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The Sarojin, Khao Lak
By Emma Gardiner
22 August 2011

I am rather partial to a man in a safari suit so when Dawid Koegelenberg, The Sarojin’s Imagineer meets us in reception in said suit, I know that signs point to ‘fun’. 

Dawid’s job is to make guest’s wildest dreams come true. You want a private dinner next to a waterfall in the jungle with 1000 candles? Dawid’s your guy. You want to propose to your main squeeze after a sunset elephant ride? Talk to Dawid.

So how does one become an Imagineer? There’s no straightforward answer to that. Dawid is a wine expert from London who was headhunted by Andrew and Kate Kemp after they stumbled across his blog, www.inspectorgrape.com

Upon meeting Dawid, it’s clear that he possesses a certain je ne sais quoi; a throwback to a Parisian age of grace where wit, charm and erudition were your ticket to high society.

Dawid is just one of the cast of characters that populate The Sarojin, a standalone luxury resort nestled in the Khao Sok National Park, 50 minutes north-west of Phuket. There’s Paul, the Irish GM, Andrew, the English owner and Jeff, the Thai marketeer, who all play their parts with aplomb.

After Dawid’s warm welcome, I am shown to my enormous suite to luxuriate in peace. There is a bathtub the size of a small swimming pool (pre-filled and complete with floating white orchids), a bed the size of a small football field and television the size of a small cinema screen.  

After flouncing around my room, caressing all available surfaces, I head out to explore the property. Stepping stones lead the way through the palm tree-dotted lawns. There is a central lilypond, a craggy old ficus, a pool (complete with romantic-looking floating pavilions) and the Pathways Spa hidden away in the far corner. The Edge restaurant sits beside the Andaman Sea offering classic cocktail delights and casual Thai dining.

 Without rambling on too much, here’s what I loved about The Sarojin:

·         The staff wai you and shake your hand

·         The Ficus Restaurant offers an all-day, a la carte breakfast meaning that you don’t have to get up at any particular time and there is no scary buffet populated with foodstuffs aimed at pleasing every nationality on earth. Kim-chi, congee, miso and marmalade, anyone?

·         There is a free deli bar (yoghurts, fruit, cold meats, etc) in the room meaning that you don’t end up eating a packet of chips for lunch because you’re not very hungry

·         There is a free shuttle into Khao Lak village three times a day

·         The pool villas are very secluded meaning you can lounge around looking like Moby Dick without fearing the advances of Captain Ahab

·         I genuinely loved the staff – they had loads of personality and were very cheerful.



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Just love your turn-of-phrase Emma. I must try 'flouncing' around my next hotel room and see what happens. Someone will probably call security :-(
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