A cool summer
Tranquil by day, electric by night, W Samui is life done right
I would not be lying if I said I enjoyed the lack of foreign tourists in the last two years, and that is simply because it made holiday islands like Samui more accessible to domestic tourists like me. Though this may be at the detriment of the resorts and other businesses on the island. Koh Samui, with its vast stretches of beaches and pristine turquoise waters, is no stranger to luxury resorts, W Samui on Mae Nam Beach being one of them.
(Photos: W Samui)
Despite the hilly terrain of Koh Samui, which adds to the steep thrill of approaching the lobby at W Samui, the very first look of the resort is almost breathtaking. The open lobby offers views of a shallow pond, complete with a large W sign, a glistening "monkey DJ" and seating pods. Immediately beyond lies the ocean, the sky and their vastness. Blue, leading to blue, leading to blue, so to speak. Cool off with a towel and a drink while taking in the various hues of blue and your first look at Woo Bar, which is poolside.
The resort has 74 private pool villas, though sizes may vary. Choose from beach access to jungle oasis to ocean havens. My beach-access villa was a hideaway in itself. A luxurious space where the bedroom and sitting room are the same size as the bathroom. What delighted me the most was the huge bathtub, which I am a sucker for. The private pool is actually meant for swimming and has its own shaded seating area with an outdoor daybed for those naps between laps. There is also a lawn with sunbeds and the small garden leads straight to the beach, with the entrance well hidden among the foliage. Doesn't get more private than this.
The resort is easy to get around on foot, though if you're going to breakfast I would recommend ordering a buggy so you don't have to use up energy walking up the steep hill to get to the all-day dining restaurant. This is a holiday, remember! Breakfast at The Kitchen Table, on the terrace, is a sight to behold! The waters have cleansed themselves during lockdown and Samui is one of the best examples of that. An almost 180-degree view of the island and Koh Phangan beyond (at its calmest) is the best breakfast view. A buffet a la carte is on offer, with a wide array of options, catering to all palates. As soon as you've sat down, you're served an energising shot, which is the best way to get ready for a day of nothing.
Spending a day at the beach is the best thing to do during the day, as it's vast. There are double day beds under the shades of trees to cosy up on and loungers under umbrellas. Sip on a coconut and while away the day. If you get peckish, Sip Bar caters to your thirst and hunger. It is also where you observe a rather spectacular sunset, drink in hand, tush on bean bag and toes in the sand. Bliss!
If you are in need of a cooling drink or an ice cream do head to the nearest "Sweet Spot", which are cooling beverage and ice cream stations all around the resort. Guests are free to pick anything from the choices on offer for free!
Afternoon tea is one thing that should not be missed here and be sure to make a reservation, even if you're a hotel guest. It's so popular that guests from other resorts come for tea, which is served in the water pods in WooBar. Samui's iconic bar turns into the spot for the night, offering dramatic night views across the dark waters to the green-lit squid fishing boats lining the horizon. W Samui is home to the best Japanese restaurant on the island, Namu. Turn to page 7 for more on that.
Away Spa uses natural healing therapies to soothe your body. Don't forget to try Asia's first Thaimazcal, which is a herbal sauna/steam experience inspired by a traditional Mexican Temazcal ritual.
Though not much is open, as the island slowly returns to life, there are a few places to visit. The fisherman's village is close by and if you're a local rum enthusiast, do visit the Isaan Rum Distillery for an afternoon of rum education and fun.
W Samui is one of my favourite resorts on the island. Simply because, the villas are private, the beach is vast and the food is good. Though if you are not one with nature, the singing cicadas may get annoying after a while. But they do stop once the sun sets. Their "Samui Summer Jazz package comes with a daily buffet breakfast for two and is valid from June 5-14, using Promo Code X09. Visit bit.ly/3yPhqaz for more offers.