THE LATEST TREND ON KOH SAMUI
There is always something happening on Koh Samui. The island is constantly evolving in every aspect: tourist infrastructure, nightlife, the building of new luxury hotels/resorts or promotionof a cultural or sporting event.While some establishments are getting a fresh updated look, new brands are emerging, ever more trendy and daring.
Across the island major real estate projects arise, at cutting edge of progress, design and offering a range of state-of-the-art, high-end services. Thanks to its ideal geographical position in the heart of Asia, the beauty of its landscapes and the quality of its hotel business, Koh Samui has become one of the most popular tourist destinations of the region over the last ten years. It has also adapted to the desires and needs of a new generation of increasingly demanding travellers seeking a change of scenery and abundant leisure opportunities.
The exclusivity of a destination is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects valued by the world’s most prestigious hotel chains. Consequently, Koh Samui enjoys a unique concentration of the largest and most significant hotel chains that have been established over the years: Four Seasons, Six Senses Hideaway Samui, W Koh Samui, Banyan Tree, Vana Belle, InterContinental, Belmond Napasai, Conrad (Hilton), Sheraton Samui Resort, Infinity, Meridien, Renaissance (Marriott), Anantara, Melati, The Library. This list is far from exhaustive, it continues to grow from year to year, and reflects the island’s dynamism and attractiveness to such successful businesses.
Notably, the Ritz-Carlton has recently opened its doors. This superb establishment provides 175 suites and villas with private pools in the heart of a property covering more than 10 hectares in the Plai Laem district of the island. A former coconut plantation, the hotel celebrates its past by incorporating natural materials into its layout so that guests and visitors find themselves immediately immersed in an exotic atmosphere.
The hotel Sala Samui Chaweng Beach will also open soon in Chaweng. Located adjacent to the sea, the hotel has a beautiful beach with many private villas and other suites all with pools, but also a romantic oceanside restaurant.
Koh Samui also stands out through its upmarket residences that bring together luxury villas and tailor-made concierge services for their occupants, be they owners or rental guests. One such remarkable development is Pacific Palisade, whose construction began a few weeks ago with completion taking place in 2019: a luxurious and futuristic space designed for a dream vacation, but also a remarkable investment for the short and medium terms, with regular rental income.
WELL BEING AND SPAS
Luxury spas in Koh Samui are extremely popular (often established in 5 star hotels, resorts or as private establishments) and attract a clientele which is ever more demanding and knowledgeable. Their renown has long since crossed borders and the island has always attracted those who are looking for a place to relax, rejuvenate and re-energise. Asian beauty secrets, traditional massages and de-stressing body treatments are plentiful.
Care is lavished by professionals often in beautiful settings, particularly exotic, natural and smart. Among the most famous are: Tamarind Springs, Eranda Spa, Kamalaya Koh Samui, Anantara Spa, Samui Ridgeway Luxury Spa… For detox centres, the island is among the world’s most prominent and top destinations. Among the most famous of these places: Kamalaya Koh Samui, Orion Retreat Center and Samahita Retreat…
Koh Samui has a variety and concentration of absolutely exceptional restaurants. Like the Kingdom of Siam, you will be surprised by the variety and choice of food and dishes available to you in the various districts of Koh Samui.
In Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut, Maenam, Choeng Mon, Bang Rak or Bang Por, but also in the rest of the island, you will find something to make you happy. On the one hand Thai specialities to enjoy in local markets or in the many restaurants and on the other western restaurants for all budgets and all ranges: French, Italian, Swiss, Belgian, Russian, Brazilian, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, Spanish and Mexican. These places rub shoulders with Asian establishments: Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Korean, but also the big name American fast food chains: McDonald’s, Starbucks Coffee, KFC and not to mention Tex-Mex and other cafes, pubs or small business with a delivery service that offer menus and recipes from around the world, open at any time, until late in the evening and throughout the week.
For those looking for a more romantic experience, you also will be spoiled for choice with many gourmet restaurants providing intimate dining. In Koh Samui there is also a trend for Fusion cuisine that combines Thai flavors and western know-how for a unique experience often in dream settings: Zazen Restaurant, Dining on the Rocks, Ocean 11, Tree Tops Sky Dining, Orgasmic Beach Restaurant, The Boudoir, The View Restaurant, H Bistro, Sun Moon Star, The Dining Room, Prego Samui. Excellence is at the rendez-vous!
Finally, brunches are a most enjoyable experience and very popular on the island. Generally they take place on Sunday in the most popular Beach Clubs: Nikki Beach (with its amazing Sunday brunch), Beach Republic (with its Sunday brunch) but also the Coast Beach Club and Bistro (and their family Sunday Brunch) or RockPool Samui (and their Sunday Brunch), not to mention the famous Italian restaurant Prego Samui (with a Prego brunch) and The Road of Rum the only distillery of Koh Samui) which offers its Buffet BBQ.
The food business is very popular and sought-after in Koh Samui: French cheese (Authentic Cheese Samui), ), designer and manufacturer of high-end dairy products (Lucky Cow), traditional French butcher (French Butchery), Bakers/pastry chefs (La Fabrique, Baan-Net, P and P Bakery Samui Naka), importers of Italian specialties (“Il Tiempo”) or high-end international products (Jagota), French caterers (Pado Traiteur and French Delights). One thing is certain in Koh Samui, in terms of food, quality is always at the rendez-vous!
