10.00 a.m. The minivan drops me in front of the majestic entrance of the Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi, where staff in traditional dress greet me with a cold towel and a glass of water.
The hotel is located in Nong Thale, on the coast, which is about 10km West of Krabi. It is on the hill side of the road, and you need to drive up the hill, along the 9 Hole Gold course to reach the lobby. You won’t choose this resort for its beach, definitely: it is small on the roadside, not particularly clean, and it is quite a walk from the lobby to the beach. The golf course is OK but seems to lack proper maintenance.
The check-in was a bit tedious, as they seem to be overwhelmed by a small group that just checked out, and it took quite a while to get my key. On the positive note, it gave me the leisure to enjoy the lobby area, offering plenty of comfortable seating areas which are nicely decorated with traditional Thai furniture. While seating and waiting for the hotel staff to sort out their booking issues, I kept myself busy playing with an old wooden table with concealed drawers, or a chair with revolving arms which would convert into footrest, transforming it into a comfortable chaise lounge. A bit further, a lady is playing on a Khim.
Once I finally manage to get a-hold of my key, I head to the room for a refreshing shower. The room is spacious and cozy, with a nice view on the pool and surrounding gardens, and a complimentary fruit basket awaits me. I freshen up -despite of the shower being half operational- and then decide to quickly check my emails. Each room is equipped with Wifi, which is quite convenient. I quickly give up though after logging in to a page informing me that the hotel charge THB 150 per hour…
I still have an hour before lunch, so I am going for a wander and see what the resort has to offer. They have a full spa facility, which I make a mental note to try on later as for now my time is too short. As I walk towards the pool, I realize that it is much bigger than I thought, and definitely the best feature of the hotel. They have a pool bar, and the all-day restaurant is adjacent to the pool.
Time flies and I head back to my room to change for lunch. Once I enter, I notice that I am not the only occupant, so I call the reception and ask them to send me some bug spray, with the firm intention to put a lethal term to the honeymoon of this loving couple of cockroaches.
Time to go for lunch! My transport is already waiting in front of the lobby. I am glad I booked one for the duration of my stay to drive me around. The resort is quite secluded, and you can easily feel trapped if you don’t make your own arrangements. You could of course use the services offered by the hotel, but I must admit they do take advantage of their position and charge a lot for basic services, like transportation or internet connection. Even if you walk down to the roadside, you would hardly be able to catch a local taxi, as the place is quite far from the town.
Fortunately, the area offers a nice choice of hotels, and if you prefer a resort on the seaside (on the Malacca straight), you could opt for the Nakamanda Resort & Spa, the Andaman Holiday Resort, Beyond Resort Krabi, the Long Beach Krabi Villas or the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort. These facilities are all about 10 minutes away from Ao Nang.