Banyan Tree Samui
You'll never want to leave these private pool villas with ocean views.
Overview: This stunning cliffside resort celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020 and remains the go-to for Samui’s luxury travellers for its timeless design, elegant private pool villas and lively house reef.
The villas: Dotted along Lamai’s verdant cliffside overlooking a turquoise bay, all 88 villas come with their own 35-sq-meter private pool and are primarily distinguishable by view only. Of the nine available types (starting from B14,500), opt for the 130-sq-meter Ocean View Pool Villa (from B23,300; suitable for two adults, plus up to two children on the sofa bed) to wake up to breathtaking vantages over the resort’s tropical grounds and white sand beach, or the two-bedroom, 169-sq-meter Family Deluxe Pool Villa (from B31,300) for added space. Traditional yet timeless, the regal interiors evoke ancient Thailand, with dark woods, ruched silk ceilings, gabled roofs, cream walls and hanging metal lanterns. The bedroom and living areas each come with their own TV and are separated by tall, heavy wood doors, while huge sliding glass doors make the most of the incredible views and lead out to the private pool, terrace and sunken lounge. The bathroom is fittingly luxurious, with double sinks, a sizable bath and a separate room with a quadruple rain shower. Daily-changing scented candles, gifts from the resort’s shop and a working local mobile phone provided on arrival add a personal touch to your stay.
The facilities: In the resort’s de facto-private bay, a lively coral reef creates the perfect opportunity to snorkel right off the beach with Banyan Tree’s very own marine biologist, while those who prefer to stay above water can make use of the free kayaks and paddle boards. Even the resort’s lush grounds provide room for exploration, with complimentary nature walks available. Over at the tranquil spa, massages are joined by the less common Rainforest Walk, a contactless hydrotherapy experience. In the unlikely event that you get tired of your private pool, a larger shared pool is also available. A gift shop, complimentary kids’ club, library and business center complete the line-up.
Food and drink: A breakfast buffet with a view is served at The Edge, followed by all-day dining, while down at beach-grill Sands you can enjoy Western and Asian bites right next to the bay, complete with the occasional fire show. Banyan’s signature cliffside restaurant Saffron deals in high-end, sharing-style Thai dining, as well as a chef’s table with cooking demonstrations. Those who are in it for the ‘gram can even opt for a floating breakfast served in their private pool.
Why we’d come back: Thanks to the resort’s sprawling grounds, you’re unlikely to cross paths with other guests even during high season. As you can expect of the Banyan brand, the service is polished and the villas are the stuff of dreams.