Published on July 14, 2007
Perched on the side of a hill with stunning views of sea, Racha Kiri Resort and Spa on Nai Plao peninsula in Khanom district, Nakhon Si Thammarat, is a magical place for a getaway.
The boutique resort blends Colonial style architecture from the resign of King Chulalongkorn with traditional terra cotta tiles in a bow to the signature roofs of Southern Thailand.
Chanchai Payuhanaveechai, the resort's managing director, says guests appreciate the unspoiled landscape, azure skies and blue sea.
"The resort is a good mix of Thai and international. We are near several natural attractions and that draws both local and foreign tourists," he says.
The hotel is designed in such a way as to ensure that all accommodation offers a view of the ocean.
Rooms are decorated with Thai art and fitted with Thai and Asian style furniture. Brown and white are the dominant colours, with oranges and russets adding warmth and comfort.
Accommodation is available in 12 private villas, 16 Spa Suites, two Grand Suites and three mini suites. All are equipped with television, IDD telephone, mini bar with coffee and tea making facilities along with a basket of snacks, toiletries, and in room safe.
The rooms are quite spacious but the unusually large bathrooms give them the impression of being smaller than they actually are.
That said, the bathrooms are beautifully appointed with separate shower and a tub whose tapes have been replaced by a small waterfall. The modesty conscious may find the sliding mosaic glass door a small problem.
The Sikhara Spa with its 4 spa suites is also delicately designed. Herbal aromas mingle with natural scents and the peaceful sound of water flowing over rocks encourages a ritualistic pampering.
Separate steam and sauna rooms, as well as Jacuzzis, are also provided.
The resort boasts just one restaurant, which had just re-opened following renovations during our visit and was almost empty.
Set in the centre of the resort, with a view of the pool on one side and the sea on the other, the Kanab Naam is a great place to enjoy the sunset and the candlelit terrace is ideal for a romantic tete-a-tete.
Two pools are available: a main free form pool, with a Thai style pavilion overlooking the sea and a smaller one on the mezzanine of the building housing the Spa Suites.
Service is excellent. The smiling receptionists are happy to help and answer questions, as are the housekeepers, gardeners and restaurant staff. Room service is available from 6.30am to 11pm.
The resort is poorly sign-posted though, so you may find yourself getting lost in the tropical gardens. We also had a few problems with the room key.
The technology-savvy may be disappointed to find that there's only one computer available to guests and that Internet connection costs Bt60 an hour. WiFi connectivity was not available was not available at the time of our visit.
But Racha Kiri Resort & Spa is ideal for a perfect hideaway. Away from the city as well as from the more instant world of the Internet, it's wonderful to start the day with a breathtaking view.
Racha Kiri Resort & Spa at a glance
High points: It is a good place to escape the busy world and relax among nature scenery. The rooms are luxurious and restful room and the bathrooms cool and distinctive.
Low points: It's almost an hour's drive from the airport and a long way from other entertainment or business centre. Lack of computer facilities.
Pay for it: Mini Suite, Spa Suite, Junior Suite and Grand Suite are priced from Bt7,000, Bt8,000, Bt9,000 and Bt13,000 respectively. Special internet rate are available. Breakfast included.
Find it: 99, Moo 8, Nai Plao Beach, Nai Plao-Thong Yea Road, Khanom, Nakorn Sri Thammarat, 80210
Phone it: (075) 527 847
Browse it: www.rachakiri.com