Having lived in Koh Samui for one year in 2013, it was wonderful to return to a place in Thailand that we love so much. We are so familiar with this island that we imagined we knew about every gem, nook and cranny. But after discovering Sandalwood Luxury Villas for the first time, we were mistaken.
Perched on the highest and steepest hill you can find, is where these Thai-inspired villas are perched. Thankfully one of their drivers came to escort us up the mountain in a 4×4 as a taxi driver declared his old car would never make it. We didn’t even know this road existed until we sped up it to one of the highest points and sat down in the outdoor lobby.
It can be argued that all Thai people are friendly, but the reception we received at check-in and every other staff interaction thereafter was an absolute pleasure. Chilled welcome drinks and hand-towels were offered and check-in was swift. And that was before we stood up beside the guest pool to notice the view. Having biked up many mountain tops on the island, I can truly say this was by far the best views I had ever seen on the island. Positioned between Coral Cove Bay and above the Chaweng Noi Viewpoint, the ocean spanned out all around us and I could make out the landmarks of Big Buddha, the edge of the island at Cheong Mon and all of its spectacular crevices and cliffs.
We were given a beach basket with towels to use on every beach visit and for the first time after a 14 hour travel stint from Chang Mai to Surat Thani to Samui, we could finally relax and collapse in our spacious Plumeria villa. Decked with our very own splash pool, sun loungers, spa bath and porch, it was without a doubt one of our most decadent stays.
I was lucky to wake up early one morning to catch the sunrise down over the ocean. On the island below, no one else was awake and I enjoyed the sun’s ascent from our private pool.
1. The View
There are many luxury resorts on the Koh Samui, but none with a view that even comes close. If we didn’t have a full itinerary for our short stay, I would’ve been content to stay in our villa, read on the porch and swim in the pool with one eye over the entire island and ocean.
2. The Service
Coming from our current base in Malaysia, where service leaves much to be desired, it was like a breath of fresh air to be welcomed and taken care of by the staff here. One of the female staff members went out of her way to ride our friend’s scooter down the hill as she was a new rider. The owner, Robert, has a very good idea about what guests desire in a luxury stay and has really chosen the very best for the villas as well as the lovely staff.
3. Private Pool
While there is a large pool right outside our villa, our private pool was that extra cherry and cream on the top. You don’t have to leave your villa to swim, you can sink into the water at anytime with a bathing costume (or not) and enjoy a cool dip in the privacy of your own ‘home’. And this pool was not like a warm bath, but provided a refreshing dip and a killer view to boot.
4. Spa Bath
I am a lover of spacious bathrooms and bathing. Of course it’s nearly always to hot to bath in South East Asia, but its really a time for me to sink into some warm water, read and enjoy the stillness. The corner bath here was ideal for me and to my delight it even came with a neck pillow. The shower was completely separate from the toilet and basin ( which is unsual in Asia) and yet another reasion to love this space.
One thing which can be improved.
Coffee. As bonafide coffee lovers, we tend to be quite discerning when it comes to coffee and veer towards well-made espresso made choices. Whilst the food here was delicious, the coffee needs some serious saving. Not sure if it was filter or from a machine, but the bitterness was too much and we ended up skipping coffee all together and left us wishing we’d brought our french press along.
Sandalwood Luxury Villas was by far one of the best places we’ve stayed at on Koh Samui and given it’s view and position of villas, one of the best in Asia. If you’re not strong on a scooter and are happy not rent a car and just be transported down to the beach, the position on such a steep hill won’t pose a problem for you. Good luck trying to find the will to leave your villa and private pool every morning, this was a real struggle for us and we would happily return to just enjoy the villas and catch small glimpses of the island from above.
For more information, visit Sandalwood Luxury Villas.