A Thai Holiday Where Every Member Of The Family Gets Exactly What They Need
How often do we dream of going on holiday to truly switch off and actually manage to do it? Laptops and smart phones travel with us and the result is work and daily life worries continue, just in a prettier destination.
For the first time ever, this didn’t happen during our recent trip to Santiburi Koh Samui. There is so much to do, and so much for the whole family to get excited about that you genuinely forget about everything else and live for the moment; what time is Thai Boxing, the one-on-one tennis lesson, the local temple visit? The majority of activities are included for guests, so you can do as much or as little as you like; everyone can find their own pace.
How to get there & Location
To get to Koh Samui from Dubai you need to fly via Bangkok or Phuket and connect. A 45minute flight later you’ll arrive in Koh Samui, incidentally the sweetest airport in the world, and 20 minutes later you’ll arrive at Santiburi. Set in 23 acres of beautifully kept gardens, the entrance to the hotel is breathtaking, and a very welcome change to the desert.
The resort sits on one of the island’s most appealing beaches, Mae Nam, on the northern coastline; perfect for swimming and watersports.
All the facilities
There are seven room categories, starting at 10,600 ++ Baht per night, and we stayed in a Deluxe Beachfront Villa, a stone’s throw from the sand, which gave us the most amazing view out to sea. The interiors and exteriors are beautifully done: Thai-inspired, spacious and very tasteful.
The resort offers daily schedules for the whole family to enjoy and amazingly most of these are included, (and mentioned upfront if not). We enjoyed some of these ample activities as a family (so rare); a private cooking class, which was hilarious and delicious, beach football, fishing. The Kids’ Club too, was full of interesting and authentic activities; batik painting, Thai language classes, coconut leaf folding. They also lend the children little bikes so they could get around the resort more easily. To spend time together and de-stress in such stunning surroundings was very refreshing and unusual.
Mamas, the spa, set in the most stunning gardens, offers excellent and traditional treatments in Sukhothai-inspired surroundings and Dads, the golf course set in the hills of inland Samui offers 18 holes of championship golfing terrain.
Where to Eat
There are five outlets to choose from at Santiburi, from its Poolside Bar to Sala Thai, which offers Thai fine dining. Our particular favourites were The Beach House, which is metres from the water. Fresh seafood and great kids’ options meant we ate here a lot, it is really family friendly and the staff are second-to-none. Again, The Lounge was a daily highlight. Furnished in beautiful Sino-Thai style, it offers guests daily afternoon tea. Beautiful handmade cakes that changed every day and a chance to read the newspapers was a lovely half hour break away from the pool.
Why it’s worth a visit – Touches
What also really struck us about Santiburi was the attention to detail and small touches that really made the stay special. The staff were some of the most consistent and friendly we have ever come across, they absolutely love children and nothing is too much bother. Every day there would be homemade ice cream round the pool after lunch, sun cream handed out when the weather changed, enormous boxes of toys for kids on the beach, citronella spray, made from the hotel’s own herb garden delivered in the evenings.
Sassy Approval – Verdict
We are absolutely going back and would thoroughly recommend Santiburi Koh Samui to families, groups of friends and couples alike. In fact my brother is hoping to get married there early next year on the back of our endless recommendations. Living in Dubai we are very spoilt as there are so many places to visit all within a few hours, and often we want to try new places as a result. A beautiful setting, great food and service is everything you hope for on holiday but it doesn’t often happen, and being able to capture the ability to provide total relaxation and happiness where guests genuinely disconnect is really something very special.