2016 was kind of a strange travel year for me. I probably traveled the least out of the past several years, but when I did, I made it count by staying in some truly incredible places and traveling with friends and family, instead of solo, as much as I could.
Here’s some a snapshot of my favorite places I stayed throughout the year. Click on the property names for links to book on Agoda (when applicable for the Southeast Asia spots…Agoda consistently has the lowest rates) or on the ‘read more’ links to see more details from past blog posts.
I somehow was lucky enough to stay in a 10th century chateau with some of my best friends, mom and cousin. This trip made up for failing on all my other travel goals. Organized by my friends at Moveable Feast Retreats, this trip was obviously an experience of a lifetime…you can see what they have up their sleeves for their next retreat here.
I haven’t stopped gushing about So Sofitel Bangkok since I stayed in July. Take me back. With four different styles of room designed in conjunction with leading Thai designers and artists, floor-to-ceiling views of Lumphini Park, uniforms designed by Christian Lacroix, this is not your typical hotel.
Read more about the So Sofitel Bangkok here.
Opened just this past August, Mala Dhara is the dream child of a yoga, organic farming, slow living-loving Thai woman. Surrounded by organic rice fields and farmland that help supply the food for the small eco resort’s kitchen, Mala Dhara is about an hour outside the town of Chiang Mai and well worth the drive. (More coming on this special spot soon!)
Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa is an oasis in dry and dusty Siem Reap. The small boutique resort is super intimate, has three pools and plenty of nooks and crannies framed by tropical leaves perfect for photos. It’s dreamy.
Read more about the Navutu Dreams Resort & Spa here.
If you’re looking for a small hotel that’s big on quirky character, The Hotel Mustang Nero is it. From its name to its location, decor to daily breakfast, the hotel is truly unique. (And also has a lot of taxidermies animals around…you’ve been warned.) You can book through Air BnB here or on Agoda. If you haven’t used Air BnB yet, you set up an account and get a $20 credit here.
Learn more about The Mustang Nero Hotel here.
Hotel des Artists Ping Silhouette is filled with a unique blend of modern, Thai and traditional Chinese design accents and is one of the most well-done boutique hotels in Chiang Mai that I’ve been too. Their included breakfast weren’t bad either.
Learn more about Hotel des Artists Ping Silhouette here.
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
New places are always calling my name...
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These places all look awesome! My goal for the near future is to stay in cooler hotels instead of the cheap chains, even if it is a little more expensive. The Mustang Nero looks really cool, I like the urban look and all the plants!
I need to start staying in posher places … you know, spoil myself once in a while!
It’s easy to in Southeast Asia!
These places are simply stunning! Great post, Alana!
4 Comments on The Coolest Places I Stayed in 2016