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“View from a wheelchair in September 2006”
Review of The Sarojin

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The Sarojin
Ranked #2 of 70 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 28, 2007

I cannot praise this magical boutique hotel highly enough - that goes for the staff, so graceful, caring and smiling; the food, beautifully presented and to such a high standard; the rooms (more about those later); the resort itself. You take from it what you need - immense peace and tranquillity, or an activie life with much to choose from.

From my point of view: the main paths are cement and gently sloped, the important steps are ramped, though I asked them to put edges on the wooden ones so I knew where my wheels might be straying. However, the paths to individual rooms, the pool and the beach are made of large stones placed in the lawns and consequently, very bumpy and difficult for my chair (with small front wheels) to negotiate. Jong, however, offered to have his boys carry me in my chair wherever and whenever I needed, including the beach restaurant, serving Thai food.

The handicapped room is lovely, and at my request, and within 24 hours, grab rails were installed in the shower, the rainshower, plus non-slip strips on the floor, and an extra rail in the loo. The room is no different to others I suspect - it is on 2 levels but with a small ramp provided. The room has an extra door at the rear with a slope leading to it from a main path.

The staff were extraordinary, and as my husband was scuba diving with Seabees (excellent) I spent some days alone - except I was not alone as there were always several members of staff to escort me from room to restaurant or terrace, and there was always some one to check to see if I needed a drink or a cold towel, etc.

Thanks to the "mother" of the resort, Chailai, they are all wonderfully trained.

The food was truly excellent, sitting in a fully glass walled area, open to the breezes. As I could not easily get to the beach, Thai food was happily brought from the Edge to the Ficus where we were, and that was delicious too!

Sunday evening has a Thai dance troupe to entertain and a Thai buffet - choose carefully as it can be very spicy indeed!

Try the Spa - here the treatment beds are quite high, but the treatments themselves are amazing.

The large pool had no rails to enter, and most sunbeds were on raised platforms. I am sure, though, that umbrellas and beds could be provided on the surrounding grass. I actually preferred the shaded main terrace which was cooler.

Transport from and to the hotel is offered, both to the airport and shopping locally, but I found the vans were very high and difficult to use, but as usual, the staff did everything they could to help me.

We were very, very sad to leave this peaceful haven from the real world, but all good things must come to an end eventually. I would like to think we can go back and find eveything unchanged, Is it too much to hope?

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank parfro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,369 - 1,375 of 1,727 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2007

The Sarojin is one of those places you discover and decide you'd really rather not let anyone else know about it, so it remains a secret. However since Trip Advisor has ensured the cat is definitely out of the bag, here's a few comments!

Staff: are delightful and genuinely tried hard to make the stay special. I'm sure sometimes there are hiccups but we personally encountered no language difficulties, check-in / out absolutely a breeze, room service was very quick etc. We remembered faces from our first visit and were remembered in return (hopefully in a positive way!) A good example is the effort made to arrange a private charter for us (we wanted to go diving but the Lady Sarojin was booked out on the snorkeling trip). Jong managed to arrange everything at short notice despite full dive boats and, along with the other crew members, ensured we had a fabulous day. On our last stay I believe the hotel was missing a manager, but it's a credit to the team as a whole that this wasn't noticeable in any way.

Hotel layout and facilities: low key luxury, well laid out grounds means the hotel doesn't feel busy at full occupancy. Lovely spa - expect blissful treatments. Small but well equipt gym; little shop with free internet access; bikes to explore the local area (the local children found my attempts to keep upright hilarous); two very good restaurants (one international, one Thai); beautiful beach (not powder soft but I think another review put this down to the tsunami?) If you fancy a change from the hotel foodwise the three little places on the beach are all meant to be nice - we tried the closest one to the hotel (it does great BBQ'd fish). Tip - as with the whole area if you are prone to mosquito bites take repellent (though hotel does provide cute little bottles of citronella).

Rooms: pretty much as has already been described on TA. Fab. We've stayed in a garden residence and a suite and whilst the suite is a treat the garden residence is still lovely.

Pool: the pool is gorgeous but suffers from people staking a claim to sun beds early in the morning then disappearing all day. I think I'm developing sunbed rage. Not a fault of the hotel more down to the crassness of certain guests. It does feel a bit busy around the pool / on the beach when the hotel is full but I believe more sunbeds have been added and the staff do their best to spirit up beds wherever you want them .

Excursions: if you can, go on the Similan snorkeling trip and if you're a diver you'll be in heaven. We didn't do any jungle trips but other guests came back raving.

Finally from a value for money perspective, for us the Sarojin delivered an exceptional stay. It's at the high end for the area but equally we've stayed in other resorts that really sting cost-wise but didn't put the Sarojin in the shade. If you're on a tight budget you could always mix the Sarojin with a less expensive resort.

So go and have a fabulous stay..but please don't tell too may people!

