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Breaking bad at the last resort

The brand new Hansar Pranburi will delight anyone hankering for a small hotel and deserted beach

A small concrete path takes us through a coconut plantation and ends at the lonely beach. Parked at what feels like the end of the earth, we are somewhat surprised that the resort we're looking for is nowhere in sight. In the distance we spot someone walking slowly in the sand and make our way over to him in the hope he can set us on the right path.

"Just drive along the beach for a few minutes," says the helpful beachcomber gesturing towards a spot we cannot see. "Hansar is the last resort on the beach."

"Drive on the beach", I repeat incredulously, sure I have heard him wrong. He nods and as we get back in the car, my girlfriend mutters something about getting trapped in the sand. "When the tide comes up, there'll be nothing for it but to wave our old Toyota goodbye," she warns but quickly starts smiling as we negotiate the sand and arrive at the resort - safe and sound.

Tucked away on the southern end of Nom Sao Beach, a pristine beach in Prachuab Khiri Khan province, Hansar Pranburi is quite literally last resort for a peaceful break. With one cat, two dogs, one chef, one manager, two waitresses and two house-keepers, you feel oceans apart from the bustling resort town of Hua Hin.



"We're way beyond the reach of the telephone line, and mobile phone signals aren't healthy," says the manager of Hansar Pranburi Resort.

A member of Hansar Hotels & Resorts, Thailand's home-grown hotel group, this resort is the third property following Hansars in Bangkok and on Koh Samui. Like its two sister properties, Hansar Pranburi is stylish and classy. Boasting white-washed villas, an infinity edge swimming pool overlooking the beach, an open deck, chic patio and outdoor dining area, it's everything you could want for the perfect escape.

All 17 rooms and villas are nestled along the idyllic golden-sand beach setting against the mountainous backdrop of Sam Roi Yot National Park.

We have Room No 3 for two nights. Our upper-floor room feels like a cosy studio apartment, with a king-size bed, larger-than-life mirror leaning against the wall, fashionable desk and a kind of director's chair. It's a spacious and pleasant room but unfortunately has yet to be finished. For example, there's only one chair for two people. While Jang, my girlfriend, enjoys a glass of Merlot in the cool-looking chair, I make the most of the floor mat and lean against the bed board. This room definitely needs a living area to let your hair down. It could also do with two deck chairs on the balcony so we can make the most of the sunrise.

The restaurant at the resort offers all-day dining, a good thing given that the nearest eatery is about 20 minutes away by car. We try several dishes - both European and Thai - for breakfast, brunch and dinner. My girl friend - a vegetarian who considers herself a connoisseur of fine bread and butter - likes Hansar's bakery items, especially the croissant, and the spaghetti with cream sauce. I have rice soup with snapper for breakfast, and there is room for improvement. Vegetarians are best advised to inform the resort in advance to ensure a choice of dishes.

Hiccups apart during this soft opening period, it's easy to see that Hansar Pranburi and its deserted beach will quickly become popular among anyone in search of a break far from the madding crowd.

At a glance

High points: A lovely resort on a deserted beach

Low points: It gets very hot during the day as there is only a tiny patch of garden to provide the shade.

Pay for it: Check the website for the best deals and promotions.

Find it: Sam Roi Yot sub-district, Ban Sam Roi Yot Prachuap Khiri Khan, 77120, Thailand

Call it: (+ 66 2) 209 1234

Browse it: www.HansarPranburi.com


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