As luxurious as you'd dreamed of - and more
When you think of the Four Seasons, images of limitless luxury and sumptuous surroundings instantly spring to mind.
Let me blow this preconception out of the water and say that, at the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui at least, the order of the day is even more than that: it is, quite literally, nothing short of breathtaking.
And the wow-factor began on the steep (and slightly scary!) drive up a hill to the grandest entrance to anything, anywhere that I have ever seen. Friendly-faced staff awaiting your arrival welcome you with the sound of a ceremonial Thai gong, before the solid teak doors open to reveal a jaw-dropping reception perched on a peninsula 350-feet above sea level. Cue a dramatic view of an expanse of turquoise sea, and exotic hillside retreats, rolling down to the private powdery white beach below.
Drooling? Yep, me too. It was a good job an ice-cool cocktail was also waiting to greet us as we soaked in the once-in-a-lifetime scene.
From there, we were whisked off to our high-polished one-bedroom villa (of which there are 58 at three different standards), via one of the resort’s takes-you-everywhere buggies (and I thought the drive up the hill was jittery… ) . The accommodation felt like our own (exclusive) hideaway, built on stilts nestled in amongst coconut and mango trees. We barely had time to take in the private infinity pool (oh yes, every villa had one), before it was time to head off to the main restaurant, Lan Tania, which was also located high above sea level with its own uninterrupted views of the Gulf of Siam.
This is where you’ll eat your buffet breakfast in serious style, and where we enjoyed a delicious authentic Thai dinner. Italian was also on the menu, but when in Thailand…
And if you fancy fresh, caught-that-day fish, the relaxed beachside restaurant Pla Pla is your must-visit destination. The food here is pretty pricey compared to local eateries, but you do get the private beach and on-terrace dining experience in return.
We stayed here for two blissful days: one sunny, and one rainy. While we lapped up the seaside pool and private beach on the first, the following wet day (when it rains, it really pours!) was the perfect excuse to explore the villa – and the divine spa!
When we woke up and realised the heavens had opened, we thought we’d make the most of the giant shell-shaped bathtub, which sat next to sliding doors that led out onto the pool deck overlooking the sea. Local artwork hung over the dark wood furniture, creating the Thai atmosphere, while the double vanity dressing room is still at the top of my at-home wish list.
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Any downsides? Hardly. If you don’t like American accents, pack your iPod. Oh, and save the washing until you get home – two T-shirts and three pairs of knickers set me back about £40. Well, they did come back wrapped in ribbon…
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui (www.fourseasons.com / 00800 6488 6488) offers rates from £ 432.68 per room per night, excluding taxes. Their ‘Stay Longer; package is valid until December 2009 and offers luxurious accommodations and a complimentary fourth night with every three consecutive paid nights. The package also includes daily Resort activities, such as Muay Thai boxing and snorkelling excursions, and the Kids For All Seasons programme which are just two of the services and amenities they include as part of your stay – with no added charges.
For more information visit www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui