We climbed up the steep driveway to Belmond Napasai in the comfort of the hotel’s luxury private transfer. Buffalo grazing and chickens scratching around in the lush green grass of the grounds.
Check-in was a breeze (helped along by home-made coconut ice-cream) and before we knew it, we were being lead to our room. We’ve been lucky enough to stay at a few Belmond properties, and we’re always so impressed with the consistency of the service and accommodation. Needless to say, we were really looking forward to seeing how Belmond Napasai matched up to our previous experiences!
The lovely team upgraded us to an Oceanfront Villa. Complete with a huge bed, facing the most beautiful, uninterrupted view of the crystal clear turquoise ocean. The steep hill houses the Villas, with the lush tropical foliage reflected in the room interiors. Made using natural fabrics and woods, traditional bamboo lines the walls. Wooden panelling cleverly hides more modern conveniences like the air conditioning.
Just through the sliding doors of the bedroom lies a large double wardrobe, dressing area and desk – just in case any last minute business arises!
A huge sand stone bath takes centre stage in the bathroom, with another glorious window flooding light into the room and creating another view of the stunning ocean beyond. Simple furnishings are all this room needs, it oozes laid-back luxury and has plenty of space for a couple.
Immediately we unpacked everything, changed, and left our sanctuary to explore the hotel grounds. The sun was just starting to set, bathing everything in the most gorgeous orangey glow. Strolling first under our own villa and along the edge of the water, hanging out for a while enjoying the warm sea breeze watching the sun go down.
We headed to the Infinity (the pool-side bar), when the sun had disappeared beyond the horizon and the sky was showing the first signs of a pink sunset. The resort was abandoned. Everyone had left for their rooms to get ready for dinner, so everything was quiet. Until the cicadas kicked off the evening with an almighty crescendo.
Cocktail in hand, we relaxed into the shrill hum of the bugs. Watching the pink clouds stretch across the pool, before the dark fingers of night reached out and claimed the day.
There was only one choice for dinner. With our feet buried in the sand, the stars above us and the lights twinkling into life between the palm trees at the Beach Restaurant. If Ben and I were to have a destination wedding, The Beach Restaurant at Belmond Napasai would have been perfect. Soft yellow lights are strung up between the palm trees, above white and blue tables and chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in Greece. Oil Lanterns line the beach and keep away mosquitos, while a single candle flickers gently on each table. It’s heart-breakingly romantic.
We tucked into a shared starter of the best pork gyoza either of us have ever had.
Our mains arrived while I was contemplating suggesting to Ben to get re-married (to each other, obviously!)
He chose a Pad Thai
I went for a classic Thai curry
Helped by the lull from the cocktails, a full tummy and an unbelievably comfy bed, sleep came unbelievably quickly that night.
The buffet was our first port of call the next morning. Hot Asian and Western options, fresh pastries, fruit, cereals, cold meats jams and fresh honey greeted us from various stations in the Lai Thai Restaurant. We both ordered an iced coffee, which became a morning staple for the rest of the trip, and tucked into the most delicious food.
After a relaxing breakfast, we decided to explore the gardens. It was obvious that, rather than only humming at night, the cicadas here had their volume up ALL DAY! The resident farm animals didn’t seem to mind though. The Buffalo certainly didn’t love our presence on their patch of turf though, and we narrowly avoided a charge from them!
Much like the rest of our time at Napasai, we spent the day on the beach. Lounging around half in shade, half in the sun and reading our books. We made the decision to switch to all inclusive on the second day. This meant that for £100/person/day, all our meals and drinks were included as well as 5 items of laundry cleaned per day and a daily choice of activity. We then took our cue to order the most delicious lunch spread, along with Iced Mango smoothies.
Feta and Watermelon Salad.
And the traditional Mango Sticky Rice with Dulce de Leche – the most decadent and delicious pudding EVER! I’m craving this again, even as I type.
With the warm breeze drifting through the sheets of our cabana, we sipped our drinks, ate our food and soaked up the pond-flat ocean view.
We made full use of the paddle boards from the Water Sports Centre on the beach. Although, I spent most of the time in stitches of laughter trying to keep Ben upright on his board, than actually paddling! When the paddle boards were exhausted, we took long swims across the bay and even attempted some snorkelling. Although, sadly there wasn’t really much to see!
We decided to stay later on the beach that evening, after realising everyone else did the same. We remained in the water until well after sunset, sipping over-the-top cocktails on our loungers. The sun burned bright orange, before plunging into the sea in the distance. Sizzling into reds and pinks, like a bucket of water thrown onto a blazing fire.
The resort was screening Bohemian Rhapsody on the beach that night, but we sadly missed it. Instead, we enjoyed a few cocktails at Infinity again.
Dinner at the Beach restaurant was long, lazy and indulgent. One of those nights where you’re deep in conversation one minute, giggling into your cocktail, and holding hands in contented silence the next. Listening to the waves lapping the shoreline and watching silent lightening in the distance between courses.
We shared the Gyoza again for starter – keen to savour each mouthful!
Ben chose a Thai pork and rice dish served beautifully in a Pineapple.
I went for a seafood ceviche with a side salad before ALL the ice-cream for pudding!
Keen to make our evening last as long as possible, we ordered a few more after-dinner cocktails to the table. Before admitting defeat from the day and heading back to our room.
The last morning was a quick one, due to an early flight. We enjoyed breakfast at the buffet again, topped off with our favourite iced coffee. Pausing for one last photo opportunity with the beautiful pool and palm trees, we said our farewells to the lovely staff. We even left with a bag of Thai spiced salt; a gift from Belmond Napasai to all guests checking out.
In the short time we spent at Belmond Napasai, we truly fell in love with the resort. The food was delicious, cocktails brilliant, our room luxurious and inviting and (what really makes a stay) the staff are so welcoming and friendly.