Samui Buri Beach Resort, Koh Samui – A Review By Punam Mohandas
At first glance, you could be forgiven for supposing the Samui Buri to be a Thai Wat. The resort is uniquely built in splendid Royal Thai architectural style and gives off an air of quiet grandeur, nestled amid lush foliage and flanked by the sea.
The 84-key Samui Buri is located on Maenam Beach in Koh Samui and is set on a 100-metre stretch of beach. The rooms are extremely spacious and well appointed, with large balconies. Room amenities include umbrellas, tea/coffee makers, DVD players and in-room safes, with wi-fi connection throughout the hotel. There are four categories of rooms – the Deluxe come with balconies and garden furniture; the Deluxe Pool Access rooms are on the first floor and give out on to a pool that runs along the side of the building; Deluxe Pool Villas are all stand-alone villas with private outdoor pools but no separate sitting area, while the Grand Pool Villas have a living room as well. All the rooms are tastefully done up in Thai teak and local silk and artefacts, with canopies over the beds.
The bathrooms are lovely; very large and well-lit, with a double sink concept. There is a central panel of wild red flowers that provides a welcome splash of colour and elevates this from being just another ordinary hotel bathroom. All rooms come with a bath tub and separate shower cubicle and an extremely handy wide shelf for you to stow your personal toiletries on. All pool villas are equipped with Jacuzzis.
It’s a nice meandering walk down small winding paths to the spa, the resort’s only restaurant which has the Infinity swimming pool across from it and the gym, all of which look out on to the sea. The Samui Buri has a patch of private beach, which ensures its guests are not disturbed by hawkers or flotsam and jetsam.
F&B options include the 100-cover Seetawaree restaurant that is the main dining outlet serving international and Thai cuisines; the Lobby Lounge for drinks and Happy Hours and the Poolside Bar. In-room dining is available from 11am-11pm.
Recreational and entertainment facilities include an outdoor swimming pool facing the sea; spa; small but well-equipped gym with French windows that overlook the sea; kids club; small library and internet station in the lobby and a tour desk. The hotel is able to arrange for water sports activities such as windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and water skiing, apart from fishing, golfing and biking. There is also an art gallery on the premises. Apart from these, the Samui Buri conducts Thai cooking classes thrice a week. Recently, the resort has begun organising a fire show on the beach on a weekly basis, for its resident clientele.
Conference facilities include two small meeting halls. The hotel can also organise intimate weddings or small theme parties.
Housekeeping staff is excellent and quick on the uptake; Front Office and F&B staff need to pull up their socks slightly. No major drawbacks, except perhaps location; for those who wish to party and enjoy the nightlife or the mad touristy rush and kitsch, its Chaweng beach to head for. Maenam is much more quieter and secluded which adds to its allure for those looking for a restful respite. However, the resort does offer a complimentary shuttle bus service to Chaweng twice a day, so it’s is not such an ordeal after all.
To get to the island, you can fly into Koh Samui directly however, bear in mind that Bangkok Airways holds the monopoly although there are some THAI Airways flights too flying in now. Ticket costs are at a premium. Another option by air is to fly into Surat Thani from Bangkok (about 70-minutes) with Air Asia or Nok Air (roughly THB1,500-2,000 one way depending on season; it’s possible to get lower fares too) and then take a bus/ferry combination ticket for THB 350; multiple options available at the airport. You could also do the overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani (roughly THB 760 but there are choices here too such as 1st, 2nd and 3rd class, fan or air conditioned, upper or lower berth) and then the bus/ferry combo. The trains are safe and comfortable. From Surat Thani to Koh Samui’s Nathon Pier it is about two-and-a-half hours, after which you can take a taxi or songtaew to whichever beach you’ve decided to stay on.
SAMUI BURI BEACH RESORT, KOH SAMUI
TEL: +66 77 447275
FAX: +66 77 447281