My husband and I have just returned from a lovely 2 week holiday in Thailand where we stayed at the Akaryn resort, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui. Would gladly be back there now!
The resort itself is lovely and has a very private, quiet and remote feeling although it is just 10 mins from busy Chaweng. We went to the ‘strip’ in Chaweng once and that was enough for us as it felt so tacky and Magaluf like. However is this is your sort of thing, the hotel offers shuttles there on a daily basis.
We had a fabulous room at the hotel – a pool villa suite that was very well appointed and spacious. Best bit was without doubt having a private pool 2 steps from your bed and it proved hard to leave for the first 7 days of our holiday.
The staff were great – with particular mention to Nicola who is a great asset to the team and will go far in his future endeavours, Mas the chef, Oh and Am on reception, our housekeeper Khun, and Tom in the restaurants who always remembered our lemons at breakfast!
The hotel spa is nice but pretty expensive. Unfortunately they have competition in the local massage place which is the cheaper alternative just 5 minutes walk from the hotel so although it is a top end resort, perhaps management want to consider lowering the prices to keep people on site.
The food served at both restaurants was of a very high quality and it is a shame that we did not get the chance to experience the Ochos restaurant which is due to open next month. There are plenty of options at the two restaurants including traditional Thai dishes as well as lighter Western options for lunch.
When we finally did venture out of the hotel to eat we found some great places and can recommend the following:
• Sala Samui - served great modern stylish Thai food without the price tag.
• Zazen – great Thai cuisine in plush surroundings.
• Six senses - for something really special – think Fat Duck esque.
• Relax – just out of the hotel and to the right. A casual lunch option once you have exhausted the hotel menu.
• Le Jaroen at the scent hotel – A beautiful beach front setting but this was where we had our only disappointing meal in 2 weeks. The menu is meant to be a mix of French/Siamese. There was nothing particularly wrong with it but it didn’t really work, was overpriced and didn’t measure up to the other great food we had.
Other things we enjoyed whilst in Samui:
• The organized shuttle to Fisherman village on Friday night was definitely worth it and was good fun to walk around.
• Nearby Choeng Mon and Bophut have plenty of good shops and restaurants and have a better vibe than tacky Chaweng.
• Hiring a car is a good idea and it’s worth having a bit of an explore around the island, if you can drag yourself away from the resort. Beware however of your fellow road users who mainly consist of dangerous drivers. There are plenty of inexperienced tourists on motorcycles and aggressive local taxi drivers make for hairy road conditions. Even my husband who is an experienced driver and motorcycle rider was a little fearful.
• Happy hour at the hotel bar from 6 – 7 every night was a pleasant way to watch the sun go down.
• Weather was hot hot hot.
• Managers cocktails on a Thursday night was much appreciated.
• Theme dinners at the resort were good with Wok St night being a particular favourite.
• Yoga and pilates sessions were good and free.
As for previous negative comments we can report back that the beach whilst not huge, is clean and stone free. Staff often move stones if any appear. Comments were made when the property was new and management have clearly taken this on board. Similarly, the landscaping is good and growing quickly. There is an army of gardeners there constantly and the existing jungle will be even more resplendent in no time, ensuring maximum feelings of being somewhere tropical as well as providing privacy as it shields your room.
Some villas however are on the pathway between the restaurants, pools and reception so it is inevitable that some are more discrete than others.
Lastly, it is worth noting that if you are flying in and out with Bangkok Air and you want to change flights and stay an extra night or two, as we did, it’s very simple to do so and didn’t cost us a penny.
We had a great time at Akaryn in Koh Samui and are looking forward to a return visit sometime soon.
- Also Known As:
- Akaryn Resort & Spa Ko Samui/Bophut
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