Khao Lak, Thailand, lifestyle destination update

The by northern Europeans much loved destination of Khao Lak is suffering another setback but it is only a matter of time before everyone will once again be able to return to this seaside paradise. The very fact that more international brands have come on board or are about open up there is telling evidence of confidence in the future with a strong comeback to come. Khao Lak is appreciated for its very laidback vacation mode and the nearly endless beach stretching tens of kilometers, offering plenty of space for everyone by the turquoise water. Here is a selection of some of its finest vacation accommodation choices and what they have to offer.

Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort & Villas

With its second luxury boutique resort of the finest pedigree in Thailand Devasom has made its mark on the Khao Lak holiday destination scene with a distinct nod to the region’s ancient history and by–albeit with some local competition–raising the bar there for design, exclusiveness and hospitality excellence.

The 69 units resort is ranked among Thailand’s best small luxury resort because of its distinguished architecture and overall attention to detail concerning everything from the accommodation to the Thai hospitality – including butler service!

The relaxing and cultural getaway boasts spacious, fully equipped and thoughtfully designed pool suites and pool villas.

The design sets this resort apart, where the architecture is also dominated by wood; featuring handicraft, wood carvings by artisans and furnishings representing Southeast Asia’s rich heritage

Red richly-veined white marble also dominates as material on the premises, including the entire main pool, as well as for all private pools, bathrooms, large parts of the spa and other features.

The resort features elements of this ancient Takola (Khao Lak’s name back then), culture as well as Southeast Asia-Thai heritage flairs, art, artefacts, architecture and charm of bygone times, intricately incorporated in contemporary design that truly makes this resort a fine example of hospitality celebrating heritage! It is also reminiscent of the area’s Sino-Portuguese architecture. In addition, certain features have drawn inspiration from India’s stepwells!

The dinner restaurant Devasom Beach Grill Bar offers comfy semi-private dining with semicircular sofas and round tables as well as al-fresco seating. From the main courses the ‘Grill & Chill’ section is extra appealing. A five-star breakfast is served at the second restaurant, Takola Restaurant Wine Bar.

On offer is also wellness in the form of the spa treatments at Devasom Spa Wellness and its fabulous marble surroundings. Otherwise try the immersive ‘7-days 7-activities’ programme.

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Khao Lak

Situated along Khao Lak proper’s Bang Niang beach this resort haven presents a green garden with an oval pool enclosed by three low-slung buildings and some villas, with the Andaman Sea panorama as backdrop. The pool takes centre stage, decorated with a fountain artwork of curved copper metal art pieces.

The pool also has several inflatable toys in sizes both for the smaller family members as well as grown-ups. Other diversions are water sports, with surf boards and canoes available for guests. Children can have fun at ‘Playland’.

Deluxe Lanai room comes with terrace and direct access to the resort’s garden. Deluxe types come with a light palette of blond wood and bright, clean-lined interior. Ocean Front villas have both garden seats with foot stools and also sun beds on the lawn outside! From here the view is unobstructed of the setting sun.

Romance and relaxation is in focus; with private villas fitted out with outdoor plunge pools, the option to have a private dinner setup on the postcard-perfect beach, or double treatment rooms and outdoor Jacuzzi for two at ’the Spa’. The high quality spa, situated only steps from the pool garden, offers a comprehensive selection of packages and treatments to high standard, including the ‘Romantic Getaway’ for couples.

Sassi’s Beach Club offers sunset Happy Hour. Its food selection and taste of the dishes is exceptionally good, including the western dishes. Fritto misto, Spicy mixed seafood Salad, and Pineapple fried rice are recommended Thai dishes.

And don’t miss out on trying this one: the ‘Anywhere Anytime Breakfast’ offer. Having it on the beach is a delight when the morning sun is still slightly behind the resort.

JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa

The combination of a tropical paradise with a makeover befitting a legendary brand makes for a very appealing proposition. Guest rooms and suites have been extensively refurbished.

A grandiose open-air lobby, adorned with beautiful and bespoke furniture: light-blue and mustard-coloured, oversized sofas, armchairs, and pillows, and antique Thai wood carved statues of dancers welcomes guests. Brown veneered as well as bespoke waterjet marble that comes with beige-brown floral design cover the floors. The resort distinctly resembles a traditional Thai village with the expansive water flanked by gardens and traditional buildings with a Buddhist temple-inspired roofline.

Deluxe Lagoon Pool rooms (many with direct pool access) and suites spread out in multiple wings, separated by pool waterways or lush full-grown vegetation. Bright rooms and exquisite furniture are complemented with some dark timber woodworks. Slide doors are a modern take on classic wooden screens, inlaid with elaborate golden screens. With these newly renovated guest rooms classic Thai details now meet a casual contemporary living style.

The impressive interconnected lagoon pool system is vast, snaking along the gardens and around the different wings. Poolside pursuits include a variety of settings, where to hang around, soak in the sun, relax and play. The ‘adult’ pool (for guests above 12) offers semi-private sun chair pairs, surrounded by fully grown vegetation. On-water sun beds flanking the Infinity Bar at the same adult pool are other attractive spots. Opt for two swim-up bars (and elsewhere also a Jacuzzi area within the vast lagoon) or the Beach Bar at the palm-studded beach, a prime destination for sundowners, with bar chairs facing the sea. Or grab a highly attracted sun bed with marine blue mattresses underneath sun-shading parasols and coconut trees.

Dining at Italian ‘Olive’ restaurant you can encounter Italian chef Enzo – a splendid host who not only is part of the action in the open kitchen, but also interacts with guests. The Marriott property frequently also serves buffets, including at the Japanese Sakura restaurant. More dining outlets to open during 2021.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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