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Just about every glowing adjective and superlative has been attached to the five-star Pimalai, even if the security guards don't exactly welcome sweaty travel writers when they roll up on their motorbikes.
Most people's first view of the resort comes as they round a bend and see the luxury villas nestled into a vast green hillside, with more beachside villas on the other side of the road. Even the cheapest rooms come with plenty of privacy, polished teakwood floors, wall-size windows with smashing views, enormous terraces, sumptuous Thai fabrics, thoughtfully selected art and every last amenity you could want. Thai-owned and French-managed, Pimalai has won a heap of awards, including several environmental ones. The resort has successfully used their formidable influence to keep Ao Kantiang's atmosphere quiet and pristine; they even instigated an electricity-free hour for the whole bay in 2013 (7-eleven was the only business to not partake). Facilities include four restaurants, two infinity pools, two tennis courts, tour and scuba operators, and a spa that rivals any other in Thailand. A Thai princess has been known to holiday here. Need we say more?
By David Luekens
Last updated on 9th June, 2014.