We stayed in a sweet which had plenty of storage for clothes with hangers and places to store our suitcases out of site. The outside bathroom was really lovely and uniquely designed. The view from our sweet through the palm trees was fabulous and it was a short walk to the hotel's private beach near the jetty. Although the jetty is not the prettiest, its not as bad as you'd think once you see it for real. The water is clear and bright blue-green and there's a beach bar where lunch can be taken, snorkel equipment, kayaks with life jackets, comfy beds, umbrellas and complimentary beach towels and bottled water.
On the other side of the jetty (reached by climbing from the beach up a few wooden steps, across the pier and down the other side) is a mostly empty soft sand beach that takes about 45 minutes to walk at a strolling pace. Although we did see quite a bit of washed up litter, it does not spoil the beach and is only found in a few places - areas not owned by any hotel. Although the Shantaa makes the effort to clear as much as possible, the beach is too long for them to clean all of it, and most of the litter is washed up overnight. It is only small things like empty bottles, and the usual items you'd expect washed up by the sea. At the far end of the beach are lovely dragon flies, butterflies and birds. The sea is crystal clear and it is amazing to find such an empty beach in Thailand these days.
The food is excellent, especially for such a remote island, and they make lovely fruit smoothies. Breakfast was a choice from a menu (not buffet) and was always delicious with sliced tropical fruit (pineapple, watermelon, papaya), eggs, bacon, muesli, yogurt. The free WI-FI is great but really unreliable and several times during the day there is no service - I suppose to be expected on an island but it could be a bit frustrating at times.
Korakot was lovely and helpful and she organised our transfers to/from the island. We were collected by car from our hotel in Bangkok and driven to the speedboat pier near Trat for the fast speedboat trip to the island. This ran smoothly and was a lovely trip and our room was ready on arrival.
On-site massages by masseuses trained at the local hospital were divine and are taken near the sea in a sheltered location near the rocks.
I hope any future developments in this area are sensitively done with respect for the environment in keeping with the Shantaa's philosophy.
The resort is near perfect, but there's a couple of small suggestions which would enhance the experience:
(1) A bit of fogging or other method for minimising the mosquitos would be welcome - they come out at dusk and attack you in the open-air bathroom and on your veranda, which means after dinner you're confined to your sweet/villa a bit early. The hotel provided heated coils but they don't stop all of them.
(2) A small bar, even if it closed by 10-11 - this would have made socialising with other guests easier.
(3) A small gym - my husband would be reluctant to stay much longer without access to one.
(4) A book for guests to sign out the kayaks in case those who aren't good swimmers get into trouble.
(5) Better maintained bicycles - the brakes were useless.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape to an isolated island resort that you have dreamed of. Located on north Tapao beach of "Kohkood", the last preserved island of Trad Province. Here at "Shantaa", a small resort on Kohkood, you can truly get away from your busy life. You will wake to the gentle breezes rustling through the coconut trees, spend all day with your favorite book, hear the waves roll onto the shore, watch the beautiful sunset in the evening and then join us at the restaurant for a dinner prepared by our local chefs before having a good night sleep in our warm and beautiful accommodations. "Make your vacation memorable at Shantaa" ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shantaa Koh Kood Hotel Koh Kood