Newly opened boutique resort near the heart of the historical park
Since the famed Sukhothai Historical Park is, arguably, the main attraction for anyone visiting this part of Thailand, staying within close proximity to the park makes a great deal of sense, especially if your visit is a short one. To the southeast of the park, along the street known as Moo Ban Hemalak, there are several charming guesthouses and B&Bs, including the recently opened Sawasdee Sukhothai Resort.
There are only 15 accommodation units at this property, each with its own covered terrace, and guests can choose one of the Pool View, Garden View, Family, or Superior bungalows. All are comfortable and nicely furnished, offering modern conveniences such as air-conditioning, flatscreeen TV, mini-fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, and Wi-Fi, but still maintaining a traditional Thai touch in the décor. Each unit is personalized with a unique elephant-themed wall mural, and the elephant motif carries on elsewhere as well (bed pillows, shelf mounts, etc.). In another nod to local Thai culture the bathroom sink is a Sangkhalok ceramic bowl—a style of pottery closely associated with Sukhothai.
The resort is situated at the furthest end of an L-shaped side street, and the surroundings on all sides of the bungalows are open natural spaces, which translates into a very peaceful environment both day and night. Meanwhile, the grounds also have a pastoral feel, with lots of greenery, well-manicured grasses, and plenty of flowering bushes. There are a couple of hammocks set up here for guests to use communally, but the main feature of the common area is the large outdoor swimming pool—open till 9pm—complete with several deck chairs and umbrellas for shade. Close by to the pool is a kids play area, with a swing set, hobby horse, and see-saw.
There is an open-air seating area directly beside the front reception desk—with a mix of tables and chairs, and couches—and while guests enjoy a nicely prepared breakfast buffet here, that’s the only time of day that the kitchen operates. For lunches and dinners the friendly staff are quick to suggest local restaurants for guests to try, which is a nice touch as it encourages exploration of the surrounding area. However, during the course of the day the breakfast area can still be used for relaxing as complimentary tea, coffee, and cookies are offered throughout the day, and beer, soft drinks, and ice cream treats are available for purchase at the reception desk.
Like almost all guesthouses in Sukhoathai, the Sawasdee Resort offers bicycles for hire (at a mere B50 per day). It’s a short 1.5 km journey to the historical park, and bikes are the perfect way to get around, although the staff will gladly arrange a taxi or tuk-tuk if you prefer. Finally, if you want a relaxing in-room massage, just ask and the friendly front desk crew will arrange it for you. It’s actually quite refreshing just how cheerful and helpful the staff are here, which is no doubt just one of the many reasons this resort has earned a 9.7 guest review rating on booking.com, despite being open for just under one year.
By Bruce Scott
95/10, MooBan Hemalak, Moo3
Tel: 088 559 9089