Idyllic, secluded, exotic
Ao Nuan, Ko Samet T: (038) 644 334
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Ao Nuan's lone place to stay is an old-style bungalow joint that blends seamlessly into its serene surrounds rather than overtaking it.
When kicking back under the towering trees with thick branches that hang low over this tiny beach, you really do get a sense of isolation. It's one of the few spots left on Samet where you're more likely to hear the song of birds and drill of cicadas rather than the noise of families or party-goers. Accommodation is simple but tasteful, with each bungalow seeming to have materialised naturally from the lush hillside. Thatched A-frame fan cottages have mosquito nets over simple mattresses on bamboo floors to go with a movable fan, and the views from the deck outside are exactly what we'd hope for on an island getaway. Note that fan rooms rely on shared cold water bathrooms that require a short stroll outside. Romantic air-con bungalows are located further up the hill and have ensuite hot water bathrooms to go with grass mats on the floor, traditional Thai cushions and shelfs on either side of the room. The resort finally got a phone, but there's still no internet. Even if your visit is fleeting, make it a point to enjoy one of the simple seafood dishes that are made with love by a very relaxed and welcoming staff. Rates seem high, particularly those rooms that rely on shared bathrooms, though we feel it's worth it as you won't find a more tranquil spot on the island than this. For the right sort of couple, this would even make a great honeymoon spot. Just don't forget to bring a torch.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 10th November, 2013.