Our last stop on our Thai break was Pimalai; a beautiful Resort and Spa that’s also one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world. We took a flight from Koh Samui and then a drive across the mainland, before a boat dropped us off directly onto the beach at Pimalai. It was one of the most spectacular boat trips I’ve ever been on. With glass-smooth water and a warm breeze reaching out to us across the sea.
We had the warmest welcome with flower garlands and smiles. Seeing the resort from the comfort of the golf carts that whisked us up to the reception area. Before taking us to our very own private villa.
Our own front door and steps lead down to the privacy of a beautiful day bed overlooking an infinity plunge pool and the ocean beyond. To the left, the bedroom. To the right, a living room, kitchen and bathroom (perfect as an extra bedroom if you decide to bring the kids!) Our bedroom was exquisite. A four poster bed with drapes surrounding it to keep out any pests of the six legged kind, facing an incredible view of the ocean. Beyond, a huge dressing area leading through into the bathroom.
A few couples on our transfer, were there on repeat stays and had booked to stay for three weeks at the hotel. After seeing the room, it was easy to see why! You can have complete privacy within your own room. You can even have a BBQ on your terrace or order a weekly shop directly to your private kitchen. Should you start to crave other human interactions, you can venture out to the rest of the resort.
We immediately unpacked and changed into our evening-wear, ready for happy hour overlooking the pool. Sipping on passion fruit martinis and admiring the incredible resort. The upper pool area is built around the most spectacular Banyan Tree I’ve ever seen. Care has obviously been taken to preserve this beautiful tree and it really is such a statement at the heart of the hotel. The Seven Seas restaurant serves breakfast, happy hour and dinner. It easily and quickly became my favourite restaurant in the hotel. The view is unrivalled. The pool shares those unrivalled views. While the infinity edge makes it feel as though you’re swimming amongst the tree tops of the jungle.
For dinner, we settled on Rak Talay the lower restaurant. Half on the beach and half just above. There was no question that I wouldn’t be on the beach, with my toes buried in the sand. I chose a classic Pad Thai. While Ben could only have the burger as everything else contained fish. Once again we made the most of nature’s television. Watching the lightening in the distance before it was time to call a golf caddie to bed.
When the beds are as comfy as they are at Pimalai, getting up in the morning is twice as hard. With breakfast just a short walk away though, we were soon up and dressed ready for the delicious buffet and incredible view from our table. We both chose a hot option along with a selection of fruit and pastries from the buffet to take to our table. It’s so easy to just sit listening to the birds and watching the lizards scuttle up and down the trees. We made it our mission to be the first to breakfast each morning so that we could have the view all to ourselves and managed it pretty much every day!
The entirety of the rest of the day was spent working extremely hard on our tans in the villa… We read books, dipped in the pool, sunbathed and watched the wildlife until the sun set. Mid-morning and there was an extremely loud rustling below us. We peered over, half expecting a pack of monkeys to be making their way through the jungle. Instead, staring right back at us was a huge monitor lizard. It that had obviously made itself extremely comfortable living under our villa and thought us very rude to disturb its peace with our splashing and chatting.
Our room-service lunch was just as consistently good as the other meals we experienced on Pimalai. Ben went for the Burger and I chose a club sandwich. We planned to visit the spa before dinner that night. So wanted something a bit heavier, to fill us up until the evening. It was the perfect choice to munch on from the pool.
Both of us dropped into a slumber more than once during the afternoon and woke up again just as the cicadas were starting up their orchestra. The sound marked the start of the sunset. Which we watched from the pool, colours propelling themselves across the horizon as the sun plunging into the ocean.
Wrapping ourselves in dressing gowns, it was finally massage time at the spa. We had a total of two massages during our stay at Pimalai and both were incredible. The spa itself (although we didn’t get any photos of it) is in the lower part of the resort. Close to the lower reception area (there are two in the resort).
Scented oils are handed to you on arrival to choose from. Predictably, I went for the relaxing lavender. Oils chosen, we were lead down past koi ponds and through a bamboo jungle towards our massage room. We removed our slippers at the door. Then lay face down on the beds, staring at bowls of beautifully arranged petals floating in water. My mind drifted in and out of consciousness. My muscles were slowly released of any tension they had been holding. I was finally woken gently when the massage was over.
We were lead back to the reception in a daze, bleary eyed, but grateful to be met with moonlight rather than blinking sunlight. We sipped on Ginger and lemon tea to rehydrate, then called a lift to take us back to our room. Just about managing to catch half a film and eat some room service before we succumbed to sleep.
Every single day, there’s something going on at Pimalai that you can join in on. We just happened to visit during Songkran, Thai New Year. A water festival that marks the start of the rainy season. The amazing resort staff members put on an incredible celebration to mark the New Year. Starting with a parade. Each of them came around wishing us a ‘Happy Songkran’ (we wished it back of course) accompanied by paint across each of our cheeks, until our whole faces were covered with paint. When they had finished with paint, we were each given a plastic bowl. Then the biggest water fight I’ve ever been a part of ensued!
That evening, we enjoyed fireworks on the beach to celebrate and as soon as the last firework burst through the sky, the heavens opened in response and we had torrential rain.
On our very last night, we went to the beach just before sunset. In time for happy hour at Rak Talay. With a cocktail in hand, we watched our final Thai sunset. Thailand had saved the best until last.
A few final cocktails at the bar and a delicious dinner at Spice And Rice, and our time in Thailand had come to an end.
Small Luxury Hotels always have an incredible selection of hotels to choose from, and Pimalai would make the most incredible Honeymoon destination. If you’d like to find out more about Pimalai and other Small Luxury Hotel properties, click here.