We are an American couple living in Bangkok that wanted to spend a weekend away from all the hustle and bustle. For a relaxing, quiet, luxurious retreat with personalized, friendly service, Nakamanda is the way to go. This is a boutique hotel located in a secluded beach far away from the crowded, touristy, party-going atmosphere.
We were picked up at the airport by the hotel concierge and a driver and were provided cool towels and water for the ride. During the 45 minute ride to the hotel the concierge was very welcoming and spoke excellent English. She informed us about the various activities offered and we ended up booking a private speed boat tour for the next day. Upon our arrival, our bags were carried off and we sat in the open air lobby and were given welcome drinks as they collected and processed our passports, etc. Then, the concierge escorted us through the grounds and showed us to our room. It appeared that the natural landscape was minimally impacted when building the resort. There were plenty of trees about, birds chirping, frogs and geckos seen off the paths. The villas were nicely spaced out and blended well with the natural environment. In my opinion the grounds offered a more personalized, relaxing, and local feel versus a towering hotel with elevators and cookie-cutter rooms. As a result, expect a few extra stairs when walking across the resort - this did not bother us but might to other people (note that there are no ramps for wheelchair accessibility). The resort sits on a small bay that is filled with beautiful blue water during high tide that transforms to a muddy waterless pit during low tide. The pool, bar, and restaurant are positioned closest to the bay so that the view is enjoyed during high tide at breakfast and dinner. For clarification from other reviews, there is a stand alone bar near the beach side sitting area by the restaurant.
We chose the garden view sala villa and were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations. The room was large with a comfortable king sized bed, TV, and sitting area. The bathroom was huge with separate his and her sinks and ample closet space. There was a separate standing shower that is quite big, separate toilet, and a large bathtub for 2 under a skylight. The bathroom area also had some trickling ponds with plants in it and real fish swimming around. The entrance of the villa had a private terrace with a sitting area and day bed. Our villa was on the first floor and privacy could be an issue if the curtain were left up and someone walking by were purposefully trying to look in. We didn’t think it was a big deal and simply closed the curtains if needed.
The resort offered a wonderful buffet style breakfast located by the pool with tables closer to the beach as well. The had both western and Asian style food, plenty of fruit, pastries, meat, made to order eggs, and a la carte ordering. We always left breakfast full. The afternoon tea was in the lounge where they offered several types of tea and yummy cakes, cookies, and snacks. We could enjoy the outdoor seating or sit inside in the air conditioning and watch the big screen TV, read a magazine, or play games.
The service at Nakamanda was truly exception. The concierge was always greeting us by our names whenever she saw us and always asked how our day went or if we needed anything. We always saw her greeting other guests as well, playing with their kids, and making recommendations and arrangements. She was extremely helpful and friendly, yet not overbearing. During breakfast she showed us how to eat longan and we chatted about our previous night out and how we liked the local beer. She told us she would have an ice chest with ice ready for our beers for the boat tour. She also surprised us by adding a box full of longan since we enjoyed them so much at breakfast.
We did try out the spa facility and booked the sunburn relief therapy on our last day. This included a sit in the sauna, a light massage, and a cold body wrap of some cucumber mixture. I’m not sure how much it helped my sunburn, but the therapy was nice and relaxing.
The hotel provided us transportation to the nearby city of Ao Nang. They recommended a seafood restaurant and dropped us off at the place. It was a big place that offered lots of dishes. Everything we had was delicious. Later, we walked around, did some shopping and enjoyed the magnificent sunset over the water. For a cheap bar, start at the large seafood restaurant and walk on the beach-side sidewalk away from the bridge. There is a small stand-alone hut that serves cheap, yet strong drinks.
The private speed boat tour is a must do in Krabi, and it’s the only way to visit the Phi Phi islands (longboats are too slow). While it is a little expensive, it is well worth the splurge - after all isn’t the point of being in Krabi to check out the postcard-like islands in seclusion and not with a bunch of other tourists? After breakfast, our boat was waiting in the bay right by the hotel. It was a nicely sized and very modern speed boat complete with a driver and 2 helpers. We spent the entire day island hopping, snorkeling, laying on beaches, jumping cliffs, etc. If we thought an island was too crowded, we simply told the driver to move on until we found a more secluded spot. There were several times when we had an entire island to ourselves! We noticed that other boats were packed with tourists and had set stops for short periods of time. What a drag. Having your own private speed boat means going wherever you want and spending as much time as you want at each place. Again, I highly recommend booking this. The next day, we booked a private longboat and checked out the nearby islands, most notably Hong island. The cove at Hong island is beautiful but there were too many people there for our liking. We ended up going to a more quieter place for some relaxation. Later that day when we returned, the concierge recommended we walk along the beach to the Sheraton to watch the elephant bath in the ocean. 10 minutes later we were watching the elephant getting wet and playing with the tourists. Pretty neat.
We had dinner at the Nakamanda restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed the set menu. While a bit overpriced, they served good (I wouldn’t say the best, but far from bad based on our experience living in Bangkok) Thai food, a decent wine list, and an interesting selection of desserts (the pumpkin with ice cream was great!). The atmosphere was great as we sat at beachside a candlelit table. Another dinner option is the grill. They have a display of freshly caught seafood where you can pick what you want and they will grill it right there on an open fire for you.
Overall, we loved staying at Nakamanda for it’s quiet seclusion and top notch service. We plan on making a repeat visits.
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- Also Known As:
- Nakamanda Hotel Nong Thale
- Nakamanda Resort And Spa
- Nakamanda Resort Krabi
- Nakamanda Hotel Krabi
- Nakamanda Resort & Spa Krabi, Thailand