About a decade ago, Koh Samui lived up to its mundane existence, its meaning “safe haven” for the Chinese word Saboey. Places like Centara Beach Resort (then Central Beach Resort), and some other along Chaweng that once appeared oases of peace and tranquility and hosts were friends;
now commercialized with the new breed of Gen Y, who may serve you in a charmless manner, in a haste (bear with them if they forget to serve you with a welcome drink while you walk in the lobby!) and the entire Chaweng stretch stink with smell of gutter.
I got lucky to have found a true hideaway in a paradise like place, which brought back the old charm of Samui in the realm of Villa Beige – a heavenly retreat that exactitude Samui, as it should be.
I had returned after a gap of 3 years and see the ongoing change on this third largest Island (247 km²) in Thailand, located about 700 km southeast of Bangkok. It has taken some 20 years of transformation with oversupply of tourism infrastructure including hotels, resorts, holiday apartments ranging from 5 star to guest house abode, theme parks, restaurants, shopping districts, spas and activities.
In the lush hilly, tropical forested region of Baan Thaling Ngam – Samui’s most treasured location, Villa Beige rises up hill from palm fringed private beach into the richness of living in a contemporary residence abound Mother nature with no other man made structure, as far as the eyes can scan, which would otherwise infringe the scenic view of a part of Anthong National Park. I feel like being at home- comfort at this modern beachfront estate with a philosophy of a holiday in paradise. My package at the main Villa comes with the master bed room, en-suite sea-view bath room, a working office room (fully equipped with Wi-Fi, computer-printer), graciously designed living area with dining, coffee bar and outdoor infinity pool.
A personal butler cum chef would gracefully attend to all your need to ensure seamless hospitality, expressed in the warmth of a genuine smile.
Celebrating this picture-perfect view from the spacious veranda of my room, I see on my left two villas, upfront a small Spa area nicely camouflaged within the trees and to my left is the villa with a sunset lounge on the rooftop. A staircase leads to a long sublime beach, exclusively for use by the Villa Beige guests.
After a healthy breakfast, a palatable menu during lunch and dinner comprises mainly the best of Thai cuisines, favorites from the recipes of Mediterranean and a few unique treats like the fried ice cream – all enthusiastically prepared and served by the creative butler cum chef. They will spoil you to the degree of addiction: yummy dishes like Coconut cream Chicken soup, tom yam khung, glass noodle salad, vegetable spring rolls, Thai style fried or steamed fish in Thai herbs, Thai red curry with prawn, chicken satay, Pineapple fried rice, Phad Thai (Thai style noodle) with shrimps, deep fried chicken wings, banana fritters and homemade ice-creams.
In addition to this, the chef would cater for kid’s meals and special need for family stay.
Although the retreat is a perfect sanctuary for the two souls starting a new life, it’s a place for journeymen who would like to see Koh Samui as it was a couple of decade ago, a family man celebrating anniversary of the beloved one and even a gourmand with a mission to taste the best in epicurean delight on the island.
Your butler could also organize tour of the Island. Samui offers jungle trails leading to thundering waterfalls abound steep rain forest to vast coconut ruts brimming with natural beauty in the many forms of tropical flower and fauna, wildlife, variety of bird species, butterfly and thousands of vertebrate.
Diving or snorkeling trips will take you to places to explore diverse underwater marine life. Samui archipelago is surrounded by over 80 islands, mostly uninhabited.
More popular among visitors including Pha Ngan, Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Tao and the Ang Thong National Marine Park (www.highseatour.com Tel: 077-421 285), which is regarded a kayaking and snorkeling paradise.
Content/ All Photos: Saifuddin Ismailji / e-Travelers Club travel update