Travel and Leisure Asia

This Boutique-Luxury Resort Is Reason Alone to Visit Laid-Back Khao Lak

A design gem that’s more than meets the eye, Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort and Villas offers relaxation with a dash of local history. 

AS SOON AS I ARRIVED at Devasom Khao Lak, I didn’t find it hard to get into the gentle groove at all. Khao Lak, an hour’s drive north of Phuket airport on the Andaman coast, is known for its low-key vibe and great surfing, but something first time visitors may not notice right away is that it has also become a base for creatives from Bangkok and beyond who have given up the bright lights and the big city. Sea, surf and serenity are a magnet for visitors and residents alike. 

Within minutes of my arrival, restaurant captain Tang was guiding me in mixing my own reinvigorating refreshment, but this was not a purely hedonistic retreat. Throughout the days there were, for example, meditation and yoga (check), or paddle boarding in the resort’s semi-private inlet and surfing lessons at nearby Memories Beach (not this time). One morning, my butler, Kobie, enthusiastically showed us around the garden, explaining the herbs and plants used in the kitchens and spa, where my Thai massage left me battered, in the best possible way. More often than not, however, I was paddling around my own pool or drinking up wowza sunsets on the beach. 

I also spent a fair amount of time in the restaurants. Takola, rated a Bib Gourmand in the latest Michelin Guide, serves up classically Thai dishes like lon coconut crab dip. The “Takola Journey” is an eight-course feast of Southern delicacies like black crab curry with wild betel leaves, and nam choop kayam, a zesty relish made of salacca and shrimp. The Beach Grill and Bar offers an all-day dining menu and on Fridays it also hosts the meat-and-seafood Churrasco Night, complete with a fire show and resident DJ.

As I explored the Devasom Khao Lak, I realized that not everything was at eye-level. That’s on purpose and by design of brand co-owner Is ‘Bon’ Atirak, who takes a special interest in the aesthetics here. On the ground floor, the covered galleries provide shade from the midday sun, but above they form elevated, greenery-draped walkways that connect the lobby to the rooms and spa, with a commanding view over the resort.

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