Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut Beach
The best time to get vitamin D is in the early morning when the Sun reflects on the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand. I reclined by the ocean without a mask to inhale the fresh air on a private sand sundeck close to Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut Beach.
Located only a 15-minute drive from Samui International Airport, this brand-new resort just opened its doors to welcome the first guests last month, providing a fresh alternative to spend the forthcoming holiday season.
With a prime location, it gives easy access to Bophut Beach, where you can engage in sports activities all day long or plan a walking trip to tourist attractions like Fisherman's Village, Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem. On a Friday night, visitors can also explore the local culinary scene at the Fisherman's Village walking street from 5-11pm and Samui's popular beachside bistro Coco Tam's.
Design and Facilities
With a concept of worry-free moments, the low-rise elegant resort comes in a modern tropical design and features 203 rooms, which include Standard, Kid Suites with a safari theme, Two-Bedroom Family Suites and One-Bedroom Suites ranging from 32-76m² to provide extra comfort and a cosy ambience.
A spiral path winds its way through a dome-like complex, connecting the garden and beach wings. The open-air lobby's massive bamboo façade and ceiling contrast with white modern furniture and white floor, making it a popular picturesque backdrop for Instagram and a gathering place.
Amid a relaxing atmosphere and the sound of waves, travellers on business may schedule a meeting in the 12-seat Talay Cabin, which has a flip chart and markers, an LCD projector and an 85-inch smart TV. The adjacent earth-toned lounge is designed to be a resort centre, complete with comfy sofas, a long table and computers for guests to use as co-working or a reading space throughout the day.
Outside, a shaded garden with native plants and a huge infinity swimming pool stand at the heart of the resort, allowing people of all ages to enjoy daytime activities. Guests can also congregate a movie night, a poolside cocktail party, swim-up happy hour nights, jazz/DJ night and BBQ night to round out their vacation experiences.
On the other side, the garden wing is home to the 360m² thrilling kids' club named Jungle Book, which is built to resemble a fantastic woodland filled with a variety of amusement zones for multi-sensory play.
Young visitors may engage in role-play activities in a kitchen zone, and a reading area is stocked with hundreds of books and educational toys to foster their creativity. There're also Nintendo games, a movie corner and a tree house with classes on arts and crafts.
With a greenish landscaped setting, children can experience an adrenaline rush at the 205m² outdoor playground, which features slide tubes, a climbing frame and net, and a rope bridge. The 200m² Splash Pad children's pool with sun loungers and two water slides, however, seems to be the most well-liked area.
During the day, families may take a breather at the Essence Samui Bar & Lounge to recharge their batteries and indulge in a variety of healthy beverages, classic cocktails, local and imported beers, tapas, salads, pancakes and pasta for a light lunch. Those who want to burn calories can then visit a fully equipped 24-hour gym.
I stayed two nights in a Standard room with a modern yet peaceful aesthetic. Decked out in wood and handcrafted furnishing, the layout and clean design give a sense of home with a comfy sofa bed set against a green wall and a wood desk huge enough to place anything from a laptop to other daily gadgets.
The room offers a queen-size bed and a selection of soft and firm pillows. A 50-inch smart TV allows guests to connect with entertainment applications on a smartphone. A walk-in closet with a laundry set, a wide mirror, a large sink counter and a separate shower are all included in the enormous, turquoise-hued bathroom that is divided into a separate bedroom by a partition.
For a morning boost, the mini bar corner provides coffee- and tea-making amenities, while my favourite spot was a private balcony overlooking a swimming pool and Bophut Beach.
The all-day dining Fisherman's Table restaurant serves a breakfast buffet with a wide range of culinary options in both Thai and Western styles such as thin rice noodles with crab curry. The majority of ingredients come from local suppliers and fishermen.
Thanks to the Kids Eat Free policy, children up to 12 can dine for free from a special kid menu and in a separate breakfast section.
Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut Beach is another excellent option for those looking for a restful holiday getaway while being linked to a modern lifestyle. Easy to get around, it is surrounded by tourist attractions including a fisherman's village, old temples, a walking street and hip beachside restaurants and cafes.
This month, the resort is offering a 20% discount off all room categories, with rates starting from 3,300 baht per night including breakfast for a stay until Dec 20. Those booking a two-night stay will receive 800 baht resort credit and a three-night stay can enjoy 800 baht resort credit and round-trip airport transfer.
Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut Beach is in Bophut subdistrict, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320. Call 077-951-777 or visit ihg.com/holidayinnresorts.