Avatar Spa Mountain Suites, Uthai Thani
Tel: 66 25 136 171
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Those seeking total escape now have a fantasy sanctuary in a remote mountain-girdled valley on the fringes of northern Thailand's large Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. Avatar, a jarring two-story, fan-shaped edifice edged by lagoons on 99 acres, is comprised of 44 lairlike suites with wavy ceilings and rough walls. The outlandish scheme works: Surfaces take on lovely hues of blue and amber from the soft light, and touches such as specially designed box-spring mattresses ensure plush comfort. Staff may be a little laid-back—typical of Thai sabai-sabai (fine-and-easy). The excellent fusion cuisine and treatments at the impressive spa are included in the price, as are the minibar and selected excursions, making the room rate worth it. 2006 Hot List
When to go: There's no bad timethe rainy season means cozy rooms and a lush landscape, the dry season cool rooms and glorious sunshine.
Which room to book: Ground-level "sun rooms," for the utmost privacy and the best views (suites, $387–$1,032, all-inclusive).
Amenities: Bar/lounge, Pool, Spa