 Moo 6, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket, +66 (0)76-337-999,www.thenakaphuket.com
The centerpiece of Bangkok’s Soda-designed W — a restored early 20th century mansion — is not open yet. However the tower that dwarfs it has plenty to keep the design-geeks happy until it does in late 2013. Take the lobby, for example — no less than 80,000 Swarovski crystals make up its exquisite wall mural of a mythical phoenix and tiger by Maysa Yanovan. As well as a love of the multi-hued LED light, further exploration reveals a host of other locally commissioned creative touches, from Sutee Kunavichayanont’s back-lit crocodile pattern walls in The Kitchen Table restaurant, to Alongkot In-art’s skyline-mimicking wire sculptures.
106 North Sathorn Road, Bangkok,+66 (0)2 344 4000,www.starwoodhotels.com