Checking In – Facts & First Impressions
Situated on secluded Tub Kaek beach, Amari Vogue Krabi is a 57-room property, that includes 39 deluxe, eight grand deluxe jacuzzi, four grand deluxe, four one-bedroom villas and two spa suites — all rooms have a balcony or terrace. The architecture and interiors are based on the Northern Thailand Lanna style.
The first impression is welcoming, with a sense of escape, as you step into the open-air lobby that has a view of the terraced property, with the eye drawn from one water feature to the next, finally resting on the Andaman Sea and small islands. Framing and contrasting the varying shades of blue are fragrant frangipani trees, and tropical, colourful foliage and flowers.
An elephant theme is prevalent throughout the property, and there is something calming about these majestic animals (in statue form).
What’s the room like?
The spacious room carried the Lanna theme with dramatic high-pitched roof, heavy use of timber, and a balcony with day bed and other seating. While some rooms do have sea views, my room was set on the side of the property and the view was of trees and one of the swimming pools, it felt private and secluded.
The most arresting feature was the original art-work above the bed, also traditional in style, mine had a tasteful erotic tone suggesting fertility, that did make me wonder what dreams I would have while sleeping below it. I did tour some other rooms and noted that the art work was less provocative.
The bathroom was big and clean with a big jacuzzi bathtub, and a shower. The bed was very comfortable. Other features include aircon, ceiling fan, tea and coffee-making facilities, minibar, free wifi, satellite TV and DVD player.
The overall design provided a sense of place, I knew where I was, and the ambience was refined comfort.
How’s the food?
Breakfast was served in Lotus, a Thai restaurant with alfresco seating. I did not have a chance to try the Thai food. My overall feeling about the international buffet breakfast was, okay, there was nothing that wowed my palate. My favourite offering was the cooked-to-order eggs and the hot ginger drink. The room itself is looking a bit dated, but with other renovation and refurbishment taking place, or having been done, on the property, I imagine that it will get a makeover too (I hope so).
Bellini, is a casual Italian restaurant right on the beach and for me would be a better location for breakfast (the views and ambience are nicer). I enjoyed an excellent meal including a selection of antipasti, a fantastic Margherita pizza, and a superb pesto spaghetti. It also specialises in seafood and steaks. It would also be the perfect spot for a sundowner cocktail prior to a meal as the sunsets are legendary.
Also for sunsets or relaxing is the intimate Sunset Lounge, and casual dining can be enjoyed around the pool. Romantics can opt to have dinner on the beach.
Is there a spa?
Yes, Breeze Spa, all treatment rooms feature a private steam room, and large bathtub, while the VIP room features a rain mist Vichy shower. For couples, there are two Spa Suites and there is the option to have a massage at the outdoor pavilion.
I enjoyed the Almond Milk Honey Body Scrub, which involves a scrub made from a mixture of almond milk, honey, crushed almonds and rice, and it did leave my skin feeling soft and renewed.
Amenities/Facilities – My Top Pick
Honey! As part of its social responsibility programme the hotel has helped establish bee farms nearby, empowering those involved through training and providing them with an alternate source of income, while helping to save the Asian honeybee, click here for info. They have also introduced a two-night Honeytouring package that includes accommodation, transfers, dinner on the beach, honey spa treatment and a half day Bee Farm sightseeing tour — something I highly recommend, it was interesting and you get an opportunity to purchase some of the best hand-produced honey available.
At the hotel the honey is available at the breakfast buffet, is used in spa treatments, and when feasible in dishes and cocktails.
Other amenities include jacuzzi, a number of free-form swimming pools that due to their size are more for cooling off and relaxing than doing laps, plunge pools, a children’s pool, a fitness room and a small gift store.
The beach is long and clean and makes for a good morning or evening walk, and the hotel provides kayaks.
There is also a changing weekly schedule of activities that includes, Thai cooking, Thai language, Batik painting and more.
Anything to do within walking distance?
No, it is in a secluded location, and for me that is a reason to stay at this resort — to relax, wind-down and recharge. It is however only 38kms from the airport, 27kms to Krabi Town, and 17kms to Ao Nang (good for souvenir shopping, dining, nightlife).
Recommendations and excursions off property, including transport, can also be arranged by staff — my top recommendation off-site is to go on a boat tour (or kayak) of the magical karsts and mangrove forests of Thalane Bay.
Some of the other options are — long tail boat rental, visiting the Emerald Pool, snorkelling and diving, elephant trekking, visiting the Tiger Cave Temple, exploring Krabi town, and day trips to Koh Phi Phi.
Checking Out – Verdict
Its away-from-it-all location captured me from the beginning and over my brief stay its charm and relaxing ambience left me wanting to stay longer.
It has a perfect mix — you can stay at the resort and feel like you are a million miles away from the crowds and any hustle and bustle, but it is close enough to the action should you want that too.
I would stay here again and recommend it to others. Click on the images for bigger images.