Located off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand, Koh Samui, the country’s third largest island, is a veritable cosmopolitan melting pot, attracting everyone from backpackers and budget travellers staying for a month or two in basic beachside bungalows, to the mega wealthy who drop in to laze at one of the island’s luxury resorts or stay at a decadent beachfront villa.
Like the island’s food and beverage offerings, which range from cheap beer and beach bars to world-class international fare and designer restaurants, the mood also swings from brash and noisy Chaweng to the soft thud of a coconut falling on a fine stretch of deserted sand. Spread across 58 acres of a former coconut plantation, the recently opened Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is unabashedly aimed at upwardly mobile and discerning travellers, and has been designed to seamlessly combine the brand’s legendary service standards with the traditional spirit of Thai hospitality and colourful Samui island life culture to create a unique hospitality offering.
Overlooking the tropical setting’s turquoise waters and oceanfront amenities, the resort is home to 175 suites and pool villas, the property’s contemporary architecture paying homage to the heritage of the site via the extensive incorporation of coconut elements and natural materials, imbuing a sense of place and helping to immerse guests in the destination.
Amongst the expansive resort’s facilities, are a 3,800m2 spa village anchored in the healing culture of the region, complete with eight treatment suites, three massage pavilions, a dedicated yoga pavilion, health bar and a lap pool with private cabanas. Koh Samui’s Ritz-Carlton also offers a one-of-a-kind temperate swim reef within the resort, teeming with over 50 different species of fish. The largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, the reef offers unique snorkelling and fish-feeding experiences, plus two white sand beaches, a beachside pool and a water sports center.
Onsite dining amenities include interactive eatery Shook!; laidback Thai street food concept Baan Talat; poolside bar Sea Salt; cevicheria Tides, and circular bar and lounge One Rai, which produces top-end hand-crafted cocktails and Asian-inspired small bites. The resort’s signature restaurant, Pak Thai, offers modern interpretations of traditional southern Thai cuisine in a fine dining environment overlooking the swim reef.