Once again, I was the master planner =D I love pouring through websites, getting myself prep about the destination, and searching for lodging that fits our needs as well as budget. The thing about Samui is, there are simply too many choices, from lush resorts to intimate villas, the affordable to the lavish, to suit the whims and fancies of different holiday makers.
Well, since it was supposed to be a treat, I sort of coerced hubby for something more extravagant =p. Planned to stay 3 nights at a resort either at Chaweng or Bophut where we would spend time exploring the island and the streets/shopping. Then shift to Six Senses Hideaway Samui for 1 night, basically just laze around and do nothing.
The easy part was Six Senses, as I was eyeing this world renowned brand for a while already. And since we were going to stay there, a pool villa it had to be!
The hard part was selecting the resort for the 3 nights-stay. Finally settled on Sareeraya Villas & Suites, which is quite a new establishment in Samui. It's located towards the northern part of Chaweng Beach, so while it is away from the crowd, it's still within walking distance to the main commercial district. Apparently, the property just opened and had a soft launch only in Dec 08. And quite superficially, I selected this resort because of its beautifully done website! Already I love the furnishings based on the photos showcased. (The importance of a well-maintained website!). Moreover, the resort was running a one-night-for-one-night promo. So I made my booking via their online reservation system for a Holiday Suite and to my pleasant surprise, apart from the instant auto-confirmation, received a courtesy email within an hour from the 'Chief Reservation', informing us of a complimentary pick-up from the airport with even photo of the driver! It was indeed service with a wow.
On the contrary, after I made a reservation online for Six Senses and sent them an email with requests like pool villa with a more exclusive location/better view and late check-out, I did not hear from them until a day later; worse they got my reservation wrong (hideaway villa, instead of pool villa) and did not answer to my requests. Had to send clarifications and reiterate my requests but still not reply on the requests. Hmm... was a tad disappointed, especially after getting the impressive service from Sareeraya.
Anyways, here's my itinerary:
Fri 13 Mar - Evening flight from SG to Samui > Check in at Sareeraya Resort, Chaweng
Sat 14 Mar - Breakfast > Explore Chaweng streets & beach on foot > Massage at Bann Leelawadee Allure Massage & Spa > Lunch at Will Wait Restaurant > Rented motorbike and explore the whole of Samui island > Dinner at Coyote Mexican Restaurant > Concussed
Sun 15 Mar - Light Breakfast > Transfer to Bophut (Fishermen's Village) > Dive Boat to Sail Rock (rock formation between Koh Tao & Koh Phangna) > 2 dives > Transfer back > Back to hotel to rest > Travel to Sabieng Lae Restaurant for Thai seafood (South Lamai) > Back to Chaweng, massage at Bann Leelawadee Allure Massage & Spa > Concussed
Mon 16 Mar - Brunch > last shopping at Chaweng > Check out & transfer to Six Senses Hideaway > Explore, swim, laze, in-villa dining > Concussed
Tue 17 Mar - Sleep late > Massage at Six Senses Spa > Lunch at Dining On The Hill > Swim, laze > Check out > Afternoon flight from Samui back to SG
There is only 1 inbound and outbound flight to Koh Samui daily - 8pm in the evening for outbound and 4.30pm (Samui time) for inbound. In a way, good for short getaways as travellers don't have to take leave from work, just depart on Fri evening and come back on Sun afternoon. But it's kind of 1 night 'wasted'.
Anyways, we noticed at the departure lounge, that most travellers were foreigners from European countries and couples. That pretty summed up the crowd we would expect at Samui.
Flight by Bangkok Airways took only 1.5hrs. Nothing eventful, inflight hot meal was ok. Pleasant surprise was a cheery pipe-in music which sort of created a holiday atmosphere :)
After the plane touch downed at Samui airport, it was another pleasant surprise when we were ushered to sit in these open-air trams (think Singapore Zoological Gardens) which brought us to the customs clearance. So cute! The customs clearance is structured like the Singapore Zoological Gardens as well, open-air, ceiling fans, wooden beams, thatched roofs. The first impression of Samui, welcome to tropical paradise! Apparently, the Samui Airport is renowned as one of the most unique and likeable airport in the world.
After clearing customs and claiming our luggage, we made our way to the vehicle pick-up point, where the driver was already expecting us. We also met the Markus, the General Manager of Sareeraya who was there to pick-up 2 special guests from France. While waiting, we chatted with him and found out he is Swiss and has settled in S.E.A region for almost 30 years. In fact, during the few days stay, we discovered quite a number of foreigners on the island with same status.
The transfer from airport to hotel took around 10 minutes. At the hotel lobby, a few front desk staff awaited our arrival; they were warm and friendly and made us feel at home. We were really pleased with a free upgrade from the Holiday Suite booked to a Sareeraya Suite which is located on Level 3 and offers much better view of the ocean!
And after finding out we were going to shift to Six Senses on our fourth day, Markus and Mr 'A' the Front Office Manager thoughtfully offered complimentary transfer! Six Senses didn't even have complimentary transfers :(
Tada! View from our balcony! I was so bowed over by the almost full moon and lovely sight that greeted us. Our holiday has just begun =D Stay tuned!
- Tourism info: http://www.amazingsamui.com/
- Tourism info: http://www.samui.org/
- Bangkok Airways: http://www.bangkokair.com/
- Sareeraya Villas & Suites: http://www.sareeraya.com/index.html
- Six Senses Hideaway Samui: http://www.sixsenses.com/Six-Senses-Hideaway-Samui/index.php