This review like many others before it will do nothing but heap praise on the hotel, all of which is richly deserved. We had the fortune to stay here for two weeks after being in Laos and Cambodia, and this hotel was sooo good at letting us wind down to a very slow pace!
The Sarojin manages effortlessly to deliver five star quality combined with the relaxed air of flip flops and swimwear, which are acceptable whenever you like. No stuffy airs and graces, just pure relaxation however you feel comfortable.
Rather than just ooze compliments, we have set out below some of the details that you may find useful to convince you to go, which you should. It may also save you some of the precious airline luggage allowance, when you know what to expect!
We hope you found this helpful!
Firstly the rooms. We were in a garden view room, all of which have a lovely decking area within a private enclosed space where you find some basic loungers, hidden from the view of any passers by. Each of the rooms has its own little pathway anyway away from the main path, and set back so you are very private.
The rooms are lovely and spacious with reasonable storage and with two showers, a trough basin and a loo, as well as a bathtub, all in a kind of "open plan" area where the floor is covered with areas of pebbles. Bizarre but it works! The beds and pillows we found very comfortable, and the bedding was changed every day and also there is a turn down service at night.
There is a good safe, a kettle, fridge and hairdryer (one which is reasonably powered and actually works), and there is free tea and coffee, and you can request UHT milk which is complimentary and is way better than creamer. You even get the choice of instant coffee or ground coffee, with a cafetiere. Each day you also get fresh fruit and crackers, which is a great touch.
The toiletries are excellent. You even get a room freshener spray to freshen the room, and a candle is lit by the turndown service to welcome you back to your room - a great example of the individuality and tranquillity that this hotel offers.
You will also find two umbrellas (which they are happy for you to take out of the hotel), a torch (great for walking along the beach or to a local restaurant at night) and a lovely straw beach bag.
There is an abundance of bottled water and you will never need to buy any for your room. Every morning five bottles are left, and any used ones are replenished by the turndown service. If you manage to get through all that, just ask for more at reception!
The aircon is very effective and very quiet, so no problems keeping cool.
The pool is fabulous- a good size, lovely warm water, never crowded because of the small number of rooms at the hotel, and with a great pool service that deliver iced water top-ups and extra towels whenever you want. There are always sunbeds available, and all of them have umbrellas for shade.
The beach is awesome with lovely golden sand and with a sea temperature usually at 28 degrees - just like a warm bath. The hotel has its own small private section, but there are no crowds anyway as this is a relatively quiet area. Again, there is a great Sarojin beach crew with towels, iced water and often fruit being served free to guests, and there are always plentiful sunbeds with umbrellas. The only slight negative during our stay was that there were quite a few stinging jellyfish in evidence, The beach crew did post a warning notice, and mentioned this hazard when setting up the sun beds but a couple few guests did still venture into the sea regardless and were stung which was real shame. However, the staff do check each day and the jellyfish are not always there. You cannot snorkel off the beach as the water visibility is poor.
If you are coming to dive in the nearby Similans, then be aware that this once great world class diving area is not that great at all. It has been overfished and whilst the diving is still good, it is most certainly not world class. The Similans are officially a protected marine park, with a diving season that ends in May for six months. As soon as the season ends though, the fishing boats move in and the government does nothing to stop it. There are rangers on two of the islands but they cannot control the fishing boats, and the Thai government does nothing to enforce the marine park status. It is trying to keep the fishermen happy, but will ultimately lose its diving tourism business as many of the divers I spoke to were saying they will not return.
The hotel has its own trips and tours, which it puts on with its own staff and vehicles and wonderful food. They are expensive but a fabulous experience and well worth doing.
The hotel used to have a no children policy though there were a couple staying whilst we were there. However, it is primarily an adults-only hotel, which means you will never have to worry about choosing a sunbed, or having a room, adjacent to the dreaded noise!! Because of the quality of the clients staying at the hotel, there is absolutely no loud music or other noise pollutants, so you can be sure of a quiet, relaxed atmosphere.
The hotel has two excellent restaurants, and the one big plus point is the all-day breakfast, which you can take at any time until 6pm, the team here are fantastic. That means that if you want to go out on a half day trip with an early start, or a diving day with an early start, you have not lost breakfast, as you can have it when you come back. That might sound slightly silly, but the breakfast is a menu service (not a buffet) where everything is freshly prepared for you, and you can have as many things as you like. The menu included fresh fruit, cold meats and cheeses and lots of hot dishes that you could eat not just as breakfast, but as lunch or even an early dinner. It works brilliantly!
The only downside to the hotel restaurants for either lunch or dinner is the price, which is similar to quality UK levels. The way around this and also to vary the choice is to either take a taxi to Khao Lak, or to use the two nearby local restaurants (yes, with plastic chairs and sand for a carpet! but they are fun). Directly next to the hotel on the beach is the White Sand Beach restaurant, and a full dinner with Chang and white wine will set you back about £25 for two. For a change why not try the Ratree Restaurant which is a right turn out of the front of the hotel and then a half mile walk along a quiet, lit road to the Kantary Beach hotel, where this restaurant/bar is located just outside the main entrance. This one is a bit more "rustic" but with a really good atmosphere and great value.
There is a great air-conditioned library at The Sarojin which also has a good selection of books, games and even DVD's.
Mosquito's - ah yes, the mosquitos. The gardens have lots of water with some picturesque lakes and at night, singing frogs. The mozzies love water, heat and humans! Take some mozzie repellent with deet with you and please remember to use it. There was evidence on some guests who had clearly been unaware of how active the mozzies were. The hotel do provide an electric mozzie killer for the room, and a coil for the outside decking. Just make sure you keep the room door shut whenever you can. The bedroom are also equipped with citronella spray, which in theory is a great idea but this is an ineffective deterrent, albeit environmentaly friendly.
The nearest town is Khao Lak, which is over 7k away and not walkable. The hotel do offer a shuttle bus service at set times, but those times are not always convenient. Just phone reception to order a taxi for you which will cost 300BHT each way for the car (not per person). For your return trip there are very many taxis available who all charge 300BHT. That does mean that a round trip is going to cost you about £12. Khao lak is an OK town which is really one long shopping/restaurant strip. There are loads of restaurants, dive shops, pharmacies, opticians, tailors and tourist shops. It is not the greatest place but is worth visiting a couple of times. Good restaurants that we used were Smile, and Jai, both of which were recommended by the hotel and also other guests.
The hotel offers free mountain bikes which are fun to use and are in good condition. They also have a small gym which had one treadmill, a bike and a small weights section, which was in good condition, but a further cardio machine would have been useful when a treadmill hogger was attempting a marathon. However, if you can, just get out on the roads to run, early in the day when it is cooler. There are some great extremely quiet roads all around, and depending on the tide they can be incorporated into a beach run - fantastic way to start the day.
The hotel has its own award-winning Pathways Spa which is really fabulous. The don't really push it, but take advantage of the lower prices in the morning, if you need any convincing and ask for Nan she is terrific - you can get a 60 minute morning massage in a really peaceful, professional environment for about £30, but be warned you will have to return, finding even 90 mins is over in a fragrant flash .
And finally, the real reason to go....is the staff. Every single one of them are really dedicated to making your stay a wonderful one. Nothing is too much trouble - they guess what you want almost before you think of it, just ask and it will be done if it is possible!
- 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