Koh Samui houses a distinct luxe world of its own which we discovered and experienced
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: September 12, 2013
A jewel in Thailand’s archipelago, the island of Koh Samui deserves to be reveled in and absorbed in every fibre of your being. Talcum-sand beaches, tall coconut groves, and the sapphire Gulf of Siam: this is the bare minimum you can expect to see when arriving at Koh Samui. Now, try and imagine what luxuries the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand adds to such a pristine geographic canvas. Surprise, it supersedes your expectations. Although sharing the pretty picture stuck in my head won’t do this paradise any justice, an attempt never hurt.
A world within itself, a retreat guaranteeing peace and a connect with your fun self is where you should be headed soon.Surrounded by tropical gardens, this five star property is situated on the island’s north-western tip, a quiet oasis on Laem Yai Bay, giving travellers a chance to discover the virgin beauty of Samui while it still lasts. The equation is a perfectly balanced one with both, the island and the property, being the most coveted in Thailand.
A 40 minute drive from the jetty (if you are deciding to unwind after the famous Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan), I would suggest not eating too much before this journey, owing to the severe road conditions, but distract yourself by appreciating that the property is built on the site of a former orchard, retaining 856 coconut trees!I for one was quite bewildered to note that the trees had been incorporated into the architectural layout of the property, and often you will find a tree or two shading you at all times, whether in the room or in any other hotel area. The doors to this heavenly abode are simple and can be easily missed, but the aura at the destination engulfs every bone in the body.
Situated at a height (and blessed with a view) that would have impressed any painter; the reception area is the first step into this fantastical paradise. Overlooking nothing but greenery and pristine blue waters, I spent my first few moments admiring the topographical miniature villas in perfect landscaping and isolated setting. Forgetting to keep your camera on standby is not an option, so be warned. Speedy check in procedures followed by a refreshing dragon fruit cocktail drink served in a refined flute, it was a matter of seconds until I was handed over a welcome letter by the team along with a map as I stepped into the buggy to be led to my room. The welcome vibes of this property (mixed with excitement) beckon you into its cocoon of utter peace and relaxation. I found myself wishing that time would hold still, and that I wouldn’t have to come back to reality anytime soon.
The pathway to the room is decorated with lush greenery and smiling faces wishing you a pleasant stay. All guest villas are hillside, with views of the Gulf and private infinity pools cut into a steep forested hillside. A gate welcomes you into your humble abode with a lounge bed overlooking a sea of infinity specked with shades of flora and fauna. A private infinity pool with sun loungers and a waterfall makes your villa so complete that stepping out for me definitely did not seem like an option.
But a hotel tour will definitely change your mind as it did mine. A set of manual keys open doors (French windows) that lead to the main bedroom area with a study table. The layout of the one bedroom villa is trouble-free and user friendly with all the facilities that you would ideally need. The presence of an iPod dock, large LCD TV along with an on request huge movie library spelt a perfect getaway for holidaymakers like me. The room leads to another area with individual his and hers basin with dressers (perfect mirrors and a vanity kit with the essentials every woman requires encourages light travelling) and wardrobes. A glass walled shower and terrazzo shell-shaped tub add finishing touches to the luxurious room. The bathroom’s glass doors open onto the private deck for an al fresco bathing experience which you would not want to miss. Even better, sit back with a glass of champagne and watch the sun set in its purest form right before your eyes – a feeling of contentment and appreciation will spread in you, I can guarantee that.
Design aesthetic takes cue from traditional southern Thai architecture, with thatched roofs, clearly marked indoor/outdoor spaces and colours of the sea guaranteeing a serene slumber. While all villas are easily accessible, all guests are guaranteed utmost privacy while still being in the midst of a faultless painting.
Transport around the resort is by an electric buggy which is at your disposal almost as soon as you request the reception for one, and there will be times when you will be taken to your destination without even having to utter a single word. I was thoroughly impressed by the team member who knew that I had requested a buggy for my spa appointment! That is, in my books, efficiency and coordinated teamwork at its best.
Contented culinary creations
Any holiday is deficient without a strong gastronomic backing and this is where the property earns its crown of fame. The entire property goes from beachside to an altitude of 328 ft., where I found the Lan Tania rooftop restaurant floating above the highest trees and below the brightest stars. Named after the local blue palm tree, Lan Tania invites softness with its teak wood floors and Thai-inspired décor.
