Asia

Thailand’s Koh Samui

written by | Posted on August 1st, 2011

where to stay Here, accommodations meet and exceed the needs of even the most discriminating traveler.

Among the most stunning properties is the Six Senses Hideaway Samui, one of the most alluring destinations in the Sala Property collection, about four miles from the airport. This lush resort consists of 66 villas (52 feature private infinity pools), an award-winning restaurant, wine cellar, plasma TVs, air conditioning, private butlers and many other amenities.

It truly merits the label of “hideaway,” with spectacular views from every villa and a spa recognized as one of the best in a destination known for its spas.

Sitting on the northernmost tip of Koh Samui, the Six Senses has some of the most stunning views of the outlying islands of the Andaman Sea. The villas are built among natural vegetation that covers a seafront bluff, where a sense of seclusion prevails.

The resort exudes a Thai rural atmosphere. There is a feral sense to its surroundings, paths leading down to the beach and rustic touches that stress the sustainability that’s the theme of the Six Senses, from the natural lemongrass insect repellent, to the organic vegetables grown in its own gardens to be served in the hotel’s restaurants. Even the seafood is bought daily from local fishermen.

The spa has an outdoor salon and private indoor treatment rooms for couples or singles, where experts in the art of holistic and traditional therapies practice their art.

Rates run from about $400 pp dbl for a hideaway villa to approximately $880 for an oceanfront villa suite. Price includes breakfast and one spa treatment per day.

Those preferring a different type of accommodation shouldn’t bypass Zazen Samui Boutique Resort, a classic 26-room boutique hotel on BoPhut Beach, where every villa is built in the basic Thai split-level style and features open Balinese-style tropical bathrooms.

Zazen is a delightful, colorful and peaceful retreat that reflects Thai culture and local island influence. It offers guests free use of kayaks and wind surfboards. While on the beach, they are attended by staffers who provide massages, cold towels, exotic teas and fruit.

Its LeSpa Zen i—a traditional Thai spa offering the classic treatments that have made Thailand synonymous with the healing properties of massages and body care—ranks among the best in Koh Samui. Its wellness center is elegant and modern, while relaxation rooms feature cold plunge pools and rain showers.

Zazen is a haven featuring serenity, as befits a place named after a classic Buddhist meditation posture. The ochre-colored bungalows are hidden in a tropical garden facing one of the best beaches on the island and are furnished with the latest technology. At night, torches and candles illuminate the property, and visitors and locals alike—always a good sign—flock to its restaurant for its romantic atmosphere and the fantastic fusion of eastern and western dishes emerging from its kitchen.

Prices range from as low as $200 per night dbl to about $325, although they may be slightly higher, depending on the season.

W Hotels unveiled its first Retreat property in Southeast Asia only last November in Koh Samui and the resort adheres to the brand’s urbane chic philosophy. The property is already setting new standards for modern luxury and excellent service throughout Southeast Asia.

The resort is labeled “an island within an island” and, indeed, there are times when it seems to be far removed from the rest of the world. Here, guests will be treated to a stunning visual experience from the moment they enter the lobby with its overwhelming ocean vista stretching all the way to the horizon, but beguilingly intimate at the same time. For a unique touch, digital floor projections blend with an environment accented with off-white terrazzo floors, cathedral ceilings paneled with angular bleached wood and a water relaxation area inspired by lotus flowers.

W Retreat Koh Samui sits on a stretch of beach between Maenam and BoPhut and is an excellent place to unwind after a day of jungle trekking, visiting a fisherman’s village or hikes to nearby waterfalls, all a short distance away.

With stunning jungle and ocean views, personal tropical pools and the Gulf of Thailand beyond, the 75 rooms are highlighted by ultra-modern interiors, futuristic design, cutting-edge technology and up-to-date amenities.

And what a variety of accommodations there is, including Jungle Oasis, Tropical Oasis, Ocean View Escape and Extreme Wow Ocean Haven. Prices vary from approximately $430 dbl for a Jungle Oasis with private pool and outdoor living area, to about $830 for an Ocean Front Haven with superb service and amenities. The ultra-chic property is five-star luxury personified.