Nai Yang Beach,
Tel: 66 76 327 006
American Bill Bensley has recast this formerly ho-hum three-star resort into something modern and unexpectedly funky, with witty industrial touches like a nut-and-bolt toilet paper holder and old-fashioned outdoor metal showers that use bamboo water tanks. The lush landscaping with encircling lagoons creates a sense of exclusivity that makes it almost unnecessary to cross the busy street to the broad public beach. The 277 rooms sport pillowtop beds and fabrics from Bangkok's trendsetting Beyond Living brand. Dinner at the restaurant, Black Ginger, is an elegant affair, with local favorites like poh piah sod, a spring roll overflowing with sweet sausage and roast pork. The Stockroom, an in-house antiques shop, sells well-chosen items ranging from Chiang Mai silk wraps to hand-carved wood furnishings from Kerala. The spa will be expanded in 2008.