Samui Wining & Dining
Holiday Maker

Khun Seni Puwasetthawon is a man in a million who’s enticed thousands of visitors to Samui whilst running a unique resort.

 8You probably don’t know this person even exists. Yet he travels often and widely. You may have sat next to him on the Moscow Metro or passed him on a Berlin street. He might have been a face in the crowd at a French triathlon meeting. Or he could well have been sitting at the next table from you in a Hong Kong restaurant. And, at first glance, you’d probably think that this quietly-spoken person (who appears to pop up in various parts of the world and then is gone again) was just another businessman. But the reality is that he might well have had a hand in shaping a tiny bit of your life – your trip to Thailand, in fact.

Yes, maybe he’s the very reason why you’re here on Samui. Without his presence at some time in one or other of the world’s cities, you might well have gone somewhere else for your holiday. This is the person who creates holidays. Yours? Perhaps, perhaps not. But he certainly is for thousands who jet into Samui. Without grabbing the elbows of passers-by and thrusting a map of Samui into their reluctant hands, he’s nevertheless managed to influence many potential tourists to come here. But how, you may ask.

Well at this point I’d better introduce the man I’ve been talking about. He’s Khun Seni Puwasetthawon, the current President of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui (TAKS) – a small but influential group that’s mission is to broadcast the many benefits the island offers as a major holiday destination. Khun Seni spends a lot of time criss-crossing the globe and attending all manner of travel-fairs, road-shows and worldwide tourism meetings. It’s a tiring task which involves living out of a suitcase at times. He’s basically letting the world know that Samui exists and that it’s well worth visiting.

 

Khun Seni likes to travel – which is just as well since he does so much of it. He also believes in the potential that Samui has. He was born on the island and still lives here. He and his team have been responsible for bringing an increasing number of different nationalities to the island. Not so many years ago, for example, few Russians ever came here. They’d probably they’d never heard of Samui. Thanks to a lot of hard work from Khun Seni and TAKS, they now flock here in ever-increasing numbers throughout the year, enjoying the warm temperatures whilst back home it’s freezing.

Khun Seni’s now concentrating more on the Chinese and Taiwanese market and is negotiating for charter flights from various mainland Chinese cities, as well as Taipei, to fly into Samui bringing plenty of new holidaymakers. 

“Samui has enormous potential,” says Khun Seni. “By the end of the year there’ll be some 17,000 hotel rooms on the island. They’re of all different categories. You can find a huge choice of cost and location. There’s everything from simple beach huts to 6-star accommodation. Those rooms are waiting to be filled and, if they are, then the entire island benefits economically.”

Asked if there aren’t already too many hotels here, Khun Seni replies, “It does seem there are a lot here already. But the authorities are now strictly controlling what gets built and how close to the sea everything is. You won’t find any plans for high-rise hotels and condominiums because they’ve been banned here.” He feels positive about the island and its future; he doesn’t foresee further major development of the hotel sector at the moment.

Busy though he is drumming up business for Samui, Khun Seni also finds time to run his own resort. You might be tempted to think that a marketing professional would opt for the kind of place that tries to suit every nationality and taste. But this isn’t the case. Coral Cove Chalet is decidedly individualistic. It grew out of a few huts on a hillside, gradually evolving into 3-star accommodation. Rather than copy other hoteliers, Khun Seni has shown a lot more creativity. The results are unique. And pleasing. People return time and time again.

Drive south along the ring-road from Chaweng and you’ll find Coral Cove Chalet just before The Kala. It’s almost right at the top of a hill. This gives the chalets wonderful views out across Chaweng Bay. The beach is rather different from many others, too. For a start, there are three of them, separated by tiny rocky headlands. This means that there are no crowds. And if you enjoy snorkeling, then this is a great place to see some great coral and colourful marine-life. A few flaps of your fins will take you out into the bay itself. And if you take a look back, you’ll see the chalets perched on the hill slopes and beyond them steep mountains rising up in one giant wave of greenery.

The chalets are all fully-modernized with en-suite bathrooms, comfy beds and very big balconies. Some are built right over the sands on stilts, allowing for even better views. It’s an idyllic location to say the least. And verdant, too. The foliage seems reluctant to give way to the sea and even metres away from it you can see trees growing out of rocks. Coral Cove has its own swimming pool, niftily located right by the restaurant and if you fancy some professional pampering, there’s also a spa.

The resort is a creative success, as it’s not a run-of-the-mill production like so much other holiday accommodation. Coral Cove Chalet has got bags of natural charm and offers a perfect Samui holiday. Which is hardly surprising, considering that it’s the brainchild of the consummate travel professional whose lifelong occupation is telling the world that people can have just that

 


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