Samujana, Koh Samui, Thailand
Samujana sits high on a hill overlooking a coral cove and private beach on the island's northeast coast. The 25 villas arguably have the best views in Koh Samui, a small island in the Chumphon Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand. The plane flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui takes 50 minutes. The drive from the airport to the resort in an air-conditioned people mover takes just under 10 minutes. The memory of this beautiful property will last forever. On wow factor alone, this property rates a 10 out of 10.
All of the villas boast panoramic sea and island views. One, at the highest tier of the estate, has 360 degree views. Ranging from three-to-eight bedrooms the villas cascade down the hill to the warm waters of the Gulf of Siam. The gardens are so perfect that it looks like they have been manicured with tiny nail scissors. All villas have over-sized living areas, state-of-the-art kitchens and large infinity edge pools. When it is not rented out, Villa 22 is transformed into a Club House concept, open for all villa guests for communal activities. On Sundays, Samujana hosts lazy barbecue picnics on The Big Lawn near its private beach.
I stayed in Villa 28 (I know I said there's only 25 villas, but the numbering doesn't make much sense here) which the brochure says is ideal for families, friends, parties, corporates and those people seeking wellness activities. The 1209 square metre villa has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two kitchens, an infinity pool, private garden, cinema with seating for 14 people, a gym, and office space. The designer of these villas, Gary Fell, has beautifully reimagined the beach house where all the living areas spill into one giant area around the pool. Because of its position on the hill there's no shortage of cooling late afternoon breezes. The stone walls and neutral shades inspire you to slip into comfy linen outfits or your branded yoga gear and just relax.
There's an indoor and outdoor gourmet kitchen for you to use – and an impressive man-sized barbecue. If you wish, you can order in groceries and cook for yourself. Or as we did, you can hire a private Thai chef to do it all for you. You never have to leave the villa and every meal can be designed around what guests want to eat. The prices vary according to what you order, but it is a fraction of the price you would pay in Australia. Here's some restaurants worth considering if you do want to eat outside the resort – The Larder (try the peanut butter martini), Krua Bophut, The Shack (the best burgers of the island) and for something fancy try Ocean's 11.
If you like sailing, Samujana (for a fee) can arrange for the 43-foot catamaran Kindred Spirit to take you around the island stopping at several beaches for a swim. The resort's General Manager Kurt Berman can pretty much organise anything you want. If you want to go to the Full Moon party on Ko Pha Ngan, Kurt can organise a private speed boat transfer. If you want to spend the afternoon lazing at the high-end Nikki Beach, that too can be arranged. Do get out and see the Big Buddha Temple and Mu Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Samujana allows guests to do as little, or as much, as they like. During our stay we had experts come into the villa to do yoga classes, a cooking class and we even did a spot of Muay Thai boxing. The resort is just a short taxi ride to the main night-life area of Koh Samui and the views from almost every window in the villa are stunning. This would be the perfect spot to holiday with a group of friends, or a couple of families.
Villa prices fluctuate according to low and high seasons. Low-season prices for a three-bedroom villa start at $US700. For details go to www.samujana.com
Villa 28 during high season costs $US2800 per night.
The views are amazing. Your jaw will drop as you turn every corner.
The walk back to your villa from the beach is difficult. Really difficult. I wouldn't like to be doing it with children in tow.
Brian Crisp was a guest of Samujana.