Sunday, February 1, 2015

HOTEL CHECK THAILAND, Four Seasons Koh Samui

Smooth efficiency, extraordinary service and “attention to detail” blew us away at Four Seasons Koh Samui. And of course, the views...

Arrival is special at this superbly private hideaway. The checkin lobby is just a desk perched high on the hillside on the northwestern tip of Koh Samui. There does not seem to be anything else around up there, though you look down-down-down on villas embedded in coconut plantation and tropical greenery, with pools glinting out of the undergrowth. This is where you can come to see the sunset.

Here smiling staff present you with an arrival drink and a garland of flowers, and take an arrival photo of you which soon zips into your iPhone. You are a silhouette against the view. The view is breathtaking. Exciting.

With a lovely feeling of anticipation we hop into a buggy to discover our villa. It is a Deluxe Villa – placed well for the view of water through the palms.

Our own pool and the sound of running water

Very spread out, the villas offer the ultimate in privacy and perfection. Our villa is nestled into the rainforest and there is even an aroma of greenery and growth, with coconuts hanging ripely over us. We can see the sea.

The sound of water is part of the charm. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is contemporary in design with decorative features that bring in local culture and art. For example the water we hear is spouting out of a gargoyle. The pictures are perfectly placed and hung, with a touch of colour.

And everything is designed for elegance and comfort. On our terrace we have two sunbeds, as well as two daybeds, which invite you to lie there looking up at the coconut fronds waving in the breeze.

Two daybeds under cover in lush setting - or move over to a sunlounger by the pool

One of two vanities - a "his" side in the bathroom with a place for his luggage and a "her" side with place for hers

...while the bath is placed forward for the view


Bedroom with aquamarine theme - pretty yet sophisticated and very comfortable beds with perfect pillows and sheets

We have divine twin beds in which you sleep through the night without waking. When morning comes we feel fresh, able to hop out of bed and into the pool, before calling a buggy for breakfast.

Beach at Four Seasons

First visit has to be to the beach of course  – we call a buggy.

Down there the beach area has a gate – emphasizing privacy. Once inside you are in the elite Four Seasons world with its exclusive tropical flair.



There is an infinity pool where children are enjoying themselves, and plenty of sunbeds, some sunbeds like round cocoons inviting photography. The beach is real sand, and it is pleasant to walk into the warm water. Watersports facilities are on tap, naturally.



We have lunch at the beach restaurant which has rather reasonable prices. Prices go up somewhat on the dinner menu as there is competition to enjoy romantic dining down here by the water. It is a really nice place to be.





Just above the gate to the beach area, a Thai band played in the early evening, creating wonderful local atmosphere...

Refined Thai music at the beach entrance
We had not notified of our special dietary needs. But once we had told one person at the beach restaurant, the message spread. It as if a jungle drum has been beaten. After all it is in the jungle, and it is Four Seasons...

Dining high 

By the time we got to dinner at the Thai restaurant we had a dietary consultant waiting for us. She sat with us and sewed up a menu to delight even the most allergic soul.

This restaurant is high up at the level of the coconuts with views down over the coconut plantation and magically nested villas  It is the same spot for breakfast.

Arriving at breakfast, I imagined anonymously, I was greeted by name at the entrance as I stepped off the buggy. Good Morning Mrs Stanbridge.

Delicious tropical fruit and home made yoghurt with a view

You get one of those perfect combinations of buffet and a la carte at KOH restaurant, five star cuisine. But the difference in the case of the Four Seasons Samui buffet is its elegance. Just the musli containers are something to romance over.

We had planned to eat at a charming sunset view restaurant only 400 m away mentioned by Trip Advisor, but the concierge could not recommend anything that close – in fact the named restaurant was only that close if you were a bird and could fly. The concierge confirmed no off-site restaurants were within walkable distance. They then suggested various restaurants at from 20 mins drive, so instead we admired the sunset from the lobby and ate at KOH Thai Kitchen & Bar.  The fabulous meal mentioned above.

How to get to Four Seasons Koh Samui

Some 30 mins from Samui airport along the northern coast of the island - a road packed with local shops and restaurants, and Buddhist essentials for the local population - like spirit houses. Of course some Buddhist souvenirs for tourists too.

This circular road on Koh Samui is not a chic shopping area – and  is certainly not a fashionable walking street – but it it is fascinating, genuine, full of little surprises if you are willing to negotiate areas without pavements and so on.

Facilities

Spa, yoga pavilion health club, tennis courts, Diving, watersportts, elephant trekking and other excursions can be arranged.

Four Seasons Koh Samui a nutshell

Total luxury. Total privacy. Private sandy cove beach with pool and watersports. You get around the large estate by buggy. Contemporary tasteful pool villas offer ocean views usually crossed by the trunks and fronds of coconut palms. Fabulous breakfasts, and Thai and Mediterranean cuisine on site. Be prepared to travel some 15-20 minutes by taxi to find other quality restaurants.


Images by Aleah L Stanbridge Photography & Select Collection

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