It’s a bit disconcerting when the welcome drink placed at your table in the Hotel lobby starts to topple to one side and then pivot in a circular motion. The first instinct is to reach out to make sure there is no spill but then you quickly realise that’s what it has been designed to do. The glass has a deliberate ‘bulge’ on the base and filled just to the point that when it is rested, it leans to one side but not a drop escapes! This was the first surprise and an indication of the ‘quirky’ nature of the REST DETAIL HOTEL’S approach to being just that little bit different.
Another welcoming ‘gift’ was a wristband with small wooden beads as well as three small metal ‘cubes’ with the letters R, D & H, obvious referring to the hotel name. A very appealing extra, which I’m still wearing today as I write. Although the wristband is only decorative and no suggestion that guests should continue to wear their ‘gift’, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone did. Perhaps useful if you take the 5 minute trip into town and have a memory fade?
That was our introduction to a night’s stay at the Rest Detail Hotel. We were greeted upon arrival by Khun Prawate Khumchrt (Jack) the Director of Sales and Marketing and his Administrative Assistant, Khun Pirawan Bua-Ngam. The two seemed to enjoy my reactions to the ‘glass problem’ and quickly commented on the Hotel’s deliberate attention to the ‘small things’.
After the warm welcome, a guided tour of the premises was on offer, but then they were back to their Bangkok base in the afternoon, confident that we would be looked after by the Hotel hospitality staff. After all there is 125 staff available and with a guest capacity of 65, that’s a ratio of close enough to 2 staff per guest!
This hotel is not part of a ‘chain’ or under some sort of corporate oversight. It’s a once-off privately Thai owned and staffed establishment (at every level). There is attention to detail that I’m sure some hotel management would love to be able to control at that personal level. Clearly there has been a vision and with the assistance of a team of professional designers it has been fulfilled. It celebrated a fifth birthday in October this year and in 2013 was the proud recipient of A ‘Trip Advisor’ award.
Incidentally I couldn’t help but compliment several of the staff on their English language competence; no communication problems for me.
Our tour included a visit to the different accommodation options ranging from the 48 square metre ‘Rest Green’ and ‘Rest Spirit’ rooms through to the ‘Pool Village’ – featuring 12 Units with a dedicated ‘village pool’ at each Unit doorstep. There are also 260 square metre 2 bedroom pavilions or the huge 485 square metre Grand Pavilion with 4 bedrooms and self-contained facilities (including a private pool AND your own butler) for a group of family or friends.
We didn’t need anything of that scale; our stay was to be at one of 12 ‘Rest Horizon’ rooms on the 4th (top) floor of the hotel which was a more than spacious 65 square metres.
Time to check out our ‘Resting Place’………………….
First of all the view; a sweeping panorama over the main swimming pool below, then an uninterrupted ocean vista. Only a few naval ships at sea in sight and at night lit with a rigging of Christmas lights ready for the fireworks display to come in a few days’ time. This would be a great viewing platform, but instead we had the advantage of a full moon lighting the waters.
The view was courtesy of a full room-width private terrace balcony complete with a Jacuzzi and oversized circular day bed. You may be interested to know that the ‘Jacuzzi’ was introduced in the USA in 1968 by Candido Jacuzzi who first brought to market this first self-contained, fully integrated whirlpool bath by incorporating jets into the sides of the tub.
Inside a combination of living and on-suite areas can be as open plan or as private as you choose. This is because a series of sliding louvered doors allows you to decide. If you wish you can relax in the bath and enjoy the view (or TV) or close off the area and be more secluded.
There’s a huge double bed (or was that triple?) central to the room as well as a study desk and lounge seating. No shortage of space or comfort. But now for some of the smaller details……..
Pillows which have been selected because of their orthopedic quality, duck-down filling and memory foam.
Television viewing which includes premium high definition movie channels.
Wooden flooring, perhaps of the white oak variety?
Guest-friendly casual and pool side garments including an umbrella, slippers, ‘flip flops’ and bathrobes.
A very deep bath, complete with bath salts – in our case lavender and eucalyptus.
A fresh fruit platter.
Tasty morsels of the sweet variety in glass containers – yum!
An iPod docking station for you own favourite music.
Last but not least, two of the more unusual features ………………….
A telephone next to the ‘loo’. I guess if you are alone, you never know when the call is coming (that is nature or the phone!).
A towel rack which is a bit like a ladder against the wall.
The real point of these lists is that there is nothing left to chance. If you just want to chill out, day or night, visual and creature comfort and convenience is assured.
The décor and colour schemes throughout the hotel, including accommodation areas have a consistent theme. Perhaps a little Scandinavian in its cooling and simple tones, but never austere or dull; just subtle, gentle but inviting. There are no bland walls with the texture of wall or ceiling panels in evidence and semi concealed lighting. At night the lighting is understated but effective illumination where it’s needed. The feeling is one of being in a peaceful and reassuring space without a care in the world.
Water, in one form or another is always on view throughout the grounds. This Hotel has direct ocean frontage. Dependent on the tide, a sea wall may be the only separation from the ocean with a man-made white sandy ‘beach’ available on the inland side. Apart from swimming pools there are numerous water features with the relaxing effect of running water outside wherever you are.
Incidentally across the road from the hotel’s entrance is a football pitch (on the hotel’s private land) when staff are in the mood for some exercise or competition.
Dining, especially the evening meal and breakfast is an important part of any ‘away from home’ enjoyment. In our case dinner at the Rest Detail was special. This was a casual candlelit setting alongside the main pool with an extensive À la carte menu of both European and Thai selections.
Seafood is a definite option and beef, sometimes a Thailand ‘delicacy’, also prominent. Even Australian rack of lamb is a choice. For me a combination; scallops with roasted asparagus to start, then the classic ‘surf and turf’ with chargrilled mixed vegetables. All this washed down with a bottle of local Monsoon Wines Chardonnay. Strawberry choices was the desert of the night. With cordial, attentive and watchful wait staff on hand and the full moon on display, this was a memorable gourmet dinner guaranteed to be followed by a sound night’s sleep.
Morning offers the rising sun if you choose and the vista over the ocean opens up once again. Breakfast is served on the lower terrace with all the choices, including freshly squeezed fruit juice and more selections than anyone could need. This included two of my favourites; French toast and croissants with eggs cooked on the spot as you like them.
Check out is simple, efficient and speedy, no need to wait for any unavailable accounts or paperwork. A small annoyance for me at some hotels (not this one) is when the front desk staff doesn’t accept an assurance that you have not used the room minibar. I guess that means the standard of the guests is about the same as the standard of the hotel, with one not respecting the other.
Some Final Comments
It would be reminiscent of me not to mention the ‘Three Wise Monkeys’, a logo used by this Hotel and seen everywhere. The source that popularised this pictorial icon is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan.
To me logos are important because you are always reminded of your experience in relation to any product whenever the logo comes into view. It is true to say we didn’t see any evil, speak any evil or hear any evil on this visit. In addition we didn’t taste anything evil (it was all delicious), smell anything evil (very pleasant aromas only) or feel anything evil (always comfortable). Forget about evil!, there was nothing even remotely unpleasant!
The next time I see the ‘Three Wise Monkeys’ I expect that I will be able to reminisce about this extremely restful experience and be inclined to talk about the subtle, yet quirky (or is that quirky but subtle) details of this most enjoyable overnight stay. Make Rest Detail Hotel ‘restfully yours’ soon!