Koh Samui - Read our Stories and Reviews

Koh Samui

In a country famous for not only mass party tourism but lush jungle, calm waters, excellent staff and serene natural beauty, this is the rock star of high-end retreats. The resort’s status as an award-winning pleasure spot on the A-list’s radar certainly gives the Six Senses name a certain cachet.

But for us the intimacy and calm of an eco sanctuary on the Gulf of Siam was reward enough. We had been with people for most of our stay in Thailand, having a ball socializing with other families. Now we actually wanted to touch down with our kids on these last days, including a teenager we get to see less and less of at home.

If you want space, privacy and stunning open-air architecture then Six Senses will work beautifully for you. In Thailand it is second to none for ‘relaxed luxury’ - and they have the prizes to prove it!
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"Searching for the best Koh Samui luxury travel destinations? Jonathan and his family share their luxury holiday experiences in Koh Samui..."

I was putting our New Year’s summer family holiday together based on an original invitation to meet-up with old friends at a big resort in Phuket. I was being open-minded and tossing myself into the volcano of touristic compromise on that one. Hello Thailand ! It was time to give my family a chance to chill out their way with other kids they knew in a fun, built up area. Destination Number Two on this trip was another recommendation - Krabi, also with family friends.

Now, with my third choice, I had a chance to spread my wings and use this time in a country and continent that I don’t know well to get back on track and resume my usual treasure hunt! Over the years I have devoted every chance I can to exploring the high-end luxury travel market with my family. I search for destinations that deliver a beautiful place to rest your head at night, offer a warm welcome and fantastic service, and show you the world - or their small patch of it - by capturing the cultural texture and insider secrets of the area. What a great way to get to know yourself and spend brief and precious time away with your family as well!

I had an extra four days up my sleeve and we could fly just about anywhere from Krabi’s national airport, our 2nd stop. Scanning the map of Thailand, I realised that Bangkok didn’t grab me. We were looking for rejuvenation, not big city chaos and shopping. I eliminated beautiful luxury locations in the North like Chiang Mai and Chaing Rai (where Four Seasons have a tented camp) because going inland wouldn’t give us that summery, beach holiday we all craved after a long school/work year. We would return and try that some other time, kid-free.

I found some great properties in HUA HIN, which was originally a traditionally Thai resort for over 70 years. The standouts were:

Six Senses Hideaway Hua Hin


X2 Kui Bui.

The aesthetic at X2 really resonated with me as the stone, timber and concrete materials were just like the home that we had built from scratch.

But there was not enough in Hua Hin for two teenagers and a seven-year-old to do. This was retreat territory so again we would try some of these amazing places another time.

I found a resort I liked, Zeovola in the less developed KOH PHI PHI Island off Southern Thailand’s west coast. I showed a friend, Sharon who loved it so much she went ahead and booked it!! I loved the fact that it was only a 1.5 hr speedboat ride from our first base, Phuket. We had grand plans to come and check it out on an adventure for an afternoon but the winds were so high that our private speedboat charter had to be cancelled. However, KOH SAMUI came to the top of the queue. It was the one constant in past conversations with die-hard Thailand travelers who had shared their travels with me over the years. Thailand’s third largest island looked stunningly located and there was a scene on Chewang Beach, which had places to walk at night, social activity and plenty of restaurants to choose from. It seemed like a smaller, classier version of Phuket, especially with all the top-notch luxury resorts to choose from.

I boiled the list down to:

Four Seasons

Karma Samui

The Library

Six Senses Hideaway

I researched each property myself and even got to know them by phone. But the first past the post was Six Senses Hideaway Koh Samui. It had swept the board in the industry awards stakes, not only for this region, or even all of Asia but for the whole world, winning the 2008 Conde Nast Traveler’s first prize as best resort! The planets had aligned: I knew that this was an opportunity to acquire some pretty fantastic first-hand knowledge. If this was the gold standard in luxury travel, bring it on! We were going to finish this holiday with a bang...

Join Jonathan Said and his family on their
luxury travel journeys as they share their best restaurants experiences and luxury hotels and resorts holidays around the world. The comprehensive travel tips and ideas include some of the most popular things to see and do at each destination including a local shopping guide, photos, video, music and much more.

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