Tuesday 31 August 2010

Cha-am -- Veranda's tropical chic

The whole design ethic of Veranda screams minimalist tropical chic. Except ‘screams’ is not the right word to use here. Veranda is cool, laid back and tasteful. It states things quietly; it doesn’t – and wouldn’t – scream.

Tucked away down a quiet seaside lane, it is the perfect easy getaway from Bangkok. Where the stresses of the working week can be checked-in at the gate. Its shingled angular roof. Its groves of banana and wild ginger plants. Its ponds and pool that provide a soothing soundtrack of water on the move. Gently chiming music.

At just 118 rooms it is boutique-sized. (They’ve also added another block behind, which has large all-in-one family sized rooms, especially popular with Asian families). But what really gives it that delightful tropical chic edge is the pockets of charm dotted here and there – a bar with bright red high-backed chairs – another bar with blue-and-green striped lounges and hanging basket-like chairs. On the deck above the ‘modern Thai’ i-Sea restaurant are white plastic chairs that more resemble metamorphosing amoeba under a microsscope, jing jing!

These all give it an edginess. But it’s all about casual comfort …

Our seaview suite was a marvel of creature comforts creatively configured into a suitable space. The bed (with bench and plasma TV at the foot) gazed out to the palm trees and ponies on the beach. The massive bathroom, dominated by a self-standing tub, was a centerpiece not an afterthought.

A spa and fitness centre complete the offering here, along with chic retailer Ginger. (The resort’s owner has interests in construction, fitness, etc.) But you’ll find just about everyone horizontal in the sun beds around the freeform pool, where a mini slide keeps kids busy, while three large wooden frames rain water down on those who want to have their heads and shoulders massaged by cascading water.

Veranda's slogan is Hip and Cool (it’s sister property in Chiang Mai operates under High and Cool). That it is. And hip and cool people don’t scream. They just exude.

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