Tusita Resort – The Perfect Getaway
As kids we used to play a game when travelling to the seaside; the first person to spot the sea would win a few pennies to spend while on holiday. Arriving at Tusita Resort & Spa Chumphon, you can see the sea several kilometres away and it takes your breath away. So it was no surprise that I was as excited as a teenager as we checked in to one of Chumphon’s secret gems.
The resort is secluded to say the least; the nearest 7-11 store is a 30-minute drive. But given that we intended to kick back for a long weekend, thoughts of civilisation were the last thing on our minds. We soon forgot the distance needed to reach the small town of Tungtako as we had everything we required at the resort, from a splendid swimming pool with whirlpool, a gym, choice of two restaurants and a spa.
There are seven types of villas spread over two separate resorts; the main resort is about 500 metres from the beach, while the second is located right on Arunothai beach. We selected to stay at the main resort as we wanted to have the best of both worlds; access to the beach and greenery all around. From the reception area, guests walk out on to an elevated wooden walkway that leads to the villas and passes the gym, relaxation sala and swimming pool.
The stylish villas are all detached and offer guests total privacy. Inside – as you’d expect – are all the mod cons any traveller would need from a flat screen television and DVD, CD player, to a tea and coffee maker – basically the works. From the 70-square metre tropical villa, large French patio doors open on to a 10-square metre private balcony with coconut groves and a small stream as the backdrop, the perfect place to relax.
There’s been no expense spared when it comes to the bathing area either, which incidentally is outdoors with marble floors, a full-length bath large enough for most farang, rain shower and traditional shower and the full amenities of soaps, shampoos, gels, etc. Although space for storing baggage is a little on the short side, there are few other negatives about the stunning resort, which features manicured gardens, piped music and oil lamps for those evening strolls around the resort.
Fortunately for us, a large group of Thai tourists were checking out the following day, meaning that we had the resort all to ourselves, well at least for the next 24 hours, as the General Manager informed us that a television crew from Bangkok was on the way. That evening, we dined at the resort’s signature restaurant, Murraya, feasting on local Thai cuisine – fantastic, spicy and reasonably priced.
The following morning, after a few laps of the pool, we made our way for breakfast, a la carte. There are three menus to choose from; Asian, American and European and all are delicious and filling. We were being enticed by the hotel staff to try a spot of scuba diving or snorkelling at one of the many nearby islands, but we preferred to plonk ourselves by the pool and enjoy the sounds of nature and the sunshine.
In fact, the resort has a whole host of activities on offer for those who want to explore the vicinity, with complementary bicycles for guests. There’s a fishing village a few kilometres away and countless coconut groves where monkeys scramble up coconut trees and pick out the best coconuts for harvesting. We spotted one such farmer with his five-year old monkey and decided to stop and have a chat. The farmer told us that it takes up to three years to properly train the monkey and in a day the little fellow can harvest over 100 coconuts.
Long before going to Chumphon, we’d heard from many of our friends about a shrine to the Prince of Chumphon, a son of revered King Rama V. We decided to go and pay our respect as the prince is well known and ultimately very respected as both a dedicated doctor and as the admiral who founded the modern Thai Navy. Inside are personal belongings to the prince such as his uniform, naval cap and many photos. In front of the shrine is a large naval gun and to the side a memorial to the huge sea turtles that call the area home, with many baby turtles resting in the cool shade.
If you are looking to really getaway from things, but still want some contact with the outside world, then Tusita Resort & Spa Chumphon is one of the best you’ll find. In fact, the resort has been named as one of Thailand’s 100 Best Boutique Hotels by the TAT and I could not agree more.
Tusita Resort & Spa Chumphon
259/9 Moo 1, Paktako, Tungtako,
Chumphon, Thailand. 86220.
Tel: +66 (0) 77579-151, 77579-071