Thailand is an appealing paradise that boasts literally hundreds of idyllic beaches accompanied by every style of hotel. Some are crowded party spots while others are exclusive getaways. Koh Samui is one of the less trafficked islands in comparison to hotspots like Phuket or Pattaya and its wide range of high end luxury hotels confirms its exclusivity.
Even among some of the best views and most relaxing tropical beachfront, someone still has to reign supreme and from our recent experiences at several of the island’s top hotels this goes hats off to the W Koh Samui.
This is not a hotel brand we had ever tried before since it is only a recent addition to the Bonvoy (formerly Marriott Rewards) portfolio. The hotel’s particular vibe which is born out of its New York City roots is “Revelry for the modern jet set.” It has a strong range of properties and an identity which gels a lot with the see and be seen crowd.
The first impression we had was not the best. After using the Elite members special request app to determine arrival times and upgrades we received only generic answers. This has worked very well in most other hotels in the platform but here management didn’t even seem to be aware of it. We had to then awkwardly wait and the request for the upgrade was finally generously granted but not without some annoying exchanges meanwhile.
In spite of the less than stellar start, the hotel really, really impressed us. It occupies a corner of the island where seaside views are tiered along the beautiful hills. At the sea level a private beach encompasses all of the sights, colors and sounds you could hope for on a tropic isle. Halfway up the resort hill we found a modern gym with forest views and an infinity pool that delivered intimacy and open air indulgence all at once. Tastefully placed speakers deliver a chill music vibe throughout the property and the building materials blend with the tropical environment in every way.
At the highest point on the property sits the open air lobby. Here the commanding panorama is breathtaking and guests line up to capture the magic vistas with the signature W in the foreground. There are splashes of contemporary artwork, design, comics and recycled furnishings in every direction. The hotel’s staff are outgoing and there is a strong culture of hospitality evident from bringing the bags to the room, room service, the buffet breakfast and excursion planning.
Our room was a private beach compound. Truly it was a memorable and uniquely designed space. It had access to the sea, private pool, outdoor shower, a kitchenette, separate living room and a bedroom and bathroom space as well as an outdoor dining patio. It really makes you feel like it is the only property on the entire resort and leaving is the biggest worry you’ll face on the entire stay!