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  • Jodie Mae

Koh Samui Getaway


It was like time slowed right down once we landed in Koh Samui. The sight of palm trees, the warmth of the breeze against our skin and the tropical smells of the island placed us in total relaxation mode. For that moment I was free from all the stresses and anxieties of everyday life and it was my absolute mission not to waste one minute of it!

Koh Samui was a once-sleepy island whose predominant industry had evolved from fishing and agricultural production to a tourism playground. It has become so unique compared to other Thailand islands in maintaining a broad appeal for everyone. Whether your sun-seeking, adventure sport hunting, reading a pile of books in a hammock, feasting on world-class cuisine, beach partying or getting pampered at an exclusive spa, Koh Samui has it all! We basically did all the above except for the partying. Drinking lots and lots of cocktails yes, but not much of a "party animal".

As I mentioned in my last blog, we were constantly on the go with our previous trips because our schedule was full of things to do and places to see so it was nice to move at a slower pace this time round. Even though I do love a busy schedule (I describe myself as an explorer you see...that or I have serious FOMO issues - same thing!) I can certainly appreciate the still moments life has to offer.

Where we stayed

The moment I stepped through the doors of Sala Samui Chaweng Beach my jaw instantly dropped. I was gobsmacked by the view through the reception archways of the ocean as it was so unbelievably stunning! I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when Big surprised her with a walk-in wardrobe with the multi-levelled shoe cabinet and she, along with every other woman in the world harmoniously gasped for air because it was so damn beautiful! I had to seriously pinch myself to make sure it was real.

Sala Samui is a brand new resort, only opening this year in March. It was brought to life by Thailand-based architectural and interior design firm Onion and draws references from Koh Samui and neighbouring Koh Phangan's world renowned full moon, half moon and black moon celebrations. As you can see from this photo story, the lunar influence is prevalent throughout the whole property. The circular shape of the moon is incorporated into various design elements, from the architectural facade, where each element had been strategically placed to create moon-like shadows, to the main swimming pool, aptly named Moon Pool. Though modern in its approach it still has a traditional feel with the use of bhutan wood, bamboo and coconut shell features.

Our room for the 5 day escape was the Oceanfront Sala Pool Villa located on the ground floor and very close to the beach. References to the lunar muse carries on in this room, as the circular motifs continue with moon inspired fixtures, and flow of the archways. The first thing I noticed as I stepped through the door was how spacious the room was! Encompassed with full length windows and high ceilings contributed to this factor, certainly opening up the room even more! The bathroom was also a dream, with dual sinks, separate area for the toilet and a huge open closet (that Carrie Bradshaw moment again!) The shower was also in a separate area, smartly located as it was accessible from both inside the room and outside from the courtyard. Our room had a private pool, outdoor tub and a comfy seating area. I want to emphasis the word private as our Villa was extremely private as it was surrounded by very high fencing/walls and lots of different plants and trees. Our sleep was heavenly every night because of the plush king bed, not too hard nor too soft. The complimentary nightly tea helped with our sleep as well.

Beautiful in all extent, it was the finishing touches that truly made a difference. Oh gosh where do I start...well firstly as it was our anniversary they surprised us with a bottle of chilled champagne, a mix of roasted nuts, dried fruit and a sweet "Happy Anniversary" display made up of flowers and leaves spread across our bed. Adding to the surprise they drew a bath for us covered with lovely pink petals which smelled divine! They had a pillow menu where you can select out of 5 options your preferred pillow type (we chose ultra soft micro fibre) as well as a menu of 3 scents you can choose for your soap and lotion (we chose lemongrass); Let us not forget the staff played an important role in making our stay an enjoyable experience. You can tell the quality of training they received as they were all very professional and helpful. Every staff member I encountered always greeted us with a friendly smile - I felt very looked after. Even the General Manager, Erwin van der Veen took the opportunity to check in with us and other guests on our stay, asking for our feedback and praising his staff along the way. Like they say, it's the little things that make a moment extraordinary.

Sala Samui Chaweng Beach is a special resort, one I hold dear to my heart because of my faultless stay. It's a place I will come back to over and over again. I can't wait until the resort is 100% completed with the launch of phase 2 in 2019. This area will have more rooms, restaurants, a gym and a spa.

Where we ate

Ben and I are complete foodies, Ben more than me as he has a whole Instagram profile dedicated to food (follow him @benmeetsfood) We're always on the hunt for honest quality food, thoroughly researching different places and reading reviews. We love eating anything from street food to five star fine-dining. As we were celebrating our anniversary, we wanted to treat ourselves to some fine-dining on our first night. We made reservations at Tree Tops Sky Dining & Bar months in advance to secure their best table, no. 7. Tree Tops Sky Dining is a very exclusive and unique restaurant. It's literally in the tree tops and has only 8 tables that are each secluded in it's own "tree house". The reason why no. 7 is the best table is because it offers the best view of the island especially once the sun begins to set (very romantic!). Opting for the premium candlelight degustation we were unprepared for the bombardment of delicious flavours that tantalised our taste buds - everything was so delicious and of the highest quality and freshest produce. Our highlight would have to be the dessert as it was prepared table side with the chef explaining each component of the dish as she put it together. It was like watching an artist build a masterpiece. Like the food service was A+. Our waitress addressed us by our names throughout the night which I thought was a nice personable touch and she also surprised us with a mini mud cake treat for our anniversary but we were too full at that stage to finish the lot.

