Dance by the light of the Moon

Amila Perera

If you find yourself craving the natural beauty of Thailand’s beaches … from 20 years ago – never fear, the dream is still alive at the pristine Anantara Rasananda, Koh Phagnan.

There’s no direct access to Koh Phagnan, which means hopping it from Koh Samui – Rasananda have speed boats that will pick you up and deliver you beachfront, at which point it’s probably obligatory to order a martini in the requisite 007 style.

In recent times Koh Phagnan has become renowned for its Full Moon Party, an all night beach shindig extravaganza on the appropriately crescent-shaped Haad Rin Beach. Though the event takes place on the southern end of the island, Rasananda provide professionally guided and escorted transfers to and from the party.

“It gives you the comfort, safety and security of a luxury resort but you can also get a little bit wild and see the Full Moon Party and cross it off your bucket list,” says Rasananda General Manager, Mark Eletr.

However, the Rasananda resort itself is a totally different atmosphere exuding privacy, tranquility and providing unique experiences – what GM Mark Eletr likes to call their “wow factors”.

One of those is those is the spa. Built into the natural cliff face, on the “spiritual centre” of the island, the Rasananda spa is a destination unto itself. A full menu of Elemis treatments as well as some signature services that incorporate the noni fruit (whose trees envelop the spa) can be enjoyed in either an indoor or outdoor suite. If a spiritual revamp is the thing you’re after, the resort is also happy to ring in a Yoga master for guided sessions on their custom built deck.

That’s the thing about Rasananda; it’s all about you. Every one of their 64 rooms has its own private plunge pool. You need never leave your room when spa treatments can be provided there, or even a dinner table set up outside. You can tap into your complimentary gin, vodka and whiskey decanters (that are topped up daily) or stroll down to the bar and wine cellar which are located on the beach itself.

But for the ultimate fine dining experience – another of those “wow factors” – Anantara’s Dining by Design is, quite literally, unique. It involves sitting down with the chef and creating your own personalized menu for the occasion.

“He’ll advise you or make suggestions or you can just say…I want a Beef Wellington. And what we do is we put the table on the beach, we put the big bamboo frames up and make your own little sala with the silk curtains.

“And it’s … stunning. It really is beautiful,” says Mark.  Apparently quite a popular number for those hiding a ring in the ol’ back pocket. Really, who could say no after that?

“Wow factors” aside, the island resort has all sorts of goings-on to keep anyone busy: fruit carving, batik dying, elephant and buffalo riding, water sports…the list goes on. More than that, you can step outside into the local village that sits next to Rasananda for a slice of genuine Thai life, trinkets and cheap eats. It’s an island destination that gives you the flexibility of luxuriating, partying, or sitting back and…well, doing just that.

The Rasananda Koh Phagnan is the latest installment from Anantara, but not for long with the Anantara Sanya in China set to open this week.

Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villa Resort & Spa

5/5 Moo 5 Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach,
Baan Tai, Koh Phangan, Surat Thani 84280
Tel:   +66 (0) 7723 9555

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