We all complain about the rising prices of flights, domestic and international. Koh Samui being one of the places where the airfare has slowed tourism post-Covid. Yet, it is worth every penny once you get there. Especially if you stay at Explorar Resorts, which is on Mae Nam Beach.
Living in Thailand, one just gets used to having kids around most places, even on holidays. So, when I see the words “An adults-only resort (16+)”, I am naturally wondering what would this entail. Explorar Resorts is an adults only resort, and you perhaps, becoming immediately aware of that on arrival where your welcome drink is coconut water served with a shot of good local rum. How’s that for first impressions?
With a choice of 125 suites and villas to choose from, the first “wow” factor is the 50m infinity pool, complete with two large duck floaties. Yes, these are for the child in us adults. While the Junior Spa Bath Villa may look tempting, it is the Beach Pool Villa that offers the best view from a decked outdoor terrace onto the private pool and the beach and sea beyond. The resort faces Koh Phangan, though it’s well on the horizon. If being on the ground isn’t your thing, you can always choose the Deluxe Sea View Suite or Deluxe Sea View room. Explorar fits all wallets.
The Beach Pool Villa is it’s own private escape and is spacious. The large bathroom offers two sinks and two showers in the large shower room, so couples can shower together. There is no bathtub, but the private pool is large enough for two people and a few laps. It also converts to a jacuzzi and though there may be people in the sea in front, it still offers privacy. My only regret is that the French windows from the bedroom don’t open onto the deck and one has to physically leave the villa to access the private terrace. Though the comfy mattresses make up for that, along with waking up to sea views.
Explorar’s main restaurant is called Odyssey and it here that all meals take place. Breakfast is a scrumptious affair, with a bit of everything on offer, Asian or Western. Though there is a morning juice of the day available, it is the fresh coconut water at breakfast that I most looked forward to, along with the kimchi. The coffee is delicious and one can always ask for a takeaway to drink an ice cold one by the pool.
Odyssey is an indoor-outdoor spot and much of life during the day happens poolside, which has a rather busy bar. This is due to the daily ongoing hourly specials on cocktails and drinks. Friday afternoons has a drink and food deal from 1-6pm. Who can complain?! At any given point, there is a special going on, and you’re gonna wanna take advantage of it.
The restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine, though there is a vast Thai menu and the seafood krapow is good. However, the highlight of the restaurant is it’s wood fired pizzas, which are pretty good and make a good daytime or evening snack. A cooling salad was the fresh burrata with heirloom tomatoes. I also tried the sharwarma and the pasta, and had no complaints. After 6pm, the restaurant fires up its Argentinian grill, so take advantage of that.
However, every Friday night Odyssey offers a chef’s table for couples, curated by executive chef Raphael Kimono, who’s worked at many Michelin-starred restaurants in France. This is a meal that won’t break the bank but is Michelin-starred level. Do try his “20-year old” seafood risotto, which thankfully, doesn’t refer to the age of the seafood but the number of years he spent perfecting it.
If the sun loungers by the pool are taken, there are more on the beach, as well as bean bags, so it is ideal for sun worship. Since the pool is 50m, laps are heavenly. Though the resort has a fully-equipped gym should you want to perfect your beach bod. The spa is where you can unwind and the aromatherapy massage is the perfect choice.
There is morning yoga in the garden for the inclined or a Thai cooking class, should you want to take home a slice of Thailand with you.
Keeping in theme with the adults-only resort, the best place to visit is the local rum distillery. The Fishmen’s Village on Friday nights is the place to be on Koh Samui. At the hotel, you can book trips to the Big Buddha Temple or the secret Buddha garden atop Pom mountain. For the adventurous, take an ATV tour of Koh Samui or book a dive trip to Koh Tao.
It is worth mentioning here that Explorar has a sister resort on Koh Phangan, but it’s far from the maddening crowd. And more on that in a separate article.
The beauty of Explorar, the adults-only resort is that there are no noisy kids in or around to deal with. The pool is splash-free and one can swim uninterrupted. I notice quite a few parents FaceTiming their kids. Holiday uninterrupted. For digital nomads, the resort will soon open The Exchange, which is a co-working space. Hotel guests, of course, enjoy complimentary access with coffee, snacks and fresh fruit, water and the use of kitchen and bathroom facilities. For deals, visit explorarhotels.com/koh-samui.