The darling little star-shaped Island of Koh Mak off the Southern coast of Thailand was my New Year destination. Never having tried Thailand before – amazing, as I love Thai food, and come to that, Thai drink, to say nothing of Thai massage – I was delighted with my choice, and whiled away many a sunny, snoozy hour pretending to read in a hammock slung between palm trees on the edge of a white sandy beach.
That’s when I wasn’t indulging in some, or indeed, all of the above – particularly the cocktails. Which brings me to the Bamboo Hideaway Resort – the Mojitos there, mixed by the proprietor’s own liberal hand, are better than any I’ve ever had in Cuba. I’m not sure how I got back to the other side of the island after my first visit – it was pitch black and I was, after all, on a Moped – but I lived to go back the next day. And the next…
But great though they were, it wasn’t only for the Mojitos that I returned – the food was terrific , a wonderful fusion of fresh Thai produce and subtle spices with dash and style and a certain European sensibility . The music was great – Martyn, the owner, being an excellent DJ as well as creative designer, cocktail champ and all-round entrepreneur. There was always engaging conversation and good fun to be had round the bar, and the feast Martyn and his gorgeous wife Katie, laid on for New Year was nothing short of fabulous. I’ve never seen prawns that size – and I’m sure it wasn’t just the Mojitos.
The Bamboo Hideaway does what it says on the tin – it’s literally hidden away in the forest of an ancient rubber plantation, and it’s made entirely of bamboo. Martyn designed and built it himself and is justly proud of its funky and original style. The huts, though charmingly rustic-looking , have five-star interiors; the pool with its pretty tiles, flowering bushes and wooden sun-beds is a welcome respite from sand flies on the beach – the only thing I didn’t like about Thailand!
The Bamboo atmosphere is friendly and casual – laced with good manners and bonhomie. Much of that comes from Martyn and Katie – who are warm , welcoming, and always up for a Mojito! They made my holiday something very special.