Samui Wining & Dining
Fully Flourished
Impiana Resort & Spa continues to go from strength to strength.


Fully FlourishedCompetition breeds innovation and creativity. And a fiercely competitive market place often results in improved products and services for consumers. Plus the global financial crisis of the last few years has made value-for-money a top priority for holidaymakers. And that puts the pressure firmly on the resorts and restaurants on Samui to exceed expectations.


One of the island’s most popular hotels is the Impiana Resort & Spa, in Chaweng Noi. It celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2011 and each year welcomes back returning guests from all over the world. Like its sister resorts in Malaysia and other parts of Thailand, the strategy over the years has been one of continuous improvement. Before the Impiana Group took over, the land was occupied by a small resort with basic rooms and bungalows. A romantic notion but, in reality, latter-day travellers often want their accommodation to not only reflect Thai architecture and style but also have all the mod-cons they would expect to find at home.


And it’s not just the accommodation. Landscaped gardens, ocean views, swimming pools and top-notch restaurants within the resort are all necessary for today’s discerning holidaymakers. Most of the Impiana’s 98 rooms, cottages and suites overlook the beach. And several renovation programmes have taken place over the years bringing a simple hotel up to four star international resort standards. Even in the last couple of years, larger bathrooms have been added, a new beach bar built, a new bar, lounge and relaxation area introduced (Tamarind Bar & Lounge), an exciting new menu for the Sabai Restaurant has been created and a brand new Hospitality Lounge for guests to chill-out in has opened beside the reception area.


Nor will the improvements stop there. The Marketing & Events Manager, Diah Maulidya, plans the events at the resort. “We now host dozens of wedding ceremonies each year and have the facilities to make the couple’s beach wedding and evening reception truly memorable. And still provide everything our resident guests require. It’s common to have several wedding guests that are staying elsewhere come back a few days later, sometimes to spend a few hours in the spa or enjoy an evening dinner with entertainment. We’re close enough to Chaweng Beach Road to be convenient but also far enough away to ensure a much more relaxed ambiance.”


Both the Tamarind Bar & Lounge and the Beach Bar have three periods of ‘Happy Hours’ each day: midday until 2:00 pm; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm; and 9:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Sitting on the beach watching the sun go down or relaxing on some soft sofas after dinner is all part of being on holiday. And when every second drink is free they just seem to taste better. Tamarind Lounge also has an extensive wine, cocktail and cigar list, a games area and elevated seating on the balcony for romantic dinners for two.


Just below the lounge is the Sabai Restaurant which overlooks the beach. And all the menus are available in both areas. Chef Adisak has extensive experience of Thai and International cuisines and fusion dishes sit side-by-side with regional Thai favourites and Impiana specialities. Seafood lovers can tuck into rock lobster with green mango salad; salmon and crab medallion; Andaman scallops; New Zealand mussels; Tiger prawns; sautéed squid and fresh locally caught whole fish grilled on the barbecue. And there’s also imported Australian rib-eye and beef tenderloin, shoulder of lamb, grilled duck and an incredible braised beef tenderloin dish with Massaman sauce. And if that wasn’t enough they also have theme nights running each evening, celebrations of local festivals and live music. Chef Adisak also has regular cooking classes where you can learn some handy Thai cooking tips and create your own menu.


If a little bit of pampering is long overdue then their Swasana Spa is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. As you walk into the spa reception you’re immediately transported into a world of calmness and serenity. And after a short consultation with your therapist she’ll be able to recommend just the right treatments for you. Their range of massages includes the best techniques from around Asia. Choose from Thai yoga, Malay spice, Balinese, Himalayan hot stone, Fuzo, hot oil and their signature Swasana Thai massage. There’s also a delightful array of body scrubs, glazes, rubs and wraps and soothing healing and facial treatments. And if you want to surprise and delight your partner they have spa packages that start with rose petals, candle lights and sensual music and end with a romantic dinner for two on the beach. The rest is up to you.


The team at Impiana Resort & Spa has planned for success by listening to customers, continually improving and believing that there’s always something more that can be done. And that’s what separates them from many of their competitors. And why guests from every continent return again and again.


Johnny Paterson


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