Set in a corner of Thailand hidden away from the main tourist destinations, Kate and Andrew Kemp’s luxury retreat is the perfect place to escape from the world and relax. With a spa, incredible dining and a huge expanse of white sandy beach, it’s not difficult to see why this husband and wife team love their home. We caught up with Kate to find out more…
How long have you been Owner & Executive Director at the hotel?
Myself and my husband Andrew Kemp set up the company. The Sarojin opened in October 2005.
If you could sum up the hotel in three words, what would they be?
Reminiscent of staying at a friend’s private estate
The accommodation at the hotel looks stunning; could you tell us a bit about the style of the property, and where that inspiration came from?
The objective / inspiration was to emulate the very personalized, relaxed and free feeling of staying at a very good friend’s private estate, “Lady Sarojin’s estate”, offering guests the “freedom to relax”, “relaxation – freedom – inspiration”.
Freedom to Relax, Reminiscent of Staying at a Friend’s Private Estate, The Legend of Lady Sarojin
The Legend of Lady Sarojin
The spirit of exceptional service and attention.
The Lady Sarojin, eldest daughter of a prominent Thai nobleman, became mistress of the house upon her mother’s accession. As such, she was responsible for not only the upkeep and smooth running of the residence and grounds, but also for the comfort of her father’s guests.
So wholeheartedly did she pursue this vocation, that travellers from far and wide sought invitations, as this household had become famous for its hospitality, comfort and appeal under her aegis.
Today, Lady Sarojin’s spirit guides us every step of the way and, we hope as she did, that our guests are truly enriched by their sojourn with us.
Sense of space, harmony with the natural surrounds privacy
- Just 56 guest residences set in 10 acres on a 11 km white sand beach.
- Guest residences are set around the “estate” perimeter and lush tropical gardens, soothing lotus ponds and idyllic streams fill the interior and adding to a great sense of space, oasis of clam relaxation.
Harmony with the natural surrounds, seamlessly inside / outside
- Clean lines, uncluttered and open spaces and an emphasis on symmetry
- The contemporary Asian design and gardens all exude a natural harmony with the beautiful surroundings – reflecting and blending. Offering guests a sense of space and serene relaxation.
- The seamless indoor/outdoor feel of the resort is reflected in the guestroom bathrooms – with a garden feel; the Ficus restaurant – inside, but carefully integrated with the ancient tree of the same name just outside; Pathways spa, which looks out across the estuary towards a coconut grove and beyond, to the Andaman Sea, which is a stimulating and enriching experience for all the senses.
- Even at full occupancy the privacy of individual guests is not compromised.
Inside Boutique resort, personal service
- The Sarojin specializes in creating tailor-made experiences for its guests, who can create an itinerary that suits their pace and their preferences. We have our own personal guides, car and luxury boat Lady Sarojin and offer guests a range of unique and private experiences – private dining in extraordinary locations – but a candlelit jungle waterfall; secluded beach; castaway “shipwrecked” on a sand island; adventure in the stunning surrounding national parks; SCUBA, snorkeling marine parks; a unique glimpse in to local Thai way of life and culture
- Lack for nothing. Want for nothing. We will take care of you. Our standards are dictated by the original philosophy of Lady Sarojin: “Excellence and nothing less”.
Do you get to know the guests that come and stay with you at the hotel?
Yes most definitely, The Sarojin has a very family, personal feel. Meeting on arrival, through the day and hosted cocktail evenings. Andrew and I also write personally to all guests after their stay.
Which is your favourite restaurant? Do you have a favourite dish?
Ok- now you’re pushing me as The Sarojin has two lovely restaurants – the Ficus set intimately in and around the ancient ficus tree and beside the magnificent lotus pond and the Edge set by the beach with magnificent sea views, plus we offer many very special private dining experiences – by a candle lit jungle waterfall, secluded beach, castaway and “shipwrecked” on a private sand bar island.
But I will say that facing the beach with a lovely sea breeze, it has to be The Edge, our Thai restaurant is a favourite of mine. I find many guests are not familiar with Thai food and often order the usual classic dishes, but one of the hidden gems is “Ka Prao”. Garlic & chilli are sautéed with your choice of meats (I like seafood) and then Thai ‘hot’ basil is thrown in. It has an amazing exotic taste that is by far one of the most popular dishes in the country, and I nominate it mine. Accompanied by some red rice and ‘morning glory’ vegetable, it makes a perfect lunch. Add a glass of wine or ice cold beer (because you’re on holiday) – heaven!
Do you tend to have a lot of repeat guests coming back to the hotel every year?
Yes we have many, many returning guests – and several saying that they do normally return to a hotel but The Sarojin is very different. In house now for Dec and Jan we have a Swiss couple who stayed for one month last year – now they have returned for two months.
Which is your favourite excursion on offer to the guests at the hotel?
Again – very difficult as we have a wide range of tailor-made experiences and we continue to imagineer constantly working with guests to create personalized days.
But if I am pushed again – a perfect day could start with a sunrise visit to the temple to offer alms to the monks before returning to the hotel for breakfast. Grab my bag, head to the beach and onto the Lady Sarojin boat to be sped away to the Similan islands for some of the most amazing snorkelling and diving in Asia. After a gourmet lunch we cruise around more of the islands before heading back to the coast. However a small island appears and I am dropped up on this piece of sand and notice a private table set up for 2, with a chef and butler at hand. Sunset, dinner and total silence except the waves lapping on the shores. As the moon rises, we are rescued by a passing longtail boat and back to the comfort of The Sarojin . Now that is what I call an excursion!
Finally – would you say the hotel is more suited to couples, or families? Or both?
The Sarojin excepts children 10 years and over – couples, extended family groups – we tailor to both and I believe have created some amazing memories for people. This is the best part of my job!