By: Katie Peace
I’ve always wanted to visit Koh Samui, Thailand’s third biggest island, but the desire has been escalating recently, as more and more of my friends come back raving about the place. Luckily for my family, we recently got the chance to see Samui in style, staying at the luxury Sangsuri Villas in the island’s northeastern corner.
Sangsuri boasts three enormous beachfront villas and is just ten minutes’ drive from the airport and about the same distance from Chaweng, Koh Samui’s main nightspot and shopping town. Our group, consisting of two families with toddlers, stayed in the smallest of them, Villa 3.
At first glance, we realised quickly that “smallest” is a relative term – we were in for a treat. Villa 3 can accommodate 10 people across five double ensuite bedrooms; each is separate, and all but one has a private terrace with stunning views over the sea. The villa itself is set on three levels with three bedrooms on the first level; the master suite, dining room, kitchen, lounge, AV room, pool and pool terrace on the second level; and then the fifth bedroom next to the spa bath and sunbathing terraces leading down to the beach.
All the bedrooms are vast and beautifully decorated with marble and wooden Thai touches. The master suite boasts a huge walk-in shower as well as an outdoor spa bath complete with jets and coloured lights.
The accommodation in Villas 1 and 2 is similar to Villa 3, only bigger – each has an additional double bedroom, and Villa 1 also offers a bunkroom for another four children; it’s decked out beautifully. It’s worth noting that there can be some road noise if you’re staying on the upper levels of any of the villas, and this might bother lighter sleepers.
All the villas offer an open-plan, spread-out vibe that’s perfect for being away with friends and family – you don’t feel like you’re constantly in one another’s company.
Little need to leave
There are very few amenities you could ask for that Sangsuri doesn’t already offer. A fresh breakfast is served each morning, including fresh fruit, croissants, toast, yoghurt, fruit juices and tea and coffee – even eggs and bacon.
We’d had every intention of going out for dinner a few times during our stay, but the food prepared by the chef was so amazing that we found ourselves looking for excuses to stay in and eat her food. All you need to do is pick your meals from the Thai or International menus, and the villa staff will shop for and prepare them for whatever time you choose.
We ate like kings during our stay, and although we did go out for a couple of meals (we felt we ought to be a little adventurous), we preferred the food in the villa by a country mile! The staff were happy to help us prepare toddler-friendly meals for the two little ones in our group, and to provide them with plastic tableware and high chairs. The staff in general were always very friendly and available any time to get tea, coffee, juices, mineral water and more.
For entertainment, there are TVs in every room, plus a dedicated AV room in each villa (Villa 1 even offers an outdoor screening area) with a projector and a DVD player. There’s also a sound system that can stream music all over the complex if you’re not trying to avoid waking two toddlers and want to have an evening pool party!
The spa bath on level three is big enough to hold all the guests. At the beach there are two sea kayaks which you can borrow as and when you like. The sun loungers are plentiful on both levels two and three, and there were towels to use wherever you happened to be. A massage sala next to the spa bath is used for massages and mani-pedis – the villa manager helped to organise the reasonably priced treatments for us. Having a massage outside while listening to the sea lapping the shore is not to be missed.
Finally, there is a well-equipped gym, shared by the three villas; and believe me, if you eat as well as we did, you’ll need to use it!
Must-try villa menu dishes
* Beef massaman curry
* Spring rolls
* Pad Thai served in little edible baskets
* Moreish and amazing red duck curry
* Thai omelettes for breakfast
* Everything else!
Out and about
There’s plenty of nightlife in Chaweng, about ten minutes away; or Bophut Fisherman’s Village that offers a night market, restaurants and to-die-for chocolate-and-banana crepes! Closer to the Villas – just five minutes up the road – is Rock Pool bar and restaurant, which overlooks the sea and offers live music and a great atmosphere.
The beach and the sea were beautifully clean and clear, although you need to wade quite far out to get past the rocks, depending on the tides. We found it great for paddling with little ones and looking for crabs in the little rock-pools. The sand does contain small shells and bits of coral, so we’d recommend bringing beach shoes.
With our own beautiful infinity pool and spa bath to cool off in, we ended up spending most of our time at Sangsuri. There was a perfect ledge for the kids to wade around the pool on, as well as a small paddling area; at the same time, the pool is deep enough and long enough for adults to have a proper swim in it.
Our group of five adults and two children stayed four nights and five days, and we really couldn’t fault the villa or its staff. Renting an entire villa costs between US$1,450 and $2,500 (Villa 3) or US$1,650 to $2,700 (Villa 1) per night, depending on the season; there’s a minimum stay of three nights (five in peak season). For this price, you get breakfast, access to all facilities and the full complement of staff to look after you, including any meals the chef prepares (these charged at the cost of groceries, plus 20 percent).
This article was first featured in the November 2015 issue of the magazine.