Banyan Tree Samui
What We Love
- Direct pool access from all villas
- The resort’s fleet of golf buggies, which swiftly transport you across the large property
- Your private butler, who handles everything from locating misplaced key cards to securing beachfront dinner reservations
- In-villa dining, where a personal chef will fire up a private barbecue
What To Know
- The resort’s modern Thai restaurant is only open for dinner
- The hydrotherapy spa is the first of its kind in Koh Samui
- Your villa’s sprawling bathroom contains four rain-style showerheads
- The stilted dwellings here are a hat-tip to Thai architectural traditions
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
Sprawled on a steep and hilly cove, this exclusive beachfront gem gracefully executes a near impossible balancing act: its 78 standalone villas, sunset-colored escapes, are consistent with Koh Samui’s well-manicured reputation, decked with mod cons like twin vanities, iPod docks, and private infinity pools. But it’s also an exquisite reflection of its Southeast Asian homeland, evident in the spice-and-herb fueled treatments at the spa, or memorable meals at Saffron, where the sweet and sour prawn curry (which the chef can heat up or down depending on where your tolerance fares on the Scoville scale) is accompanied by four types of traditional rice. And even though the family-friendly offerings are abundant here, ranging from an exceptionally curated kids’ club to a children’s-only pool, rest assured they don’t take away from the romance quotient, which you’ll discover in the moonlight seaside dinners your butler can engineer, the sunken daybeds on your private balcony, and your eucalyptus-scented refuge, thanks to a thoughtful turndown service that scents your room with a rotating selection of essential oils.
In the Area
Though the hotel’s private beach is a fantastic base for kayaking and paddle boarding—all equipment is complimentary—its pebbly waters mean that swimming isn’t ideal. Either claim one of the daybeds on the sand and settle for a succession of daytime cocktails, or hop on the free ten-minute shuttle to nearby Lamai Beach instead. Your butler can craft an itinerary that includes the temple of Wat Phra Yai, on the tiny island of Ko Phan, presided by a 39-foot golden Buddha statue, and Tarnim Magic Garden, a mesmerizing sculpture park atop Pom Mountain, one of Koh Samui’s loftiest peaks.