The country of Thailand is surrounded by 212 tropical islands, all with gorgeous beaches, spicy Thai cuisine, and resorts catering to every budget. My favorite (so far) is Le Meridien Hotel on Koh Samui, a luxurious 5-star resort hotel on this tiny island off the east coast of Thailand, about an hour flight from Bangkok.
I originally escaped to Koh Samui one year when I desperately needed a break from my teaching job in India. A good friend not only suggested Koh Samui as my destination, but researched the hotels online and recommended Le Meridien. He was definitely spot on in his recommendation! Although there are other luxury hotels on Koh Samui, I was happy to be in this one which is located away from the main city of Chawang (kind of a party scene, at least when I was there), and close to a less touristed little town on the island.
I loved the hotel, the island, the food, and the restful calm.
Though this hotel is part of the Meridien Hotel chain, this particular hotel was designed according to Feng Shui principles, every detail in harmony, the colors chosen to blend in with nature, the wooden entrance path leading you from the chaos without to the calm within. Once inside, you see a large open lobby with an elegant tapas bar, a spa and the front desk all surrounding a shallow blue pool. You are greeted warmly by the excellent staff, who then remember your name whenever you pass by. Amazing hospitality!
My room, a Pool Access Suite, was my dream room come true. I wanted to live there!
From the room, French doors opened onto a small covered deck, overlooking a shared and semi-private pool for a set of 4 rooms, though I was mostly the only one using this large pool. I had my own tropical pool just outside my bedroom! You can swim in the middle of the night, if you want, and I did. What a dream!
Just within the French doors, a King-sized Heavenly bed with luxurious soft white linens. The bathroom, a set of two separate open-air rooms, one with a two-person soaking tub and spacious vanity for two, the other room with a shower and WC.
The grounds of the hotel are landscaped with tropical flowering trees, and lead from the lobby down a flight of stairs to the restaurant, beach and guest pool which is lined with lounge chairs looking out to the beach. Each chair comes with a bright red beach towel, courtesy of the hotel, which creates a delightful color palette, the aqua blue of the pool, the deeper blue of the sea, the sunny sky blue, and these splashes of red.
At the pool, you have access to a small bar which will also serve you pool-side as you read that novel you’ve been saving, or hop in and out of the pool or the sea for a swim. Though you should and must leave the hotel to explore the island, it’s difficult to leave this peaceful environment.
I’ve always claimed there is nothing better on heaven or earth than a cold beer, on a hot day, in a tropical country, on a beautiful beach.
There is a full-menu restaurant on site, above the pool area, also open air and overlooking the pool and out to the sea. You can come here for a gourmet breakfast buffet or a romantic dinner, OR you can leave the hotel and walk to one of the many nearby restaurants in the little adjacent town.
Taxis are available for hire to take you on a tour around the island. I spent a day driving the backroads of Koh Samui, visiting Buddhist temples and having lunch at a secluded beachside cafe.
Every evening, hotel guests at Le Meridien are invited to gather in the lobby around the pool for the “Celebration of the Day,” when you can send up your wishes in lighted Thai lanterns. It is a solemn and lovely way to end the day.
In other words, this is a more than worthy place for your next holiday, or a destination to work into your trip to Thailand. I dream about this place.
With a spa, cooking classes, a truly spectacular honeymoon suite, and the ability to arrange special events (like your wedding reception out on the floating dock with a chef preparing dinner for you and your guests), Le Meridien Koh Samui is quite honestly your ticket to a slice of paradise.