Being in Thailand we of course had to try some authentic Thai food. During one of our walks we happened to come across The Page at The Library Hotel. The hotel itself is very modern in design, wide open spaced with clean lines. They stay true to their name "The Library" as this literary concept is seen throughout the whole property. As you walk down the 20 metre entrance pathway you see cute white mannequins reading books in different positions. Reception is appropriately named "The contents" and each room is divided into either pages or chapters. Then of course you have their restaurant "The Page". A very attractive place where you can sit either in the comfortable white and copper interior where there's also a large lounge and bar area, or take advantage of their beach front terrace.The restaurant offers a menu of both Thai & International cuisine. Part of that menu is unique as it presents a wide range of over 40 rare old-Kingdom recipes that are hardly seen in contemporary restaurants. We tried a dish from this range, I'm sorry I can't remember the name, but it was a red curry prawn dish. The prawns were fried to eat as a whole and the curry was mild, more dry in texture than soupish. Overall it was a delicious dish! I regret not ordering the savoury crab crepe bites...sounds so good right? If you ever dine at The Page make sure to get an extra serving for me!

Another place we went to which had a great selection of Thai food is Ocean Kiss at Anantara Resort. It's an open-air restaurant right by the pool overlooking the beach. Every table had been thoughtfully set up in a way to receive a great view of the ocean, however being so close to the main pool the view was disrupted by rows of umbrellas and people swimming. The food definitely made up for this though as it was fantastic! The menu offered both Thai and International cuisines. We stuck to Thai trying their crab spring rolls (Absolutely delicious! Probably the best spring rolls I've ever had mainly because of the crunchy pastry) and their Pla Phad Cha dish; stir fried fish with Thai herbs, ginger, chilli and green peppercorns (so so good). To end on a high note, we finished with a grilled pineapple accompanied by coconut ice cream and drizzled with a vanilla and star-anise syrup dessert (fresh and refreshing - great for a hot summer's day).

Luckily for us, our resort offered some of the best Thai and international dishes as well so we didn't have to stray too far from our hotel or our bed really during those lazy nights as we got it delivered to our room! One night we had their Massaman curry and it was a huge hit followed by a gooey chocolate fondant...it was like fine-dining in your room with your pj's on. To continue bragging, Sala Samui also offered a memorable daily breakfast that came complimentary with the room. Served in "The Tent" restaurant by the beach, you receive full access to their breakfast buffet of endless options, both Thai and International plus you get to choose from their ala carte menu of a dozen options (smoothie bowls, porridge, waffles to name a few) and also juices which changed daily. It's the first place I've ever come across in our travels so far to ever do this. Offerings like this just make things so much easier when on vacation - definitely helps avoid that draining "What do you want to eat, where do you want to eat" fight every couple has had at least once in their life.

What we did

Once we managed to peel ourselves off from the sunbathing lounges we went for a really long walk one day from Choeng mon to Lamai beach. The further we ventured out from our hotel we noticed the changing characteristics of our surroundings. You have the quiet and less populated beach fronts and then the louder and rowdy waterways filled with all kinds of people. As we continued our stroll so many activities started filling the horizon ...from the adventurous jet skis, kayaking and paragliding to the more relaxed, sunbathing, swimming and just floating on the calm water. Like I said earlier, there's something for everyone. When we reached Lamai beach we had to go check out the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks I've heard lots about. Art often imitates nature, but less common does nature imitate art. This rock formation, known as grandpa (Ta) and grandma (Yai) look, respectively like male and female genitalia hence the weird fascination. However our fascination shifted once we got there as we learned of a local legend rising from this, sharing a tale of how the rocks came to be. I won't get into it, but if your curiosity persists click here to read.

Our resort offered plenty of free activities, so naturally we had to take advantage and went kayaking. Though it was extremely hot that day it was still the perfect weather for an adventure, as the water was very calm making it easy it easy to paddle. I have to say it was such a great way to kill two birds with one stone as we got to explore parts of the island unreachable by foot, and got a full-blown workout at the same time! I love a win-win situation and I also love kayaking - it was a lot of fun!

After our little escapades we were in desperate need of some serious pampering and really what we came to Thailand for. Thank mankind for exclusive day spas like Anantara. We booked ourselves in for a couples package inclusive of a 60 minute massage, body scrub and facial. This soothing sanctuary filled with tropical greenery and relaxing decor allowed us to leave our everyday stresses behind. And the expert touch of the therapists along with the calming effects of the local products used for the treatments placed us in pure euphoric state of freedom! I think I even heard Ben snore at one stage. Admittedly though it was quite pricey for our overall experience (I've been to better in terms of ambience and upkeep) but nonetheless it was time well spent.

I think I've rambled long enough on how amazing this trip was! But to sum it up, it was everything we wanted and I managed to get a nice tan too! Now that I've gotten a taste for Thailand, I definitely want to go back to try some more! I'm already jotting down ideas in my head on where to go to next. Bangkok is a must for sure with its blingy temples and reowned street food.

Have you been to Koh Samui? I would love for you to share your experience in the comment section below or perhaps offer some advice on where in Thailand I should travel to next. Thanks for reading xoxo

BACK DROP

Sala Samui Chaweng Beach

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ABOUT THE OUTFIT

Dress: MVN Label (under $100) or similar (also under $100)

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WHERE TO WEAR

On a tropical vacation or an outdoor lunch date

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