Just got back from Shasa and absolutely loved it! We had a two-bedroom sea view suite and it was ENORMOUS. We originally booked a regular two-bedroom suite but the suite we were allocated was on the deluxe floor. This was an added bonus as the apartment provided stunning panoramic views of the sea from every single room.
The suite itself is incredibly well-equipped and could easily accommodate an entire family (there were only three of us). It has a fully-functional kitchen with all utensils and appliances you could wish for and Shasa provides free bottles of water, refilled daily. The coffee and tea in the room are free as well (and of good quality), which is another added bonus.
The living room is huge - wonderfully decorated with a comfortable sofa and a tv with international channels. The balcony is also large and is perfect for lounging about, with a ceiling fan, table and chairs and even a massage bed! The master bedroom is great, particularly the ensuite bathroom that has a gorgeous marble bathtub, two sinks, toilet, and a large walk-in shower. The second bedroom is also large, with two single beds and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower as well. House-cleaning was carried out on a daily basis and was thorough, efficient, and unobtrusive.
The hotel grounds are beautifully kept - three large swimming pools ensure that you can always find some peace and quiet for a relaxing swim (if that's what you're looking for!). I especially enjoyed the hydrotherapy pool. There is a gym/spa as well, but none of us used it this time round. We also enjoyed playing with the cute and friendly black and white cat that hangs around - other guests seemed to be equally charmed by it!
The restaurant is trendy and, though more expensive than surrounding local places (obviously), not exorbitantly over-priced. The food is tasty and elegantly presented and the menu is extensive. We had the buffet breakfast included as part of our holiday package so we enjoyed the huge variety of food that they served at breakfast. The breakfast is one of the best I've seen in any hotel - the huge variety of choice fortunately doesn't detract from the quality of each dish. Coffee is served at your table for free by the friendly and professional waiters who are genuine and helpful and speak good English. The cocktails were great and they serve two for the price of one between 4pm-6pm. Shasa also held a cocktail reception where we got free drinks and snacks by the pool. This was very generous of them! The manager is a lovely guy and does his job very well.
Some people may complain about the location of the hotel, saying it is too remote. For us, it was perfect. Samui is a small island (you can drive around it in 90 minutes), so actually nowhere is impossibly "remote" if you have a car. In my opinion, the south of the island is the most beautiful. It is unspoilt and still has that element of wildnerness to it, which is totally lost in places like Chaweng and increasingly in Maenam and Bophut. There are restaurants and shops everywhere so food is never a problem! Lamai is a short drive away, and there is plenty to see and do if you head in the other direction as well. Fresh seafood around the fishing village, Thong Krut, was exceptional and the locals are very friendly! Chaweng is about a 30min drive - if you are into that sort of thing, you probably would prefer a less "isolated" location to cut out the commute. If you stay at Shasa, rent a car and explore the beautiful surroundings and true Thai lifestyle and culture.
Shasa is located right on top of a lagoon which seems to be mainly comprised of bits of coral. Tread carefully and wear protective slippers to avoid cuts and scrapes! Once you get past the stony bit, the lagoon is deep enough to swim in and the bottom is sandy. I imagine that this lagoon isn't particularly child-friendly, but there is a sandy, shallow, and calm beach just around the corner as well (between Kamalaya and Shasa). The beach is dotted with huge granite boulders and rocks which makes it a very dramatic landscape as well!
To get to the beautiful sandy beach, just wander down to the lagoon, turn right and keep walking through the big rocks until you see the long strip of sand. It's only a 5 minute stroll through beautiful surroundings and that gives you that extra bit of privacy as well. The best place to swim is from the sand strip that appears at low tide opposite the hut that houses the kayaks from Mudra Samui (the estate between Kamalaya and Shasa). You can wade to a coral reef right offshore and snorkel to see loads of colourful fish!
Our holiday had little blips along the way, naturally. Our hire car got stuck on the hotel drive as the slope to the parking space was very steep. More a fault of the car design above anything else but perhaps the parking attendant should avoid directing low-lying cars to that particular spot in the future! Also, the day before we left, reception approached us to tell us that a lamp in the master bedroom had been damaged. We were out the whole day, so not sure when or what happened, but they left it at that without further hassle. Make sure that you report any room faults that you notice to reception asap or they might think you damaged it yourself! We also noticed that on certain mornings there were quite a few flies in the dining area - not sure what can be done about this as it is outdoors, but we didn't have the same problem on higher grounds such as the pool or our balcony or at different times of the day. Just a few small things that didn't drastically disrupt an absolutely wonderful holiday!
Our other favourite beaches were Taling Ngam and Bangkao, just before you get to the strip of restaurants. Both beaches were fantastic - crystal clear water, no rubbish, and very few people. We hired a longtail boat to take us to Koh Taen and Koh Matsum; both were beautiful, idyllic islands (we enjoyed snorkeling off of Koh Taen), but we were disappointed with the amount of rubbish lying around Koh Matsum especially. Actually, we found more peace and quiet on some of Samui's beaches as the little islands were quite crowded with visitors from different tour groups!
Shasa provides incredible value for money and it is not pretentious at all in its approach and hospitality. Before this, I thought Samui might have gone down the drain with all the relentless catering to tourists, but I am glad to have been proved wrong. If you want a holiday off the beaten track - close to nature and wildlife, sun, sea and good food - yet with the perks of pure luxury (at a reasonable price!) set within easy reach of traditional local culture, go to Shasa in Koh Samui!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Romantic chic destination with natural surrounding. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shasa Resort And Residences, Koh Samui
- Shasa Resort & Residences, Koh Samui Hotel Koh Samui
- Shasa Hotel Koh Samui