Lush tropical greenery. Bungalows half hidden in thick foliage. A stream runs through the forest. Stay still and you may be rewarded with occasional sightings of monkeys, birds, butterflies, monitor lizards and squirrels. Yet this green oasis is located in the middle of a busy town, a 10 minutes walk to the beach and close to shops, street stalls, massage places, bars and restaurants. Well secluded from the outside world, this beautiful, well-designed retreat made you feel like you far away from everything, as we do not hear any traffic or music from bars nearby.
My two friends and I stayed for a total of four nights in a triple deluxe room in a bungalow that looks like a tree house amid the jungle-like surroundings. One of the challenges traveling in a trio is to find a room that can fit all of us – there are not enough people to justify the cost of staying in a studio flat and some places would not take three people. Usually we end up in a room for two with a dusty temporary bed thrown in, that in all cramps up our living space. So it is a nice change to stay in a clean, spacious and comfortable room designed for three. Accessible via the sliding doors, the balcony is huge, where you can sit outside in open air and enjoy the peace scenery.
The wooden boardwalks connect the entire resort. Located near the opposite end of the resort, the pool and outdoor Jacuzzi look well kept and inviting amid the pretty landscape. The entire area is cool and shady but there is plenty of open space for those want to tan under the sun in their beach chairs as well.
The onsite restaurant is open concept and shares the same garden setting. It is a lovely and relaxing setting to enjoy your food. The “American” breakfast has a decent selection and is generally tasty especially for the Asian dishes. It is a Muslim hotel so alcohol is not served on the premises. But there is a huge 7-11 just opposite the hotel to get your alcohol fix and it is not a problem bringing it back to your room. Or you can head to the many bars around the area or even down at the beach promenade. Dinner is served at the restaurant but it seems that most people including us prefer to head out anyway.
The resort is well maintained and every day, we see the garden and pool staff in full force, taking care of the place. Hence the bugs are kept to a minimum but there are still a few around. If you are prone to them, you may want to bring your own insect repellent, patch, mosquito coils and such as the resort do not provide them.
The service is pleasant and friendly enough but nothing outstanding. They are happy to direct you to wherever you want to come but would not call up the place to help you make a booking or even hail a taxi or tuk tuk for you. And the night staff is an especially grumpy bunch, best to be avoided.
Despite listing a spa in the premises, there do not seem to be any direct contact between the spa and hotel staff. The reception staff keeps telling us to call the spa directly but nobody picks up the phone. We went down to check the spa out a couple of times but the place is eerily quiet and finally one of the mantainence staff told us the spa is not in operation. In the end I crossed the road and walked five minutes, away from the direction of the beach, to Vogue Spa & Resort for a top-notch spa experience with excellent service at a very reasonable price.
Despite the few teething problems, we did enjoy our stay in this wonderful tropical retreat. If you want to be near of the thick of action and still have your privacy and space, the resort is the place for you. The nightlife in Krabi is not as hectic and trendy like its hipper counterparts but most shops and places stay open till late and it is safe for us to walk back to our hotel from the beach at night. Somkiet Buri Resort is value for money, the overall atmosphere and standard makes us feel as if we paid for a luxurious, high end experience instead of moderately priced accommodation so that is a big plus. We would definitely consider staying here for a second time if we are coming back to Krabi again.
Rooms close to the pool are really nice- direct access to the pool. Otherwise we prefer the 2nd floo...
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