Spend time exploring the Khao Sok National Park and observing the Asian elephant at first hand before reviving yourself with a relaxing stay on Thailand's west coast.
2 nights Khao Sok National Park, full board, including excursions; 7 nights The Sarojin, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.
11 days from £1,995pp
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On the beach - 8 days
The Sarojin, Khao Lak
Renowned for its exceptional service and beautiful setting, The Sarojin aims to recreate the atmosphere of a lavish private estate with wonderfully warm hospitality, tailor-made activities and outstanding attention to detail.
Designed in a contemporary Asian style with low-rise buildings sympathetic to its natural setting, The Sarojin stretches along a sheltered 11 kilometre stretch of white-sand beach. An age-old ficus tree lies in well-tended grounds at the heart of the resort, which also features a large pool and a Jacuzzi area. There is a choice of dining options including the possibility of having a private champagne dinner at a nearby waterfall or cocktails and canapés in the jungle. The à la carte breakfast is available all day including free sparkling wine. The Sarojin invites you to be idle, pampered and indulged, but there is also the option to go sailing, sea kayaking or windsurfing, to snorkel or dive in the Similian Islands, cruise around the dramatic limestone karsts of nearby Phang Nga Bay, or explore Khao Lak. Tucked away among the lush gardens, the tranquil Pathways Spa has treatments rooted in the ancient Thai tradition.
The spacious, contemporary-styled residences blend crisp, minimalist design with the richness of traditional Thai decor. All have private terraces and a sala, an outdoor shaded area, and some have a plunge pool.
Before the beach - 2 days
Khao Sok National Park
The vast Khao Sok National Park with its ancient rainforest is a unique place to explore. Travel deep into the jungle on foot in search of exotic plants and enormous trees, take a longtail boat to Cheow Larn Lake to see monkeys and birds in the foliage overhead, and enjoy a guided night safari to search for nocturnal wildlife. You will also learn about the traditions of mahouts and help to feed their elephants before scrubbing them clean after they have bathed in the river.
Stay one night in a safari-style tent in Elephant Hills, Thailand’s first ever jungle camp. Then spend two nights at The Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp, a floating camp with ten comfortable tents, and a restaurant and bar with stunning views of Cheow Larn Lake.
The Sarojin, Khao Lak
56 rooms, 2 restaurants, 1 pool
The concept for The Sarojin was created by Kate and Andrew Kemp, who spent years seeking the perfect location for their ‘private estate’. Their idea was that guests should feel that they are staying at a friend’s private estate rather than a hotel and that each experience should be tailor-made and personal.
It is without question the genuine and personal service that has won the Sarojin so many awards, with staff helping to make every stay here relaxing and rejuvenating. The feel of the resort is of exclusivity and luxury, with many guests celebrating a special occasion.
The hotel has been designed in a contemporary Asian style with low-rise buildings and an open plan lobby and is sympathetic to its natural and tranquil setting. The 56 guest residences are nestled in beautiful, well-tended grounds with an age-old ficus tree at the heart of the resort.
Whilst the resort attracts a number of families, the rooms only have king-size beds (no twins) and children under the age of ten are not permitted to stay.
The Sarojin has direct access to an 11 km stretch of the Andaman coastline sheltered by the Pakarang Cape, a coral headland that offers year-round swimming.
Set in national park, the white sand beach stretches seemingly endlessly and is sandwiched between warm waters and coconut palms. Most of the beach is secluded and completely natural, ideal for long walks in peace; there are a few small, local beach restaurants next door to the hotel as well as another small resort on the other side. However, past these or once in the hotel gardens it feels very secluded.
Further down the beach toward the shelter of Pakarang Cape you can watch the local fishing fleet unload the daily catch giving and offering a true and authentic glimpse into local Thai life.
This is our favourite property at Khao Lak for its attention to detail and genuine personal service. It is a perfect setting for a romantic getaway and the opportunity to see more of local life and beautiful landscapes.
The 56 spacious guest residences have a fresh and neutral design with white linen, wooden floors and stone accents and are located in seven individual two-storey buildings. The open plan bathrooms include a romantic couples bath and rain showers, whilst outside each residence is a private sundeck and sala to provide welcome shade from the tropical sun.
All residences are equipped with air conditioning, king-size beds, Smart TV and DVD, bluetooth speaker, hairdryer and Wi-Fi.
The 28 Garden Residences are located on the ground floor and have 95 sq m of personal space, including a garden terrace and Thai-style sala.
Situated on the ground floor, the 14 Pool Residences have a little more space at 120 sq m and have a 3.5 x 5.5 m outdoor plunge pool in a small attractive garden with a Thai-style sala.
Spa Suites are a luxurious 150 sq m with a separate living room and bedroom. These suites are located on the first floor, affording good views and have a large terrace with an outdoor relaxation pool (2 m in diameter). A complimentary 60 minute massage per suite per night is included for guests in these suites.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
The Sarojin has a 25 sq m infinity pool and a Jacuzzi as well as a fitness centre, croquet lawn and pétanque. Catamarans, sea kayaks, paddle boards, windsurfers and mountain bikes are also available.
