With just 42 charming and original rooms, the exquisite good taste and refinement without ostentation of Tubkaak provides the perfect place to savour the luxury of simplicity. Personalised service and the feeling of returning home combine to make a real once-upon-a-time setting that could indeed be the start of a fairy-tale. In fact, it's the delightful reality of this exclusive hotel, set on the beautiful Thai coast of Krabi, that manages to achieve a skilful symbiosis with the lush rainforest that surrounds it, thanks to the magnificent design by the prestigious architectural group 49 in Bangkok.
The spacious shady lobby is the nerve centre of the hotel and exudes an atmosphere of zen tranquillity and equilibrium thanks, in part, to the unshakeable strength of the wooden decor which needs no further knick-knacks and accessories. The open gallery is a daring viewing platform that looks out over the exuberant vegetation surrounding the suites and villas that make up the hotel. The wooden roofs rise up among the plants like the stylised prows of boats sailing to the heavens, and the shapes of the buildings and the beams echo the forms of the traditional ko lae fishing boats as they sail the omnipresent sea of greenery that holds the Tubkaak in its own quiet setting, separated from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Awareness of the environment and of the surrounding culture and traditions is constant, and the hotel has achieved a natural symbiosis with its setting. The water of the mountain streams runs through the grounds, purls into small pools, and flows like cool liquid curtains over stone walls. The never-ending murmur of natural running water seems to speak of the natural world and adds a clean, clear quality to the air, and a feeling of peace and tranquillity.
There's no hurry to explore, but once you do, you'll find that wood and plant fibres are the mainstay of the decor and add to its lightness. Nature steps in through the balconies and verandahs, and even the baths are set in the open, in carefully screened spaces where the cool green light of the rainforest penetrates as you relax al fresco.
This perfect harmony with the natural setting is nowhere more apparent than in the Arundina restaurant, an elegant beachside setting that looks out over the water. Walkways lead through the garden to the soft sands of the Andaman coast. This peaceful waterfront, with its views of the Ko Hong archipelago, and the great trees shading the guests' beach mattresses, is a magnet, not just for daytime sunbathing: it will draw you back as dusk falls in this over this land of once-upon-a-time.
The Tubkaak Boutique Resort