There’s always something mysterious about stepping into the world of The Library, the highly unusual resort that’s hidden away, right in the middle of Chaweng. A large grey wall shields it from the town outside, yet it beckons the onlooker. What’s behind it? You’ll see a single gap in the wall, allowing you access. Step through and you’re in a different place altogether. A lawn graced with old-growth trees that stretches out down to the crimson red swimming pool and the sea beyond. White cube-like structures form the accommodation – think luxury. If you’re jaded with clutter and sheer lack of space, then you’ll find The Library gives you an almost instantaneous sense of relaxation and well-being. This is where laid-back meets white-space minimalism – the two lock together in a happy dovetail. Take your cue from the white statues dotted here and there. All have a book in hand; all are engrossed. They’ve achieved a sense of well-being simply by checking out of their usual routines. The Library beckons its guests with a sense of timeless repose; it’s an evocative place, even more so these days as the inventive team behind it have literally just doubled its present space, adding on a whole new section.
What’s so surprising is that this new area goes completely unnoticed. That’s because it’s also hidden away behind a blank wall, with access only via a door that totally blends with the said wall. You’ll need a special key to gain access. But once that the door swings open, you’re in for a few surprises. Firstly, you need to cross a bridge and then you’ll see the new villas appear one by one along the path you’re on. In each case an impassive stone facade hides a camouflaged stone door that opens onto a small inner atrium. It’s only when you go through a further door that you can be said to be in the property itself. The Library believes in total privacy, and has taken the concept to a maximal degree. From inside, guests can see who’s visiting them courtesy of a CCTV camera. Even cleaning personnel have set hours in which they’re not allowed to go into the guests’ rooms.
The villas are all extremely spacious, and seamlessly integrate with the natural world outside; trees grow right through buildings, and air-wells let sunlight directly onto the villa swimming pools, which are open-air and located within the villa itself. The designs, as you can see from this alone, are distinctly unusual. They also add to the mysteriousness of the ensemble; there are quite a few features about the villas that aren’t advertised at all. The idea is for guests to discover them during their stay. Like any mysterious place, their enigma waits to be discovered, and you’ll enjoy exploring these creative spaces that have been specifically built to please. Even the villa’s brochure echoes the intriguing nature of what awaits guests – the pages of the brochure peel back in a series of interlocking leaves, reminiscent of a puzzle.
There are just 20 villas in all. They’re collectively known as the ‘Secret Chapters’ and consist of 16 ‘Secret Pool Villas’; two ‘Two-Bedroom Pool Villas’, and two very superior villas known simply as ‘The Editor’ and ‘The Writer’. You’ll probably need to reserve well in advance. Residents in these villas not only have their own in-villa swimming pool but can use the red-tiled swimming pool that’s exclusively for those staying in the Secret Chapters.
An entrance leads, meanwhile, into The Library’s restaurant, The Page. It features the best of international dining, as well as a chance to taste some otherwise hard-to-find Thai dishes from the kingdom’s deep past. Eat just a few steps away from the sea in a setting that’s simplicity and elegance, altogether a very relaxed dining experience.
While at The Library you’ll come under the sway of the artistic owner, Khun Kasemtham Sornsong, who sums up his ideas quite simply: “When guests leave, I want them to feel that they have just left a magical place full of stories.” Indeed, few hotels can be said to captivate the imagination as much as The Library, and guests will have fun in exploring a resort that comes with many unexpected notes and surprises.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7742 2767-8.