If you’ve been taking note of my Facebook Fanpage you’ll have noticed that whilst the girl was over in Thailand with me I did something slightly outside of my backpacker character – I was to be found residing in some rather plush accommodation.
Now before you start thinking that I’ve sold out let me assure you that this was a rather rare occurrence. I simply pulled in some opportunities put forward by companies wishing to work with me to impress the girl and give her an epic holiday!
And after 9 months on the road staying in a variety of hostels I needed a couple weeks of down time and plush living!
Out of all the places I stayed in those 2 weeks one stood out as the best accommodation I’ve EVER stayed in.
And rather depressingly probably the best I ever will! Unless of course I win the lottery, suddenly start making heaps more from my blogging efforts or reside myself to a normal life in a normal but well paying job!
A Good Nights Sleep
My 3 nights of epic living also came alongside some good karma too!
Back when I was working at STA Travel they ran a xmas fundraiser for Planeterra – the charitable arm of G Adventures.
Their suppliers gave a variety of prizes (from Oz Experience Passes, full blown tours through to accommodation vouchers and wine baskets).
Knowing my 2012 RTW trip was around the corner I scoured the list for something to treat myself, and after a few days of bidding I had my hopes (and money) pinned on 3 days of luxury in Koh Lanta.
I won and have been carrying around the voucher throughout my time in Thailand, waiting for the perfect time to slot it into my plans.
What better way to use it then spend it with a gorgeous girl who’s flown halfway around the world to visit me?!
Having spent a few nights on Phi Phi at the Island Cabana Katja was convinced that was the end of our brief stint of flashpacking, and I lied through my teeth telling her I had a 10 bed dorm booked on Lanta!
I’ll never forget the puzzled look on her face as the rep loaded our dusty backpacks onto a golf cart at the gate and drove us to the reception.
As we pulled up at the ornate and grandure that was the reception I simply muttered “did you really think I’d book us into a dorm room!?” – I felt like a super awesome guy rather than the hungover backpacker she’s used too!
Greeted by complimentary cocktails and an ice cold towel the resort manager talked us through the complex – Katja was a massive mix of surprise, confusion and delight.
We had a arrived at Cha Da Beach Resort – 5* luxury!
Even I was taken aback as we walked into our room, a Gold Suite.
The room was split into 4 sections…yes 4 sections!
The first was the largest – a massive king size bed, drapped with ornate fabric and nestled under a gloriously cold air con unit, it was bigger than communal rooms in some of the hostels I’ve stayed at!
From there the open plan strolled through into the bathroom area – complete with bath (I can’t even remember the last time I used a bath!), waterfall shower and Cha Da Beach Resort bath robes!
From here the next area was the living room – mini bar, TV, sofa…after 9 months of sharing the tiniest of spaces with the maximum amount of people a place could cram in I had my own living room!
But the finale was through the double glass doors onto the balcony.
A balcony that stepped right into the huge pool that ran throughout the resort, complete with swim up bar!
Well hello luxury!
I’ve never stepped foot into a place quite like Cha Da. I think this is a combination of A) not being able to even remotely afford it and B) places of this grandure tend to have rather high standards and dress codes, neither of which I fit within!
I felt completely out of place, but I didn’t care in the slightest!
But it being low season (and a rather dire low season by all accounts in southern Thailand) there was only about 4 other rooms in the entire resort that were occupied.
That meant for the next 3 days me and Katja had the run of the place. Sipping ice cold beers on the balcony, enjoying cocktails at the pool bar and strolling aorund the grounds, which backed onto the beach.
Even more amazing was eating out. Cha Da had two restaurants to choose from and we fine dined in our own private eatery as no one else was around.
Ornate cocktails, fresh seafood and top quality service from amazing staff. We must’ve looked so out of place!
And I’m glad it was empty as we got rather drunk on more than one occasion!
Normally I’d be completely against wasting my time in a new place. But given that Koh Lanta was dead as we spent our entire time relaxing by the pool.
Sure I’m on holiday, but between constant moving about, the blogging workload and general backpacker fatigue from partying too much I needed to relax and let my mind shut off for a few days.
The isolation, company and luxury of my time in Lanta proved the perfect way to recharge and switch off.
Even though I was slightly reluctant to check out and go back to the backpacker bubble I was kind of glad in a way.
I like to treat myself, but there’s something rather intoxicating and addictive about meeting heaps of new people and experiencing the world of budget travel.
I have no idea how this post really fits into my website, or if you’ll all simply be annoyed at the fact I got to stay there, but hey this site is about my adventure, and it was nice to experience the other side of the social spectrum, if only for a few days!
And do you know the best bit? It only cost me £80 (a slight stretch on my backpacking budget for accommodation in Thailand but nothing crazy expensive!) instead of the £160 per night the room usually sells at!
What a backpacking bargain!