The rooms numbered in the 300's are set back from the pool and the restaurant, which means that you're not at all disturbed by any noise which might come from that area. Unfortunately, the main road is next to the room block and combined with the air-con noise, we never really slept well. Having said that, the room themselves are cleaned every day. Four bottles of mineral water are also left every day and on arrival there is fresh fruit in a bowl. A nice touch was a birthday cake for my wife left in the room which was nice to discover. I can only assume they saw the cards and decided to make the gesture. Additionally, there were cakes or sweets left in the room in the evenings when the beds are turned back.
The restaurant serves an excellent breakfast. Everything from traditional "full English" to cereal, fruit, rice, stir-fry, you name it, it was there. We dined there one evening and it cost twice as much as the Starbay restaurant next door. My green curry had green baby chick peas in, lots of them. Not keen on that recipe to be honest.
The Thai staff were without exception, fantastic. I'm not the sort to be all overly familiar with staff, but a few deserve a mention. 'Boon' on reception is quite frankly a credit to the place. Huge smiles and waved enthusiastically to us every time we passed by. 'Than' and 'Phu' pool waiters were brilliant. Always setting up the sun loungers with fresh towels and coming immediately to the bed when you pressed the little service buzzer. In fact all of the Thai staff were happy and never missed an opportunity to say good morning or hello.
The pool area can be quite deserted when there's not a wedding on. We saw two weddings take place and it was nice to see the build up and ceremony on the beach. The area at the beach front on the left hand side is not a good location because there is a smell from drainage or something. The area to the right is better. This seems to be a problem often encountered in tropical climes and Thailand is no exception. Otherwise, the beds, loungers and four-posters are comfortable and well maintained. Happy hour buy one get one (the same) free. 5-7pm. Cocktails by the pool was just bliss.
The pools are on the small side but big enough for a splash. The water was warm, 40 degrees if I was to take a guess.
The beach is picture-postcard stuff and you can take a stroll to Lamai in about 15 leisurely minutes. The sea is only knee deep for the first 1000 metres out, after that there's a reef and the sea is deep and choppy. Therefore the 'lagoon' is difficult to swim in and the water is hot. Yes hot!, by midday the sea is say 45-50 degrees at a guess. We 'borrowed' a kayak from the hotel next door and it was great fun to paddle right round the lagoon for an hour or more. Trouble was that the kayaks are for hotel guests only and we weren't guests of that hotel. Oops! Perhaps Beach Republic should also make some kayaks available?
Now then, Sunday Brunch. Quality food and lots of it. The hotel gets invaded by outsiders on Sundays, but that's not a problem because as I've said, the place was deserted in the week and the arrival of some new faces along with the music livened the place up a lot. We paid approximately £20 each which I thought was a touch expensive considering there is only so much you can eat. You have to pay for drinks. Someone told me the wine was free but we were not offered any.
We took a few trips. A day safari taking in elephants, monkeys, crocodile shows and a Jeep up into the mountains. Well worth it. We also took the speedboat to Koh Nanguan to snorkel which was fantastic. The hotel books them with a third party who pick you up and drop you off. Appears to work very well. Obviously, Boon was there to wave goodbye and welcome us back, bless her.
Overall a fantastic holiday at a lovely resort. We would stay there again without hesitation.
Can it be improved? Well Julie might try smiling! (Go on, you know you want to). The drain smell needs fixing. The staff make an extra effort to polish the place prior to a wedding. (Shouldn't you be doing that every day?). That's about it. Wonderful.
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