A charming escape
We spent 6 happy days at Away. What a sadness to have to leave its pretty location, delicious food and most of all, smiling, friendly staff.
Located opposite what most see as the best beach on the island, I like the way the hotel is located apart (or away, pun intended!) from the busy resorts set directly on the beach. Each morning, we would swim over to the beach (it’s about 25m) for a run up and down a few times. Days usually ended on the same beach for the sunset too, Peter Pan has a lovely bar and skilled cocktail barman.
Our room possessed an ocean view, outdoor bathroom and pretty, private balcony for reading and relaxing in the afternoon. We would sleep with the mosquito nets down and doors open to the sound of the cicadas and fishing boats. We actually chose to upgrade on arrival from one of the rooms up the steps amongst the trees. The idea of being in an almost tree house is so romantic but they were a little on the small side for us and my dresses!
We ate almost every night at the hotel’s ‘Escape’ restaurant. The food is simply outstanding and the best we tasted on the island. The Mussaman curry is an absolute must for everyone to try: a skilled balance of sweetness, spice and cream. We had the romantic dinner that is offered on the pier on our first night (worth every penny – a veritable feast that could serve 6 – ensure you go hungry!). For other nights, the staff kindly served us dinner in one of the huts by the water’s edge rather than in the main restaurant. Breakfasts were simple, but good with a decent variety; be sure to try the banana muffins. One improvement: for an island with such a wealth of fresh tropical fruit, I would suggest the juices are freshly squeezed.
We indulged in two Thai massages which left us feeling completely new. They use trained masseurs who previously worked at the Six Senses Resorts – nothing like the Kaoh San Road variety! Thoroughly recommended as is a private snorkelling trip with the friendly, fun gentleman named Same. He is an excellent diver and knows the waters well so acted as a guide, showing us things we might not have spotted and diving down to reach starfish and sea cucumbers for us to see up close (before putting them back, of course). It was easy to arrange a scooter through the hotel and I really recommend this; it meant we could adventure around the island, visiting all of the beaches, coves and waterfalls.
A special mention for Meaw, the front of house who speaks English exceptionally well. She really made the trip for us. First of all, before we arrived: she responded to emails and every single enquiry very quickly and thoroughly. She arranged our transfers from Trat which were seamless and a pleasure (in fact, Trat is the most beautiful airport I have ever seen with elephant topiary along the runway and a café set in a sun-dappled garden!). The transfer service is excellent and very well-priced; be sure to use it. Throughout our stay, she took a real interest in our activities and ideas. She is brilliant.
A couple of small things: portions are large at Escape and on the island in general so you may wish to order to share. Also, the island doesn’t typically do starters and mains but staff tend to bring out everything at once as a feast. If you prefer the former, just ask for it. I would also say that the resort sums up a bohemian, rustic charm that perfectly suits the island but if you’re expecting starched linen table cloths and haute cuisine at breakfast you should probably look elsewhere. But then you would miss out on a charming, outstanding, escape away from it all!
Couples - Nov 13, 2017