Holidays for Couples Holidays for Couples Apr-Sep 2017 - Page 33

review // wanderlust “The feeling of peace and tranquillity is palpable, the sounds of nature your background music” fully fitted kitchen and lounge area with semi wrap-around balcony beneath it. On the bottom floor a chill-out room with private pool offers direct access to a rocky beach. The architecture is pure Thai, with interiors furnished in a mix of local teak and cool contemporary fabrics. Villas range from 62 square metres to a massive 4,000 square metres (accommodating up to eight adults), making this a great choice for couples wanting to share their space with family or friends. Dinner on our first night – a six-course Thai degustation menu served on the beach by the glow of fairy lights and flame torches – was truly decadent and romantic. Dining is otherwise a casual affair, with all-day snacks at the pool bar, a Mediterranean-inspired menu at the beachfront restaurant, and Thai and international cuisine at the main restaurant, Lai Thai. Breakfast is a standout, with western and Asian dishes to please any palate. You’ll also find cheap and tasty food at local cafés on the street outside the resort, while Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village, a five-minute drive away, is home to a wide range of restaurants and bars located in original Chinese- Thai shop-houses, most with fabulous views over the water to the island of Koh Pha-Ngan. Some lovely boutiques here sell clothing, shoes, jewellery and bespoke homewares. Koh Samui is 25 kilometres long and 21 kilometres wide, so hiring a car or bike to explore it is a must. There are deserted beaches for picnics and tranquil waters for swimming. At The Five Islands, a beachfront restaurant in Taling Ngam, an unforgettable lunch of the freshest seafood and Thai cuisine awaits (be sure to try the spicy papaya salad with seafood). With jungle-clad mountains and crystal-clear waters, this area on the west coast is one of the most picturesque parts of the island. Back at the resort there’s snorkelling, windsurfing, private yoga classes and even Thai language classes. And don’t miss a sunset cruise – primed with canapés and Champagne, we were taken by Belmond’s luxury speedboat to the west coast of the island as the giant, fiery orb slowly descended into the horizon, creating a shimmering orange wash across the sky and sea. The speedboat will also take you to Ang Thon National Marine Park, a place of indescribable beauty where you can kayak, snorkel and dive in pristine waters. Then hike to the top of a hill to see jade green islands dotting the emerald waters as far as the eye can see. Look to the centre of the island to see the Emerald Lagoon, so serene and beautiful, it seems untouched by humans. belmond. com/napasai-koh-samui H 31