Contributed by Trevor Ranges
most popular and most beautiful beach on Koh Samui
is Chawaeng beach. Here you will find dozens of different
choices for accommodation, food, and nightlife. The
beach itself has fine golden sand and beautiful blue
water where scantily clad tourists from around the
world rent jet skis, take parasailing rides, or chill
out on the beach with a Thai massage. When the sun
sets, the strip lights up and shopping rivals bar
hopping and dining with countless venues available
to the south of Chawaeng lies Lamai beach. The beach
here is nearly as nice as Chawaengs but the water
is less shallow and the lodging more diverse. Northern
Lamai has some very upscale resorts, while the southern
end caters more to backpackers. Lamai has a pretty
happening nightlife of its own which is a bit raunchier
and rowdier than chawaengs, if that's what you prefer.
northern beaches of the island cater more to families,
romantics, and high rollers. Mae Nam and Bophut beaches
are quieter and more relaxing than those on the eastern
shore. Cozy boutique hotels and quaint seaside guesthouses
line these two beautiful beaches which, nonetheless,
still have ample dining and nightlife options. On
the northeastern cape of the island, at beaches like
Choengmon, you will find some of the most chic, upscale
resorts in all of Thailand. They are exclusive destinations,
where the finickiest guests will not be disappointed.
around the island are secluded bays and beaches, some
with guesthouses, others without. Condo's and private
villas are available for rent throughout the island.
Sports and activities are widely varied, and entertainment
abounds for the most die hard adventure seeker.
Tucked away in a secluded valley between Chawaeng
noi and Lamai beaches, Tamarind Retreat is the ultimate
Samui getaway. Each of their eight privately owned
houses was independently designed, but all follow
a particular theme, jungle-hippie chic perhaps.
Most houses are built into, rather than on, the
gorgeous island landscape, with boulders protruding
through interior walls and floors. An absence of
many external walls creates breezy open-air rooms,
some enclosed by screen doors, others open to the
tropical garden environment surrounding the villas.
such an environment isn't suitable for just anyone,
neither is every guest suitable for the Tamarind Villas;
accommodation is typically reserved for people looking
for the complete Tamarind experience, which may include
yoga or cooking classes, but certainly consists of
regular spa treatments. Tamarind Retreat is a first
class massage therapy/relaxation resort, an oasis
for the body and soul. Again the environment is incorporated
into the experience, at the steam room designed around
two enormous boulders and in the massage rooms which
are located up in the hills overlooking the valley.
Shelly leads welcoming and professional staff who
treat guests like old friends rather than customers.
If you are looking to get away from the stress and
aggression of the outside world, a holiday at this
magical retreat is the cure for the outside world.
205/7 Thong Takian, Lamai Beach Koh Samui
Standard Price: $75-300/day
EVASON HIDEAWAY & SPA
The Sila Evason Hideaway and Spa, operated by the
Maldives based Six Senses, is a resort for a special
sort of clientele. At least that is how the incredibly
friendly, helpful, and curteous staff will immediately
make you feel. Even the gardeners will stop their
work to wai you and wish you well as you pass through
the environmentally friendly terrain on the way to
your private villa. Sumptuously furnished rooms have
plush bedding and equally comfortable day bed, both
of which overlook the sea. Shutters open above and
around the bath for an unobstructed view of the water
below, and outdoor showers are hidden behind rustic-looking
your butler for a reservation at their innovative
contemporary restaurant, Dining on the Rocks, where
you can enjoy a tantalizing ten course meal on a private
deck beneath the stars and above the sea. In the morning
as you watch the early morning sun light up the sea,
you may be tempted stay in your bed and enjoy the
view. Don't linger too long or you will miss out on
the excellent breakfast buffet at Dining on the Hill,
where eggs benedict, imported meats and cheeses, and
a variety of locally grown fruit are but a sampling
of the delectable edibles you may select.
you haven't chosen one of the pool villas, you'll
have to make do with the brilliantly designed infinity
edge pool. The 30 meter pool sits atop a cliff and
the edge of the pool is level with the ocean horizon.
As the pool water happens to be the same color as
the ocean, the effect is that you could swim out into
the sea. If you prefer swimming in the sea, it's a
brief walk down to the beach-house and the private
sandy beach, where you can recline on a beach chair,
have a swim, or rent a kayak or windsurfer.
Standard Price: 16,500-67,000/day ($400-$1700/day)
The Santiburi on Koh Samui rents private beachfront
villas that combine old-world Thai design with modern
style and amenities. The villas are bright and airy,
with large French windows spilling light onto traditional
teak wood floors. The private beach is perfect for
those looking to relax quietly in the sun or take
a sail aboard the resort's private boat. Other activities
available to guests include tennis, squash, gym, massage,
spa, and windsurfing.
Mae Nam Beach, Koh Samui
Standard Price: Baht 5,500-9,000/day ($150-$250/day)
This romantic resort has gorgeous wooden bungalows
with large terraces, located within a tropical garden.
Rooms have outdoor baths and even outdoor beds (enclosed
in mosquito nets) so that you can spend as much of
your time as possible outdoors where you really want
to be. Cottage interiors are luxurious nonetheless,
but in a relaxing and romantic kind of way. In fact,
the resort is ideal for couples who want to spend
time together in the seclusion of their own private
villa. If you must venture out, have a dip in the
sea on the private beach, play some tennis, have a
massage, or relax beside one of the two swimming pools.
Standard Rates: Baht 11,000-50,000/day ($275-1300/day)
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