The Silavadee has about 50 rooms/villas I think, which made it the perfect size for a relaxing honeymoon retreat, not so small it lacks facilities, but not so big it feels souless. We headed down to Bayan Tree one night for comparison and were very glad we hadn't stayed there - way too big, like a tropical centre parcs with electric buggys zipping everyone around!
Our panoramic ocean Villa was #11, which I think perhaps is the one in the brochure pictures, certainly everything was as described and we loved it. HUGE villa, with impressive super king four poster complete with mosquito net curtains, bathroom with shower for 2 and supersize circular bath. Pool bigger than expected, but on the downside the 'jacuzzi' feature on it is very simplistic (one 'bed' with 6 simple, non-adjustable nozzles) and quite noisy, we never used it, or the outdoor shower. The villa is entirely glass on 3 sides, so from the bed you have panoramic views, and it was all setup for a honeymoon arrival with petals on the bed, a pre-run bath with more petals, little towel elephants to welcome us and a bottle of bubbly chilled and laid out. It all feels very special.
Breakfast was excellent, best I've ever had, with dimsum, lots of fruits and excellent ham and salmon. Although if you hanker for bacon and eggs of a morning, then you will need to order from the al la carte menu (included in B&B rate).
Beach is great - bit of a walk down but very much as advertised, quiet, white sand, palm trees, relaxing surf. The sea bed is made up of (smooth-ish) rocks though so at anything except high tide you will need beach shoes if you want to swim or paddle but to lounge around at it was great, we went down almost every day - staff even wander around with free fruit from time to time to save you from having to move.
Location is fine - you can walk to the banyan/renaissance and beach republic if you want a change of scenery. Getting into town means a cab to lamai or chaweng - the hotel runs free shuttles, but in our experience you'll only get them one way, as they aren't very frequent.
Bar/Restaurant - great views and the best cocktails we had while on koh samui, neither beach republic nor banyan tree came close. Food good, rather than awesome - happy to eat there, but not so good I would visit it if I were staying in a another resort for instance. Service is friendly and competent.
Expeditions: We went to both lamai and chaweng for an evening - chaweng has the better beach side scene, lamai is quieter. Chaweng's Ark bar was the best for music, drinks and chilling out for the night - quick friendly service, plenty of entertainment and food better than you might expect. Lamai's Swing bar has _the_ best fire show ever seen, human catherine wheels - go see! I wouldn't recommend the 'town' side of either resort - same as any greek/spanish tourist party town, fine but not remotely must-see ;). Our only daytime exploration was to the Ang Thong national park, which was nice, really interesting scenery (undermined islands, look like they might tip over at any time) and good snorkelling.
Downsides? There were some - keeping it from an truthful 'excellent' rating (given the standards expected at this price point), but after a few hours onsite we found we were so chilled out we didn't care so much anymore, that said you might want to know about the following:
Construction on one side of the resort is relatively intrusive for a 'calming retreat' (although kudos to Kuoni our travel agent, who gave us nearly £200 of hotel credit to spend as an apology for the works which took the sting off it). On our week the site was regularly running a crane with a noisy chain maybe 8am->6pm but oddly we adjusted and it really didn't seem to big a deal after the first day. It looks like it has at least a couple more months to run (Jul 2012)
English wasn't massively strong for some staff - we didn't feel inclined to ask for advice on local trips etc as a lot of time I wasn't sure subtle points were really translating, same sometimes with ordering or asking about variations/flavours from the menu (ice cream flavours for instance).
Storage - if you pack a lot, and want to actually unpack, this may not be the resort for you :P We don't pack heavily, but still were stumped with where to put even half our things. In the end we dumped the coffee making onto the desk in the lobby and used the shelf it had been on for t-shirts etc, and left the undies in the cases!
More minor points include the beach closes too early imo (6pm), steep hill won't suit everyone (although it's less bad than some in the area) and our villa deck and some of the walkways were a very worn, time for more teak oil! Also note the main pool isn't large, not one for serious swimmers.
Despite these points we were very happy with the Silavadee. It is head and shoulders above anywhere else we have stayed in the past and exactly what we wanted. I would recommend it to anyone, especially for a special trip for a couple - we wanted calming, private and relaxing and that's exactly what we got. Go see for yourself :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Silavadee Pool Spa Resort is destined to be the most exclusive luxury hideaway resort on Koh Samui. Our name Silavadee means “beautiful rock” in Thai, as it is located on the secret Laem Nan Beach, perched atop beautiful granite boulders, between Chaweng and Lamai Beach. Comprising 19 pool villas and 36 deluxe rooms, Silavadee Pool Spa Resort has its own unique style with a ‘back to nature’ concept. Elevate your senses at 'the Height' restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Silavadee Pool Hotel Lamai Beach
- Silavadee Pool Resort
- Silavadee Pool Spa Resort Ko Samui/Lamai Beach