Koh Samui: The Cosmopolitan Melting Pot of Thailand

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According to Lonely Planet, Koh Samui (Samui Island) is like a well-established Hollywood celebrity: she’s outrageously manicured, has lovely blonde tresses, and has gracefully removed all of her wrinkles without more than a peep from the tabloids. She’s been in the tourism business longer than almost any other Thai island, but rather than becoming passé, she’s embraced a new generation of resort goers, many of them upscale.

Koh Samui is a cosmopolitan melting pot, attracting everyone from budget travelers staying for a month or two in simple beachside bungalows to the wealthiest holidaymakers dipping in for a weekend to live it up luxuriously. What most people don’t realize is the abundant wellness offerings on this trendy popular island. World-class spas, fresh fruit smoothies, and epic nature walks make this island a prime go-to for wellness warriors. Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, and lies in the Gulf of Thailand off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus.

Koh Samui

Located along the peaceful shore of North Chaweng, Amari Koh Samui provides traditionally inspired rooms in an inspired tropical setting. Samui International Airport is only five kilometers away, a quick drive from the airport, and the property offers free round trip airport transfers.

I stayed here for three nights with the hope of reconnecting a bit with to myself. The location provides a perfect setting for reconnecting and tapping into your personal power.  Upon arrival, I was greeted with a cool citrus-scented towel and fresh tropical juice. It’s raining outside, but I feel cozy and at home. I am escorted to my private room. The superior garden wing is clean and welcoming—modern sophistication fused with understated elegance. It is a classic Thai-inspired design with a contemporary twist.

I lie on the bed and relax to the sounds of palm trees gently swaying in the lush tropical garden just outside my private balcony. After relaxing for a bit, I head to dinner for an evening out at Prego Italian Restaurant. Perhaps the finest Italian cuisine Koh Samui has to offer, the restaurant is located on Chaweng Beach Road (opposite Amari Koh Samui), a short two-minute walk from my room. Prego is a stylish restaurant headed up by the charismatic Italian chef Marco Boscaini.

Koh Samui

Prego prides itself on its authentic Italian specialties, including wood-fired pizzas, a variety of homemade pastas, and zesty seafood creations, as well as an excellent wine list consisting of both local and import brands. The restaurant features an open-air pizza oven complimented by its al fresco-style dining setting, spacious layout, and subtle hints of lighting.

As I walk in, I am suddenly whisked into Italy. The aroma of fresh bread and garlic fills my nose. I enjoy a glass of red wine and the chef’s specially prepared meal. I eat a fresh salad and penne arrabbiata, penne with tomato and garlic. I end my meal with the chef’s tiramisu; it melts in my mouth as the flavor bursts on my tongue.

After dinner, I relax in my room and prepare for a full-bellied night’s sleep. The beds at Amari Ko Samui are soft but still firm enough for support. I have one of the best night’s sleep ever and wake up feeling refreshed.

Koh SamuiI head to the Amaya Food Gallery for breakfast. A wide international selection of food is served up in a buffet style. There are guests from all over the world, scooping up fresh croissants, pastries, and cheese. I hear a man with a French accent say in English to his family, “This is the best breakfast I’ve ever had at a hotel.” The staff is very eager to please; they smile the famous Thai smile and welcome me into the restaurant. I sit down and enjoy my fresh food. I am eating a ham and cheese egg omelet made fresh to order and some fresh fruit. Coffee and topical juices are prepared fresh as well. After breakfast I head to Breeze Spa, the Amari signature spa.

Koh SamuiSet on the beautiful and serene stretch that is Chaweng Beach, Breeze Spa invites me to delight in the slow rhythms of tropical living on the island. As I relax by the shore, I smell the subtle scent of aromatic oils.

The spa is located on the upper floor of the Beach Wing, and the spa features three treatment rooms, two of which are overlooking the beach. I am going to try a world-renowned Thai massage. The famous technique digs deep into the tissue and helps relieve stress built over time. I step into the spa and instantly soothe away any worries. I have the choice of treatment by picking a mood massage.

Breeze Spa’s signature mood therapy treatments: dreamy, serene, rejuvenated, invigorated, or energized. My treatment is the Samui Piña Colada featuring a natural self-tanning extract to help stimulate melanin formation, inducing an even, all-over glow while ultrafine, shimmering body oil is sprinkled to produce a flawless, golden radiance. This exclusive treatment takes me into the depths of tropical life as I am whisked away into spa heaven. The products are fresh and natural ingredients.

It’s a full-body treatment that nourishes and enhances the skin and transforms it into gorgeous, glowing radiance. The treatment begins with a detoxifying body scrub, using a body brush to stimulate circulation and the lymphatic system. My spa therapist then continues with the specially created Samui Piña Colada Tanning Scrub, a cocktail of organic extra virgin coconut oil from the first pressing of fresh raw coconuts infused with vitamins and berries from the monk’s pepper plant. This is a natural, self-tanning extract that helps to stimulate melanin formation to naturally induce an even, all-over glow while protecting the skin against UV damage. She finishes with a revitalizing massage of my choice; I pick the Serne massage, an option to let it all go. This oh-so-soothing massage uses a long stroke palm pressure technique that stretches the muscles, works out all the knots and kinks, and leaves me feeling like I don’t have a care in the whole world.

Koh Samui

After the massage treatment, my body is ready for the finishing touch: a sprinkling of ultrafine, shimmering body oil for a flawless golden radiance. Now I am ready for some more fun in the sun! After my spa time, I head to the pool to relax. The property has two pools; I lay by the one on the beach side. After about an hour of resting in the sun, I walk along the beach.

Chaweng Beach is one of Koh Samui’s busiest and best beaches. Koh Samui is a tropical paradise, one of the most well-respected and long-standing Thai island get-aways.

Koh Samui

Amari Koh Samui is close to temples and cultural island adventures.

Amari Koh Samui

Website: http://www.amari.com/koh-samui/

Photos Shannon Kaiser @shannonKaiserWrites

Written by Shannon Kaiser

Shannon Kaiser

Shannon Kaiser is the Wellness Coach and Travel Editor for Healing Lifestyles & Spas.

She is best-selling author of three books about happiness, including Find Your Happy and Adventures for Your Soul. She appears regularly as a happiness expert on AM Northwest and Huff Post Live, and was named among the “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” by the Mind Body Green. Shannon’s the founder of Playwiththeworld.com, an award-winning self-help and personal development website. She’s an author, international life coach, teacher, travel writer and inspirational speaker who left her job in advertising several years ago to follow her heart and become a writer.

Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe such as HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health and Entrepreneur magazine. Everything Shannon does is to help you connect to your true self and unapologetically live your authentic purpose.

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