Where to spend Christmas and New Year in Koh Samui, Thailand
Shara heads to Koh Samui island, in hot pursuit of the Belmond Napasai hotel, part of the luxurious hotel chain that is synonymous with quality. She wanted a beautiful beach, total luxury and sheer R&R, and got it in spades…
The tone for my stay is set by the cold eucalyptus-infused towels and homemade coconut ice-cream that was handed to me when I checked in, and I didn’t stop being spoilt until the moment I left.
You’ll want to spend plenty of time in your villa here, so do bring books and loungewear. Villas have pointed roofs and are located up a sloping hillside. Charming and individual thanks to brightly coloured throws and cushions, alongside traditional bamboo accents, the villas are freestanding, so it’s easy to feel as though you are the only guest in this magical place.
Our bedroom and bathroom are equally vast – the former is impressively plastic-free, while the latter is complete with a Thai floor bed overlooking the ocean, which you could also see from the gorgeous stone bathtub. You could request an in-room massage one day – rooted in Thai medicine, treatments use plant extracts for a natural glow.
The whole hotel is so quiet and peaceful, it is impossible not to relax here. Just wandering around the 17-acre resort is a joy, thanks to all the greenery and palm trees. Do wander by the chef’s garden and take in the stunning bougainvillea. Another simple pleasure is sitting by the freshwater infinity pool surveying the scenery. This is made all the more enjoyable by fresh melon sticks served daily to your sun lounger.
If you do want to be busy, there are plenty of options. Indoor activities include darts and pool, while should you wish to get some Vitamin D, the Belmond will organise boat trips and free water activities including paddle boarding and kayaking. There are tennis courts on site, and the hotel can organise an elephant excursion.
For an intense workout, do as I did and try Muay Thai personal training with Lek – it left me breathless after just 25 minutes. However, it did justify the rather large and incredibly delicious breakfast I had at Lai Thai, one of the hotel’s two restaurants – omelette, dim sum, noodle soup, fresh fruit and Danish pastries. Five courses, no regrets.
It is also worth noting that service at the Belmond Napasai is above and beyond. Each sun lounger has a button on the table to call for assistance when required, which charming staff are only too happy to do. The Belmond way of life is easy to get used to, and leaving here was extremely difficult indeed.
For more information about Belmond Napasai hotel, view the website here.