Thailand’s nightlife is legendary. Travelers wanting to plug into the country’s epic party scene would do well at these 17 hotels, where rooftop bars are local hot spots and where beach clubs become crazy late-night clubs. (Don’t worry, Thailand’s intricate temples and postcard-perfect beaches are excellent for restoring the Zen the next day.) Here are the top party hotels in Bangkok, Phuket, Patong, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Koh Tao.
With a look created by French fashion icon Christian Lacroix, the SO Sofitel Bangkok attracts luxury-loving young travelers with its trendy interiors and myriad amenities. Set in the heart of Bangkok, on picturesque Lumpini Park, the distinctive building offers stunning views from many rooms and all common areas, which include an outdoor rooftop pool, the acclaimed Park Society bar and restaurant, and a decadent spa. Each room is outfitted according to a theme -- Water, Earth, Wood, or Metal -- and comes with a soaking tub and Apple TV entertainment.
Twinpalms Phuket is one of the most stylish and party-focused hotel options in Phuket. This boutique property is centered around a gorgeous swimming pool with a poolside bar. Surin Beach is reached by crossing a footpath through a lawn, which is slightly inconvenient, but it does mean that the party and drinking scene found at the property's two beach clubs doesn't filter over to the luxurious rooms. Most rooms have plunge pools or direct access to a semi-private lagoon pool, along with free Wi-Fi and furnished outdoor spaces. The 97-room hotel also features an on-site spa, modern fitness center, and chic restaurant.
Part of the hip Dream chain, the Dream Bangkok features 195 modern, blue-lit rooms; a sceney rooftop pool; a Thai-fusion restaurant with neon lighting; and a lively bar with a popular happy hour that attracts locals and guests alike. In addition to a luxury spa and state-of-the-art fitness center, there's also a complimentary tuk tuk shuttle to a major nearby shopping center with public transportation connections. Regular events are held at the bars, including salsa lessons, live music, and DJ sessions. It’s a bit further from Sukhumvit Road than other hotels, but the surrounding area is pleasant, with plenty of restaurants and other hotels.
The four-pearl Kee Resort and Spa is a trendy party haven in the heart of Patong -- near the beach and Bangla Road -- with a lagoon-style pool, a swim-up bar, rooftop dining, cocktails, a spa, fitness center, and a youthful vibe and clientele. Hip, sleek, decor with splashes of color rules the rooms that come with flat-screen TVs, balconies, and poolside terraces. Some might find the party atmosphere -- especially the wild nights -- too noisy and too much.
A modern boutique hotel in Bangkok aimed at design-conscious young travelers, the Galleria 10 Hotel is popular with hip young travelers, especially couples. Located in Bangkok's trendy Sukhumvit neighborhood, it has two restaurants and bars that are popular with sceney locals: one on the rooftop, next to the pool, with panoramic city views, and the other on the ground floor, where the popular daily breakfast buffet is served (for a fee). There's also a small rooftop fitness center, but no spa. Specialty rooms include extra perks like free breakfast, free drinks at a nearby blues bar, and free souvenirs. The hotel is within walking distance of nightlife, one of Bangkok's luxury malls, and both a skytrain and subway station.
Centrally located in the downtown Silom district, near Sathorn business district, the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G is a trendy, stylish hotel that caters to both business travelers and hip tourists. Its four restaurants and bars include two of the city's hottest spots -- 25 Degrees and Scarlett Wine Bar -- while the lobby cafe and bar is a lively spot to lounge, meet friends, or get some work done. There is a roof deck infinity pool looking out on the city, and, naturally, a bar to go with it. More recently renovated rooms are in the G category, and have an all-white, New York loft-inspired aesthetic; older rooms are still lovely, but their modern Thai look feels a bit less modern in comparison. Much of the city's hottest shopping, dining, and nightlife is within walking distance, as is the closest skytrain station, putting the entire city within easy reach.
The trendy and modern Nikki Beach Resort is one of Koh Samui's hottest hotels and party spots. Located right on a private stretch of beach in Lipa Noi, on the island's western shore, the lively luxury resort was completely renovated in early 2014, and has two pools, one of which is open to hotel guests only. While the hotel's DJ-mixed, buffet-fueled Sunday brunches are renowned for their party atmosphere, the resort is relaxing during the rest of the week, with spacious rooms and villas with private terraces, cooking classes and movie nights, bicycles and kayaks to borrow, and spa treatments. Note that the restaurant and bar are expensive for the area and quality offered.