Golf can be played at three nearby 18-hole golf courses while tennis courts (hardcourts with floodlights) are available locally, just ten minutes from The Sarojin.
Diving here is among the best in the world, with the Similan Islands off the coast regularly being rated in the top ten of dive sites worldwide. Visibility can be up to 30 metres and you can see manta rays, whale sharks and turtles galore.
The resort has its own speedboat, Lady Sarojin, to take out divers and can arrange PADI dive courses.
Food & drink
The Sarojin has two restaurants, a wine bar, beach bar and many private dining options. Breakfast with sparkling wine is included in your price and this is available till 6pm, so you can enjoy a relaxed breakfast without rushing to get up.
Ficus is located in the heart of the grounds and serves international, gourmet and Italian cuisine among the hanging branches and canopy of the ancient ficus tree, creating a refined dining venue.
Adjacent to Ficus is the award-winning wine bar, an open-air long bar and cooled wine cellar serving fine wines and apéritifs from around the world.
The Edge restaurant is set on the beachfront and makes the most of the stunning sea views. Delicious Thai and Southeast Asian specialities are served in an open-air timber pavilion or on the sand. This is a rustic-chic and breezy setting for a casual, laid-back dining experience.
There are also many private dining options, including a romantic table on the beach under the sea almond trees, beside a candlelit waterfall or in your own residence.
The Sarojin team host weekly cocktail parties so you can enjoy a drink and say hello.
The Pathways Spa is a cocoon of relaxation within the resort and offers a wide range of treatments. Both single and double treatment pavilions are available and there are plenty of areas to unwind before and after treatments including a shady yoga and tai chi deck.
The spa signature massage blends Thai, Balinese, Swedish, Shiatsu and Hawaiian styles to leave no stone unturned in the quest for relaxation, while facials use Elemis products.
Khao Sok National Park
Location: Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park, combined with Klongsang Wildlife sanctuary and the Ratchaprapha Dam (or Cheow Larn Lake) covers approximately 200,000 acres of mostly virgin rainforest and is the largest contiguous nature preserve on the Thai peninsula. The forest has a sizeable population of elephant, gibbons, langur, bear, boars, tiger, leopard and other wild cats — unfortunately you are unlikely to see any of them as they live in the most remote areas of the park. You do have a much better chance of spotting some of the 300 species of bird which inhabit the trees around the camp, including Kingfishers and Hornbills. It is also one of the few places in the world where you can find rafflesia, the world's largest flower, which grows to a width of around 80cm. You have to be lucky to see it though as it only blooms once a year.
There are several hiking trails through the park. Three go to waterfalls, others visit caves and you can also go canoeing. Leeches are common in certain areas of the park, so make sure you wear closed shoes and take plenty of repellent.
Elephant Hills Tented Camp
Accommodation: Elephant Hills Tented Camp
Elephant Hills is Thailand's first ever jungle camp that offers a good level of comfort against a backdrop of towering, limestone cliffs. The 30 Deluxe tents are set in a scenic corner of Khao Sok National Park, the largest area of forested land in southern Thailand. This area is home to a wealth of fascinating and exciting adventure programmes ranging from simple forest walks to lengthy trekking excursions, canoe trips and elephant experiences.
The lobby and main building has been designed in an open-air format with a delightful camp fire for those chilly evenings. Wonderful and abundant food is served throughout your stay and there is a well stocked bar for sundowners. Overnight accommodation is in comfortable safari-style tents with double beds, reading lights, hot water and en suite western style bathrooms. The tents have mosquito netting but repellent never goes amiss. The temperature can drop at night-time but blankets are provided. The camp has recently added a small swimming pool to its facilities. All in all, a stay at Elephant Hills is a wonderful experience carefully combining nature with comfort.
Please note that children under the age of four are not permitted at the camp. It is preferred that children share a tent with a parent.
Day by day
Board your overnight flight to Thailand.
On arrival at the airport, you will be met by Elephant Hills staff who will transfer you to the camp in the heart of the Khao Sok National Park.
In the afternoon you will have a chance to encounter the Asian elephant and spend time feeding and bathing them. You will also enjoy a canoe safari down the Sok River.
Today you will visit a local market and take a boat trip on a traditional longtail boat on Cheow Larn Lake, surrounded by primary rainforest. In the afternoon, there will be a guided canoe safari and canoes are also available to explore the fantastic surroundings at your leisure. Tonight you will stay at a floating camp in this unique location.
This morning you will take a jungle trek through the rainforest and enjoy lunch at the Rainforest Camp and perhaps a swim in the lake before being transferred to Khao Lak and the Sarojin, your home for the next seven nights.
Days 5 - 10
At leisure at the Sarojin.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
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