Spread over a one-time coconut grove atop a mountain conquered by steep sealed lanes, The Jungle Club boasts soothing fan-cooled accommodation to go with some of the finest views on the island.
The star of this show is a breathtaking view spanning all of Chaweng Beach and beyond, and the resort takes full advantage of it. A slick bar and restaurant with orange bean bag chairs and regular tables is set on wood decks with no hand rails – you’d want to keep a close eye on little ones. A nearby hillside hosts another deck with floor cushions rimming a horizon pool straight out of Vogue.
The original backpacker-style bungalows are made of coconut wood with woven bamboo interior walls, set in a line facing a huge central Bermuda grass lawn that slopes down towards the pool. Though old, these appeared well kept with thatch roofs, wood floors, large windows and mosquito nets draped over comfortable king-size beds. You also get a safe, partially open cold-water bathroom and porch with a couple of chairs.
More eye-catching are the newer whitewashed concrete bungalows, also with thatch roofs and cooled by fans, but with extras like TVs, fridges and larger brushed cement bathrooms. Beds are placed on wood platforms and hammocks strung to porches with views. Those with more to spend could grab a villa with four-poster bed and enormous wraparound porch set in a private corner. We liked the minimalist design featuring vaulted ceilings, bamboo and rattan accents, and stonework in hot-water bathrooms with ceramic vases and rain showers.
The tropical elegance extends to extensive common grounds, where baskets that are normally made for keeping chickens from running away are flipped upside down, adorned with soft fabrics, fitted with light bulbs and hung from the abundant tree branches as lanterns. Stroll around and you’ll find plenty of tables and lounge chairs for relaxing with the views.
We had trouble tracking down a staffer to show us a room at the French/Thai-owned resort, though, to be fair, we arrived as they were preparing the restaurant to weather an approaching storm. WiFi is available, but we’d be surprised if it worked in every corner of the large property.
An isolated location is the price you pay for views of this magnitude. It was much harder to get here back when the roads were dirt, but even with them now fully sealed in concrete, we would not suggest trying to ride up here if you’re inexperienced on a motorbike. With that said, we could happily spend a few days here, enjoying the pool and views and tasty Thai food, without going anywhere else. Do call ahead for a pick up.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 17th September, 2016.
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