The Sarojin had been completed and the new resort’s owners sent their employees home before the big grand opening. Then the Tsunami came, Khao Lak, in Thailand, lost thousands of lives, and the Sarojin destroyed.

Fortunately, the owners and employees stuck together and rebuilt the Sarojin, themselves. Maids became carpenters and cooks became cement mixers. Of the 56 employees that remained throughout the ordeal, there is now a room at the Sarojin, 56 in all, dedicated to each employee that worked on the rebuilding process.

Even without this fabulous story of rebuilding, this pick was a no-brainer even with so many great resorts I had visited throughout this year. The Sarojin has spectacular grounds, innovative room designs, superior service, a family vibe, good food and the ability to “imagineer” guests visit — the Sarojin knows how to give visitors what they want. I learned how to cook Thai food, which included a trip to the market, a private boat cruise through the “Little Amazon,” before arriving to a white linen table waited with stocked cooking stations on a nearby island. It was an amazing day toped off with lemon grass soup, and I never describe anything as “amazing.”

For some great visuals, check out some video of my visit to the Sarojin below.

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