[Read more: Best Authentic Thai Restaurants in Samui]

New Hotels in Samui

Conrad Koh Samui

Luxury resort the Conrad Koh Samui just came up with another attractive reason to pay them a visit by unveiling a new three-bedroom villa (from B77,800 per night) with vast infinity pool and spectacular sunset views. The two-story villa features an open plan layout downstairs with kitchen, dining room and a living room with floor-to-ceiling windows leading to a private outdoor lawn terrace which is perfect for parties. The villa also boasts its own private butler on hand 24 hours a day and you can enjoy a private dinner on the beach where they’ve just installed new daybeds and two white hammocks suspended in the sea.


49/8-9 Moo 4, Hillcrest Road, Taling-Ngam, 84140, 077-915-888, www.conradkohsamui.com

W Retreats

Big group vacations seem to be in vogue option as W Retreat Samui recently unveiled its new Seascape Escape Villa (promotion rate is B150,000 per night), the only duplex on the property. Featuring a 15-meter infinity pool and modern wooden architecture, the villa comprises a kitchen and living room decked out with a hi-tech entertainment system complete with BOSE sound system and various board games. All bedrooms promise ocean views. While you’re there, you can also admire the new graffiti installation by famous American artist Alec Monopoly and check out the new DJ booth in the shape of a glittering monkey head.


4/1 Moo 1, Tambol Maenam, 077-915-999, www.wretreatkohsamui.com

Silavadee Pool Spa Resort

Praised for its beautiful landscaping, Silavadee has just unveiled its new Ocean Front Pool Villas (from B24,010 per night). The nine one-bedroom villas make the most of their location on a rocky outcrop thanks to infinity pools and the lush handmade baths that offer spectacular views. 


208/66 Moo 4, Maret, Koh Samui 077-960-555, 081-271-3347, www.silavadeeresort.com

Anantara Bophut Resort and Spa

After a B170 million, six-month renovation, Anantara Bophut recently reopened offering larger rooms including two 80-sq-meter beachfront pool suites (rates from B4,500 for premier room and B14,800 for beachfront pool suite) that both feature a 20-sq-meter private pool and direct access to the beach. Their culinary options include the renovated High Tide Restaurant, Eclipse Bar and the open-air char grill restaurant Full Moon, which is set by a beautiful pool and tropical garden designed by Bill Bensley.


Bophut, Koh Samui, 077-428-300, www.samui.anantara.com

Vana Belle

The newly opened Vana Belle takes its design inspiration from the legendary Himavanta Forest in Hindu mythology. With 80 contemporary villas (from B34,350) and suites (from B27,350) dotted amid lush jungle vegetation on a small hill that stretches down to Chaweng Noi Beach, there are lots of little reminders of the famous folk tale like the various bronze sculptures of forest creatures. The violet-hued main pool offers great views as does its neighbors, Italian beachfront restaurant Panali and Kiree which offers Thai dining. 





New Restaurants in Samui


The luxury Four Seasons Resorts Koh Samui has just introduced a new Thai restaurant and bar called KOH. Designed by Bill Bensley (who also designed the resort), this open-air eatery blends tropical architectural touches and high ceilings to take full advantage of the resort’s breezy hilltop location. Executive Chef Alex Gares and Thai sous chef Sumalee Khunpet are huge fans of Thai Southern cuisine so you can expect local delicacies such as spicy stir-fried prawns with aromatic niang beans (B600) or fish tom yam with bilimbi (B450). For further variety, the menu changes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 


219 Moo 5, Angthong, 077-243-000, www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui 


The signature restaurant of new hotel Vana Belle, Kiree is another great choice for those who want to experience Thai food in a fine dining environment that also serves up great views. The locally-run kitchen features delicious Southern recipes taken from all over the region such as kua kling (spicy stir-fried pork or chicken, B500) and moo hong (braised pork belly, B540).


Open daily 6-11pm. 9/99 Moo 3, Chaweng Noi Beach, 077-915-555, www.vanabellekohsamui.com


The flagship restaurant of the super-stylish W Retreat, Namu has just welcomed new Korean Chef Sin Keun Choi who looks to interpret Japanese cooking techniques to create unique recipes with strong Asian flavors. Examples include hamachi sashimi with leek and Mexican chili mint dressing (B450) and Maine lobster stir-fried udon noodles with chili (B1,600). 


Open daily 6-11pm. Lunch Fri-Sun noon-4pm. 4 Bontji Moo 4, Bophut, 077-915-999, www.wretreatkohsamui.com

Sun Moon Star

On top of its newly unveiled villas, Silavadee Pool Spa Resort has also opened Sun Moon Star Restaurant, which serves up international food and three distinct experiences: Sun offers panoramic views from its large deck, Moon is an all-day international dining restaurant, while Star is a romantic rooftop bar complete with tables sunk into the pool. 


208/66 Moo 4, Maret, Koh Samui 077-960-555, 081-271-3347, www.silavadeeresort.com

Drink Gallery

Drink Gallery, little sister of The Page at The Library hotel, is gearing up to entice guests with their new authentic flavors of Samui and the South. Enlisting the help of Chef Nhoi Ouypornchaisakul from Rock Restaurant & Bar in Bangkok, the restaurant puts more focus on local ingredients like coconut, turmeric, bai bua bok (pennywort) and pak liang (melinjo leaves), to be served from April onwards.


Open daily 11am-1am. The Library 14/1 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach, Bophut, 077-422-676 to 8. www.thelibrary.co.th



New Bars


Cha Cha Moon

The latest beach club to land on nightlife central Chaweng Beach (joining the ever popular Ark Bar), Cha Cha Moon, offers daybeds on the beach, a rustic meets tropical vibe and a decent playlist that’s a welcome change from elsewhere on the island.


Chaweng Beach, Bophut, 086-007-8850


Looking to compete with the existing beach clubs of Nikki Beach and Beach Republic, Dreamers opts for a distinctly sleek and contemporary look and feel inspired by its sister clubs in Marbella and Ibiza in Spain. There’s a pool on the ground floor, fine dining on the second and an bar and club on the top floor. There’s live music on Wed-Sat while DJs take over on Sun-Tue. 


18/19 Moo 4, Bangrak Beach (Big Buddha), 077-425-012, www.dreamersbeachclub.com