Easy to reach luxe
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Ko Pha Ngan’s upmarket Kupu Kupu Resort is a collection of 20 stylish villas and two suites, combining modern elements with traditional charm, while melding Balinese and Thai sensitivities.
Why Balinese? Kupu Kupu is a Balinese operation, with two resorts on the popular Indonesian island, and its new Ko Pha Ngan location is its first international venture. Most of the villas have their own plunge pool on the balcony, and nearly all have a wonderful sea view. We were quoted sea view rooms starting at 4,680 baht (low season) while the sea view pool villas begin at 6,785 baht (in low).
The room we looked at had sliding glass doors leading into a spacious wooden bedroom with stylish touches that made it simple yet plush. A huge, cloud-like bed is the crowning glory, while a gold leaf-painted standalone bathtub grabs attention in the bathroom. Still, with only a few ultra-luxe touches, the room doesn’t come across ostentatious but rather luxuriously simple. The shower, a plastic contraption that could be found in any two- or three-star hotel on the island, is the only disappointment and doesn’t fit with the rest of the room. It does, however, provide hot water and decent pressure. Separate vanities add to the room’s allure for honeymooning couples.
Kupu Kupu Ko Pha Ngan’s highlight is its dazzling pool, while extends from the entrance practically all the way out to sea. It’s surrounded by towering palms, which reflect off the pool’s surface, as well as six red tented lounge areas. Rock formations at the ocean’s edge don’t allow for much of a sandy walk out to sea, should one choose to venture that way, but they do have a mystical effect on the oceanscape as one gazes out onto the horizon. Sunsets are stunning.
The hotel’s restaurant, La Plage, serves up modern Thai dishes. Its speciality is the fresh seafood brought in daily. Rates include breakfast, which can be eaten at the restaurant or in-villa. The resort’s spa has two double treatment rooms and offers Balinese massage.
Kupu Kupu’s own Koh Phangan Explorer is one of the coolest things about the resort. Though only a simple wooden contraption, the humble boat does complimentary trips to Ang Thong National Park and around the island for guests on various days of the week (check the schedule with reception).
Unlike most other Ko Pha Ngan high-end resorts, Kupu Kupu isn’t on the isolated and difficult-to-reach bay of Thong Nai Pan; it’s just five minutes’ away from Thong Sala pier, the island’s main port of arrival, in an up-and-coming area called Ao Nai Wok — so you won’t waste precious holiday moments getting to your retreat. That being said, the resort does have an exclusive feel, making it ideal for couples who wish to be able to step away from the madding crowd, especially during Ko Pha Ngan’s Full Moon Party periods.
By Kaila Krayewski
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.