At night, Koh Samui reveals a different and new face, that of a particularly rich and heterogeneous nightlife that is celebrated as one of the best in Thailand. Between beach clubs, bars, pubs, discos, cabarets, nightclubs and themed evenings, the island invites you to have fun and enjoy the moment in a festive atmosphere, surrounded by rhinestones, lights and sounds, according to the tastes and the nature of each…
The richness and variety of these holiday venues are a major asset to the island, attracting a crowd of all ages eager to have fun and relax until late at night. Each neighborhood offers its own characteristics in terms of evening and night entertainment. Cheap drinks and sophisticated places come together to encourage all to enjoy and have pleasure. In this sphere, nothing is fixed and everything evolves, especially in Koh Samui…
Chaweng is the most extensive town of the island, but most importantly, the place with the largest number of nightspots. Between its famous Beach Clubs by the beach (Ark Bar, Chaweng’s most popular seaside resort, Cha Cha Moon, KC Beach Club, The Beach Bar (in ChawengNoi), its many Pubs and Lounge Bars (Solo Bar, Sweetsoul Cafe…), its discotheques (Green Mango, Reggae Pub, Sound), its cabarets (Paris Follies, The Starz Cabaret, The Stage), its large shopping center (Central Festival Samui) open late into the night, as well as its massage parlours there is something for everyone to find happiness, contentment and to create special moments.
Recently, a new discotheque has just opened its doors, The Palace, next to the Green Mango, open evenings every day of the week, free billiard games and dance shows. Other big names are Hard Rock Coffee and Hooters which are delighting locals and visitors alike on the Chaweng Beach Road since they opened in 2017.
For their part, Bophut and Maenam offer a calm and romantic atmosphere. The nightlife is unveiled, especially, at Fisherman’s Village” located in Bophut. You will find quality restaurants, many shops, very nice and trendy lounge bars (Coco Tam with its ottomans in the sand, and fire thrower shows,Peppina Samui, an Italian restaurant owned by the same chain as owns Coco Tam’s, Karma Sutra with its Balinese atmosphere, Art of Life by Karma, specialising in seafood directly imported from France, massage parlours, a commercial area open in the evening (“The Wharf Samui”), not to mention the famous Walking Streets that attract many locals and tourists every Thursday (Maenam) and Friday (Bophut), all accompanied by the soothing rhythm of the waves.
In Lamai the atmosphere at night is colourful and festive with, at it’s heart, Lamai Center Plaza, a place spread over 2,000 m². Here there is a concentration of restaurants and pubs, an open air dining area, a Thai Boxing stadium to watch free outdoor fights once a week, shops, street food and massage parlours. On Sunday evenings, the Walking Street attracts a great many people, while the Beach Club, Beach Republic remains a must-see.
Another very famous venue on the island, Nikki Beach Samui, located in Lipa Noi, is one of the hottest, trendiest and most sought-after resorts on the island. Every night of the week events are organised across the island in various establishments for the delight of residents and visitors. These include T.G.I.M (Thank God It’s Monday), Tuesday Ladies Night, The Tuesday Blend, Live Reggae Good Vibes, Wednesday Foam Party, Thursday Live Music on the Beach, Fiesta Fridays, Sly Fly Pool Party, Sunday Rocking Reggae, Secret Garden Sunday Sessions…
SPORT AND CULTURAL EVENTS
Koh Samui is also an ideal destination for sports and cultural events. It is certainly true that Thais (and of course, foreigners) love to party and are very fond of entertainment of all kinds: festivals, fêtes nationales et religieuses, sports meeting and concerts etc…
All are an excuse to gather and enjoy the present time. Every month there are many events orchestrated by local authorities, but also by the Beach Clubs, restaurants or hotels run by foreigners or locals. It is not uncommon that during the same day or evening, several parties and events overlap.
Here are some of the most famous and representative events:
- Third Annual Hyzenbrownie Open – The Flaskenpouch 2018 (Golf Tournament) – January
- Chinese New Year – January / February
- Annual Koh Samui Open Beach Volleyball Competition – February
- Makha Bucha (Buddhist Festival) – February
- Valentine’s Day – February
- Samui Half Marathon – February
- Koh Samui Charity Fun Midnight Run 2018 – 6th Edition (Marathon) – March
- Songkran (Thai New Year) – April
- Koh Samui Regatta 2018 – May
- Asahara Bucha (Buddhist Festival) – July
- Father’s Day (and a anniversary of King Rama X) – July
- Khao Phansa (Buddhist Festival) – July
- Mother’s Day (and anniversary of the Queen Mother – July
- Chulalongkorn Festival (Commemoration of King Ram V) – October
- Loy Krathong (Candle Festival – November
- Anniversary of King Rama IX – December
- Christmas -December
- New Year’s Eve – December
You will certainly have heard of Uber, a mobile application that connects independent vehicle drivers and users. Navigo is the equivalent for Koh Samui with vehicles that are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The application can be downloaded and their services are considerably cheaper than the traditional taxi. Each car is equipped with a meter, so you will pay the posted price at no extra charge of any kind.
Another popular service for holiday makers and expats Hangover is an online platform whereby many of the island’s restaurants can be accesses for a home delivery service. There are many specialities (Thai, French, Italian, Israeli, Indian, Spanish, Russian). Simply choose an establishment of your choice, select one or more dishes and it will be delivered home a shorter time later.