  • Stayed: March 2007
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7  Thank EdamameLon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2007

We were a little concerned about our impending holiday at the Sarojin having read some of the reviews on TA. However, we need not have worried, we could not fault anything, most certainly the Management have read the comments from previous holidaymakers and dealt with them all. We loved the hotel, the food, the location, the spa and the staff, it was so peaceful and we will definately go again.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank McGaffney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2007

We stayed here the 2 day prior and after our cruise with star flyer. We chosed to go for a pool residence and it was the best to do !

The rooms are very nice with lage bathrooms and comfortable beds as well as AC`s. Having your own little pool with your outside lounge area is absolut great. So you can avoid the playing children at the main pool.

The main pool itself was stunning and absolutly amazing. But this is no resort for familys or kids they have nothing to do here then to play at the poolside ! So be wise and take your childre elsewhere.

The beach was nice and very long but the water of the ocean was not so clean at this spot so we prefered the / our pool.

The food was great and so was the room service. We had dinner in our own residence almost every night and the service was great.

One point about the service to improve :

They are all very nice and kind but they really didn`t understand you very often. So they should improve there english skills.

Just a short example as it happens to us :

Q: Is our pick up tomorrow morning at 7 am ?
A: Yes Sird yes yes with a lot of bowing...

Actually it was at 6:15 so our driver had to wait 45 minutes....

So if you have to arrange importand things be sure you really got understood right !!!

But this is only a small down and there are so many highs. So feel free to stay you won`t be disappointed.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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5  Thank Mike1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2007

The Sarojin is just a perfect place to go to. The staff is extremely friendly and fulfills all wishes. Pick up service was very good, nice and excellent calm driver. The spa treatments are amazing same as the food. Especially the breakfast was very good. It is served and you can therefore really enjoy it. Service was always superb.
Daytrips are pretty expensive, we did the trip to similan on lady Sarojin, which was nice but not as cool as I thought it would be, although the snorkeling was good. The beaches where unspectacular compared to Phi Phi.
The beach at Sarojin is very nice and lonely, you can enjoy it for long walks. Water is clean but not very clear.
Pool was great no problems wiht availability of sunbeds!

Just go and I am sure you will enjoy your stay.

Stayed: March 2007
2  Thank wonni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2007

We have just returned from a nine night stay at the Sarojin. We would firstly like to echo the views of the couple from Portland Oregan. Try to ignore the earlier criticism of The Sarojin on Trip Advisor. It is a personal view but it does not reflect our experience at all. The Sarojin is a very special place which we felt combined 100% commitment to customer service, an intimate resort experience and a real touch of Thailand. If you want a chain resort (where you could be in any hotel in any place in the world then the Sarojin is not for you).

From the moment we were met at the airport (in one of the Sarojin’s fleet of private cars) we were made to feel welcome, pampered and that nothing was too much trouble.

We stayed in a Sarojin suite (no 708) which was in a quiet location, very close to the beach and gave us wonderful views of sunsets every night. The size and standard of accommodation were excellent. We had a large sun terrace with a plunge bath which was perfect for cooling off in the warm weather! Special touches in the room included free drinking water and daily fresh fruit and snacks in your room. You even get a Sarojin beach bag to carry your things around in and silk jewellery boxes in the safe. It’s these thoughtful little touches that make the Sarojin so special.

The service was also very good. The staff were welcoming, friendly and couldn’t do enough for us.

We only left the resort on a couple of occasions once to do the snorkelling trip aboard the Lady Sarojin - which was first class. The head of marine entertainment made the trip fun and exclusive – we literally had beaches and waters to ourselves. Food and drink on the trip were endless and it was also a good place to meet and chat with other guests. We also went into Khao Lak on the complimentary shuttle bus. In our view it’s only worth a short trip as an alternative place to eat out (and buy snacks and drinks for your room). We also had went on a bike ride – using a couple of the resort's fleet of bicycles.

The food at the resort was first class and beautifully presented. The Sarojin don’t advocate half or full board rates which is great because it gives you the freedom to pick and choose. Both the Ficus and the Edge restaurants were excellent with very different atmospheres and menus but we found ourselves craving something a little plainer on some nights. We therefore sampled all of the three beach "bungalow" restaurants on the beach. They are more cheaply priced than the Sarojin and the food is very good. Our favourite was the one with the Blue roof where the owner stopped asking us what we wanted to drink when we turned up and just bought over a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and ice bucket!

If breakfast is included in your trip, you can have it in your room at no extra cost.

The Spa is also worth a visit where again we received an excellent level of service.

The only thing we would mention (which the resort has little control over) were the accessibility of sun beds. It wasn’t a direct issue for us we are not frequent sun bed users but it was interesting to observe the lengths that some couples went to to secure the podium sun beds by the pool. We had early morning swims on most days and even at 8.00 in the morning beds had been reserved with no sign of any bodies lying on them until several hours later!

To echo the view of the Portland Oregan couple the role of Jowell - the hotel’s "Imagineer." - sums up this of the resort which is to provide a tailor-made service to its guests. We had an amazing anniversary trip and would strongly recommend the Sarojin to anyone seeking luxury, comfort, peace and quiet and excellent service.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank Foz&Minka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2007

We have returned recently from a thoroughly enjoyable three-week sojourn at the Sarojin. This small boutique resort certainly lived up to its reputation for providing a peaceful and serene setting in which to relax and recharge the batteries.

