Want to hear one of the worst-kept secrets in travel? It’s always pleasant in Thailand. It doesn’t matter if it’s January 11 or July 21, the forecast for the Asian nation is probably a comfortable 78 degrees with minimal overcast. When we combine those wonderful conditions with a beautiful resort like the soon-to-open Vana Belle, Koh Samui, you have all the makings of a memorable trip. Here are five other things to know about the tranquil Thai retreat beyond the glorious weather:
The Beach. The island of Koh Samui sits about 50 miles off the southern coast of mainland Thailand. Visitors to the tropical escape are in awe of the coconut trees and coral reefs, but they’re absolutely blown away by the stretches of white sand. Chaweng Noi Beach, where Vana Belle will open its doors on January 20, provides Pinterest-worthy views of the crystal clear Gulf of Thailand, wonderful snorkeling and easy access to local vendors.
The Pool Suites. Through a combination of guest suites and tropical villas, Vana Belle offers 80 guest rooms. Each has a garden view or breathtaking look onto the transparent waters, and all come with a pool. While room extras may be divvied by class — suites come in classic, deluxe, grand, tropical and ocean view — they are all assured to have stylish baths, contemporary wood furnishing and an airy layout to welcome in gulf air.
The Relaxation. As if just being on Koh Samui weren’t peaceful enough, the resort presents the Vana Spa to relieve any additional stress. The sanctuary has four private rooms for traditional Thai treatments and other revitalizing practices. Of course, if your definition of calm involves a bit more action, you can try a yoga class or have the concierge set up a fishing excursion.
The Food. If there’s one thing more beloved about Thailand than the climate, it’s the cuisine. Vana Belle wholly embraces the flavors of neighboring kitchens with its signature restaurant Kiree, an indoor/outdoor setup that allows chef Dario Congera to shower guests with his take on vibrant local dishes. The resort’s other restaurant, Panali, takes its cues from Italy, but still comes with Congera’s seal of approval.
The Landmarks. Not that you’d ever want to leave the serene confines of the resort, but if the mood should so hit you, Vana Belle is within a reasonable distance of a number of attractions. Take a taxi (“Song Teaw” to locals) to the massive Big Buddha statue, the magical Hin Lad Waterfall or the majestic Lad Koh viewpoint. And when it’s time to go home, rest easy knowing that Samui International Airport is only 15 minutes from your room.
Photos Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.