Over a million visitors a year, ranging from globetrotting backpackers to suitcase-toting fortnighters, come to southern Thailand just for the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui. For most visitors the days are spent indulging in a few watersports or just lying on the beach waiting for the next drinks-seller, hair-braider or masseur to come along.
The island’s most appealing strand, Chaweng, offers by far the best amenities and nightlife, ranging from tawdry bar-beers to hip nightclubs. For looks alone, none of the other beaches can match Chaweng, with its broad, gently sloping strip of white sand sandwiched between blue sea and line of palm trees.
Head to North Chaweng and you’ll find a 6km bay framed between the small island of Ko Matlang at the north end and the 300m-high headland above Coral Cove in the south. Amari Koh Samui is a friendly Thai hotel that sits perched over the bay, smack dab in the middle of Chaweng’s hustle and bustle.
Besides the beautiful beaches, warm waters and ocean breeze, Koh Samui is also known as the “Island of Coconuts” as previously the island was the country’s key producer of the iconic tropical fruit. Inspired by this unique history, the silhouette of the coconut leaf has been delicately woven into the decor of all 193 rooms and suites at the resort. The interiors are infused with contemporary Thai-style décor reflecting the island’s colour and a blend of soothing earth tones.
Just like the interiors, the architecture and landscaping is a twist on traditional village dwellings. Depicting the feel of homes built in close proximity and facing the river or klong (in Thai, “river for living”), the resorts popular Thai Village wing is built around a central free-form pool.
If you’re looking to enjoy a moment of R&R pamper yourself at Breeze Spa. Located on the upper floor of the Beach Wing, Amari Koh Samui’s petite spa features three treatment rooms overlooking the beach. The Samui Pina Colada Package is the spa’s 2 hour signature treatment which begins with a relaxing lime and fresh flower foot bath. The full-body treatment features detoxifying body scrub, Samui Pina Colada Tanning Scrub (a cocktail of organic extra virgin coconut oil infused with vitamins and berries from the Monk’s Pepper plant), and a revitalizing traditional Thai massage.
If you’re looking to quench your thirst on a hot afternoon skip over to Amaya Bar to have an expert mixologist shake up a few boozy tipples for you to enjoy on the beach. Cozy into a comfy bean bag chair with your toes digging into soft sand and you’ll find you’ve found Chaweng’s best people watching spot. Highlights from the creative cocktail program include a muddling of spicy chilli and sweet strawberry and pucker inducing ginger spiked mojito.
If you have your eye on Italian, hop across the street and grab a seat at Amari Koh Samui’s Mediterranean inspired Prego. The dimly lit fine dining room is a perfect place to share a bowl of parmesan topped noodles or stringy wood-fired pizza. If you’re feasting with friends your best bet is the chefs epic antipasto platter which could easily feed a family of four. The pretty plate features a selection of charcuterie, plump buratta, roasted vegetables, Caesar salad and barbecued prawns.
If a taste for local Thai is more your forte a visit to Amaya Food Gallery, the resorts signature restaurant is your best bet. Taking inspiration from Thai street food markets, the all-day dining room features open kitchens allowing curious gourmands to watch as chefs whip up creamy Massaman, tamarind tossed Pad Thai and sweet meets sour Tom Yum soup.
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