Glamorous getaway offers sophistication and seclusion in equal parts
You know you’re moving up in the world when you find yourself on the road that leads to the Conrad Koh Samui. And that statement can be taken quite literally, as the reception lobby of the resort is perched high atop a sloping oceanfront hillside and getting there involves driving up some pretty steep inclines. But once you arrive, the panoramic hilltop vista that presents itself—looking out over an endless expanse of clear, blue-green waters—is jaw-dropping. It’s also just a small taste of the pleasures that lie in store at this glamorous getaway.
In the hotel world, Conrad is a name synonymous with luxury, elegance, and style, so it’s no surprise that even at this beachfront locale an air of sophistication prevails, even if sandals and bare feet have replaced brogues and pumps. And although the resort boasts 81 free-standing villas, all with private balconies, swimming pools, and commanding ocean views, it stills feels immensely private and secluded.
The property is situated on the Southwestern tip of the island, which makes for amazing sunset views, as the villas are all built on the ocean-facing slope of this dramatic hillside. This vertical positioning also means more steeply inclined paved paths for guests to travel up and down when going to or from the beach, restaurant, or spa, but thankfully the resort’s 24-hour on-call electric golf cart service can do all the work for you.
The guest accommodations here consist mainly of One Bedroom Pool Villas (65 in all), but there are also 14 Oceanview Two-Bedroom Pool Villas, and one Oceanview Three-Bedroom Pool Villa for larger groups. However, it’s a real treat if you can snag the one-and-only Conrad Royal Oceanview Pool Villa, which is slightly larger than the other one-bedroom units, and comes with many unique features. Like all the units it features drop-dead gorgeous contemporary Thai-inspired décor, original artwork, a bathroom with a rainshower and an oversized circular bathtub, and state-of-the-art technology (including satellite television, Apple-based TV, iPod dock, and high-speed internet access). However, it also delivers a whopping 434 sq.m of indoor and outdoor space (over two levels), a full kitchenette, a dining table that can seat six, and 24-hour butler service.
Another unique feature is the extra-long 22.5 meter infinity edge pool that extends from one end of the villa to the other, with three access points—living room, bedroom, and bathroom—and a groovy sunken lounge area with cushioned bench seats and a table. There’s also a super sexy king-sized circular mattress in the bedroom, something found only in the master bedrooms of the larger units. In short, it’s a majestic suite, suitable for a royal rendezvous.
And although it’s tempting to never leave a suite as beautiful as this, a trip down to the beach is a must. Here guests can take advantage of the main swimming pool, numerous sala-style curtained day beds, beachfront hammocks, sun loungers, and two small wooden floating rafts that are docked in the shallow beach waters. From the main pool it’s also easy access to the fitness center, and two of the resort’s restaurants—the Azure Bar & Grill, and The Cellar, an eight seat private dining area offering unique culinary experiences and interactive wine sessions.
Higher up the slope sits the award-winning Conrad Spa, which features 10 spa treatment suites, a private spa plunge pool, and more. There’s even a compact sauna room with a view, as one wall is a full-length window looking out over the Gulf of Thailand.
Finally, the resort’s all day dining venue is the 86-seat Zest, which offers casual indoor and outdoor dining options. This is also where the fabulous breakfasts are served, at which guests can pick and choose from the delicious buffet items and/or order one of the four tempting eggs Benedict variations available on the morning menu. And yes, once again the outdoor deck offers a stunning panoramic view. In fact, the only dining spot here that might have a better view is Jahn.
Conrad Koh Samui
49/8-9 Moo 4, Hillcrest Rd, Taling-Ngam
Tel: 07 791 5888 | conradhotels3.hilton.com
A Moonlit DINING Journey
When you have dinner at Jahn, the Conrad Koh Samui’s exclusive 28-seat candle-lit dining room, you’ll learn a lot about Thai culture—including the fact that jahn means “moon” in Thai. However, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that this beautifully decorated, high-ceilinged restaurant sits an incredible 130 meters above sea level, and the wraparound windows offer unforgettable bird’s-eye views of the setting sun and the moonlit waters (depending on when you begin your meal).
The menu at Jahn offers a tantalizing selection of Thai and Thai–influenced starters, mains, and desserts, but for those who love sumptuous surprises, the restaurant’s two special set menus are a recommended indulgence. Both sets can be ordered with or without wine pairings, and diners can even request vegetarian versions.
The first set menu, entitled Tasting of Jahn (B3,299/B5,499 with wine pairing), is a 7-course feast that begins with a trio of beautifully presented bite-sized Thai hors d’oeuvres. This is followed by a delicate tower of green papaya salad served alongside deep fried chicken morsels wrapped in pandanus leaves. And although several of these items are familiar to those who know about Thai cuisine, here they are given an extra level of flair—both in presentation and taste. However, when the Tom Yum Goong (spicy soup with shrimp) arrives the “theatre” begins, as a bright red broth is prepared and steeped at the table in a clear glass teapot before being poured gracefully over the tiger prawns. After a palate cleansing rosella sorbet the Massaman of Wagyu beef arrives, with the juicy medallion of meat being given an extra searing at the table by an old-fashioned metal iron. Finally, after a pre-dessert of Thai melon ice cream and midori, the sweet potato tart, with apple compote, passion fruit coulis, and guava sorbet arrives to cap an amazing culinary voyage.
If you’re dining as a pair, then one person should opt for the equally exquisite Journey of Jahn set menu (B2,999/B5,199 with wine pairing), which lasts the same number of courses but is entirely different from start to finish. Highlights include: the artfully presented Toong Thong (chicken in a pastry wrap that looks like a tiny golden bag); the Plaa Pla Bai Bua (seared red tuna, lotus seed, and avocado purée, dramatically served on a spectacular green lotus leaf); and Kai Oob Fang (sous-vide chicken breast with herbs, served with a shot of smoky single malt whisky).
After sampling from both these culinary journeys, it’s clear that Executive Chef Amporn Choeng-Ngam, is a significant talent. He brings an inspirational, innovative approach to the dining experience at Jahn, and diners are not likely to forget his mouth-watering creations. It’s also worth noting that the wine pairings—which are also unique to each set menu, course for course—were excellent. Encompassing labels from Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Germany, France, and even Thailand, the wines are a fantastic international voyage unto themselves.
Jahn is open daily from 6pm till 11pm