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The Rural Side of Thailand at Manathai Surin

Nestled just a stones throw from the white sands of Surin Beach, is the perfectly positioned Manathai Surin boutique hotel. With just 66 bedrooms, 2 small, but exquisite pools, an indulgent spa and signature restaurant, all combine together to make it a great base to enjoy the authentic quieter more rural side of Thailand.

Walking into the triple height open-air lobby, with its dark wood, bright colours and fragranced incense, it’s hard not to notice how calm and serene it all feels.

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Our room, a Surin room was a bright and airy elegant space. With a King-sized bed, crisp white sheets, local artwork on the walls and a large balcony that overlooked one of the peaceful looking pools – not forgetting all the mod cons that include wireless internet, TV and DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities, minibar and fresh fruit every day.

The only decision you’ll have to make whilst you’re here is beach or pool? The pools are never crowded and are an ideal space to chill, swim, read a good book or just sleep – surrounded by lush greenery and aromatic flowers and dotted with loungers (but not too many so it can never get too busy – we actually had the pool to ourselves most of the time, so we were thoroughly spoilt), and if the effort of applying sun cream wears you out, then a cocktail from the poolside bar is sure to help!

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All meals are taken in the hotel’s beach facing signature restaurant ‘Pad Thai’, offering a range of enticing and delicious Thai dishes made from original recipes passed down through generations. Make sure you try the hotels ‘kway teow pad’ (stir fried noodles prepared in the traditional way), just add your favourite vegetables, meat or fish to individualize it to suit your taste buds. Breakfast is a less traditional affair with a buffet spread of cereals, breads, patisseries, fruit and salads – you can also order from the menu. Open plan, with great views of the beach and open all day you can pop in whenever you like for something to eat or drink, whilst sitting on the small terrace at the front gazing at the beach and loosing yourself in people watching.

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A stay at Manathai wouldn’t be complete without a visit to their tranquil spa. Aromas of lemongrass and coconut hit you as soon as you enter, where the expert therapists use centuries old techniques to make sure you leave completely relaxed and rejuvenated. I floated out after the chillax treatment – a massage with warm aromatic oils that soak slowly into the skin, whilst soft strokes gently massage the contours of your body – it felt simply divine and I wanted it to go on forever.

Everything at this hotel has a laid back, tranquil approach. Venture across the road to the beach and this same atmosphere continues. The beach is unspoilt, with just a few bars and restaurants dotted around, with of course, a few sellers thrown in for good measure. Grab a coffee or beer, sit under a shady palm tree, and just loose yourself in………well nothing! Food is suited to all tastes with Thai dishes of course on the menus but ultimately so is European and Mediterranean dishes.

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Thailand is renowned for it’s hospitality and the staff at Manathai Surin certainly live up to this reputation, with their warmth and charm, and nothing is too much trouble attitude.

This hotel is a tropical sanctuary, the ideal place to enjoy the relaxed side of Thailand, with its stunning views, aesthetic refinement and heartfelt service, that’ll have you planning your return before you’ve even left.

BOOK IT

Rates start from £68 a night for two people in a deluxe room including breakfast and transfers to and from the airport.

www.manathai.com/Phuket