Sunday, 24 January 2010
The Ra Sa Nan Da is a swanky place with a daft name. Well it wouldn't be so daft if they hadn't parcelled off the syllables - ananda is sanskrit for "joy" (as many people know) and ras is sanskrit for "abolish, roar or scream". Perhaps Ras isn't sanskrit. Anyway I'm sure it means something to Thai people but to us farang it's incomprehensible and made more so by splitting up the name.
Ra Sa Nan Da goes one better than Santhiya. Santhiya is a massive hotel with a huge pool and it's own beach. But there's the caveat. Santhiya beach, as they like to falsely call it, is not so great. That's why Santhiya guests congregate around the pool instead.
In comparison Ra Sa Nan Da has the lion's share of the best beach in Koh Phangan and arguably one of the best beaches in Thailand, Thong Nai Pan Noi. They are right on the beach. They have got cool modern tropical mini villas with small plunge pools and salas. The colouring is an opulent red. The theme of the resort is boutique and exclusive. And now the promotional phase has finished they have got outrageous prices to match.
Gone are the moderately reasonable rates between 12,500 thb and 25,500 thb per night. Now they are asking between 22,000 thb and 50,000 thb for a night. Incredible when next door in Baan Panburi you can get a bungalow for as little as 550 thb a night. There's a contrast. It's the same beautiful white sand beach, the same tropical scenery, the same bars and restaurants but the hoi polloi are kept at arms length while you lounge in your personal sala and stare at the stars.
Ra Sa Nan Da does, however, have this quite amazing wine rack in the reception area, and an odd art piece red chair to match.