Even if you don't stay at this local landmark, its old-world charm makes it worth a visit. Built in 1923 for visitors to King Rama VII's summer palace, the hotel has wide verandas that open onto splendid gardens leading down to the beach. More than two dozen gardeners take their work seriously, caring for the topiaries that look like shadows at night. The lounges on either side of the reception area are open to let in sea breezes. The best rooms are those on the second floor—they have unforgettable views of the ocean. In low season, rates are almost half of what they are the rest of the year. On-site activities include badminton and two putting greens.