By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
The Nation Weekend
PLANNING A getaway to escape the boisterous Songkran celebrations? Perhaps sprawling in a spacious pool villa at the brand-new Avani+Samui Resort will suit your needs.
A 45-minute drive from Samui International Airport, this upscale property in a residential neighbourhood in Taling Ngam district is in a lush grove of coconut trees.
It has 58 rooms and pool villas in a classy contemporary design that takes its inspirations from nature.
The relaxing lobby is a combination of open lounge and workspace complete with wooden furniture, bookshelves, a white swing and walls painted with flowers.
Just like being at home, guests needn’t worry about arrive early or late to check in. There’s no fixed time for either and the 24-hour Pantry serves a variety of snacks and beverages.
Deploying the AvaniFit concept, the elegant resort looks simple and fits any lifestyle. You can work out and take yoga classes at the 24-hour fitness centre. Families can soak in the two saltwater infinity pools during the day.
On the beach, adventurers can check out the a weekly programme of complimentary activities, like kayaking, stand-up paddling and mountain cycling, while AvaniSpa offers a choice of holistic and relaxing treatments to restore body and soul.
Focusing on extra comfort for contemporary living, the accommodation comes in four types – Avani Deluxe Room, Avani Pool Villa, Avani Beachfront Pool Villa and Avani Two-Bedroom Beachfront Villa – ranging in floor area from 42 to 227 square metres.
One building has 25 deluxe rooms with private balconies overlooking a tropical garden, while the luxury Two-Bedroom Beachfront Pool Villa is popular with families.
Spread over 227sqm, it features a comfortable living room and dining area with a pantry corner equipped with a microwave, a wash sink, tableware, Nespresso machine and tea-making facilities.
With direct access to the beach, the outdoor swimming pool is linked to a lounge deck and pavilion, making it a perfect place to admire the beautiful sunsets over Phang Ka Bay.
I spent two nights in the 68sqm Pool Villa filled with eco-friendly modern decor. My room was cosy and spacious with a high ceiling and marble-like white floor, while the living space held a comfy sofa, a 42-inch LCD TV with satellite channels and a portable Bluetooth speaker.
The soft king-size bed had a headboard with several USB hubs, plugs and lights for reading. There was also a mini-bar corner with a small fridge, hi-tech Nespresso machine and tea-making facilities.
Behind the bedroom was a huge walk-in closet with a long wooden bench, bathrobes, slippers, laundry set and electronic in-room safe, plus a vanity area.
Each area had individually controlled air conditioning and the signal of complimentary Wi-Fi was strong enough that I could roam around the villa.
The bathroom was see-through, with ceiling-to-floor windows overlooking the private outdoor pool and deck. There was a separate rain shower and toilet and a counter of two wash basins with all kinds of amenities.
Each morning I woke up early to a view of the pool just a few steps from my bed and soon enough I was jumping into the clear saltwater.
A short walk from my villa, down by the beach, the all-day-dining restaurant Essence serves an international breakfast, Thai specialities and healthy farm-to-table meals using fresh local ingredients.
Alongside, the chic Beverage Pool Truck also has a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails inspired by Samui.
My travel companion and I registered for an island excursion and boarded a classic long-tail boat for a 20-minute ride to Koh Tan, a popular spot for snorkelling among colourful coral reefs and sea creatures.
We continued on to Koh Madsum for a picnic on the beach, which was crowded with Chinese and Western vacationers.
Back on the main island, we got refreshed and joined a waste bin-painting class in the late afternoon. Artist Donna has lived on Samui for a decade and turned her house into an art school where tourists can learn to save the world through art.
The painted bins are donated for use in public areas all around the island.
IF YOU GO
High point: The rooms are cosy, comfortable and clean. Guests can check in and out anytime.
Low point: Local people use the beach as their boat dock. And sometimes there’s no privacy.
Pay for it: Until October 31, the rates begin at Bt3,534 for a Deluxe Room, Bt6,999 for a Pool Villa, Bt11,157 for a Beachfront Pool Villa and Bt17,394 for a Two-Bedroom Beachfront Villa.
Find it: 53/5 Taling Ngam district, Koh Samui
Call it: (077) 485 299
Browse it: www.AvaniHotels.com/Samui