January 16, 2014

Poolside Villa Outside

Relaxation, adventure and rejuvenation are just some of the reasons to visit Aava Resort & Spa, a stunning property situated on Nadan Beach, a 9 kilometre stretch of pristine golden sands lapping clear blue waters in Khanom, in the South-East of Thailand.

Aava Resort & Spa is Scandinavian owned with top Finnish design.  The owners, originally from Finland, whom I recently met when they visited Sydney, found this enchanting location while backpacking in Thailand over a decade ago and decided this was the place they wanted to build a resort and spend the rest of their lives.  The resort’s Scandinavian influences can be seen in the unique architecture and design, created by Finland’s top designers.

Guest bungalows and villas are set in attractive gardens or overlooking and having direct access to the pool area and boasting magnificent sea views.

Khanom is famous for its rare pink dolphins, which are protected in their idyllic living environment.  The resort arranges boat tours taking guests to meet these exquisite creatures as they roam freely in sheltered surrounds, something not to be missed.

Family Villa TerraceActivities available without having to venture far into and beyond Khanom, include shopping at traditional markets, snorkelling, beach barbecues, fishing, golf, trekking in national parks, exploring intriguing caves, foot therapy at a fish spa, visits to temples and a puppet house as well as full day tours to Koh Samui.

Aava Spa is built to respect ancient Thai traditions of architecture as well as spa treatments, giving maximum relaxation and healthiness to mind, body and soul, both during and after the holiday.  The Spa’s menu of treatments ranges from a 30 minute Thai massage to therapeutic pampering packages. Featuring treatments utilising organic products plus an array of other wellness activities including Yoga, Thai Chi, Pilates, meditation, jungle and waterfall hikes and Thai boxing training, the Spa should prove very popular with guests. Their yoga and wellness retreats are hosted by leading world instructors throughout the year.

The resort presents a family-friendly atmosphere with a Kids club offering great activities for the young ones and complimentary babysitting provided throughout the day and into the late evening.

Aava Spa Aalto restaurant offers innovative Euro-Asian fusion cuisine at their romantic beach setting, with beach barbecues held each Friday. Aava Pizzeria & Bakery is a charming little restaurant providing traditional wood fire oven pizzas and freshly baked breads and pastries.

Aava Resort & Spa combines traditional Thai friendliness and family values with Scandinavian quality and elegance.  Their values have evolved from the idea of serving their guests with traditional Thai friendliness without compromising high European standards.

The Resort can arrange guest transfers to and from Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani or Nakhon Sri Thammarat Airports. Guests who book direct with the resort and stay a minimum five nights receive complimentary return transfers from Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat Airports.

For bookings contact or

Sandra Tiltman 


January 16, 2014


“Tracks”, the true story of Robyn Davidson’s 2,700km solo trek from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean opened this year’s St. George Openair Cinema. This annual event is one of the highlights of the Sydney summer and equally enjoyed by locals and visitors, especially those from overseas.

Located on the waterfront adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens near Mrs Macquaries Chair, this would have to be the best outdoor setting in the world to see a movie.

Doors open at 6.15pm, giving patrons time to enjoy a pre-movie dinner, either from the on-site caterers or bring a picnic and sit on the lawn.  Wine, beer and coffee are available for purchase on site.

The big screen, that’s actually on the water, goes up just as the sun is setting with the Opera House and the city buildings in the background.  The seating is quite comfortable with individual plastic chairs on a terraced platform with good sightlines. The movie usually begins at 8.30 pm. Most of the new release movies are shown only once during the season which runs each evening until 15 February.

I saw Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips” the night I went and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of watching a movie under the stars.

Sandra Tiltman