Sand, sun and eternal summer fun.
By Shruti Kothari
Innovation is the name of the game at this trendy, beachside location. Eschewing tradition, Avani+ Samui Resort redefines the guest experience, tailored to the modern traveller’s essentials. Upon arrival at the Lipa Noi Pier, I was greeted by the hotel chauffeur, who kindly pointed out the island’s main features as he escorted me to the property. The airy lobby, fitted with pale marble and light wood, is built like a café or a co-working space, with a 24-hour grab-and-go counter boasting cold beverage and nibbles, games like Jenga and chess, and a nook with fashionable items available for some retail therapy. The welcome drink, juicy mango in the form of a homemade ice pop, beat the heat and set the tone for the trip.
As I walked through the resort, the robust greenery interspersed with vibrant walls featuring flamingos and flip-flops, primed for Instagram glory, gave life to the space surrounding the intriguing room structures. Cindy Delhomel, the Resort Manager, explains that “the architecture, tastefully designed using mainly natural products from the island itself, is both upscale and upbeat.”
I cannot recommend the 68-square metre Avani Pool Villa enough. The high, sloping ceilings and cool-toned décor are brightened by the addition of vibrant flowers, and quirky turquoise and amber cushions. Small touches like a chalkboard laden with information about fun activities, a picture and the name of the cleaner, and a personalised welcome message add warmth and character. Instead of the clutter of an old-fashioned minibar, the fridge is stocked with complimentary milk and water, and there is a woven basket placed beside it for guests to stop by the lobby café and pick up select goodies.
In-room amenities include a luxurious rain shower complete with bathing products in scents like parsley stem, and a king- sized bed you could share or sleep on like an exceptionally lucky starfish. I was most delighted by stylish recycling bins in the room, allowing guests convenient, guilt-free relaxation. The highlight, however, is the vast, jewel-toned pool — Jacuzzi optional — clearly visible from every corner of the room through the glass walls. The terrace beside is equipped with a coffee table and a pineapple-yellow, water-resistant lounge chair. Bring the portable Bluetooth speaker from your room, and order a cocktail to your enclosure for an afternoon of plush and private sunbathing.
When I finally ventured out, I was greeting by lively jazz music and a patterned cocktail truck. I ordered a Mojito, which was hand-muddled in front of me and adjusted for my taste. Replete with libations, I sprawled in one of the nearby beach cabanas, and soaked in what Cindy describes as “the other side of Samui.” The resort is situated in a secluded area away from the noise of the north, allowing patrons true tranquillity, untouched, verdant surroundings, and the authentic experience of watching colourful fishing boats quietly ply their trade. I can see why this spot is popular with all sorts of travellers, from honeymooners seeking privacy, to weddings involving buyouts of all 58 rooms, with this serene shore as the backdrop for nuptials.
“Our beachfront restaurant, Essence, is vibrant with an open-air concept and show kitchen,” explains Cindy. Situated next to the pool, which glitters at night under the moonlight and because of the plethora of tiny lights strewn across the deck like stars, the al fresco seating allows diners to commune with the elements as they eat.
Talented chef Kien Wagner, inspired by his surroundings and the concept of clean eating, offers a gourmet menu bursting with the likes of Charcoal eggplant and Green curry chicken penne. Having been a vegetarian for many years, he provides a creative gastronomical experience for every dietary requirement. At the end of my meal, he brings me off-the-menu Roselle sorbet. “I was just experimenting, why don’t you try some,” he casually says. It’s delicious. He carries the same attitude into breakfast, with inventive fresh juices that rotate with his mood. The resort’s sustainability drive is visible here as well, where the carefully curated buffet selection is supplemented by à la carte options, ensuring heightened enjoyment and less wastage.
It is easy to see why guests have described the hotel staff as ‘being like family’ in their reviews. From the cleaners to the friendly, dedicated Spa Manager Khun Bon, each person in the Avani+ team brings together carefully curated details to provide an immersive, bespoke experience to every holidaymaker.
Avani+ Samui Resort
53/5 Moo 4, Phang Ka, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140
Tel: 077 485 299