We stayed in one of the garden residences (Room 105) close to the Spa. The contemporary style room was spacious and well laid out. The sala outside the room was a welcome retreat during the day and was not as exposed as others have suggested. In addition to the standard provisions of tea/coffee; bottled water and toiletries, the Sarojin also provides insect repellent; fruit and a selection of rolls and vegetable crisps - all replenished daily. The only downside with the rooms is the widely reported toilet and its lack of privacy!

The resort has two restaurants both of which offer food of an exceptionally high standard. The quality of food presentation is also exquisite. At times service can be haphazard, however this is mainly due to the lack of restaurant managers and the staff’s quality of English (compared to other major Thai hotels).

The hotel provides a good choice of private dining scenarios. We chose a meal on the beach and were surprised by the effort the staff made to create such a romantic setting. Unfortunately the food was a bit of a let down and if we had known beforehand would have selected a number of dishes from The Edge menu, rather than choosing one of the set beach BBQ menus.

The excursions on the Lady Sarojin are worth the extra money you pay. The yacht, which is shortly to be replaced by a more luxurious model, was very comfortable and more spacious than the chartered boats we saw. The crew also take you to excellent snorkelling locations away from the mass of other day-trippers and laid on a fantastic spread at lunchtime.

We also hired a car and driver for a couple of days to explore Phuket. Although we were promised a guide who had extensive knowledge of Phuket, this was unfortunately limited to how to get there and back. Thankfully we had conducted some research on the web prior to the trip so could direct the driver to specific places we wanted to visit. [You may therefore want to bring a guidebook with you.]

The hotel provides a free shuttle service to Khao Lak (Le Meridien charges 200 baht). The best time to visit the local town is in the evening when the area comes alive. There is a reasonable mix of shops and restaurants, though if you are looking for something different from the usual tourist souvenirs you’ll need to go further afield.

The hotel has private access to a secluded beach which arcs for miles around the cove. The sand is pure white but as a result of the Tsunami has been tainted slightly by coral and uprooted palms. Wooden loungers are provided on the beach but the hammocks shown on the website are nowhere to be seen.

The pool is fantastic and has a jacuzzi. The pool sun loungers are very popular and prone to having towels and books placed on them early in the morning to secure a spot.

Having read some strong criticism of the hotel shortly prior to arriving, we were concerned we had been duped by the glossy Sarojin website and over enthusiastic comments of earlier guests. However we can honestly say that the Sarojin is worth staying at. Not only is it a lovely hotel but the staff is also friendly and welcoming. You will also be supporting a community that was hit hard by the Tsunami and is making great effort to recover.

Further Recommendations:
· Book the Sunset Cocktail Cruise on the Lady Sarojin. Although it’s 3200 Baht per person it’s a great experience and you’ll easily drink enough free alcohol to more than cover the cost.
· Mix up your dining by eating at one of the beach shacks. All three beach restaurants are excellent, though our favourite was the first one – Oawthong White Sand Beach. Prices are ridiculously cheap.
· Leave your books at home. There is a plentiful supply of books in the hotel library covering all genres. There is also a reasonable selection of DVDs – particularly if you like James Bond films.
· Arrange the release of a paper lantern/balloon after dinner and make a wish. Very romantic and great fun watching it rise up and join the stars.
· In Khao Lak, check out the Stempfercafe and Jai’s Restaurant. Also check out the Haadson Resort in Bang Sak – excellent food and a great place to watch the sunset.
· Have the Royal Orchid Massage at the hotel spa – 90 minutes of pure relaxation.
· Join Jowell’s free stretch class held two evenings a week. With elements of yoga also included, it is a great way to loosen the muscles and relax.
· If you are celebrating a birthday/anniversary whilst away the hotel has access to an excellent florist. Bouquets of various sizes can be arranged for between 500-1500 baht.

Stayed: February 2007
11  Thank EalingMember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sarojin

Address: 60 Moo 2 Kukkak | Takuapa, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Khao Lak
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
#2 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#2 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#3 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
Price Range: $203 - $693 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sarojin 5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Multi award winning luxurious boutique beach resort, just 55 minutes from Phuket on a stunning, secluded white sand beach in Khao Lak. Exceptional personal services, top class facilities. Ideal for couples, romantic breaks, honeymoons, weddings and adult family groups. Designed in a contemporary Asian style with just 56 luxurious guest residences. Wide range of activities and facilities - cruise on a luxury boat, jungle adventures complete with champagne, glimpse authentic Thai local life in association with responsible and sustainable tourism commitment, rejuvenating spa massages lulled by the sounds of the Andaman sea, Thai cooking classes, lazy gourmet lunches, romantic diners on a secluded beach or by a candlelit jungle waterfall ...The limits are only your imagination. No children under 10 years permitted to stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sarojin Hotel Khao Lak
Sarojin Hotel Khao Lak

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