There are few sunsets that could rival the ones I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing at Conrad Koh Samui. Just before it fades into the night, the sun is at its zenith; its rays burning orange all throughout the horizon. The moment seems eternal, yet I blink—and it feels like it could disappear in an instant. Yet from just about anywhere on this expansive hillside resort off the tip of this Thai island—for just those few minutes—this scenery, I realise, is all mine.
And whilst the stupendous views of the sunset are understandably hard to beat, the resort is equally keen to demonstrate its adoration for the island’s natural beauties and offerings. To that end, all 81 of its private pool villas open up to uninterrupted captures of the azure blue waters—the gentle sounds of waves crashing on the shoreline resounding all through the resort. Peaceful and lilting, a joy I had happily awakened to on my first morning there, having only arrived late in the night on the previous day.
Mornings here are liberating, with more than a few ways to spend them. Early risers might wish to schedule in their fitness for the day, perhaps with some of the seaside yoga or muay thai classes, which the resort team is happily prepared to host every morning. Others, like me, may opt for the privacy afforded to them by way of the resort’s private pools—a luxury I let myself indulge in on some mornings, when I decided that a couple gentle strokes and a languid dip would make for a solid start to the day. Should rest and relaxation be on your morning agenda, take a buggy down (it’s the fastest way to get around the resort) to the beachfront, kick off your sandals and sink into one of the many hammocks on the seaside promenade with a read in hand. On a particular morning, a decadent floating breakfast was the first thing waiting for me. Think local pastries, rolls of smoked salmon and lettuce, a decadent curry chicken and freshly cut fruits—all for you to feast like a king in your own little infinity pool.
Safe to say, the treats you get at your floating breakfast is only a sliver of what you can actually expect at meal times at the Conrad. Whilst international breakfast buffets can be enjoyed at their all-day restaurant Zest, don’t forget to opt for an authentic Thai lunch or dinner there—the Pad Thai a must-try for the spice-inclined. The real treat, however, involves hopping over to all the other offerings within the resort’s compounds: Azure Bar & Grill for some indulgent Mediterranean fare, KO Lounge for that sweet, afternoon cocktail and Jahn for a romantic date night over prime steak cuts and lavish seafood dishes that sing of the sea. The latter, perched near the top of the resort, is also where I discover to be the best spot to marvel after the glorious sunset on the Gulf of Thailand—and where I snapped that necessary capture for the ‘Gram.
Yet what truly made meal times fulfilling, was perhaps the knowledge of exactly where all my food was coming from. On an experiential tour around the resort, Conrad’s convivial team made sure to drive us up to Botanikka and Iris Farm, the former an eco-café that leads down to its mini hydroponics farm and a humble mushroom cellar, whilst the latter as a base for a cornucopia of vegetables and other farm animals such as broods of chickens, a colony of rabbits and herds of goats (including a kid I grew particularly fond of). It was here I realised that what we were looking at were all the working functions to the ingredients that would later go into our meals for the day. The epitome of a sustainable farm-to-table concept, as one might say. But if you’ve chosen to pit-stop at Botanikka, kill two birds with one stone and try out either the coffee roasting or kombucha making workshops. Both make for a pleasantly educational stopover with sumptuous results to beat.
There are, of course, plenty of other ways to spend an afternoon in Conrad Koh Samui. The resort offers boat rides out for a snorkel dive, a standard curation of water sports and the option to visit a neighbouring island or two. For those who’ve come to unwind, the in-house spa team is clearly experienced and well-seasoned to varying individual needs. After indicating I had an old right knee injury, my therapist took careful care to give it an additional towel bolster, treading with utmost caution when she finally got to my right leg. A simple deed I appreciated, and graciously noted.
Yet for those who share my preference of lounging away, the one-bedroom pool villa is one you could spend hours in—with the luxury of being on holiday time. The eclectic array of local tidbits and cold brew bottles of kombucha also made for wonderful late night snacks—a necessary reach during my late night read. Some days I realised I could do with a second dip in the pool, a little lazy roll on the cushy king-sized bed and basking in some sun on the comfy lounge chairs. But perhaps my personal favourite spot just might have been the spa-like oversized bathtub with its own ocean-facing view—in which I took my time to lather myself in Conrad Koh Samui’s inviting Byredo amenities for most evenings there.
Needless to say that by the time departure was afoot, my recollection of urban life before was already akin to a hazy dream. For what Conrad Koh Samui best offered was an immediate respite, with a knowledgeable team and idyllic landscape so wonderfully primed to ensure you were always made to live in the present. In my case, it was in the incalculable minutes I gleaned every evening—when the golden globe began its descent, the water beneath it acknowledging its downward path and its surface revealing a reflection of its magnificent glory.
Find out more or book a stay at Conrad Koh Samui here.