Avani+ Samui is a new upscale resort situated by Phang Ka Bay of Taling Ngam on Koh Samui’s southwest shore, a palm-studded paradise. We were lucky enough to be one of the new property’s first visitors.
Avani Hotels & Resorts is expanding its portfolio in Thailand with the launch of Avani+Samui. Following a take-over and an extensive renovation, the secluded beach paradise started welcoming guests from December 20, 2018.
Located on the sunset side of the island, steps away from an unspoiled, secluded bay guests can choose from 25 guest rooms, 27 private pool villas, or six beachfront pool villas. The resort also has two pools to choose from as well as a state-of-the-art gym and a sublime spa.
An Instagrammers dream, the open-plan lobby comprises different sections with a pantry on one side – in order to stock up your own in-room mini bar with a selection of freshly prepared treats – and a palm-printed corner on the other complete with a bamboo swing and a trellised plant wall.
The slogan behind the swing reads: “It’s a beautiful day @avanisamui” and indeed every day spent here is a beautiful one. We could easily have hung out on the sofas and watched the world go by for a couple of hours, but with so much to do and see we had to make do with a quick selfie on the swing.
THE ROOMS AND VILLAS
Spacious, light, bright and up-to-the-minute, the nature-inspired interiors are also injected with an element of fun. The rooms are in the main building and sport sea-front views, while the villas have two different layouts according to their location.
We were in a delightful private pool villa located near to Essence restaurant where all meals are served. The contemporary rooms have cool grey concrete floors, large decorative panels slatted panels behind the beds and a white colour palette, offset by splashes of jungle greens and ocean blues in the soft furnishings.
Both the bedroom and the large bathroom – with his and hers sinks and an impressive rain shower – look out onto your private plunge pool.
Chief Kien Wagner, who describes south Samui as a “food playground,” tells us he’s blessed to have such an abundance of fresh produce to work with. What’s more, he discovers new ingredients every day which allows him to constantly experiment in the kitchen. Essence is an al fresco beach front dining area that’s partly covered in case of rainstorms, that also overlooks one of the resort’s pools.
Stretching out before us in the distance is Ko Si Ko Ha or Four Islands-Five Islands, named so because the fifth one is hiding so you can only see it when you’re out at sea. As dining settings go, it’s pretty perfect, with extra character courtesy of the bright blue and turquoise backsplash tiles along the walls and wicker lights hanging down. There’s also a too cool for school Kombi Van bar which doles out delicious cocktails and mocktails.
The menu is made up of a mix of contemporary takes on Thai classics as well as comfort foods such as club sandwiches and fish tacos. The kitchen also boasts a pizza oven which delivers thin-based authentic Italian pizzas. But we’re of the school of thought that when in Thailand… eat Thai!
So, we can confidently steer you towards the sweet and sour papaya salad, the tangy tom yam soup, the flavour-filled crab cakes, the nutty penang curry, the punchy pad thai… we could go on. Of course, if it’s the best of both Thai and Italian you’re after, they also serve a mean Tom Yam Goon pizza with chili and basil. Given its ‘Honest Food’ concept, vegans will also be pleased to hear that there’s plenty of options for them too including an Essence plant burger with sunflower cheddar and sweet potatoes.
The kitchen has really thought of everything: upon arrival at Ko Samui airport (easily the prettiest airport we’ve ever encountered), you will be presented with a menu which allows you to order ahead and have your meal ready for you when you arrive at the hotel around 40 minutes later. Nice touch!
Taling Ngam Bay makes a fantastic location from which to explore this beautiful island. Jump onto a longtail boat which leaves directly from the resort to take an island-hopping trip to smaller islands close by for a day of snorkelling or diving – the chef will even pack you a picnic lunch.
Guests can also head to one of the waterfalls for a great big dose of nature or borrow a mountain bike to discover the surrounding villages at their own pace. The resort also offers stand up paddle boards and kayaks which you can also hop onto to explore the mangroves. Or you could just take advantage of the two pools and get stuck into a book for some much-needed ‘me’ time.
Speaking of ‘me’ time, the spa here is out of this world and we insist that you put plenty of time aside in order to make the most of it. A delightful hideout just off one of the resort’s outdoors passages, Avani Spa offers an extensive range of treatments with the option to Options to Boost, Balance, Calm or Purify. We opted for the revitalising Energy Rush from the ‘Boost’ menu ‘Boost,’ the perfect tonic for low energy, a weak body and tired mind.
Using Thai techniques – nicknamed “passive yoga” – your therapist will do all the work as you lie back and enjoy the ultimate body workout. Great for flexibility and unblocking energy flow, the massage is as stimulating as it is relaxing.
Avani+ Samui is also the only resort on the island to offer Muse meditation. Muse is an immersive meditation device that uses a headband to provide real-time feedback on your mental activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements to help you find calm. The calmer you are, the more birds you will hear chirping. Avani+ Samui is the only resort on the island to offer this. If you weren’t relaxed before, you most certainly will be now…
For more information visit their website here
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