With new flight routes making a week or two away easier than ever, the Paradise Island Resort offers the perfect retreat with luxury villas on Samui Island.
The exact meaning of the word Samui is lost to the sands of time, but as good a linguistics guess as any is that it means “safe haven.” That’s entirely fitting for a Thai island best enjoyed from the seclusion of a high-end hotel or resort. And, while taking a plane to go do not very much at all might not jive with our hyperactive society, that’s Samui’s great strength these days—luxury resort brands (many of them newly arrived) offering comfort, convenience, and every excuse not to leave the property. In other words, the perfect short-break escape.
Luxury Villa Rentals Koh Samui aim to provide our guests with a deluxe hotel service within the privacy and space of your own villa.
Somewhere on Samui there’s a genius who, 10 years ago, had the foresight to get the exclusive franchise for golf carts on the island. Because the best spots are sprawled across steep hillsides or remote peninsulas, now that flat, more centrally located beachfront plots are so hard to come by (with Hansar an impressive exception). The type of properties being built there also reflect the more upscale travellers who visit; folks with “luggage” as opposed to backpacks and duffels, who don’t mind being five miles from the nearest town, because they have no plans to go anywhere until it’s time to return to the airport.
Set in a true oasis among giant coconut palms within a fully walled private estate in a gentle elevated position and 5 minutes walk from white sand pristine Choeng Mon beach our 3 large and luxurious private 3 bedrooms villas are ideally situated for you to enjoy a wonderful beach holiday in this tropical paradise setting.
If you only have a week or so, that’s by far the best way to spend it. Quit worrying about ticking some arbitrary list, don’t waste time trying to get back across the island and just relax. (Easier said than done, isn’t it?) What to do, though, if you have a little more time?
Samui is officially obsessed with walking streets—evening affairs where cars are banned and the roads are filled with stalls of all kinds. There’s one somewhere on the island almost every day of the week, and by far the best is in Bophut, near Chong Moen beach, where cool restaurants, cafes, shops and hostels are housed in old wooden shophouses. On Fridays, street vendors take over the tiny Fisherman’s Village Street and sell everything from food and cooking ingredients to souvenirs made from coconut shells. Foodies can sample local snacks at Kanom Chine Pa Somchai (66 (0)87-265-4111) and Pad Mii Pa Paichit (66 (0)80-147-4680) and refresh themselves with the street-mixed mojitos. At the mid-point of the road (where The Pier is) there’s a small space where local artists do traditional music and performances, which vary every week.
With the dishonorable exception of the main town of Chaweng (it really is pretty grim), Samui isn’t a place to party. The scene is still to outgrow the bucket and beer brigade, and there are precious few venues worth venturing out for. In fact, if you’re after a change of scene, then spending an evening at another hotel or resort is probably your best bet. The bar at Hansar runs a happy hour several times a day, and Wattracts a hipper crowd than most (even though it’s a bit of a trek).
If it’s a bigger night you’re after, then you really only have two choices: getting down and dirty at Green Mango (Soi Green Mango, Chaweng Beach Rd. Open daily 9pm till late.) in Chaweng or jumping on a boat and heading for neighboring Koh Pha Ngan.
Although the views from Samui are spectacular, it’s not an island itself blessed with natural wonders. The small Na Muang waterfalls are pretty enough, but if you’re going to leave your resort it’s worth leaving the island.
Angthong Marine National Park, which covers an area of 102 sq km, is spectacular. It’s just 20 km away and, since you can only set foot on a handful of the 40 small islands, is really just a day trip. Countless travel agents sell this trip but the cheapest option we could find that doesn’t involve compromising too much on quality is with Samui Leisure (+66 (0)83-434-1882, +66 (0)86-883-3219). They offer a day trip for US$24, inclusive of a roundtrip transfer from your Villa on Samui Island to the port (pick up around 7:30am), one meal, soft drinks throughout the trip, snorkeling goggles and the national park fee. Note that Angthong Marine National Park is closed November 1-30 every year.
A little further out, both Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan lie north of Samui. Normally, most tours will take you to Koh Tao in the morning for sunbathing and snorkeling and to Koh Nang Yuan, where you can catch views of a beach that connects three small islands, in the afternoon. Prices are inclusive of a roundtrip transfer, soft drinks and one meal. Try Samui Leisure (US$55) or Lomprayah (US$58).
Further afield Koh Taen and Koh Matsum are two small islands located southwest of Samui best known for their untamed forests and beautiful corals. A day trip runs from 9am to 3pm. Try Thai Tour Group (US$55) or Magic Samui (US$42).