Budget

Luxury for Less

by Brook Wilkinson

JUNE: THAILAND

Lesson to Travel By: Go during the shoulder season to save big bucks.

The Deal: Southeast Asia's monsoon season doesn't start until July, but hotel rates are already unbeatable in June.

The Luxury Essentials: Take advantage of Thailand's shoulder season (the period between low and high seasons) to combine Bangkok's energy with the Andaman Sea's natural beauty. Fly into Bangkok (view slideshow) and spend a few nights at the Chakrabongse House, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and within walking distance of the Grand Palace and National Museum. Then fly down to Phuket (view slideshow) and board a motorboat to the 24-acre Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi, where a pool villa costs $706 per night versus $1,706 at the height of the season. If those rates are still too steep, stay in Phuket and book a room for $144 at the Marina Phuket Resort, which is more secluded and subdued than its Karon Beach neighbors.

Artful Advice: You can expect an increasing chance of rain showers through the month, but they're generally only short, heavy bursts in the afternoon, which bring a refreshing coolness to the air—the perfect time for a post-beach nap.

A Fair Fare: Look for the best deals from a travel agency based in an Asian neighborhood, or an online consolidator like Airfare.com.

Chakrabongse House
Tel: 66 2 622 1900
Villas from $233

Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi
Tel: 66 76 418 500
Doubles from $706

Marina Phuket Resort
Tel: 66 76 330 625
Doubles from $144

NEXT: Surf's up, and prices are down

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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