Away from the hustle and bustle of the main town of Phuket, approximately an hour's drive north of the Phuket Airport, lies The Sarojin, a charming resort that elegantly stands out from the myriad of other luxury resorts in Phuket.
Before we touch on the review proper, it's good to take a second look at its locality. The Sarojin is located in Khao Lak, Phang Nga province, just seven kilometres up of the sleepy town of Khao Lak and a whopping two-hour drive from Phuket town. If you're looking to get into Phuket's notorious party lifestyle, then you might want to think twice before picking The Sarojin, for it's really a sanctuary to enjoy nature, which was perfect for us to kick back and sip a few cocktails.
The Service: The start of your experience with The Sarojin begins at the airport, where one of the resort's friendly staff would swiftly greet you with a beer and an icy cold towel (the first of many to come throughout the stay). Considering that it's another two hours before you get to the resort, the robust SUV that took plenty of bumps along the rural roads very well. And the carefully curated CD collection was there to make sure you would ease into the journey well.
The Room: While there is not a whole lot to shout about The Sarojin's architecture, the resort's expansive gardens and lush greenery is definitely to shout about and well worth the drive up. In a place like The Sarojin, everyone is treated like a VIP. Check-in was speedy and we're quickly ushered to one of the 56 suites available. The rooms vary from 95 to 150 metres in size, each with its own unique fixtures like private pools and pavilions. We were housed in The Sarojin Suite which is located on the upper floor. Each Sarojin suite is equipped with one bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, separate lounge area and an outdoor sun terrace with an outdoor circular mini pool.
The attention to detail is evident throughout each suite, which comes fully loaded with everything a guest would possibly need, and more. We were particularly impressed with the exquisite range of Thai Juku toiletries which also came with real sponges for ex-foliation and even little bottles of organic mosquito oil to ward off the bugs when stepping out to the gardens or the beach.
The Sarojin Experience: While beautiful resorts are a dime a dozen in Phuket, The Sarojin truly stands out in personalized service. Fancy a romantic private yacht getaway to a deserted island or a magical candlelight dinner by a waterfall, trust The Sarojin to make it happen for you. We went through a little nondescript notebook beside our bed, written by The Sarojin's imagineer, Dawid Koegelenberg, and being foodies at heart, we decided to go on a "Catch, Cook and Dine" experience. The idea of braving the rivers, fishing for our food and then going for a hands-on master class with the Head Chef, won us over. We were even advised that we could choose where we wanted this master class and subsequent dining experience to be held – by the river, next to the waterfalls, in the forest, by the beach. You are only limited by your own imagination.
Be warned that if you’re starting your day at six in the morning, the restaurants are not opened for breakfast till much later. But not wanting to leave with an empty stomach, the resort’s staff made a speedy service recovery with a picnic basket for two just in time before we head out to sea. While it was really nothing fancy, it was more than what we could finish and the gesture meant everything. Our morning was back on track once again.
All of the resort’s tailored off-site activities, like scuba diving, ATV jungle safaris as well as the fishing experience we signed up for, are very personal experiences. A customer service executive from the resort will accompany you for the entire time, serving you towels, making sure you do not get ripped off and in our case, constantly lining our rods with bait!
Post fishing trip, we were welcomed by the Head Chef, who patiently taught us to prepare and cook our fish in three different traditional recipes. A simple meal caught on your own can never be any more rewarding.
The Dining: The Edge, a chic restaurant set on the beach serves us a list of international and Thai seafood dishes and is the perfect spot for a candle lit dinner for two. The Sarojin only needs to cater to 56 residences at any one point in time, which also means that the restaurants, and pretty much all other facilities, will never be too busy to neglect your needs. The other restaurant, Ficus, serves up a contemporary Mediterranean cuisine and overlooks a gorgeous pond.
Customer service, to put in simple terms, was indeed world class. There was not a single instance where you’d hear a service staff saying no to any outrageous requests. You may call it a cliché but at The Sarojin, they really do go the extra mile for guests. On our second day in, we had requested for a pair of bicycles to the nearby park and “King”, one of the crew members, instantly strapped on his helmet, filled his backpack with cold water and towels and led the way. If that is not customer service, I do not know what is.
The Sarojin is an amazing romantic getaway for city folk. If you are happy to be away from the city, looking to be pampered and occasionally roughing it out in nature, The Sarojin is definitely for you.
The Sarojin, 60 Moo.2 Tambon Kukkak, Takuapa, 82190, Mueang Phang-nga, 82190, Thailand, +66 076 427 902, www.sarojin.com