This Koh Samui hotel wants you to feel like a celebrity
Five star service meets the freedom of Airbnb at Samujana Villas in Koh Samui.Kerry McDermott February 23, 2017
Top flight footballers. Erstwhile gangsters. Multi-million selling recording artists. Bond villains. These are just some of the people likely to feel immediately at home upon pushing open the imposing wooden door to Villa 27 at Samujana, a collection of spectacular hillside properties a 10-minute drive from the airport on Koh Samui.
From the sparkling, L-shaped infinity pool that wraps around two sides of the vast central patio, to the lavishly stocked fridges lining the open plan bar, everything about this place says ‘party’.
A mounted iPod dock on the wall above the bar makes it easy for guests to play their own music on the villa’s surround sound system, and the focal point of the courtyard is a plush sunken seating area that could comfortably accommodate 20 people, with plenty of slouching room to spare. The real star of the show though, is the view.
Straight ahead, beyond the edge of the pool, the Gulf of Thailand stretches far into the distance, punctuated by dramatic green hilltops and the occasional speck-sized long-tail sailing boat. To the right, the sunlight bounces off Koh Samui’s golden Big Buddha, which appears to wave merrily from its perch far below.
The stunning four-bedroom villa, designed in contemporary (and award-winning) style by Bali-based architects GFAB, has been planned to take every advantage of the fabulous climate and those jaw-dropping views. In other words, the only reason to be inside is if you’re sleeping.
Even then, you could slide open the floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom and let the sea air waft in as you snooze. Of course, you risk letting the odd mosquito in too, but the enormous en suite bathroom has been thoughtfully stocked with repellent, should you decide to throw caution to the tropical wind.
This is just the sort of small but significant flourish at which Samujana excels. On the rare occasions that clouds roll in, canopies are unfurled over the patio to ward off potential showers. After an attempt to thank Khun Cherry, our ever at hand and yet somehow invisible villa manager, in fumbled Thai for the pretty breakfast spread that greets us on the patio in the morning, we find a crib sheet of common phrases and phonetic pronunciations tucked under the coffee pot the next day.
There is no onsite spa, but should you require, the masseuse will come to you. The same goes for the yoga instructor, and if you don’t work up a sufficient sweat in the villa’s gym, Samujana can rustle up a Muay Thai trainer to come and put you through your paces.
Hungry? The resort’s chefs will whip you up anything from a lunchtime snack to a five-course seafood feast, all served at your own table. Too much sun? Head downstairs to Villa 27’s cinema room, equipped with squishy sofas, a big screen, and enough films to put the in-flight entertainment you enjoyed on your way to Thailand to shame. If you have cabin fever let the driver whisk you down to the quay at nearby Fisherman’s Village for a sunset cruise on board Samujana’s yacht.
This place has hit on a winning combination: the amenities and attentive service of a five star resort, coupled with the privacy (not to mention the thrilling ‘fantasy life’ factor) of a prime Airbnb find. Here, you needn’t see another soul for the duration of your stay.
It is this sense of total seclusion that really sets Samujana apart from the five star hotels on the island and is a big part of the reason it should prove popular with the line-up of guests mentioned earlier. In fact, we do learn of one A-list guest checking into a villa (disappointingly, a week or so after our departure), but are gently asked to remain discreet about his identity. Suffice it to say that initial predictions weren’t too wide of the mark; except that – should persistent rumours about a future role in the 007 franchise prove to be true – this guy will be playing the hero.
Villa 27 is available to rent for AED 6,300 per night. Three bedroom villas start from AED 3,400 per night.