How The Elite Are Spending The Pandemic In Thailand’s Luxury Resorts

Thailand is usually one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, for its stunning beaches, fantastic food, and fascinating culture. Since COVID-19, the tourism sector has taken a hit – but some of the most unbelievable resorts are fighting back by offering luxury quarantines to elite international travelers and tourists.

With the recently announced special tourist visas, and plans to introduce visa-free entry for stays 45 days or shorter, Thailand may be about to be making a comeback as the go-to destination for wealthy tourists who can afford to check into the shocking luxury hotels and resorts that have begun to offer quarantine packages for international travelers and tourists.

Safety and Comfort for a Premium Budget

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Regulations for international travel are different in every nation. Tourists looking to travel internationally may be surprised how long they will have to stay indoors after arriving at their destination. Places like Dubai, which initially prioritized tourism, are now seeing devastating rises in cases and are being forced to tighten regulations.

Thai resorts have come up with a unique solution to maintain government safety protocols and entice elite travelers – the luxury quarantine.

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All visitors to Thailand must quarantine for 14 days in a quarantine facility – which the government will pay for – but these enterprising resorts and luxury hotels have become government-approved alternative lodging. They have begun offering specially designed “quarantine packages,” which allow tourists and businesspeople of any nationality to meet the requirements in comfort and style – beginning their vacations early, rather than delaying them.

While the standard quarantine facilities have been the source of much controversy (The New York Times reported that one guest said that he, “had no Wi-Fi but plenty of mosquitoes and cockroaches. Water dripped from the ceiling, bedsheets were moldy, and he was served food that was sometimes inedible.”) the resorts offer entertainment, frequent medical testing, and beautiful views for those who pay the premium.

What it’s like inside

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At Pa Sak Tong, which boasts that it allows guests to “quarantine in paradise,” at its private estate, guests have their own three-bedroom villa with a view of the jungle. They can spend their day relaxing at the spa or working out in the gym. After day 5, guests get access to the massive gardens on the estate, where they can admire the koy pond or come face to face with a water buffalo.

According to the managing director, they pursued quarantine facility certification to create a different way for those traveling internationally to quarantine. “Pa Sak Tong can provide guests with not only a very comfortable and relaxing stay in a totally private, stunning environment, but also give them the support they need to get through a difficult time.”

Rates for a two-week quarantine start just under $14K for a single person.

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Other wealthy tourists choose to spend this enforced free time indulging their favorite hobbies by staying at resorts like the Artitaya Golf & Resort. In “Golf quarantine,” tourists spend their two weeks engaging in outdoor activities.

“Think of 41 Koreans golfing as you roam around the course, served by over 100 employees,” One guest said, “It’s like emperor’s golfing.”

The guests are also provided with a daily health check-up, and three COVID tests, to ensure they are ready to leave quarantine and continue their vacation after their time in the resort.

The package starts at $2.2K, but bookings are exclusive. There are only about 100 rooms and they are receiving about three times as many inquiries according to the operations director.

Will it be enough for Thailand’s tourism to rebound?

Unsurprisingly, Thailand has been hit hard by the pandemic ad the drop in international tourism. According to Bloomberg, “Just 346 overseas visitors have entered the country on average each month on special visas since October, according to the Thailand Longstay Company, which helps facilitate the program. That’s well below the government’s target of about 1,200 and a tiny fraction of the more than 3 million who came before the pandemic.”

Even with the addition of these luxurious quarantine stays, Markland Blaiklock, deputy chief executive officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts is looking for an alternative. In a recent interview he stated, “People aren’t going to come to Thailand for business or for a two-week vacation if they have to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival. So we really hope that they can be relaxed.”

By October, vaccinated tourists may not have to quarantine to visit the famous beaches of Thailand – at least if they’re going to Phuket. With a new plan called “Phuket First October,” the tourism industry will bring vaccines from private firms in order to vaccinate at least 70% of the popular destination’s population, so that it will be safe for international visitors – even without quarantine by 2022.

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