Nora Beach Resort was everything we were hoping for after a few weeks travelling around SE Asia – relaxing, quiet, luxurious, self-contained and right on the beach. We arrived late at night and were surprised (and initially worried) by how close in driving time the resort was to the airport. It was all good though – there’s no aircraft noise despite its proximity.
We were greeted by very friendly staff and shown up to a standard room up the top of the hill, on the third level. The whole resort spreads down a fairly steeply sloping hill maybe 120m and the accommodation blocks don’t have elevators, so it’s not really a good option for the lazy, the infirm or the elderly. It didn’t really worry us though and the room was great. The fittings, bathroom and balcony were all good, though we did find that whenever we got into or out of the bed (or moved in it) the whole floor creaked loudly. We came back to this resort a few days later and had another room and it wasn’t a problem there so perhaps it was just the one room.
Down the bottom of the hill is the amazing, enormous pool, fringed by frangipanis and with a bar and spa and plenty of sun lounges that fill up with visitors early so you’ve got to get in quick. Down further is the restaurant and breakfast room – breakfast is a huge smorgasbord with just about everything under the sun. The beach looks nice, but it’s not much chop for swimming – it’s rocky, weedy and murky until you get out a fair distance and when we were there the water was literally hot! But it really wasn’t a problem – you just lounge by the pool or down on the beach and if you want to swim you go for a dip in the pool.
Dinners at the restaurant were fantastic – the BBQ nights are great value and the bloke that plays live music is a real character and makes you feel very welcome.
The staff were all very friendly and obliging and the concierge offered great advice about what else to do around the island. In the end we spent most of our time in the resort because we found the rest of the island to be pretty dirty, overrun with tourists and fairly average compared to other places we’d been. Didn’t matter though because the resort itself was great.
The location is about 15mins drive out of the main area, which was great for us but if you’re planning on going in there every day it’ll cost a few $$ in taxis...unless you work around the resort’s infrequent free shuttle to and from town.
There seems to be a lot of construction wherever you go on the island, and while there was no audible work going on near the resort, from our rented sea kayak (the resort has them) we could see neighbouring sites being cleared right along the coast.
The gym is pretty tiny and I thought it was a bit rich that they didn’t supply free water. The water they did supply was massively overpriced – not a big thing but you’ve got to wonder why. The only other issue was with the constant rock and pop music down at the poolside. Looking around, most of the resort guests were 30+, but the music the bar staff were playing was stuff teenagers would listen to. I'm not sure why all resorts in this part of the world think we need bad music as background, rather than the waves lapping on the beach, but from our travels it was evidently inescapable!
Families seemed to be very well catered for even though we didn't have kids of our own - pool toys, children's cutlery and crockery in the restaurant and staff who we saw taking time out to play with the kids and show them around. Top stuff and despite the family friendly atmosphere it was still a quiet and romantic place for us.
Our flight out was late at night and the staff were all too happy to look after our bags and let us use all the resort facilities, then the day spa’s showers at the end of the day. From all accounts the day spa is fantastic though we didn’t go.
Accommodation here wasn’t cheap but we had a fantastic time and in the end were more than happy to pay a little more for the week of relaxation and enjoyment we got in return. Highly recommended!
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- Also Known As:
- Nora Beach Hotel Chaweng
- Nora Beach Resort All Inclusive
- Nora Beach Resort And Spa Ko Samui/Chaweng, Thailand