Located on the small, unspoilt island of Koh Yao Noi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, half way between Phuket and Krabi, the new Cape Kudu Hotel delivers a light, bright coastal aesthetic and fantastic views of the region’s dramatic limestone karst islands.
Officially opened in January by Thailand’s Princess Sirindhorn, the newest member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World has 55 guestrooms including 11 pool villas and one premium Robinson Crusoe suite.
There’s a bit of Cape Cod-meets-the-Bahamas about this Thai resort with its whitewashed timbers, pale grey and blue fabrics, sunny balconies and, in the pool villas, linen-swathed four poster beds.
All the resort mod cons are here. There’s free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and every luxury bathroom comes with a deep tub. This is a quiet island, away from the hubbub of downtown Phuket, but resort management offers plenty to keep guests busy with paddleboards and kayaks, bicycles and a range of classes from batik printing or cooking to Thai boxing. A day spa opens later this year.
At the front of the resort a handsome infinity pool and terrace are set above the Andaman Sea with long views of the emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay.
Access to Cape Kudu is easy — 20 minutes from Phuket’s international airport to the resort’s private luxury lounge at Bang Rong Pier, then a 30-minute speedboat ride to the island.
Ordering a picnic from the kitchen, before booking a classic vintage car to explore the island in style. Or borrow one of the resort’s bikes and visit the village market.
DINING IN: Chef Chan (aka Mr Wichansuek) oversees Hornbill Restaurant and Cafe Kantary using vegetables and herbs grown in the resort’s own organic garden. Signature dishes include rotisserie chicken and Thai favourites such as liang leaves with egg, stir-fried crab in chilli and tom yum Kung “Eggstraordinary”. For dessert, go for the sticky coconut rice with mango crepes.
DINING OUT: Be sure to try the local rotis. Ask the hotel staff for directions to the little shop that stuffs roti with fresh coconut meat.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Have the concierge whistle up a long-tailed boat and let the local boatmen be your guides. They know myriad “hidden gems” including beautiful secluded beaches, excellent snorkelling spots and islands bristling with monkeys. Or book a sunset cruise with canapes and bubbles aboard the resort’s yacht.
CHECKING IN: Rooms from $160. Pool villas from $279. Rates include breakfast and are valid until the end of September. More: capekuduhotel.com.
ALSO TRY: The St Regis Langkawi Resort, Malaysia; The Sanchaya Bintan, Indonesia.
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