The resort was a labour of love for its owner who poured her heart and soul into creating a retreat that would welcome visitors and give them a taste of genuine Thai islander hospitality.
From the first time she saw Koh Mook, Khun Pitt knew that this was the place she wanted to call home. Nearly 20 years ago, she travelled to Koh Mook in search of a dream, and found it in a small beachfront plot nestled on a peninsula of sand between tiny fishing villages and the Koh Mook pier.
The peninsular of land with its long sandy beach and wealth of coconut, mango and cashew nut trees seemed the perfect setting for a resort. The view across the bay to the island of Koh Libong and the coast of Had Yeow was unique. Added to that, the bay had sheltered and safe swimming on the island. It is a winning combination, building a resort worthy of such a setting would be a challenge. The intention was/is to build in harmony with the natural setting. Bringing wood, nails, paint, mattresses from the mainland was a major investment of time, effort and money. Many long-tail boat trips in all kinds of weather. More than once, this meant rough, night-time crossings, with boats of roofing grass or timber and unloading onto a darkened beach
The early days of the Pawapi project were an adventure. No running water and electric for only a few hours each day. More than once, there were setbacks that tested Khun Pitt’s resolve, but somehow, she found the energy, patience, and courage to achieve her goal.
Our first paying customers were in January 2009. We are still in contact with many of our early guests, some of whom have come back many times and have become friends.
Pawapi’s grass-roofed bungalows with large, elevated balconies, were a great success, particularly with Scandinavians, who loved the natural, rustic luxury feel. Things went well, our cute Crusoe’ style houses were the most photographed on the island.
The next move was to build fourteen villas. These are large, luxurious, air-conditioned villas with hardwood floors, top quality textiles, king-sized beds and huge balconies overlooking the Andaman Sea.
During this construction, Pitt took care of the trees. We built around them or moved them to landscape around our units. You can see this when observing our new lobby with a tree going straight through the roof. The new lobby is the most recent phase of our dream, along with a 25-metre beachside swimming pool.
Pitt dreamed to build a resort here for years, and she has done it. It takes courage and determination to do something when many say, ‘that’s impossible’. Pitt followed her heart and achieved it. There’s a lesson in there for everyone, I hope.