Samui Wining & Dining
EXTOLLING THE GOOD LIFE
Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi is just the kind of place you return to, again and again.

Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi is just the kind of place you return to, again and again.“See you again soon!” is definitely not an empty phrase when you hear staff saying it to guests at the Impiana Resort. For a start, the resort is a family-oriented kind of place, where staff actually get to know the guests, and very often it’s a relationship that deepens over the years. That’s because the Impiana has many, many repeat guests. People love coming back here – time and time again. This isn’t the case with every hotel, but guests here are keen to book again. Many stay for long periods – seven weeks is the record – and guests have been known to spend each holiday here for a decade or longer.

          

So what makes the Impiana so attractive? For a start there’s the location. It’s in Chaweng, on the island’s most popular beach, but just to the south, in an equally beautiful area but one that’s far less built up. A tiny headland just to the north means that the beach is far less frequented, yet the town itself is just a couple of kilometres away. The best of both words? Absolutely. And then just behind Impiana, imposing green hills rise to vertiginous heights and provide a further tropical feel. Plenty of guests just stay on or around the beach in the daytime, and at night venture out into the town, have a great night out and return to the hush of the resort to sleep undisturbed. It’s a winning combination, one that draws families and romantic couples, as well as groups of friends. Neither too big nor too small, the 96-room Impiana has been operating for the last 17 years. In that time it has gone from strength to strength, with upgrades and improvements whenever needed. It’s currently run by General Manager, Rodan Ivan, a veteran when it comes to Asian hotels; he’s worked in Vietnam and Myanmar as well as Thailand, and brings with him a wealth of expertise.

          

The people behind Impiana are dedicated to bringing all their guests the best times possible. They represent a brand that’s very popular in this part of Asia, simply called Impiana. It’s a Malaysian-run concern, a strong brand but one that’s always personable – definitely not a faceless corporate one.

          

The resort makes good use of space with generously-sized rooms which feature sophisticated en-suite bathrooms and luxuriouslyappointed living spaces that put guests in the mood for some serious relaxation. Whether you’re sitting out on your balcony (most rooms look out towards the sea) or cooling off in the aircon interior, the accommodation is always a delight.

And it’s not expensive either – prices here represent extremely good value, even when it comes to an opulent suite right by the ocean.

          

Both restaurants at Impiana offer a wealth of truly delicious food. Sabai offers breakfast till 10:30 am and then lunch and dinner. It’s ideal for all-day dining as it’s so close to the sea. Highly recommended are Executive Chef Khun Mas’ signature creations – they’re truly mouthwatering.Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi is just the kind of place you return to, again and again. The menu contains enough variety so that everyone will find something that they like.

          

At the other restaurant, Tamarind, you can enjoy the best of Thai food, and if you’re unsure what you’d like then there’s a choice of two set dinners. Both consist of Thai favourites, for example, Tom Kha Gai and a massaman curry. It’s great if you’re here in the evening and are looking for a special dinner in a quiet ambience.

          

There’s also the beautiful Beach Bar & Top Roof Beach Bar right on the sands where you can enjoy drinks or have food from either of the restaurants brought to you.

          

For a really romantic treat, you can ask for a private chef to cater for you and your beloved. Many couples opt for a private pavilion on the beach with 200 candles placed on the sands. It’s part of a package that’s decidedly memorable, not least for the excellent food. Alternatively you can have the dinner on the rooftop of the beach bar, which will be reserved just for you.

          

The resort has culinary themes for every day of the week. Monday is Thai Night by the beach, featuring dishes from all around the country to the accompaniment of traditional Thai music. Tuesday is Ocean Promotion, and on Wednesday it’s Catch of The Day with freshly grilled seafood. On Thursdays, head to Tamarind restaurant and take a seat for Steak Night, with music from guest saxophonist Yils Biox. While on Fridays it’s Viva la Pasta, with all kinds of pasta on the top roof of The Beach Bar. When the weekend comes, you can enjoy the Saturday night Barbecue Seafood Buffet on the beach, with music from DJ Jenya Kak Jenja (who also spins the tunes on Monday and Friday afternoons from 1:30 pm to 3:30pm) as well as a fire show. Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi is just the kind of place you return to, again and again.Finally, on Sunday, there’s the Wine & Dine set menu.

          

After food, drink and the beach, there’s still more to celebrate at Impiana when it comes to having good times. Blissful indulgence is the name of the game at the resort’s Swasana Spa, and a session here leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for the world again. Prices are also very affordable, but with no compromise on quality. Open to guests and nonguests alike, a simple visit to Swasana is enough to lighten your step and your mood.

          

On entering the spa, you’ll find a longish list of treatments available. You’ll also find a steam room where you can soak up the heat, while the herbs that have been added help de-toxify the body and relieve stress. By the way, an important feature at Swasana is that before the massage begins, you choose the level of intensity of the pressure to be used. There are a variety of massage styles for you to choose from and they’re guaranteed to soothe and relieve physical tension. Highly recommended is a very blissful Balinese massage.

          

Incidentally, all the masseuses at Swasana have to undergo a year’s training and practice before they can qualify. The spa is very much integral to the Impiana brand, and training and treatments are all decided upon in the brand’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

          

Life at Impiana is a happy combination of the unhurried and the pleasurable. Turn up here for lunch, dinner or a massage and you’ll find yourself soon relaxing while the attentive staff look after you. Better still, come and stay here and you’ll enjoy full-time pampering that will leave you with many happy memories.

          

 Dimitri Waring


 


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