Khao Lak and Lady Sarojin

Rope swing over the ocean at the Sarojin

Lady Sarojin is the daughter of a prominent Thai nobleman who was regarded as the perfect host and whose household had become famous for its hospitality, comfort and appeal. Believe it or not, you can find Lady Sarojin’s spirit hidden amongst the jungle and rubber tree crops, along an 11-kilometer stretch of white-sand beach at the romantic Sarojin property in Khao Lak, Thailand.

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Sarojin beach

Keeping the traditions alive, the Sarojin strives to never tell a guest “no,” and is the epitome of personalized luxury and hospitality. Jason and I, along with our friend Maxine, were lucky enough to spend some time with them.

Resort welcomes in Thailand are wonderful. Tea and cool clothes are always offered and check-in is as if you are being welcomed into a friend’s home. The Sarojin is no different.

Sarojin property with traditional tea and cool cloth welcome

Entry into the property was incredibly alluring. Everywhere I looked there was something beautiful to see. Fountains with lily pads, sprawling ficus trees, large swaths of bright green grass, and flowerbeds were everywhere. The owners of the Sarojin decided to keep the property intimate and encompassing of all the things they love about resorts and hotels they’ve stayed out throughout their travels.

We parted from Maxine and headed for our respective rooms. Jason and I reached our room and were met with a wonderful romantic message on our bed spelled out with leaves and flowers. We’ve been married for 15 years, but it felt like we were on our second honeymoon.

Message left on our bed from the staff at Sarojin

Our bags were delivered, and since we had some time before our elephant excursion and dinner, we changed into some beach attire and strolled hand and hand to the beach with Jason’s camera (he never leaves home without it). The turquoise blue water lapped at the shoreline crusted with bits of coral and shells. We played a bit in the water and collected hermit crabs, swung on the rope swing over the water, and enjoyed the breeze. It was as relaxing as it could have been.

When our hour of relaxation was at its end we met back up with Maxine and jumped into a van and headed out to see some elephants. Elephants are my favorite animals in the world (aside from my dogs at home). I was so excited I could barely stand it.

Before riding into the jungle we were given small bananas to feed to the elephants. I looked over at Maxine and offered her the rest of my bananas so she could experience feeding the elephants too. She was so excited and noticed the elephant’s trunk conveniently had holes that fit the banana perfectly. Not realizing these were the elephant’s nostrils, she put the perfectly shaped banana into the elephant’s right nostril. Quickly I realized what she must have been thinking and whispered to her what she had just done and explained how the elephant’s nostrils are not banana holes. We laughed so loud and long that I think both our stomachs were sore the next day.

When the opportunity to ride was offered to me I leapt at the chance. The mahout helped me onto the elephant, but had me sit in front of him. How the heck was I going to drive this thing? Clearly he wasn’t worried, so I didn’t worry – much. It was so much fun! We climbed up and down hills and through small riverbeds. The elephant chomped on grass and leaves along the way and didn’t mind at all that there were snakes slithering around her feet (I was so glad I wasn’t walking).

Mary Anne Been riding through the jungle bareback with her Mahout and elephant

When we arrived at the river where the mahouts bathe their elephants, I climbed down and watched as the mahout took the elephant into the water and let her splash and play. Shortly after our arrival the rest of our party showed up by van and were given an opportunity to swim and play in the water with the elephants. Maxine was the first one to volunteer to swim with these gentle giants. She jumped into the water and swam around and played until it was time for the mahouts to take the elephants home for the night. It was a very cool experience.

On our way back to the Sarojin, we were told all about the different kinds of experiences with elephants that their guests can have. Imagine riding an elephant through the jungle only to arrive at a waterfall surrounded by lit candles and a private chef waiting to make you and your special someone dinner. Seriously, this is a place that makes dream vacations a reality.

Later in the evening we were formally introduced to Dawid Koegelenberg and Anthony Dupont, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. Dawid is Sarojin’s resort manager and imagineer, (the person who implements creative ideas into practical form). Yes, Dawid will help make your dream vacation a reality.

View from The Edge Restaurant at the Sarojin

Dawid regaled us with stories of past guests and the beyond belief experiences he had created for them. We became fast friends as Dawid shared his expertise in wine and food with us. Wine in Thailand is a very special luxury; believe it or not Thailand has been producing wine for more than 30 years, but has only begun to be recognized for its competitive profiles. We headed over to dinner at the Sarojin’s restaurant, the Edge. Placed at the edge of the beach, we had 180-degree views of the beach and were entertained with live music and traditional Thai dancers.

The Sarojin is a boutique resort property with 56 luxury rooms, two restaurants, and a wine bar, and welcomes children 10 and older. It is really the ideal setting for a romantic getaway. If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic getaway spot, contact Dawid and ask him to make your dream vacation a reality.

See more at The Sarojin website.