‘It’s Myrthe right? And Eva?’ A hand outstretched, a friendly grin, an offer to take our bags.
‘So, what do you think?’ The friendly grin, belonging to a Belgian named Bart, lessens marginally, an attempt at hiding his pride.
All we can do is gawk. Somehow, we’ve found ourselves on a terrace overlooking a short stretch of beach, after which the Gulf of Thailand sprawls majestically. To our right, a pool and bar. To our left, a pristine restaurant, a pool table, a ping pong table. Fairy lights softly illuminate the beach and a swing dangling temptingly below a tree.
Myrthe finds her voice. ‘This is a hostel?’ She croaks.
Bart’s face flushes. Myrthe has just complimented his baby, and he knows there’s no point hiding his delight.
We’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to Tiki Tiki hostel in Koh Samui island, as it’s our favourite hostel so far (having been to two dozen or so so far, this is a big deal) and this gives the place the promotion it deserves.
But even though Tiki Tiki is pretty damn spectacular already, Bart has big plans. And the place has only been open for three weeks. He looks at the hostel’s white-washed walls the way a painter looks at a blank canvas. A future piece of art. As we sit at the bar, quenching our thirst from a long accidental hike, he brings us along in his vision.
‘Imagine a combination between a gypsy paradise and Tomorrowland. I want colours, everywhere. Imagine the guests contributing their artwork, scrawling all over the walls. I want the hostel to be created by its guests. I want a deck, floating above the beach, beanbags where my guests can chill. I want movie nights on the beach. I want parties, live music, DJ sets.’
It’s almost impossible not to be captivated by his vision. It’s going to come true, we’re sure of it. This Belgian is the most determined man we’ve ever come across, and his hard work is starting to pay off. Tiki Tiki hostel, three weeks after its launch, is the top rated hostel on Hostelworld.
So, in short, you go Bart. Good luck to you and to Tiki Tiki, you will see us again!
xxx Eva & Myrthe