Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Unusual Hotels in Thailand

The Good

CC’s Hideaway in Phuket is a 4 star hotel with a unique design. The architect has made something more than just a rectangular accommodation block with a pool in the grounds. Instead the effect is open space. The yellow building has a series of open holes inviting light in at the front. At the back only the bare bones have been kept so that there is a seamless cross over from inside to outside. Most impressive is the massive curved awning on top of the building. This large space has a wooden floor and serves as a viewing deck for the ocean as well as a place to do yoga. Rooms feature original art work and the restaurant and bar both have a strong colour motif. This is not the final word in luxury but it is a pleasure to stay at CC’s Hideaway

The Average

Rin Beach Resort is a 3 star resort near the famous Haad Rin Nai Beach, venue for the famous Full Moon Party. The resort has a pool with accommodation set around the pool as well as a restaurant and bar. The stand out feature of the resort, however, is the boat house option. This is a line of ersatz boats set in a shallow pool. They are rooms. Inside each boat house is a room with rich wooden interiors curved as the ship’s hull. They are fairly spacious and some feature an indoor Jacuzzi. The roof of the boat house works as a private sunroof. The quality of the boat houses makes them more than just architectural gimmicks. They add something to the resort and to Haad Rin which despite its fame and large cash flow fails in the most part to dazzle in terms of hotel design. The idea is not new however, as the Imperial Boat House in Koh Samui also has boat shaped rooms around a boat-shaped pool.

The Ridiculous

From the average to the downright ridiculous is Baanphasawan, near the Myanmar border. The resort is the brainchild of a major fruit enthusiast. The 80 acre site has over 100 varieties of fruit under cultivation. The rooms are bungalows in the shape of fruits. It looks daft and the builds are not high quality. They look like giant carnival float pieces made of something I hope more than paper Mache.

The Green

Casa de La Flora is on the beach at Khao Lak. It is near the main market area of Bang Niang. This is a modernist eco hotel. The rooms are long and beach facing. The roofs feature immaculate strips of lawn. This is complimented by a large strip of grass leading down to the pool with sea views. The ‘green roofs’ make good sense in Thailand as they help to keep the temperature down inside the rooms. The benefit is that fewer resources are needed to be spent on air-con. This makes the carbon footprint for running hotel lower. From an architectural point of view, the only disappointment with the rooms is that they are essentially long concrete tubes with grass on top. They look cramped and lacking in complexity. From an aerial view they look like long bunkers with golf greens on top. However, they are unique.