Being there for breakfast each morning, it seemed to house a wide number of guests while still offering enough space to enjoy ones meal. The layout will please everyone from those on a diet to even those who are looking for a grand feast ranging from cold cuts, cereals, confectionary and fruits. I would strongly advise the live counters of waffles and eggs since the chefs were more than happy to accommodate any special craving to fill the minutest pockets of your stomach. Candle light dinners are possible here making it the most romantic and picturesque spot in the property with, of course, excellent Thai food that is splendidly modified to the Indian palate on request. The green Thai curry was aromatic coupled with steam rice, while the Thai spring rolls, though fried, burst with flavour and tantalised the taste buds.
The second restaurant at the property, Pla Pla, enjoys the splendid view of the beach, and is adjoined by their beach bar against the in-house pool. Serving international and Thai favourites, tuck in a quick snack along with a fancy cocktail while you enjoy lazing in the pool, welcoming the sun’s colouring power on your skin.
Pla Pla (the Thai term for ‘many fish’) serves fresh fish daily, prepared according to individual request. The menu includes a comprehensive seafood selection, meat and vegetarian options, and local dishes authentically prepared, with varying degrees of spiciness. During a quick lunch, I knew that this restaurant would pull the crowds owing to a charming setting and faultless food. White Thai sandstone walls and floors provide a dramatic contrast to the steel blue, silver, eggplant and saffron décor that defines the restaurant’s casual ambience. Seating is offered on an open, fan-cooled deck, on the open-air terrace, or right on the white-sand beach. I was also enticed by the beach bar due to its large, inviting lounge beds and idyllic views of course.
The lunch menu consisted of quick bites, but I would recommend the Rice Paper Spring Rolls - Prawns And Thai Salad which was a local favourite, and is a healthy option to its fried counterpart! Don’t miss the Prime Angus Beef Burger, Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Poached and Fresh Onion, Tomato, Sesame Bun burger which is a wholesome and juicy mouthful teamed with the crunchiest potato fries! The spaghetti in tomato sauce seemed to be the most perfect burst of tomatoes on the tongue and it wasn’t long before the pasta spiralled down my throat. Vegetarian options aren’t too many but the team is sure to incorporate your preferences into your selection. The tiramisu, though off the menu, is the fluffiest and freshest cup that you would ever get, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you would request for a second helping like me, but be prepared to wait another 20 minutes as they freshly whip up the delectable mascarpone!
Sundays are the day to be at this property, as you can be a part of the management cocktail, where you will be able to interact with people who bring to you paradise metaphorically, on a platter as well as an experience. Waves threatening to extend their boundary served as a backdrop for private tables laid out on the soft sands warming the toes. Live counters cooked delicacies that were sumptuous and innovative and fed appetites, while a fire entertainer along with cultural Thai dancers kept us occupied. A pleasure to meet, as this man knows how to pamper your taste buds, Executive Chef Alex Gares presented Thai, Western or modern Thai dishes, much to the delight of my stomach.
A moment, lifetime memories
Snorkel, dive, kayak, boat or just splash in the water - Koh Samui is the perfect location to experience the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Siam. And with the Four Seasons being efficient in planning any arrangements, I’m unsure if I would have to really twiddle my thumbs at all. Wanting to lay down my weary feet, yet be entertained at all times, I was happy to observe that the property has enough to occupy guests of all ages.
During the day, the resort offers several outdoor sports and excursions, including complimentary Muay Thai boxercise with world-champion veterans; tennis and snorkelling. The infinity pool at the property is set amidst swaying coconut trees against the private white-sand beach and is a perfect way to unwind at any point of the day. It could be termed ‘small’ in comparison to the size of the property, but regular ice water, chilled towels and water or even coconut ice cream in shot glasses made up for that. The beach also offers a myriad of water activities for the whole family, kayaking being one of them. Being afraid of water sports, I’m not sure whether it was the blue waters with enticing corals or the magnificent fish that lured me into experimenting with this sport, but it was a beautiful experience which I mastered at the end of two days (yes, it is quite simple actually). Your visit would be incomplete without lounging on a bed in the middle of the ocean or even comfortable hammocks while marine life puts up a striking show for you.
Being a fan of holistic relaxation, a visit to the spa was a compulsory one for me, and it was an experience that would make me a propagator of the Four Seasons hotel group for life. Amid the gentle sights and sounds of the jungle, I opted for a delicate massage that promised the balance of refreshment for mind, body and beauty and delivered it to the hilt.
The property benefits from the team who truly is the backbone of the property and manages to tailor each stay to the best of every whim. My only complaint? A few days or maybe weeks more wouldn’t have done me any harm, I am sure…
Coordinates: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui Thailand, 219 Moo 5, Angthong, Koh Samui, Surat Thani | Ph: +66 77 243-000