Home to some of the most popular beaches in the world, the delightful shores of Thailand's islands are becoming an increasingly popular hangout after dark, with chic beach clubs springing up right by the sand in the bays around Phuket and Koh Samui, adding a sophisticated beach party vibe that lasts way past sunset.
It seems Thailand's beaches are so popular that nobody wants to leave them – even after the sun goes down. Dining, drinking and dancing are all so much better when enjoyed to a double soundtrack of rhythm and waves, and beach clubs are the perfect spot for people that want to gather and kick off an evening of fun with the vivid colours of sunset reflected in their cocktails.
Beach clubs are also becoming popular day time chill out stations for sun lovers, with loungers, lite bites and cool drinks served all day long so guests can relax in serviced style between swimming, watersports or just dozing off in the shade of a palm tree. Visitors looking for a little evening fun without having to head into one of the islands' notoriously crowded nightlife zones also appreciate something a little more laid back and personal, and with new venues constantly being added to the hip list, it seems Thailand's beach clubs are here to stay.
Of course, if your renting a private villa, you will most likely have everything you need to make your own private beach party, but when you're ready to meet and mingle, head for one of these popular beach clubs on Koh Samui and Phuket.
Overlooking the turquoise waters of Lamai Beach on Koh Samui, Beach Republic brings a modern Mediterranean twist to the stunning Thai surroundings. An Ocean Club, restaurant and a spa await beach lovers with a huge thatched roofed area ad plenty of spec to lounge in private cabanas and on comfortable day beds by one of the club’s beachside infinity pools. The republic even has its own manifesto, based on living island life to the full and the Ocean Club hosts regular performers and DJs.
Perfectly positioned for sunset on Koh Samui’s west coast at Lipa Noi Beach, Nikki Beach offers visitors an exclusive location to enjoy food, top shelf drinks and smooth tunes to chill out or dance to. The club’s Sunset Terrace Lounge is the perfect place to indulge in a chilled glass of champagne before dining in comfort at a private table or in a more casual style on one of the club’s plush day beds set around the ocean view pool. Open for lazy daytime sessions, Nikki Beach is popular for Sunday Brunch when sunbathing, swimming and indulgence make comfortable day bed fellows. A second Nikki Beach is slated to open later this year on Phuket.
Surin Beach Clubs
In the last year or so, Phuket's upscale Surin Beach has become the Andaman island's beach club capital. It all started with Catch Beach Club, which was the first of the genre to grace the island's shores and Catch now boasts a sister club called Bimi Beach Club, billed as Phuket 's only all-day party venue and offering a stylish yet stripped-down spot to mingle, dance and set free the island spirit. Further down the beach there's Diamond Beach Club, offing affordable barefoot luxury and a chilled out atmosphere. Finally, Phuket’s newest beach club, Zazada, launches in October, located on the northern end of Surin Beach. The new kid on the sand takes its inspiration from Thai culture and will offer a unique selection of boutique brews, all served by staff in traditional Thai fishing garb.
Though competition for favour is fierce among the beach clubs on Phuket, they also recently formed the Phuket Beach Club Society (PBCS), operated by a group of beach club venues around the island with a unified aim of providing Phuket visitors with great beachside experiences while also taking care of the environment and giving back to the island community.
Finally, for travellers arriving or leaving Thailand who want to escape the heat of Bangkok’s streets in style, an urban alternative to the island's beach clubs recently arrive in the capital. Ku De Ta, one of Bali’s most famous beach club brands, launches this month in Sathorn, the sophisticated central business district. Its spacious interiors feature dining rooms and private entertainment areas to transport Bali’s beach vibe all the way to the Thai City of Angels.
by Wayne Hue