Recently, I got the opportunity to stay at the Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam resort on Koh Samui and it was a long weekend to remember.
Disclaimer: this resort is best enjoyed with a special someone.
We arrived at the resort close to midnight and when I got to the huge reception area, all I could see in the background was darkness. No tiny dot of light in the distance, just an all-enveloping darkness. Living in an island city, we tend find solace in the bright lights of the streets, but here, the pitch black surroundings evoked feelings of freedom, the unknown, and more importantly, a place to get away from work. It was then the irony of being there FOR ‘work’ hit me.
But just because it was midnight, doesn’t mean the place was a ghost town. The staff greeted us as warmly as they would if it wasn’t past their bedtime. We were still served welcome cocktails and canapés while we lounged around as they checked us in. The process was painless and surprisingly relaxing. By the time my passport was returned to me, I was notified that my bag had already been sent to the villa.
The villa. One word (which isn’t really a word) - amazeballs. You know how some hotels are decorated in such a snooty fashion that you’re afraid of touching anything? This isn’t one of them. Sure, the décor screamed luxury resort, but it had a certain Thai-ness about it – friendly, warm and inviting. The villa had high ceilings done in a Thai style, a flowing white bed canopy over a king-sized bed and hard wood floors.
The bath was equally astounding. Almost equal in size to the main area, a circular Jacuzzi big enough for two, maybe even four, sat in the middle. The shower stall had the mandatory rain shower while a side door led to an0ther shower outdoors.
If you’re looking a place to just crash, this isn’t it. Fully utilise the room is all I’m saying.
I awoke the next morning and the first thing I did was peel open the curtains, revealing a private pool, a wide expanse of blue sky and the shoreline a mere twenty metres away. I made myself of cup of tea and took a quick dip.
And therein lies the appeal of Intercontinental Samui. You do what you want, whenever you want. There’s no need for itineraries. Just relax, dine, watch the sunset, and, oh, did I mention relax? If I’d gotten my way, I would have just stayed in for the four days I was there. But alas, that’s not what I was there for.
I had to endure the spa and massage treatments available to guests (tough). Jokes aside, the treatments were amazing. I tried the Oriental oil massage, which is essentially an East-West fusion massage. The therapist combines Thai pressure massage with Swedish effleurage strokes to knead you into an hour-long coma. Soon, I was dozing off and I swear I snored a little, which I don’t do on normal circumstances.
Something else you should consider is taking a speedboat trip, with four accompanying hotel staff, out to the nearby islands for a snorkel, a hike up Angthong National Park ending with a ‘packed’ lunch. I raised my eyebrows at the thought of lunch out of Styrofoam packaging but the reality was not what I expected. The Intercontinental’s idea of a packed lunch is a picnic on the beach with lobsters, crabs and beef on a grill, lightly seared tuna salad and ice-cold drinks served on proper tableware and cutlery.
If you’re tired of the backpacking trips and need a luxurious resort holiday away from the city, Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam is the place to be. Leave work behind, grab your partner, and be safe, use protection.
‘Serenity Hideaway’ Spa package
From now till 22 December 2012, Intercontinental Samui is offering a spa and accommodation package priced from THB 9,900* per night with a minimum of two consecutive nights’ stay.
· Luxurious accommodation in an Ocean View Room
· Signature Baan Thai Spa treatment of choice* (120 minutes – once per stay for two people)
· Choice of in-room healthy breakfast or buffet breakfast at Amber restaurant
· One complimentary private 90 minutes yoga session with our in-house yoga teacher for two people
· Exotic skin care welcome gift
· Complimentary roundtrip airport transfer
· Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi internet access
· 20% discount on additional treatments at Baan Thai Spa
· 10% discount on food & beverages at all restaurants within the resort
For further details on the spa and its services, please refer to http://samui.intercontinental.com/spa-wellness
The easiest way to get on to the island is via Bangkok Airways that flies direct from Singapore to Samui Airport. 295 Moo 3 Taling Ngam Beach, Suratthani Koh Samui 84180, Thailand, tel: +66 07 7429100. samui.intercontinental.com.