Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island, is often overlooked as a beach vacation destination behind Phuket. However, this less crowded and more exclusive isle is the perfect place to unwind. On our most recent visit, we stayed at Koh Samui’s newest luxury property, the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui and thoroughly enjoyed our time.
The Location and Property:
Located on a former coconut plantation, the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui is nestled on a private bay that boasts spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand. Although the resort is a quick 15-minute drive from the airport, it feels worlds away from the everyday hustle and bustle. The property is expansive. If you are familiar with the luxury resort scene in SE Asia, the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui follows the blueprint. The 58-acre property is connected by well-groomed pathways that connect the vast array of villas, suites, dining establishments, activities, and the beach. Luckily, buggy service is just a phone call away. This was a lifesaver for us as we toted around our toddler who is not used to the heat and humidity of the island.
Naturally, you will want to explore the island. Koh Samui is straightforward to navigate. One thing we cannot recommend more highly is to rent a car and get out there! Dine at local restaurants, explore the market scene, and discover secluded beaches. If you are afraid to drive and want to check out a night market, utilize the resort’s shuttle to Fisherman’s Village on Friday evening to explore a lively one.
Upon arrival, we discovered we were upgraded to a pool villa. The beautiful accommodations were positioned at what we believe is the best location on the resort. It was steps from the beach and restaurants, making it easy for us to move around with our 18-month-old son.
The living room had welcome gifts for us. Crayons and paper for Kai to keep occupied, a lovely array of fresh tropical fruit and tasty treats. The villa is over 1000 square feet of well thought out space. Neutral beachy colors and comfortable furniture set the tone of the luxuriously understated interior and exterior living space. The living room is separate from the bedroom, which made it convenient for us to put Kai down for a nap during the day and sleep at night. This allowed Tom and I to unwind in the living room and not disturb our toddler’s precious rest. The bathroom was spacious with vast counter space, dual sinks, a separate soaking tub and shower, and a toilet room. Most importantly, there is an abundance of outlets and charging areas for our devices.
The outdoor living space was delightful. Overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, we spent time wading in our private pool, lounging and washing off our fun in the outdoor shower. Kai especially enjoyed playing in the pool with some floaties we brought with us and then playing in the outdoor shower.
The room was serviced twice daily. Kai and I enjoy our sweets, and we looked forward to the nightly turndown service where we excitedly lifted open our Chalom bamboo baskets to reveal the treat to end our day. The Thai treats included dried mango, tamarind, and coconut candies.
Food and Beverage:
There is a wide range of food and beverage options. Shook! Is the resort’s more casual breakfast and dinner venue. Whenever I travel to Asia, I look forward to the breakfast experience. The morning offering at Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui was terrific. The extensive offerings of international cuisine made deciding on what to each quite challenging. Luckily, we were there for six days, which allowed me ample time to try many different items. Also, several dishes rotated, so there were plenty of new choices each day. Although it is not Thai, I LOVED the pastry selection. I also enjoyed the Thai dishes, dim sum, curries, and yogurts. The fresh coconut juice and fruit bar were also fabulous. Happy hour was spent sipping “Singharitas” at an outdoor lounge overlooking the ocean. If you happen to be there on a Saturday evening, check out Baan Talat. It is an outdoor dining experience featuring elevated street-food fare and entertainment.
During your stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui, you must spend a day or two completely decompressing. Treatment at the Spa Village is a must. This secluded area is an oasis within an oasis with its’ own infinity pool, loungers, and juice bar. Open-air pavilions are available; however, we chose to have our treatment in a well air-conditioned treatment suite. Tom and I had a couples’ Thai therapy that amounted to three hours of pure bliss. We started with a Songkran Shower. I’ve never had a body scrub before, but now I’m a fan. With our silky smooth skin, we then proceeded to have a Thai Massage and then finish off with a facial. After our treatment, we were escorted to the refreshment pavilion and snacked on a platter of fresh fruit and juice.
Water sports are a must. During our stay, the island’s first ocean enclosed swim arena opened. It is a great space to lounge on a deck and then dives into the ocean. Non-motorized water sport options such as stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are also available. The beautiful outdoor pool includes a children’s area for the little ones. There are numerous loungers available in both the pool and beach area, all with breathtaking views of the tranquil sea.
For those who want to get their sweat on, check out the state of the art fitness center, go for about in the Muy Thai ring, or pick up a game of tennis.
Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is exceptionally kid-friendly. This resort has a club room filled with toys and other indoor activities to keep the munchkins entertained. There is also a weekly schedule published that advertises special programs. We utilized the playroom during the height of the day when the sun and heat are most intense. It was nice to see Kai play with kids from around the world.
Ritz-Carlton arranged for babysitting services for 4 hours so that Tom and I could enjoy a spa day. It is outsourced to a company that the resort trusts. Kai enjoyed his time with the babysitter. However, during the entire 4 hour period, Kai’s diaper wasn’t changed. This was highly disappointing.
Summary and Our Tips:
Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is the island’s newest top-notch luxury resort. It is a great place to stay for any occasion. Although there were a lot of children at the resort, we mainly saw them during breakfast or in the kids club. The property is spacious so that it doesn’t feel overrun by other guests. If you are looking for a new luxury getaway in Koh Samui, we highly recommend Ritz-Carlton. And if you can, be sure to upgrade to a pool villa. It is worth every penny! Contact us for additional details on this hotel or Koh Samui!