I was forced to wait to cross the line as a local farmer herded his dairy cattle - after receiving an apologetic bow I grinned at him and proceeded onwards to the X2 Resort ( pronounced cross 2 ) - rather appropriately named I mused after this incident. The hotel definitely serves up what it says on the tin. Chic, minimalism design with a definitely different feel to pretty much anything I have experienced in Thailand.
The reception area is a solitary brushed concrete table holding a solitary computer totally devoid of any office materials normally found in a hotel lobby reception desk. Several very friendly staff are present to meet and greet arrivals. They offered to valet park my car and took my bags away in a very efficient manner.
Walking, accompanied by a charming lady with good English skills, to my room I was immediately struck by the grass lawned area framing a vista of the sea and fronted by a huge infinity edge pool tiled in dark mosaic tiles.
A large elderly tree has been preserved during the construction and overhangs the pool giving a most natural feel. However, depending on your point of view there is one problem. The leaves are shed constantly into the pool creating a permanent job for the 'leaf collectors' who will never have a boring day. Personally, I rather like the leaves in the pool as it gives a feel of swimming with nature.However, others may not.
The walkways are planted out with trees and sweet smelling bushes which let off their glorious scent in the morning and again in the evening.
The walls dividing the resort rooms are clad in natural grey stone nuggets and are high to the point of being oppressive and the flooring walkways around the resort are made from timber decking apparently imported from Finland. They creak and shudder in parts as you walk along but create a rather eccentric atmosphere. I suspect the owner and the maintenance team hate them, but for me, it balances the otherwise severe effect of the large granite clad walls. There are many room types but the design is essentially the same throughout with one exception which I will explain later. Stone clad wall with concrete slabbing flooring with the large king size bed the central focal point facing out the plunge pool accessible and visible through large wooden sliding patio doors. Unfortunately the doors are difficult to open perhaps because that wood has expanded and split in parts and the hinge and sliders are of inferior quality. The pool villa also troubled or blessed ,depending on your point of view, with the ubiquitous fallen leaves from the many trees within the resort.
The bathroom is large with a choice of shower. One is traditional in that it is roofed but the other has the natural feel created by not having a roof and when showering, you can see the sky and trees above. Of course, leaves pervade that also. The amenities include shower gel,shampoo and conditioner,hair dryer and quality set of towels both large and small. The shower floors are timber whilst the flooring in the main bathroom area is of concrete slabbing as in the outside walkways. Clothing storage is a bit limited and is an enclosed cupboard at waist level incorporated into a kitchen work area directly behind the bed which works very well. The usual facilities are provided, safe, tea and coffee making etc. There are some rooms which are larger and have a second floor so privacy when sleeping without pulling curtains could be achieved on the upper floors. This room type would probably suit a pair of couples who are comfortable staying together in a confined area with limited privacy or a family with older kids. Total number of rooms seems to be about 22. One pool villa stands directly in front of the swimming pool thus rendering the large double bed clearly visible to pool users or walker to the adjoin g restaurant. So curtains would definitely need to be drawn to maintain and degree of privacy.
Fast wireless Internet is available throughout the resort both in the rooms and in the communal areas. Paradoxically, my mobile phone signal did not work unless I walked to the beach. Apparently, it's a DTAC problem, AIS networks work fine I was told.
The restaurant serves Thai Western Fusion food and is quite expensive as are the wine-list items. I stumped up the 500 bht corkage charge and drank my own wine. The cheapest house wine was 1200 bht. Staff lack English skills but the head waiter cum barman named K Wat, was charming helpful and had good English skills. Excellent music of gentle jazz plays out via a very good sound audio system. I had just One small complaint- paper serviettes of low quality and absorbency had the tendency to blow around - quality cloth material would be a better choice.
Very nice sunrise can be seen as the hotel faces directly East.
I feel that older more traditional Thais would find the resort rooms rather intimidating but young Trendy folk would find the chic design and juxtaposition of architecture very interesting.
There does not seem to much to do in the resort itself other than a luxurious spa and a Petanque court so it probably suits people who want to simply relax for a few days. Definitely not suitable for an extended stay with kids. Would I stay there again ? Most definitely if I were travelling through this area.
Summary, luxurious resort, chic trendy, designer inspired, definitely off the beaten track and most suitable for Go Beyond Thailand's listing.
Note : Australian/Thai owners. The wife is Thai with a large business assembling commercial vehicles in BKK. They have a collection of 4 properties and manage another. Since I was the only guest on this, the long weekend, makes me suspect that the occupancy rate hardly pays for the investment and expenditure. However, the F&B charges may augment the income somewhat.