Just take a quick look at the photos of the five-star Anantara resort Bophut Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand to see why it’s the idyllic spot for a dose of luxury and low-key leisure amidst a lush and green nature.
It sits on the edge of a palm-lined beach and a short walk from Bophut, which was once home to a thriving fishing industry but now caters to holidaymakers.
Samui’s tropical playground is Thailand’s second largest island and renowned for its coconut groves and dense, mountainous rainforest. It’s less touristy and much quieter than the neighboring island of Koh Phangan and for that reason attracts couples, especially honeymooners, wanting to get away from the crowds – and Phangan’s famous full moon parties. .
The resort offers a mix of accommodations, from more affordable garden view rooms to sea view and family suites. We stayed in a deluxe garden view suite with an amazing stone bath and four poster bed. Luckily the room had a mosquito net and air conditioning to keep the heat – and the bugs – at bay.
If you use Booking.com, which we recommend for the best deals and upgrades, a hot or cold buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. You can pay extra for meals at Full Moon Restaurant or the casual Shore Beach Bar. We spent our evenings sipping cocktails on one of the beach club swings. Happiness! If you’re feeling energetic, there are tennis courts, an infinity pool lined with quirky stone monkey statues, and a fitness center. Water sports are available on the beach.
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Hangouts and Day Trips
Think of Bophut as the St. Tropez of Thailand, with its boutiques, cocktail bars and heaps of charm. Eating and drinking is the main pastime – excellent restaurants can be found around every corner. Visit Koh Co Beach in the fishing village of Bophut. We opted for banana pancakes and iced lattes most days. Visit on a Sunday evening for the beach light show – a dazzling fire act.
A 15 minute drive takes you to the Samui Elephant Sanctuary where it was truly amazing to be so close to the gentle giants. A trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park is a popular choice, while 4×4 mountain tours allow you to explore the rainforest with its temples and wildlife.
Or try Muay Thai boxing (£30 for 45 minutes) with fitness expert Anantara. Sure, we ended up sweaty and bruised, but it was great to learn a new skill.
Tranquility and timetables
Anantara Hotels are known for their impressive spas, and the resort town of Bophut did not disappoint. The wellness area is in its own block – and to get there you cross a lovely water lily pond.
There is a huge range of treatments, while multi-day wellness retreats promise to revive body and mind, with personal training followed by herbal steam, hot compress massage, a detox juice and healthy cooking.
We opted for a 60 minute traditional Thai massage (£62) and a 60 minute foot massage (£53). A word of warning before you book your holiday: choose your dates carefully to avoid disappointment with the weather. Rather than four seasons, Koh Samui only has two – lots of sunshine followed by a rainy season. December through February is the island’s dry season, while November is the wettest month, averaging 10 inches of precipitation.
How to book
Room and breakfast at Anantara Bophut from £140 per night on Booking.com, where you can pre-book taxi transfers to and from Samui Airport. BA flights depart from London terminals to Koh Samui (with a stopover in Singapore or Bangkok) all year round, from £431 return.
Check Covid rules and entry regulations before travelling. From now on, visitors must be double pricked with proof of a negative PCR test taken no later than 48 hours before departure.
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