Alila Cha-am – A Culinary Journey

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My wife and I just returned from a short vacation in Cha-am, Thailand. We spent 4 days and 3 nights at a recently opened resort named Alila Cha-am.

Cha-am, once a fishing village, is now a charming locale located along the gulf of Thailand about 163 km outside of Bangkok. Getting there takes about 2.5 hours from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and is accessible via an airport hired cab or a pre-arranged hotel taxi.

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Alila Cha-am, an ultra-chic and contemporary beachside resort designed by pre-eminent Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag, soft launched their operations February 1st, 2008. We arrived at the resort during their first week of operation. Alila Cha-am had a host of promotional packages catered to the different needs of their guests and being the foodies that we were, we chose their “Culinary Journey” package. This package consisted of, among other things, an early morning visit to the local wet (farmer’s) market in the nearby village to pick out fresh ingredients for our dishes that we would be preparing for lunch. We received a hands-on lesson in the main resort kitchen on how to prepare an authentic Thai green curry with seabass dish. We prepared the curry paste from scratch and received instructions from the warm and hospitable resident Thai chef, Khun Gai. Alila Cha-am’s kitchen staff is made up of a team of highly skilled veterans headed by the very capable and talented Executive Chef Joel Wilkinson. The culinary package was topped off with a fabulous Thai degustation full course meal enjoyed in the starry evening atop the Clouds Loft Restaurant.

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Thai’s are known for their warmth and gracious hospitality and we certainly felt this during our stay at Alila Cha-am. Despite some teething problems during the early days of their operations, the highly attentive and capable staff took care of all issues in the most prompt manner.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and have made some new friends from this culinary adventure. We recommend Alila Cha-am highly to those discerning travelers looking for something unique and different coupled with the legendary Thai hospitality and service.

Note: Alila Cha-am has modified their “Culinary Journey” package slightly so my descriptions in my blog above many not represent what is actually being offered at the moment.

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4 Responses to “Alila Cha-am – A Culinary Journey”

  1. tif Says:

    Amazing! One day I will be in Thailand and I will check this resort up. Does it really look almost just as amazing as in the photographs?

  2. stickofachef Says:

    Hi tif,

    Alila Cha-am is really how it looks in the pictures. It’s a boutique hotel that puts a lot of emphasis on service and style. We had quite a few amenities that were not available when we were there (e.g. the spa wasn’t completed yet) but we saw improvements on a daily basis. If you are looking for a quiet romantic getaway and want to pamper yourself and your loved one with the luxurious of a boutique hotel coupled with fabulous Thai warmth and service, you can’t beat Alila Cha-am. I recommend them highly!

  3. bryguy Says:

    Looks great! Were you in one of the pool villas or the deluxe/deluxe terrace rooms? Do they have a beach area and if so, what were the conditions like?

  4. stickofachef Says:

    Hi bryguy,

    We were in the deluxe rooms. The pool villas were not completed during the time we were there. In fact, only half of the rooms were available for occupancy. We went during the soft launch so we actually saw improvements to the resort each day we were there! My wife wanted so much to try to spa but that wasn’t completed either. I expect most, if not all of the facilities to have been completed by now.

    They have a beach area and although it’s rather small, it’s quite nice. You have white sands leading into the sea where the water is clean and warm. The waves were a bit choppy during our stay but it wasn’t violent enough where you couldn’t take a swim in the sea. I would rate the condition of the beach as very good.

    Hope this helps!

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