Getting a little aged for the party towns and crowds? Or looking for a romantic getaway with your partner? I cannot recommend Le Coral in Khok Kloi, Thailand, highly enough.
Arriving into Phuket Airport, instead of the well-worn path southwards towards the bustling Patong region. Turn North, and head over the scenic Sarasin Bridge towards mainland Thailand. Just a short 30-minute drive along the coastline brings you to Natai Beach and the stunning Resort of Le Coral Hideaway Beyond Phuket.
As the name suggests, first impressions leave you in no doubt you’ve escaped the rat-race and you and your loved one are hiding away from the world in a tropical paradise. There’s 5 types of accommodation to choose from, with the 4-story resort offering unhindered views of every sunset from every room – All you need to choose is the level of luxury you wish to admire it from. For some, there may be an errant palm tree in the way – oh the perils!
We initially tried 3 nights in the Horizon Pool Access room to begin with. There’s 8 rooms with dedicated poolside access, and you can literally walk 3 small steps from your private balcony straight into a separate pool just for these residents. Of-course the main pool, which is as beautiful and warm as it is vast, is just a couple of steps away, with plenty of seating scattered around to get some sun between dips!
For the remaining 7 night’s we ventured into something a little more luxurious, The Luxury Suite. Situated away from the main complex, we were treated to a split-level dream of an experience. With a small kitchenette, couch and balcony on the lower floor and a huge master bedroom, bathroom and balcony with a spa located upstairs on the second level. The only sounds we could hear were the local birdlife chirping away throughout the lush tropical rainforest and it was bliss!
The hotel is located just a 50 meter walk from the beach. Between the two is a small tidal stream that ebbs and flows through the day – Almost becoming your sense of time. Once you cross the small beach, you’re confronted by…. absolutely nothing. There’s (generally) not a soul on the beach except a fellow guest at the hotel or two and the water is clear, warm and ever so soothing from the hot sun.
My wife and I get a little brave whilst overseas, and we often hire scooters to get around when in South East Asia. If you’re as keen as us, then there are some amazing day trips embark on from your quiet little home base. Given this area’s distance from the tourism hot spots – The English language is understandably not so easily understood or accepted, but we had no troubles communicating in those unique travel ways (hand gestures and a smile go a long way!) in any of the destinations.
· Khok Kloi is the closest town, roughly 5/10 minutes on scooter and the resort also has twice daily shuttle buses that will take you in and pick you up. It’s very local and good for the Supermarket, a few banks, some great local restaurants and a market that springs up each Friday night in the centre of town as well as a few street-side food carts with lots of local treats to try.
· Thai Mueang is a township just a little further away, at roughly 35 minutes via scooter but this coastal city threw us some great surprises. The local restaurants are gorgeous and it’s here that we ate some of the best local food. We travelled in early March 2016, and got lucky enough to stumble upon a Turtle Festival that happens in this coastal town each year (they breed and release turtles nearby, and what better reason to get a town together for a party) . There was a huge market set up for the evening with dozens and dozens of food stalls, clothes shops – you name it, they had it! This was a real highlight of the trip for us and I’ll even admit, I ate many forms of insect dipped in chili and soy sauce that night.
· Ruean Phae Sam Chong Seafood is East of the hotel, and takes roughly 45/50 minutes via scooter to get to. This isolated little port is one the main starting points for boat tours into the Ao Phang-Nga Delta and National Park. We didn’t come here for the tour, we came for the seafood! This gorgeous restaurant is located over the water and provides limitless views along the river in 3 of 4 directions. You get to watch locals ferry back and forth on small power boats to the various towns along the river bank and of course, try the seafood!
Travel Dates: March 2016
Author: James Lusher
Images: James Lusher