One would never know what lies behind the unassuming entrance to Nakamanda Resort & Spa; its gate is small, its parking lot holds a handful of vehicles, and the lobby is quaint and quiet. But as we sit and wait for check-in, a fresh cold, scented towel to wipe off the pummeling humidity and an iced hibiscus tea are set in front of us; two small introductory details with great impact on a sweltering day.
As we walk through the resort to our room, we begin to notice the privacy afforded each space in this terraced-style resort on the beach. Large sofas surrounded by grand linen curtains with views of the ocean and surrounding gardens. It sets the scene for some holiday reading later on on the balcony. As we enter the room, the hotel staff take time to show us the ins and outs of the unique villa, something usually left as an assumption. Nothing is left to chance here. Even the smallest of necessities is provided for; no need to run to the store, as everything is here. All the while, we can’t take our eyes off the bathtub set under the stars.
We’re here to celebrate a birthday, and there are orchid petals and tasteful decorations reminding us of what we are here to enjoy. It’s a special ‘staycation’ elevated to a wonderful weekend with extra touches.
At the Naga Spa, its five star service at much less than five star prices. The state-of-the-art spa with certified staff, treatments teeter between traditional, exotic, indulgent and therapeutic. Reflexology, deep tissue massages, stress relieving treatments, aromatherapy, facials, and body rejuvenation treatments. There’s even private yoga. Their namesake massage uses aromatherapy and a combination of oil and Thai style massages that is touted more as a sports massage…and it’s absolutely wonderful. We fall into a half-awake, blissful state, and somehow manage to come back to earth when a cool scented towel is massaged onto our faces. Something we’ve never had before, it’s a well thought of transition. After a sit in the steam room, we lounge with a detox tea to overlooking the ocean; there’s a view from every spa room.
We arrive to dinner in a euphoric state. At The Kitchen Restaurant, a look out over the pool and the secluded beach is at every angle. Facing a small island, the inlet is gorgeous, serene, private. And the food well, it’s beyond the usual Thai cuisine, both in taste, creativity and presentation. To top it off, a delectable birthday brownie cake, romantic candlelight, roses everywhere, and a great glass of champagne with the sunset. Apparently this is standard procedure. We were never in want or wait during our dinner. In fact, during our whole stay. Nakamanda consistently receives high traveler ratings for its warm, attentive staff and it’s no secret why.
Of course, we didn’t want to leave the next day. After a big breakfast buffet, a dip in the pool and a few hours of lazy reading in the Sala, why would we want to go back to normal life? It’s the easiest ‘escape’ from town we’ve ever had.