Banyan Tree Samui
Buzz: The Singapore-based luxury hotels and resorts group makes its debut in Samui with villas decked out in Asian contemporary style and views from a verdant cliff overlooking a small private beach.
Rooms: 88 pool villas
Food & Spa: Three by-the-numbers five-star hotel restaurants (Saffron, The Edge, Sands) and a much more exciting spa, The Rain Forest, the only one in Samui that offers hydrotherapy: rain showers, steam rooms, saunas and a vitality pool to get the hydrothermal benefits. A one-hour session is B1,000.
Verdict: Unlike Phuket’s Sri Panwa, the hilltop views of the villas poking out of a lush vegetation are great for nature-lovers. Can’t afford a villa? Do come and try the spa.