After a short 45 minute flight from Bangkok, I landed in what felt like a Thai version of Disneyland. Exiting the plane at the bite-size airport in Trat, I boarded the cutest little tram-like vehicle and rode in the open air, past fresh hedges cut into the shapes of elephants. The dream.
I grabbed my bags and got into a taxi. We drove for about five minutes then joined the queue for the frequent ferry over to Koh Chang. Once on the ferry, I got out van, stretched my legs, and took in the views with a fresh bottle of Chang local beer. We arrived on Koh Chang 20 minutes later and drove up through the mountainous terrain to the tropical oasis of Emerald Cove.
This beautiful, 165 room, 4-star resort is airy, elegant and has absolutely everything you need to relax and fade away on a tropical vacation without totally emptying your wallet. After a chilled lemongrass and jasmine towel to the face and a much needed welcome drink, I was fully checked into my ocean-view suite. The staff was extremely helpful with any request I could drum up and had plenty of recommendations for ways to spend the day.
The resort is located on Klong Prao Beach, where the tide is rather high (there are certain times of the day where the water comes right up to the wall barrier) but the water is warm and clean. Breakfast is an incredible spread of fresh tropical fruits, pastries, and thai specialities as well as fresh juices and an omelette station. I spent my days basking in the sun, sipping on fruity drinks and taking a dip in their amazing 165-foot infinity pool.
Pastel sunsets brought in by live music, happy hour drinks, and beach barbecues made me fully appreciate my annual vacation before the holidays. The spa was well appointed with plenty of staff on hand to offer traditional Thai massages for a mind-blowing bargain, only possible in South East Asia. The front desk also helped me with everything from booking a private day trip on a speedboat to sharing their favorite local dive bar on the island.
Emerald Cove has all the modern amenities and comforts of home, in a modern and sophisticated atmosphere, a truly rare find on the remote and casual island of Koh Chang. From the rooms to the food, massages to the daily ringing bell of happy hour… Emerald Cove was everything I needed in a beach resort and more. It’s the perfect place to call home while discovering all that Elephant Island has to offer.
Rates start at $120/per night for standard room.