Have you ever been to a hotel where you were just wowed from the minute you entered to the moment you left? I checked in at the Ritz Carlton Koh Samui with high expectations after seeing numerous pictures of the place online. My mental state upon arrival was: This is my jaw. Drop it!
The Ritz Carlton is one of the newest hotels in Koh Samui opening only in 2017. Perched on a hill overlooking a gorgeous turquoise sea, the resort is housed in a former coconut plantation, Koh Samui’s most famous crop. The resort pays tribute to its coconut-related history through the welcome drink you receive, the oils used at the spa, and other subtle and unsubtle ways such as the large number of coconut trees still present at the resort.
The 175-room Ritz Carlton Koh Samui is vast, so vast that you’ll need a golf cart to transport you throughout the resort.
I’ll spare you the factual details that you can find on the hotel’s website and I’ll share some of the things that make the Ritz Carlton Koh Samui so special.
Room and view: The rooms at Ritz Carlton Koh Samui are spacious enough to warrant shouting so that the other person at the far end of the room can hear you. The bed are luxuriously comfortable as you would expect from a Ritz Carlton bed. But what will really sell you on the room is the view, which is Koh Samui meets Malibu meets Hawaii. With unobstructed views of the sea, you’d better have a really good reason to get off the sofa and go anywhere else. Your private infinity pool right outside your doorstep is the perfect way to further enjoy the view without leaving the comfort of the room.
The food: Food is one of the main reasons many of us came to Thailand. I mean what’s not to like about this eclectic cuisine? However, many hotels water down the spiciness of the food which often turns the meal bland. Not here! The hotel’s Thai restaurant serves authentic southern Thai cuisine which is known for its spiciness so keep that glass of water handy! Of course, you can ask the staff for mild spiciness levels to suit your taste. My two favorite meals were at the resort’s Tides and Sea Salt restaurants. Do not miss the chicken wings at Sea Salt or the fish tacos at Tides — both are life changing experiences, and get this, Sea Salt serves the famous Tom Yum soup as a pizza! How cool is that? Breakfast was something to look forward to with lots of options, particularly a brilliant fresh juice bar and one of the best/strongest coffees I’ve had at a hotel.
The spa: Remember when I said the Ritz Carlton was so vast? It’s so vast that it doesn’t have a spa but a spa village — you heard me, a village! With lots of treatments and activities available there, I tried my luck at Thai aquanasa, which combines karate, tai chi, and yoga all in the water. I’ve always thought yoga was whack but I became a fan after just one session! The positive energy that the instructor carries and spreads is incredible and the setting definitely helps in the relaxation process.
The swim reef: So you know how many hotels say they have a house reef right on their beach where you can snorkel and see the marine wildlife? Well that’s great for them but very few places can claim that they have an actual reef inside the hotel itself. The swim reef at Ritz Carlton Koh Samui is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and is home to thousands of fish and other sea animals. And that’s not even the best part! You can book a live feeding session where you go into the water and feed the fish right from your hand. I have to admit that I was wow-ing like a kid the whole time!
The staff: The friendliness and attentiveness of the staff at Ritz Carlton Koh Samui is incredible. I mean they’re literally on their toes to make sure all the guests are having a great experience. Many of them come from different parts of Thailand and it was interesting to chat them up and hear about the differences between their hometowns and the island.
Muay Thai ring: I didn’t have the chance to try this but I believe many would be interested in giving Muay Thai a shot. The Ritz Carlton Koh Samui has a fully equipped boxing ring with an instructor that you can book to teach you the basics of Muay Thai. I met a couple that tried it together and they said it was a brilliant experience!
I don’t remember the last time I did not leave a resort for 3.5 days. In fact I don’t remember ever doing it but the view from the room was just too precious to leave.