Need to know
38 Pool Villas.
12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $424.50 (THB14,153), excluding tax at 18.7 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast, a villa host, personalised fitness programme, daily fruit plate, minibar items and in-house activities. A three-night minimum stay is required during peak season (24 December–10 January).
Your villa host is on hand to help with spa, restaurant and excursion bookings, and they’ll unpack your bags and deliver room service personally. If you’re particularly fond of your villa’s decor you can pick up home wares in the hotel’s boutique. Take a minute to peek at the mosaic by local artist Surachai Sripaiboon in the welcome pavilion, it tells the history of the four clans of Keemala; ask nicely and staff will regale you with the full saga.
At the hotel
Spa and fitness centre, hourly shuttle to Kamala beach, wine cellar, library, boutique, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: private pool, flatscreen TV, iPod dock, traditional coffee-grinder and beans from Chiang Rai (Nespresso coffee machines available on request), kettle with a selection of local teas, free minibar and bottled water, and Siam Botanicals bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Each villa is ingeniously designed; but if hard-pressed, we’d pick the Bird’s Nest Villas. This cocoon of woven wood has a glass wall overlooking the rainforest, mountains and Andaman Sea. Scope out the scenery curled up in your four-poster, while submerged in your alfresco bath tub or from the edge of the private lap pool. The Tent Pool Villas – canvas-covered hideaways each set on a rocky outcrop, with sea and forest views – are also rather dreamy.
Close to the main hotel pavilions there’s a sparkling, freeform pool and Jacuzzi with sunloungers by the side. Surrounded by greenery and nestled up to the lagoon that wends through the resort, it’s a palliative for on-the-go minds.
Set in thatched huts among the trees, Mala spa’s eight treatment pods (four with a sauna and steam room) are like a small village. Siam Botanicals, Voya and Spa Ritual products are used in healing therapies, from massages and reiki, to restorative raindrop and sound treatments. There’s a programme of guest practitioners, including chiropractors and nutritionists, and a mani-pedi salon sits on the lower floor of the main spa pod. Little waterfalls and streams trickle by the yoga pavilions, and there’s a meditation cave for tranquility seekers.
Chic and comfy yoga gear. Pick up a few Thai phrases before you leave too; this authentic stay offers a chance to meet and greet the locals (to get you started, here’s hello: swạs̄dī).
Guests are whizzed to their rooms on golf buggies. Public areas and two of the Clay Pool Villas (116 and 108) are wheelchair accessible. Staff will happily arrange shuttle trips to wherever you wish.
Children of all ages are welcome, but the hotel is best suited to older teenagers.
Indeed; the hotel contributes to non-profit organisation Kamala Green Club and participates in their monthly beach clean-up. Food is grown on site or locally sourced, and leftovers are composted. Natural cleaning-products are used, and styrofoam packaging has been banned. Staff are schooled in eco-friendly practices, and the hotel strictly vets companies who run excursions involving animals.