The Sarojin Thailand
Where it’s at
So many travel journalists have recommended The Sarojin to me since it opened five years ago. Tucked away in Khao Lak on the Pakarang Cape in southern Thailand, I was curious to discover what makes it so special and whether it would live up to the hype. After 24 hours of wind down, I soon realised it has the kind of home-from-home vibe and serious luxe appeal that makes experts go starry eyed, and keeps guests coming back for more.
East-meets-west or modern Thai. Smiles and pretty welcome bouquets of white flowers are in abundance when you arrive in the airy lobby, setting the tone of your stay. It’s incredibly peaceful for a 56-room hotel, which I later found out is probably because there are no children under 10 years allowed. However, the large lotus-filled ponds also give the place an air of tranquillity along with the calming wood, cream and beige interiors.
The lush gardens are spectacularly fertile and manage to hide most of the accommodation, with pathways to reach each room overgrown with giant banana leaves, palms and colourful flowers giving them a deliciously jungle-like feel. There’s an enormous black onyx pool edged by cool cabanas and a white-sand beach too (although all the rooms overlook the gardens rather than sea and sand).
Room for romance
Stepping into one of the 14 upper-storey Sarojin Suites for the first time is fabulous. You’re ushered across a football-pitch sized lounge to reach the vast bedroom and bathroom, where a freestanding egg bath has been filled and sprinkled with flower petals and a door opens to reveal an outside shower. The terrace is the knockout touch, however. Hidden from view by flora and fauna, you can shed your clothes and lie on a lounger, dine at your table-for-two or cloud-gaze from your relaxation pool.
Fiscus, the resort’s Mediterranean restaurant, lies beneath the branches of a 150-year-old Fiscus trees (yes, it’s huge), where you can tuck into lobster and avocado salad and perfectly cooked steak. If you want to feel the sand between your toes, dine on Thai dishes at The Edge overlooking the Andaman Sea. Sip champagne cocktails on the giant day beds while you peruse the menu, which includes the chef’s signature dish: prawns wrapped with noodles and deep fried – divine dipped in chilli sauce.
Watch the sun set aboard Lady Sarojin, the resort’s slick motorboat; learn how to perfect a green curry during a Thai cooking class and (my favourite) enjoy a magical dinner for two beside a nearby waterfall surrounded by hundreds of tealights. A four-handed Faa Fairt massage with sweet flower oils in an open-sided thatched hut was sensational (and lying in the spa’s relaxation area afterwards listening to birdsong and sipping fresh ginger tea was pretty special too!).
Go there: From £1465pp (seven nights for the price of four valid April 16 – October 31, 2012) including breakfast and flights (elegantresorts.co.uk).
By Amanda Statham