Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort unveils original Chao Lay
Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort has completed an extensive THB160 million (AU$6 million) refurbishment program with 100 of the island resort’s 201 unique bungalows re-launched with a fresh, contemporary Thai feel just in time for Thailand’s high season.
The overall vision for the renovations follows a “Chao Lay Southern Thai design concept”. Chao Lay means “people of the sea” in the Thai dialect used on Phi Phi Island and therefore provides a fitting name for a style that complements rather than dominates the natural island environment. The renovations also offer guests a rare combination of natural simplicity and comfort in one of Thailand’s most inspiring destinations.
“Although the main aim was to upgrade our rooms and facilities to keep up with the demands of visitors from around the world, we have also been very careful not to lose the essence of Thai culture and tradition that people expect when they visit our country,” said Mr. Chao Treenawong, General Manager, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort.
To strike a balance between authentic Thai architecture and a more modern tropical resort style, Thailand-based design firm Last Word Studio was engaged to create stylish interiors for the revamped bungalows while drawing on southern Thai architectural traditions. Spacious, airy, comfortable living spaces have long been a Thai signature with properties built largely from local materials, to blend with the tropical surroundings and focus on air circulation to keep accommodation cool in the year-round hot climate.
Reflecting this approach, the new bungalows at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort are raised slightly from the ground on sturdy pillars and boast tall, pointed roofs which catch the sea breezes and funnel fresh air through the interiors. Air-conditioning units are installed, but not always required, thanks to a sensitive, smart design scheme that dates back hundreds of years. “Through the décor and design our new look rooms offer a local Thai village feel, but they also come with all the added amenities of a modern lifestyle. By staying true to the region’s architectural roots, we have also remained sensitive to the island environment – physically, and in terms of sustainability,” said Mr. Treenawong.
In addition to the rooms, the resort recently completed the new-look restaurant called Api and is putting the finishing touches on a stylish new al fresco coffee club called Bean/Co, as well as introducing a new menu to the recently renamed The Beach House. These three outlets complement the elegant architecture and ambiance of the resort’s Ruan Thai restaurant, Phi Phi Island’s only authentic Thai dining experience.