A large slice of eco-friendly paradise
WHAT: Put simply, an eco-friendly paradise. Seriously. After a 12-hour flight from England, and a 45-minute trip from Bangkok (via a one-night pit-stop in the buzzing city), my boyfriend and I were tired – not to mention a little grouchy – and couldn’t wait for some lose-yourself luxury. So when we were picked up by our air-conditioned Six Senses bus and handed cool flannels wrapped in lemongrass, along with water and plenty of warm welcome, my excitement started bubbling. Half an hour later, we emerged from the leafy windy lanes into the smiling, open arms of the Six Senses Hideaway – a veritable hill-top heaven. You’re instantly greeted by the sparkly grin of the turquoise ocean – and the Senses staff who’ll be awaiting your arrival. From that moment on, you won’t need to lift a finger as your personal butler (yes, you read correctly), will do everything for you. A cooling drink and a quick chat later, we were whisked off for a relaxing foot massage – before we’d even seen our villa.
WHERE: Situated outside the hustle-and-bustle of Koh Samui’s somewhat manic centre, you’ll find the Six Senses Hideaway Samui really is just that. Located on the northern tip of the island, it boasts panoramic views over the Gulf of Siam and other Thai islands (read: dazzling azure ocean and cornflower-blue sky backdrops) from the perched-high reception platform and all of its 66 villas.
THE VILLAS: With totally renewed tootsies, we were taken, by buggy, to our Pool Villa Suite (of which there are 10). What stands out about the Six Senses – apart from its obvious luxuries – is its dedication and commitment to the environment. And this really shone through in the accommodation, which just oozed rustic charm. All the villas are nestled in the sloping headland at the end of banana-leaf flanked walkways and are, in essence, super-luxurious log cabins. All villas are split level and feature amazing plunge bath tubs and his-and-hers vanity basins. The Pool Villa Suites are home to two bathrooms, and you’ll even find a semi-outdoor double shower added on to the main one, where you can rinse with your loved one while looking up at the stars. The living area, including walk-in wardrobe, four-poster bed and a large day-bed in front of a flat-screen TV, sits above the outside deck, which is reached by a wooden staircase. Here, you’ll find more dreamy plus points, including, not least, your very own infinity pool. Sigh.
FOOD: Eating at Six Senses Hideaway is a truly special experience. When you’re ready for brekkie, simply call your butler who’ll pick you up in a click of your fingers and whisk you off to the Dining on the Hill – a beautiful spot where you can nibble on fresh fruit or gorge on pancakes and omelettes (I know which category I fell into), while soaking up the sea views. This is where you’ll also enjoy relaxed lunches and dinners. But for a magical evening meal, head to the unparalleled Dining on the Rocks. Perched on the tip of the headland, it offers 270-degree ocean views, and boasts nine levels, including roof-top seating and secluded alcoves. An unforgettable experience with truly innovative food (we enjoyed a dessert of banana in edible cellophane, peanut butter, blue cheese and walnut), it’s simply a must-do.
WHAT’S SPECIAL? Well, if the aforementioned wasn’t enough to make you book a ticket to Thailand right this second, there’s one major thing that can’t go unmentioned: the main pool. A gigantic slice of infinity-edged heaven, it sees the sunrise and sunset, and is served by ultra-friendly staff all day long. The down-to-earth feel of this characterful yet tranquil destination, and its undivided attention to detail and sustainability (even the pens are made of reclaimed bark, not plastic) makes this high-grade get-away a cut above the island’s other luxury locations.
DETAILS: 9/10 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surathani 84320, Thailand (00 66 (0) 77 245678/ 020 8780 3519/ www.sixsenses.com)
PRICES: Start from from £356 per room/night (18,290 Thai Baht) staying in a Hideaway Villa on a room-only basis, inclusive of service charge & tax.
BOOK: Cleveland Collection (www.clevelandcollection.co.uk, 0845 450 5732) offers 7 nights at the Six Senses Hideaway Samui in Thailand from £1,569 per person. Price is based on two people sharing a Hideaway Villa on a room-only basis. Flights depart from London Heathrow on EVA Air and transfers are included.