A small hitch at KK airport when there was no one there to meet us – presumably they were still under the impression the flight was cancelled. A phone call to the tour operator soon sorted things out and our driver was there in no time. By now it was fully dark so we were unable to get a good look at KK, but it left the impression of being a busy, vibrant town.
Around an hour’s drive from the airport brought us into the long, lamp-lit drive that wound through the manicured grounds leading up to the Rasa Ria’s garden wing, where a beautifully attired bell boy took our bags and announced our arrival in traditional fashion by striking the large gong in the entrance. We swapped our passports for a cool welcome drink and relaxed, taking in our new surroundings as a member of staff took our documents and checked us in. The hotel looked impressive – a huge open lobby area, clean, shining marble floors, enormous rugs, soft sofas. So far, so good. Andrew then returned with our passports and registration forms and told us of a special offer to upgrade to the hotel’s Ocean Wing. For a small extra payment the Ocean Wing offered superior rooms, larger balconies, free a la carte breakfast in a restaurant exclusive to Ocean Wing residents, free mini bar, free cocktail and canapes between 5.30 and 6.30, free choice of pillow from the “pillow menu”, free choice of bath from the “bath menu” and the wing’s own swimming pool and outdoor jacuzzi for the exclusive use of Ocean Wing residents. We were in celebratory mood – we said yes!
So it was back in the car and heading up the drive again to the Ocean Wing. Had we made the right decision? Oh yes! The rooms were lovely, beautifully furnished, spacious, well-stocked mini bar, fresh fruit bowl and biscuits. A huge picture window gave views over the grounds to the beach beyond, which could be enjoyed whilst lying in bed. Double patio doors opened out onto the balcony where coffee table and chairs, a huge day bed and an enormous tiled jacuzzi bath awaited us. The balcony overlooked the swimming pool, the outdoor jacuzzi which was the size of a swimming pool, and the perfectly maintained gardens, beyond which lay the wide, sandy beach.
We had begun the day in our wonderful rustic, stilted bungalow in primary rainforest and ended it in a luxurious ocean-side hotel – it felt a little surreal.
Hot, tired and lacking enthusiasm to shower, change and head out to the restaurants, we dumped our luggage and settled on the balcony to watch the thunder storm that was rumbling out to sea whilst satisfying our hunger with beer, crisps, fruit and biscuits from the mini bar, before heading to bed.