Anantara Rasananda is as lavish as it gets and constitutes a serious challenge to the island’s budget reputation. This well-run five star resort offers sumptuous and spacious rooms and villas, all with deep plunge pools facing the sea or a delightful jungle garden cum lagoon.
Anantara Rasananda sits slap bang in the centre of half-moon shaped Thong Nai Pan Noi beach, a great swimming spot. There’s a sense of isolation here, not least owing to the rain forest rising up behind the beach. It’s a dramatic 30-minute drive to the island’s busier south coast. Many guests arrive by speed boat directly from Koh Samui, a 35-minute journey.
Address: 5/5 Moo 5 Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, Baan Tai, Koh Phangan, Surat Thani 84280, Thailand.
Style & character
Villas and rooms are designed in contempoary Thai style – white walls, dark wood, thatched roofs, bamboo fences, carved gates, wide patios and broad balconies. The buildings are surrounded by thick tropical vegetation navigated via narrow wooden bridges across waterways teeming with giant Koi. The marriage of high aesthetic standards and slightly unkempt nature pays off – one feels well looked after while experiencing a certain sense of wilderness.
Service & facilities
Service is friendly, formal and helpful. Kayaks and paddle-boards are available free of charge. Guests can attend complimentary yoga sessions three times a week or book their own private lessons on a magnificent wooden platform that juts out of a rock-wall overgrown with jungle vines. The spa, a series of bungalows also constructed on rocks rising from the forest floor, offers a wide variety of treatments and has a sala for pedicures and manicures, plus a steam room.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
Rooms and villas, all with plunge pools, are very spacious. Beds under mosquito nets that drop from high ceilings in the upstairs rooms and villas give the lay-out both a regal and intimate feel. Solid wood furniture, lamps modelled on traditional Thai fish traps, polished wood floors and comfortable seating corners along with the usual luxury hotel amenities – air conditioning, television and DVD player, safe, mini-bar, coffee machine and sound system – bring a sense of rare style to Koh Phangan. The bathrooms are spotless and bright and villas have outside showers.
Food & drink
Bistro at the Beach offers all day dining – Thai and international dishes with an emphasis on home-cooked food. Chicken with cashew nut and somtam (papaya salad) are very tasty. Culinary themed nights include Thai buffet, Italian cuisine and beach barbecues, accompanied by fire shows, classical Thai dances or a Jazz singer.
Alternatively, guests can try Yukinoya, a Tepanyaki-style Japanese restaurant that also serves sushi, a rare treat on Koh Phangan. The BnB sports bar offers snacks and beer, late into the night if there’s an important match on. There’s a bar bordering the main pool that you can also swim up to. The breakfast buffet includes a plethora of Asian and international options with eggs à la carte.
For romantically inclined guests, private dinners on the beach provide special moments. The Spice Spoons cooking school sessions include a visit to the resort’s spice garden.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Ramps can be provided for wheelchair users, both in rooms and on the beach, so access to the speedboat is straightforward.
Extra beds and cots can be set up in rooms and a babysitter is available upon request. The restaurant has a children’s menu.
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