Koh Samui has a hidden oasis, and we had the opportunity to visit.
On the self-claimed - paradise on earth - island Koh Samui spectacular venues and scenery is something ordinary. The overall quality of the island is high compared to other islands in the Thailand region.
However, Koh Samui has put itself on the absolute top rank regarding luxury and sophistication. The old fishing island evolved into a resort heaven for those mid/high-level travelers searching for more exclusivity and extraordinary facilities.
With that in mind, one could argue that it's rather difficult to really get impressed on Koh Samui island. However, it has been done.
In the far end of the northwest edge of the island, a little road gives away the entry to Four Seasons Koh Samui. A very subtle drive for a minute or so takes you to a small Thai-inspired courtyard. From the first impression, the hotel feels very authentic, and it's so much more to come.
All first-time visitors are shown into a small lounge that takes your mind to an old tee room in a Buddhist temple. The view from this lounge is absolutely spectacular and really gives you a direct sensation of serenity. From here, you can see the hotel complex spread like tree branches all over the valley down below.
It's beautiful but also so very well planned from a conceptual standpoint. You enter the hotel, you change your mindset instantly, and you become one with the landscape - all within 5 minutes.
After some breathtaking views, we are picked up in a golf cart and taken down into the valley. Villa after villa pops up when you drive passed them, and you understand that there is a high level of privacy for the guest.
After a couple of minutes and a nice drive down the hillside, you find yourself outside a blue gate. On the other side of this blue passage, you are going to find a hidden and very private beach, a beachside restaurant, a sea view bar, and a rum valve.
Also, here Four Season gives you excitement and expectations when you enter this blue portal to explore something unknown.
Once entered, the scenery is just what you expected. A small, private beach, making you feel like you are on a day cruise on a remote Thai island. This is a lovely balance. Because you feel a sense of primitiveness if you only look at the beach, and you love it. But you also feel the uncompromised service floating all around you at the same time. A delicate balance that is handled with perfection.
The beach is clean, the waves are fun but not dangerous, and the sun finds you when you want to be found.
Just behind you, from the beachside, you have an outdoor pool and a bar. The bar is lovely. The seating area in the bar is just on one side to not disturb the cinematic views once you have a margarita in your hand. It's wonderful.
The placement of the infinity pool if perfect, making it look like the pool and the ocean floats together and continuing all the way to the horizon.
The drinks were well made, and the bartender had great knowledge, especially in the field of rum. And regarding rum, Four Seasons Koh Samui has gotten a charming hang-up on the concept of rum.
Next doors to the far stretched bar, there is a little worn outdoor made out of metal. It looks a little bit like what we assume a door on a super old oil tanker would look like. Anyhow, this characteristic door takes you into rum heaven. Whatever you desire as a rum nerd, it's there!
I was not a big rum fan before my visit to Four Seasons, but I must give it to them, during the last six months I have replaced a lot of my single malts for an "Original Dark", a rum from the producer Plantation.
Drinking and eating on this beachfront is good, very good. Service is nothing else but great, and the food tastes good and is not to complex.
There is always a risk that luxury hotel makes the food to luxurious, and by doing so it makes the menu rather confusing. In this case, the Four Seasons restaurant called Pla Pla is not making this mistake and is instead providing a balanced menu with good variety and great taste. The food is international favorites with additional popular Thai dishes represented.
My visit to Four Season and Pla Pla restaurant was more than I expected. It was totally worth a detour and it have helped me to set a new standard for future visits to beach venues.
Written by Olof Göransson, for The Beach Club Guide