If you’ve ever been in the audience at a Muay Thai boxing match, you’ll understand why it’s known as ‘the art of eight limbs’: a flurry of fists, feet, elbows, shins and knees characterise this martial art, which is a must-see on any trip to Thailand. Now, at the luxurious Siam hotel in Bangkok, you can learn the ropes of Muay Thai in a luxurious setting, complete with top-level training, conditioning and diet consultations – we recommend following it up with a beach retreat on the paradise island of Koh Samui.
The Siam gymnasium – part of the Siam boutique hotel – is the first luxury Muay Thai gym in Bangkok, and its state of the art facilities are the setting for a variety of training programmes to suit all fitness levels. Guests benefit from the wisdom of an experienced Kru Muay or Muay Thai Master and a former Muay Thai boxer in the hotel’s own boxing ring, complemented by a personal diet prepared by the Executive Chef and spa treatments to ease any muscle tension.
Luxury hotel meets living museum at the Siam, which is steeped in history and houses the private antiques collections of owner Kamala Sukosol and her son, creative director Krissada Sukosol Clapp. Each suite embraces a unique theme, from local architecture to beauty queens, music to military, and famous diplomats to contemporary art, while every public and private space highlights Thai life and culture through the ages. The project is a new build that also incorporates four historic, century-old Thai teakwood houses brought downriver from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya by former owner Connie Mangskau and her silk tycoon friend (and fellow spy) Jim Thompson. Three of these have been turned into a signature Thai restaurant and cooking school while one has been refurbished as a unique pool villa.
After being put through your paces in the Muay Thai gym and enjoying the frenetic energy of Bangkok, you’re sure to be in need of some well-earned rest and relaxation – we recommend escaping to the paradise island of Koh Samui for the ultimate beach retreat. Set on a gently sloping headland at the northern tip of Samui Island a 45-minute flight south of Bangkok, Six Senses Samui is a luxurious resort made up of just 66 private villas with glorious, sweeping panoramas out to the Gulf of Thailand and the surrounding islands.