By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Nation Weekend
OVER THE decades, Koh Samui in the South of Thailand has welcomed an increasing number of luxury properties, among them the Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Six Senses and Banyan Tree. The latest addition to this competitive market is Cape Fahn whose attractive location of “a private island on an island” is expected to draw discerning travellers.
Run by Cape & Kantary Hotels, the resort occupies the entire 15-rai of Koh Fahn off Koh Samui, ensuring that all illusive privacy in its 22 one- and two-bedroom pool villas are intimate yet spacious and boast vistas of the Gulf of Thailand.
The new luxury resort Cape Fahn is located on the small private island of Fahn off Koh Samui.
Open for just three months, the property quickly became known to the public after it was chosen as the romantic wedding destination of popular actress Jennie Tienposuwan who shared her romantic pictures online.
It takes about 15 minutes to get from Samui International Airport to the quiet Choeng Mon Beach from which Koh Fahn is separated by a strait just 300-metres wide. A Cape Fahn Hospitality Lounge has been set up on the shore of Choeng Mon Beach allowing guests to wait in comfort with complimentary refreshments, snacks, fruit, Wi-Fi, newspapers and magazines.
The shuttle boat ferries guests over the 300metrewide strait from Choeng Mon Beach of Koh Samui to the resort.
The small shuttle boat that can accommodate about five people ferries guests over the strait to the resort in just five minutes. During low tide, it’s possible to walk across.
The Thai family-run Cape & Kantary Hotels has occupied Koh Fahn for the last 12 years ago but construction on the Bt350-million project only began three years ago. The most luxurious property in the company’s portfolio, it charges from Bt15,000 a night for a 300-sqm, one-bedroom villa to Bt47,000 for a 580-sqm, two-bedroom villa. Prices vary according to the season.
“As the property takes up all of Koh Fahn, it doesn’t get more private than this. However, it’s only a short walk or boat ride to and from Choeng Mon Beach so guests wanting some action can get over to the main island in minutes,” says Tirawan Pangsriwongse Tachaubol, the project development manager for Cape & Kantary Hotels.
The highlight of Cape Fahn is the 600-sqm, two-bedroom Fahn Noi private island pool villa that stands alone on the adjacent one-rai Koh Fahn Noi. Actress Jennie and her husband were the first guests to honeymoon here. If you want to be the next, it will set you back some Bt70,000 a night but the experience is exclusive and the panoramic view of the sea a real treat for sore eyes.
The living room in the Fahn Noi private island pool villa
I stayed in a 300-sqm, one-bedroom villa with a spacious tropical garden. The interior was clean and simple with natural wood and white the dominant themes and tie-dyed cushions in blue adding a pop of nautical colour. The living area boasts comfy sofas, an LCD TV and a DVD player, a fruit bowl and galamae - Samui’s favourite sweet treat.
The bedroom’s floor to ceiling windows overlook the swimming pool and gardens. The room is airy thanks to the vaulted ceiling and the signal of in-room wi-fi is strong enough. An LCD TV, minibar and tea and coffee making facilities are provided. What I liked most about the bedroom was the very comfortable bed topped with futon mattress and supportive pillows that promote restful sleep.
The tropical pool villa
The bathroom is spacious with a bathtub and separate wet and dry areas. There are two separate washbowls and vanity units on the left and right sides so you don’t have for your partner to finish brushing his or her teeth and you have adequate space to store your belongings. Two separate wardrobes are also available.
You can mooch around on the sun loungers on the private balcony, cooling off occasionally in the outdoor rain shower that is close enough to the bathroom door for direct access to the wet area.
The bathroom in the tropical pool villa
The resort offers three outdoor, beachside saltwater swimming pools – the main one with a sun terrace, the second for adults only and the third for the kids. If you want to go to other places in the resort but don’t fancy walking, you can call for a golf cart service to collect you at the door.
“Many guests are Europeans and usually stay for about a week. Thais, on the other hand, come for an average of two nights. Guests can hold a private birthday or wedding party for around 50 people and feel that the entire island is their own,” says Tirawan.
Dining options include the beachfront-poolside, all-day dining restaurant called Hue - the Thai word for “hungry” with 90 per cent dedicated to southern-style street food. The restaurant can also arrange a romantic and private four-course dinner on the beach as the sun goes down. The food’s good but the time between ordering and the arrival of the dishes at the table needs to be improved.
Perched on the cliff is another restaurant called the Crest and this is the best spot to view the breathtaking gulf and the sunset. In the morning, it’s a venue for breakfast and though the buffet line is not plentiful, the quality is good. Khao tom pla kapong (boiled rice soup with sea bass) is very flavourful and the fresh fruit juices are refreshing. In addition to the buffet line, other dishes can be ordered a la carte, among them khao pad goong (fried rice with shrimp) and kanom jeen bai chaplu phu talay (crabmeat yellow curry with chaplu leaves and rice vermicelli).
For guests who want their first meal of the day in their private pools, an in-room breakfast service – the Floating Breakfast – is available though it will set you back Bt900 per person. The large floating tray comes with various breads, eggs, sausages and hams, salads, fruits and fresh juices. I personally think it’s overpriced, though it may be a major draw for your Instagram photo. Having breakfast at the Crest (included in the room rate) is better – the food is good and the view terrific.
In the evening, the Crest also offers a seven-course dinner for Bt3,200 per person and after dinner, guests can move to the adjacent bar that stays opens until midnight.
The spa is not yet complete so the only treatment available so far is Thai massage. Other activities include yoga, Thai boxing, kayaking and guests can hire a Cape yacht to explore the neighbouring islands.
“We also hold a Moonlight Cinema (outdoor cinema) and have a food sommelier for guests to learn about Thai fruits and how they can be transformed into other products,” says Tirawan who is planning to open another two properties under Cape and Kantary brands in Pattaya.
AT A GLANCE
High point: The location is private and immersed in nature but not too far from the heart of Koh Samui.
Low point: As it’s in the initial stage of operation, several services are not yet fully complete.
Pay for it: See the website for the best rates.
Find it: 24/269 Moo 5, Tambon |Bo-Phut, Amphur Koh Samui, Surat Thani
Call it: (077) 602 301 or Reservations Centre at 1627
Browse it: https://capefahnhotel.com