The Siam@Siam Design Hotel and Spa is a large and modern upper-middle-range hotel with a hip vibe and chic decor. The hotel attracts lots of young scenesters looking for a cool, modern place to stay in the center of town (Siam@Siam is just minutes from the National Stadium skytrain station, in the center of Bangkok near Siam Square). The Party House One restaurant combines music, food, and art with a huge screen providing audio/visual entertainment and features swing, hip hop, and electro-jazz nights that are a big draw for the urban hipster crowd. All of the 200 rooms have flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and minibars.
The upscale Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya remains one Pattaya's most popular international brand hotels. Rooms are modern and keep the garish rock-themed decor to a blessed minimum, with features like flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning. Guitars are available for nightly jam sessions and there's a swim-up bar and weekend foam parties at the massive pool. A full-service spa, endless kid-friendly activities, and a beach just across the road all make this a fine pick, but the hotel's surroundings in downtown Pattaya can feel a little lurid at night. Those who aren't timid, though, will find lots of restaurants and bars nearby, meaning the sub-par food at the hotel can be sidestepped.
The Dusit D2 is hip and chic, popular amongst the young urban party crowd. Located in the heart of downtown Chiang Mai right next to the happening Night Bazaar, this hotel has a relaxed vibe as evidenced by its mood-lit lobby bar and open-air D Square casual restaurant with live entertainment. Young party lovers frequent this spot, and while the small pool and nearby nightspot location aren't exactly family oriented, the central Chiang Mai setting and spiffy rooms won't put anyone off.
The Bangkok incarnation of Starwood's Aloft chain is appropriately located on one of the city's most bustling recreational streets, Sukhumvit Soi 11, and no matter what time guests arrive, the surrounding area will be thronged with revelers, taxis, and tuk-tuks. This lively mood continues in the airy hotel lobby, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and bright splashes of color on the furniture and accent walls. Despite the party vibe, the upscale, 297-room Aloft Bangkok has a diverse clientele: plenty of young professionals and backpackers looking to splurge, but also older businesspeople (perhaps attracted by the Starwood brand), medical tourists attending the nearby Bumrungrad Hospital, and families. The well-maintained rooms are unfussy, with king beds or double queens, and basic bathrooms, plus free Wi-Fi. The hotel's restaurant and its bar/nightclub are both justifiably popular. Light sleepers may wish to request rooms on higher floors, as street noise can be considerable.
KC Beach Club and Pool Villas is a boutique hotel with live entertainment and a constant party scene, located right on Chaweng Beach and a short walk into town. Rooms are modern and clean, with flat-screen TVs, strong free Wi-Fi connections, minibars, and whirlpool tubs; most also have balconies and some have patios with direct pool access. There are two pools, two restaurants, and beachside massages available. Live DJ music plays morning until night.
Located in between Sairee and Mae Haad beaches, Ban's is in the epicenter of the Koh Tao party scene. The resort is dive central, offering PADI and learning-to-dive courses. The crowd here tends to be young and there's often plenty of partying going on; the beachfront restaurant and bar is always crowded.
The 245-room Patong Beach Hotel is located in central Patong, on popular Patong Beach, in an ideal spot to sample the fabled nightlife of Bangla Road. The hotel is busy and fun, and the rooms are super bright and colorful, with private balconies and luxe four-poster beds. This hotel combines city location and a true Thai -- and young -- vibe. Expect plenty of noise and late-night comings and goings.
The 148-room upper-middle-range Sawaddi Patong Resort is a small hotel just outside the center of busy Patong but within a short walk of the beach and Bangla Road nightlife. Despite a clientele largely made up of groups, the hotel has a warm, welcoming feeling with tons of Thai character. Rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable, with photographs of old Phuket on the walls. Fun offerings include mixology classes and weekly sangria pool parties.
Located right in the heart of Bangkok's trendiest nightlife area, Le Fenix Sukhumvit is an excellent pick for those who like to party. While the infamous red light district isn't far away, this street is far more upscale, and there is easy access to restaurants and bars, as well as the nearby skytrain. Rooms are small and lack views, but Superior Rooms have iPod docks, DVD players, and flat-screen TVs. The resort doesn't have a swimming pool or a spa, but its happening rooftop bar and restaurant is great for stylish nights out under the sky.
The 409-room luxury Angsana Laguna Phuket is part of a large complex of resorts on Phuket's Bang Tao Bay. The resort's location is removed from the legendary island nightlife, but highlights include water sports on the lagoon, an enormous freeform pool that meanders throughout the sprawling grounds, and beautiful Xana Beach Club, which hosts a Vegas-style beach party every night. Rooms are spacious, modern, and airy, with stylish bathrooms, beautiful views, and a luxe vibe, but guests should expect to pay extra for rollaway beds and breakfast.