When the haze got really bad last time (when we still thought it would be only temporary), two desperate mothers decided to take the kids somewhere where the skies are blue. We trawled through cheap, quick flights and ended up in Surat Thani in Southern Thailand. Aava Resort & Spa, a boutique resort featured in Scandinavian travel publications thanks to its clean, Nordic architecture had been on our radar for some time already and finally we got to try it out.
After a 1,5 hour flight a van was waiting for us at the airport, equipped with a car seat for the 1-year-old and a cool box full of soft drinks. The 1 hour 20 minutes journey to Khanom was smooth and at the end of it this scenery immediately lifted our haze-dampened spirits:
Blissfully quiet in the middle of the low season, the beach was all ours. That’s where the kids spend the three days we were there.
The sun loungers are strategically located between the pool and the beach – we could sit back and keep an eye on the kids wherever they were without getting up! A perfect spot to enjoy the happy hour, too.
Some of the rooms are facing the small pool with kids’ section. I’m not sure how splashing kids and honeymooning couples staying in these rooms would go together, but when we were there it was very quiet and we stopped the kids before they even had the idea of start jumping off people’s terraces.
Food is obviously taken very seriously at Aava, starting from breakfast. The dishes are prepared with attention to detail. Local options as delicious and pizzas from the wood fired oven make for a nice change from the Thai fare. Kids eat free from the kids’ menu when dining with adults. Prices are a notch above the typical beach-side Thai joints, but so is the quality. Adults can dine in peace thanks to the kids’ club room upstairs of the restaurant, stocked with a few toys and games and a selection of films. In the mornings we sat in the outside tables lingering with our coffee watching the kids play on the beach.
The beach is wide, sandy and water is shallow far into the sea. We spent hours collecting pretty shells and even found a few starfish. There are a few beach bars/restaurants along the beach that get good reviews on Tripadvisor, but we didn’t feel the need to venture out during our short stay. We had the beach virtually to ourselves the whole time.
Between the two families we had two interconnecting Deluxe rooms. The rooms had a twin or queen bed and a day bed perfect for a child to sleep on. Simple decor and quirky lamps were pleasing to the eye. There is a tiny terrace outside with a table and chairs, most suitable for a drink after the kids have gone to bed.
The area is not your typical tourist trap – in fact, there is very little around. We loved the quiet surroundings but those looking for a wide range of restaurants, bars and shops on your doorstep will not find them here. Instead Aava is perfect for those wanting a quiet getaway, or spending time with family or friends.
There is a spa, and the resort can organise tours – the dolphin tour sounds particularly interesting. We were content with the blue sky and the beach but will try the activities next time. In high season there are also kids’ activities and yoga and pilates classes.
An extra mention goes out to the friendly staff that looked after our kids and truly went an extra mile. We needed to take one of the kids to see a doctor (an adventure in itself!), and they handled it exceptionally well. The owners have young kids themselves, and everything in the resort has been thought with families in mind.
We would happily return to Aava thanks to its family friendly atmosphere with just the right amount of luxury.
If you fancy a haze getaway like us (be sure to check the readings first) or are planning a Christmas by the beach, the kind folks at Aava have special offers for HGKL readers! For inquiries and bookings please email the resort directly at email@example.com – be sure to mention HGKL to get the discounted rate.