Nothing is worse than finding heaven in a brochure onlyto turn up and find your dream is a rubble-strewn ruin. Even though expectations were running high, the lauded Melati Beach Resort & Spa did not disappoint.

Unlike many resorts that claim to be on the shores of a white sand idyll but turn out to be jutted against a rocky outcrop off which swimmers launch themselves towards the sea at their peril, Melati Beach Resort & Spa sits in spitting distance of the pristine sand of northern Samui’s Thongson Bay. Derived from the Indonesian meaning jasmine, Melati reflects the ambience of fragrant orientalism. Opulent Balinese architecture is blended with traditional Thai salas in lush tropical gardens that back onto the ocean. The resort stands out from its competitors for being awash with peaceful relaxation.

The resort houses a range of rooms to suit all budgets, but the real highlight is the Presidential Suite. With ample living quarters and a self-contained adjacent villa for friends, the unit has a private pool perfect for an early morning dip. All rooms are equipped with the most up-to-date amenities. The pillows are some of the most comfortable that my head has ever hit.
There are two tempting choices from which guests can choose. Kan Sak Thong is an upscale dining venue which, despite its classic Thai name, serves a range of pan-Asian cuisine blended with international additions making dining here a bit of an adventure. In particular, their Balinese-inspired spicy duck with shrimp paste sambal and pineapple salad was a hit. Pa-Ngan View is an open-air beachfront restaurant serving fresh seafood and international dishes from an a la carte menu that includes pad Thai, pasta and sandwiches. The view is the real pull here, extending as it does towards Koh Pa-Ngan and beyond.

The generous space in the separate living room made it cosy enough to bunk down on the sofa while watching the latest horror flick.
…the resort was so large that it took a buggy to get me back to my room. – Jeerawan Duangnam

Melati Beach Resort & Spa
9/16 Moo 5, Bophut, Thongson Bay, Koh Samui 84320, Thailand +66 (0) 7791 3400-20 http://www.melatiresort.com


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