Just north of the famous resort of Phuket you’ll find the playground of Khao Lak, where the jungle meets the sparkling ocean. After checking out of Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket Suites we headed to this unique part of the Phang Nga Province to check in to their sister hotel Avani+ Khao Lak Resort. Just like the previous hotel, this Avani+ did not disappoint, with so many facilities on site for couples, singles or families you might never want to leave!
We pulled up to the vast open entrance and were greeted warmly by the staff including Tan, who we later found out is some sort of fix it wizard, and Bank, a member of the front of house staff. We were checked in smoothly by Bank whilst we enjoyed a refreshment in the lobby. We were then whisked away via golf buggy to our two bedroom deluxe suite overlooking the pool and beach beyond. With two large bedrooms this suite has room for up to six adults. As we walked in we were greeted by the separate living room and dining area and outside our very own private balcony. Each bedroom had a bathroom with the master room having a bath and separate shower. My favourite feature was the huge day bed in the lounge, perfect for relaxing in the evening in front of the massive TV or playing cards with a glass of wine or two. After unpacking it was time to hit up the beach, Rachel and I are such water babies given the chance, we love to swim in the ocean but on this day the notorious Andaman Sea had other plans. We got to the beach and the reg flags were up and we could see why, the waves were trashing around violently so we opted for the safety of the pool. The adult focused pool is a very luxe space in the resort; long, with slick tiles and surrounded by lush palms, we made a beeline for the cabanas. Sitting here and dipping in and out the pool was just sublime, all made better with fresh coconuts and juices delivered by the pool bar staff. If you are visiting with family there is a more child centric pool in another part of the resort with a water park, but we stuck to the serenity of the pool by the beach, which was more our vibe.
After a day of mooching by the pool it was time to get ready for dinner, we headed to the Beach House first for cocktails then to enjoy a very delicious Asian inspired menu. We were greeted by Baba and took our seat inside, although there is seating on the terrace outside if you prefer. We started with the Vegetable Samosas, which came with an array of delicious dips, and the Fish Amritsar, a popular North Indian dish of battered fish. We moved on to the Butter Chicken with rice and roti, this was epic; I am a huge fan of this dish anyway but this one was so authentic and packed with flavour. We also ordered the Beef Massaman which was meaty and hearty, and a great juxtaposition to the flavours of the Butter Chicken. We washed this all down with a light rose making for a very pleasant evening. The next morning we got to experience a different restaurant on site, Elements, where breakfast is served, and here we met the Head Chef Nico, from Cologne. He chatted to us about how they have special nights on resort to keep things interesting as to cuisines and how they source their ingredients. He was nice enough then to get me a huge plate of my favourite fruit, Papaya, which I only get to enjoy whilst in Asia due to its carbon footprint, I savoured every mouthful!
After breakfast it was time to get adventurous! Tan, Little Miss Fixit, had organised a river rafting experience for us off resort, so we headed to reception to get in our organised transport to the river location. Once there we were given safety instructions then were transported to the rafts, which were rather large which I was not expecting but be prepared to get wet as these rafts are bamboo and take on water, which was half the fun! We both wore swimsuits and shorts with flip flops. Once on board off we went speeding through the river taking it all in from the trees to the birds to the odd snake pointed out by our guide. When we got to a more open part we stripped down to our swimming costumes and went for a refreshing dip. This was so much fun, just swimming in the clear waters of the river in a secluded pool surrounded by lush tropical forest, the perfect time to just breathe and take it all in. We reboarded the raft and set off for the last part of the river and back to base camp, getting off the raft we were both soggy but it was worth it for such a unique experience.
Back at Avani+ Khao Lak Resort Tan was waiting for us and had organised an afternoon in the AvaniSpa. We headed to the spa building and was checked in my Darani the Spa Manager, we opted for the resorts unique treatment called Out-Of-The-Office Canna Escape, a 90 minute experience that focused on rebooting muscles with a full-body treatment that is perfect for those suffering from office syndrome or back and neck pain. Rachel and I were greeted by our therapists, Joom and Honey, and were then taken to our therapy rooms. First, a full-body massage that targets overexerted muscles and warms you to your core, followed by a warm herbal compress to release any build-up of tension along the spine using a Cannabis Herbal Compress made from Cannabis and Floral Tea. It certainly worked as I drifted off while in the treatment room, when Honey woke me back up I was floating on cloud 9, my back which is usually in pain most of the time was loosened and pain free. We both walked out of there like in a daze, or cannabis haze, who knows but we both felt great!
After another relaxing evening we took our final stroll along the beach, watching the stars and listening to the ocean roll back and forth over the sand. There is certainly something magical about this part of Thailand, away from the more popular destination of Phuket, deep in the jungle and more secluded from the hustle and bustle. Avani+ Khao Lak Resort is the perfect hub from which to explore this region or indeed just sit back and relax. With so many facilities, restaurants and activities there is enough to keep anyone occupied for a week or two. From the roaring ocean to the glistening pools, the exhilaration of the river rafting to the serenity of the AvaniSpa, all with a side of delicious food and friendly professional service from the team, this is a resort that has it all.
Avani+ Khao Lak Resort
99 Moo 8, Tumbon Bang Muang
Amphur Takua Pa
Phang Nga 82190