Samed Island Heading Upscale

The opening of one resort and upgrades to three others are helping reposition Thailand's Samed island as an upscale destination for vacationers. The 40-villa Paradee Resort recently opened its doors and is scheduled to be fully operational by November 1; its amenities will include a spa. Just completing renovations is the four-star Le Vimarn Resort, while the four-star Ao Phrao Resort will begin upgrades next year. In addition, the three-star Sai Kaew Resort will open a beachside restaurant this month, and last year added 30 cottages and a swimming pool. These changes mean that the island has a much wider range of options at the middle and upper end of the market than it did a few years ago, says Chanchai Doungjit, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's Rayong and Chanthaburi.

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