When was the last time you went on a road trip?
As we’re still trying to stay safe but also retain our mental stability (and satiate that #wanderlust), we’re constantly looking for ways to switch up our weekends. We’ve tried staycations. We’ve been to Samui four weekends in a row. We know Hua Hin and Cha-Am are nice. But we’re running out of ideas.
Maybe it’s time to look a little closer to home.
An hour-ish away from Bangkok, Ayutthaya presents itself as an ideal road trip destination. You don’t need to stay for very long, you get to enjoy those massive local river prawns, and you may even find time to make some merit in the beautiful ancient capital, too. Formerly very tourist-ridden, it’s a sweet time to go, given that the temples and the ruins are free of crowds, and the local community would really appreciate the support.
Ayutthaya has a lot of charms to offer, and is perfect for an overnight getaway. Here are our favourite boutique hotels to check out while you’re there.
[Hero and Featured Image Credit: Sala Ayutthaya]
This one is probably our favourite of the minute, and if you’re looking to stay, be sure to book fast. Consisting of only 8 rooms, Baan Pomphet is a modern Thai architecture marvel, set on the riverside with scenic views of Pomphet Fortress. Between red bricks and a sprawling pool, it’s a great place to kick back and unwind amidst ancient ruins in the face of modern design.
Baan Pomphet, 13/5 U Thong Rd., Ayutthaya, +66 35 242 242.
If you’re already a fan of the Sala Hospitality brand, you’ll sign right up to this one, too. Sala Ayutthaya is set on the river opposite Phutthaisawan temple for a dreamy view from almost every room. The room types actually offer quite some variety, between 2-level rooms and even pool suites. We love the outdoor dining deck along the riverfront, as well as the in-house art gallery that features local visiting artists.
Sala Ayutthaya, 9/2 Moo 4, U-Thong Rd., Ayutthaya, +66 35 242 588.
More along the lines of a contemporary Bed & Breakfast, iuDia has a homely feel to it, facing Ayutthaya World Heritage Park from afar, with views of the river on the other side. Between intimate courtyards and a large outdoor pool, it is a charming escape that blends history with modern amenity. From time to time, guests can also partake in cultural activities and programs, be it Buddhist meditation, yoga, or a traditional Thai music class.
iuDia, 11-12 U-Thong Rd., Moo 4, Pratuchai, Ayutthaya, +66 8 6080 1888.
Baan Tye Wang
This cosy guesthouse is the type that welcomes you in and instantly lures you into relaxation. Located by a canal, Baan Tye Wang is surrounded by much greenery for a small and private getaway. It is often the dreamy backdrop for weddings, and between the charming wooden finishes and the large garden, it’s not difficult to see why.
Baan Tye Wang, 223/18 Pratu Chai, Rong Sura, Ayutthaya, +66 88 695 7320.
Thann Wellness Destination
Switch up your wellness weekends and head to Ayutthaya for your next holistic venture. Thann Wellness Destination is located by the Noi River and amid rice fields, inviting you to really switch off and get lost in nature. Guests at the resort can opt for all-inclusive spa packages when staying here, which bring together accommodation, resort wear, healthy meals, spa treatments, and wellness programmes. The rooms are quite interesting in themselves, too, whether you opt for a classic suite, a tree house (yup), or a pool villa (ranging from 64sqm to 213sqm). Bring on tranquility, Ayutthaya style.
Thann Wellness Destination, 1 Moo 5, Krachaeng Bangsai, Ayutthaya, +66 35 910 910.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok on 28 January 2021.