Stayed: Santiburi

Located in Maenam in north Koh Samui, Santiburi is a luxurious resort sprawled out along a lazy arc of golden sand and calm, clear waters. Harking back as one of the first 5-star resorts in Samui, Santiburi is a classic example of a meticulously maintained Siamese-style resort.

Flanking each side of the lobby are the original rooms in a variety of layouts to adapt to guests – from solo travellers to big families. You’ll find exquisitely tasteful artwork adorning walls amongst teakwood furniture and accents. Quality is the name of the game for Santiburi in everything from service to décor to dining.

They’ve recently completed a sizable expansion dubbed The Reserve and although you will find all of the fine qualities of the original resort, the style is distinctly contemporary with clean lines and state-of-the-art, well, everything.

Inside the ample 250spm villas are welcome snacks and fruit awaiting you in the living room. A big flat screen is above the Bluetooth soundbar so you can really make yourself at home. There’s a coffee-pod machine for a pick me up, a mini bar for a cool down, and room service for everything in between. From the cavernous bathroom with his-and-her sinks to the small but not insignificant details like the ample cushy pillows and ideally placed lighting, the villas are impeccably appointed and welcoming.

On your coffee table you will find a booklet that says “Len” on the front – which means “to play” in Thai. Here Santiburi has created a way to cater the day’s activities to your current state of mind. First you can choose from adventure, relax, family, culture, or romance. Next you will choose from spa, activity, or gourmet and your treatment, destination, or dishes will reflect your selected mood. A unique and clever way to ensure your experience is narrowly tailored to your day.

However, the accommodations are only one part of the equation – albeit an important one. Let’s not overlook the stunning beach with plenty of sun loungers, hammocks, and activities such as a Hobie cat to sail and paddle boats to explore on.

Families will be pleasantly surprised at the vast amount of activities for the little ones. There’s a kids club with outdoor and indoor play areas where they show movies, host hands-on projects, and tons of toys to keep them entertained. They even have movie time on the beach to keep them occupied while you relax at the restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, Santiburi has a few such as The Beach House where you can sit barefoot with your feet in the sand and order something from the well-rounded menu. Sala Thai has superb Thai classic dishes and a sommelier on hand.

12/12 Moo 1, Maenam Beach, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, +66 (0) 77 425 031

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