Monday 6 February 2012

Pakasai - at home with nature in Ao Nang near Phuket

Pakasai Resort is burning up a lot of energy in their going green eco travel program ...

'We tried hard for 4 Green Leaf stars but only get 3,' explains their convivial GM, Khun Umaporn. 'Now we change a lot of materials and get involved in more CSR.'

This sister of Red Ginger, a little down the hill from here in the Ao Nang/ Krabi district, is the only hotel in town with 3 Leaves, but its clearly not good enough for her. Umaporn drives the eco-tourism initiatives 'from the heart -- if there's a chance for us to do something green we will do it.'

The Pakasai offers a Green Traveller package in which guests get to plant a tree at neighbouring school with the excitable kids. 'Something like give something back for your holiday.'

'Lovely people, lovely city, Krabi. They care for their environment here,' says the lady who spent 15 years in Phuket before, clearly enjoying the relaxed and quiet atmosphere of her adopted home town here.

And what's not to appreciate?

Pebbled walkways are sided by soaring palms and ferns and ginger. The resort's newly renovated cream buildings are accented by big wooden railings. It whispers tropical playground from every shaded grove.

The Adora suite fetches 9000 baht (about US$300) in the high season, well worth it with its aquarium-sized oval bath, and you'll-definitely-get-lucky-tonight romantic in-room dining setting adjacent.

After an Everest base camp-assault on a meandering staircase, we reach the Chalet - a huge open plan room overlording resort from behind, with a sprawling rustic balcony, and a birdcage overlooking the trees. 'Our guests need to exercise first,' she says with a rather wicked grin.

She's damn right about that. I feel a king-size hunger coming on after that and a few laps of the pool at sunset. Dalah restaurant overlooks the gardens and pond, with a soothing fountain gushing in the background. Seafood tom kah, squid and chicken with pepper, fish with coconut curry, extinguished by mango stick rice with passion fruit and coconut milk. Aah! No wonder it's good -- the Chef used to work at Sofitel Krabi before, and gets all his stuff fresh from the boats at the nearby jetty.

Then a funny thing happened: I was trying to read their eco-tourism brochure but was straining my eyes.

'Sorry, we only use low energy lightbulbs!' laughs Umaporn.