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Sandoway Resort sits in the shade of six acres of coconut palms along 1,200ft of beachfront overlooking the beautiful Bay of Bengal on Burma’s premier beach, Ngapali. There are 59 two-storey villas and cottages with terraces or verandas dotted among the palms and casuarina trees, and designed in traditional Burmese style with hardwood floors, palm roofs and stone carvings.
The restaurant specialises in freshly caught local seafood including lobsters, and the resort has occasional guest chefs from Europe so guests can enjoy the very best of both western and eastern cuisine. The neighbouring lounge bar has a terrace with views out to the beach and ocean beyond. Guests can enjoy a sunset cocktail here, relax in the library or sit on the treetop veranda.
Sedate onsite activities include massages and other treatments in the small (four treatment room) spa or watching movies in the resort's cinema, complete with projector screen and elegant wooden planter chairs. The swimming pool is next to the library and a few steps from the beach beyond. There is a second bar by the pool and guests can also order light lunches here. Activities away from the hotel include fishing trips, bicycle hire and snorkelling.
Why we love it
Imagine Thailand's islands several decades ago and that's the sort of place that glorious Ngapali Beach seems like. Sure, this is no longer a completely undiscovered gem, but the number of tourists remains small, and the pace of life deliciously slow, particularly at Sandoway Resort.