Sweet: In April, we vacationed on the island, Koh Samui in Thailand. This island is a haven for spa seekers and those in need of some R&R. The search of sun and repose coupled with a bucket list worthy hotel inspired our stay at the Conrad Koh Samui.
Sour: The Conrad Koh Samui is perched cliff side on the southwest side of the island. An hour long commute makes this one of the furthest resorts from the airport. We arrived on a rainy evening, and were quickly whisked downhill by buggy to our private villa. While it’s a nice ride on a clear day, it was a “grip the side bar” and hold tight moment…
Sweet: The resort offers all the luxurious conveniences that you would expect – 24 hour room service, several restaurants with jaw dropping views, a large beachfront infinity pool, hammocks both in and out of the sea, a fitness center, complimentary speed boat rides, and a daily list of inclusive guest activities.
Sour: One of my favorite vacation activities is a visit to the hotel spa. After the initial discomfort from the twists, tangles, pulls, and kneading of a traditional Thai massage, I felt very relaxed and nimble. A visit to the steam room provided a view that made up for any post massage pain.
Sour: Each villa displays views of the Five Islands that are best enjoyed from your own infinity pool. The staff advised that large floats should not be used, as there is a significant drop from the edge of the pool. This perilous warning did not stop some guests from riding on the edge.
Sweet: Each villa is well equipped, but my favorite part was the large round soaking tub with a view. Perhaps we would have enjoyed more of Koh Samui if our villa had been less inviting.
Sour: We visited during the most hot and humid season. Pastime mostly included staying in the air conditioning and taking frequent dips in our pool.
Sweet: The benefits of Hilton Honors Gold status included a villa situated higher up the hill for a better view, daily buffet breakfast, and a few complimentary beverages. A substantial breakfast buffet is always our favorite way to start the day!
Sour: While the grounds were beautiful, the heat paralyzed our spirit of adventure, leaving little wandering around. It was a usually a short walk to the main pool or beach and then right back to our air conditioned villa.
Sweet: There’s really no need to leave the resort, but being my first visit to the island, I urged that we take a trip around the island. We first stopped at the Tamarind Springs Spa which holds a strict no cell phone/camera policy. The enchanting grounds of boulders, lagoons, and waterfalls are lush and inviting. Cool dipping pools are positioned around the boulders, and rocky grottoes are used as steam rooms. Natural exfoliates of coffee, lemongrass, ginger and tamarind are available to be applied between dips. A few rounds of exfoliating, steaming, and dipping left our skin soft and fragrant. A light snack of tea, fruit, and vegetable rolls were enjoyed while sitting outside by a waterfall. This was a visit we didn’t want to end.
Sour: Our second stop was to the highly anticipated Luxsa Spa at the Hansar Koh Samui. Our couples treatment started by sipping tea, a fragrant foot bath, signature massage and facial followed by another round of tea.
Sweet: Near the Hansar we dipped in the sea, and indulged more than our fair share of local seafood.
Sour: I was contended to return to our villa, as getting around the island can be hectic. I’d rather stay at the resort and simply unwind.
Sweet: Daily happy hour included two for one drinks, and this made the time around sunset more social.
Sweet: Back at the resort our main activities were swimming, napping, and a water fight in celebration of Songkran, the Thai New Year holiday. A seaside feast was enjoyed by the resort guests, while the sun set to the sound of an instrument similar to a xylophone.
Sour: When staying at the Conrad Koh Samui, a visit to JAHN is anticipated. The contemporary take on traditional Thai flavors is served overlooking a breathtaking setting. I generally don’t find myself seeking out high end gastronomy, but the creations were delightfully surprising.
Sweet: The Conrad Koh Samui is full of vistas, where your daily troubles melt away as you simply enjoy the beauty of the sunset over the gulf. The longer you stay, the further from reality you feel. While being pampered at a resort isn’t the best way to be immersed in the culture it does leave us feeling refreshed and inspired and as always, ready for the next place that will take our breath away.
Sour: Like most good things, this trip came to an end. We will always love the feeling we remember from this resort and our bottom line is that this stay was worth the trip!