Samui Wining & Dining
THE ROYAL TREATMENT
Royal Muang Samui Villas in Choeng Mon is most certainly a palatial property.


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There’s something quite special about the Muang Samui resorts. First, the original Muang Samui Spa Resort in Chaweng impressed guests with its meandering free-form swimming pool that snakes its way through the resort.Its main restaurant, Samui Seafood Grill & Restaurant, has long been impressing diners with its top quality seafood menu, as well as traditional Thai and Italian cuisine.

        So when the island started seeing a work crew on Choeng Mon Beach, and a dramatic structure started emerging from the ground, news got around that it was another Muang Samui property, and expectations were high. Over the next two years, Muang Samui Villas & Suites unobtrusively continued construction, until finally, a masterpiece emerged. Now, whether you pass by on the Choeng Mon road or along the beach, it’s hard not to notice this impressive building – from the tower on the roadside, to the manmade ‘cave’ (which houses the Rai Ra Spa) next to the enormous beachfront swimming pool, something is bound to catch your eye and draw you in. In 2014, the resort’s name was amended, quite fittingly, to the ‘Royal Muang Samui Villas & Suites’.

        The resort places a strong emphasis on its ‘Thai-ness’, from its architecture, to the hospitality of its warm and friendly staff, which Thailand is so famous for. Uniforms are traditional ‘60s Thai-style, and in keeping with the royal theme, the Thai menus at both resorts have been designed by Ajarn Amintra Dinakara Na Ayuthaya, once chef to the Royal Family and owner of the famous ‘M.L.Puang Cooking School’. Locally, she’s well known as a celebrity TV chef too, and with skills in Royal Thai Cuisine, the Muang Samui resorts are proud to have her as their culinary advisor. Samui Seafood in Chaweng has been open for more than ten years, one of the first ‘seafood market’ display type restaurants on the island – their phad Thai (Ajarn Amintra’s recipe) is very popular, and is a good introduction to Thai food.

        At the Royal Muang Samui Villas in Choeng Mon, the Spice Zone restaurant is located alongside the swimming pool, looking towards the beach. Outside guests are most welcome to enjoy Ajarn Amintra’s recipes here, where the focus is on Royal Thai Cuisine and seafood, although there’s a delicious selection of international dishes too. Those in the mood for Italian, can head towards the roadside Ciccio’s Ristorante & Pizzeria and watch their authentic Italian pizzas being made in the wood-fired oven.

          Relaxation plays a big part of most holidays, and here, an expansive free-form swimming pool takes centre stage in a lawned area overlooking the beach. Both the pool and the many loungers surrounding it, and along the beach, are for exclusive use of the hotel guests, but the beachside bar welcomes passers-by for a drink.

          The Rai Ra Beach Spa is the perfect place to unwind, and offers a comprehensive list of packages in the manmade cave, with its waterfall cascading into the swimming pool. Inside, you’ll find five treatment rooms, each with its own bathroom. Meandering through the softly-lit cave to your personal treatment room really makes you feel like you’re in another world – and you’ll feel like you’ve been to heaven after your massage or body package, where expert therapists practice authentic Thai and Asian rituals and techniques to help melt away stress, or rid the body of impurities and reverse the signs of aging.

          But it’s in your room where you really feel like royalty – with the level of luxury and space usually assigned to presidential suites, being standard in all rooms. Even the more ‘modest’ terrace suites offer spacious private

          balconies as well as in-room Jacuzzis. The pool villas are most impressive – as who would have thought that individual swimming pools could be built on the third floor? Here, an expansive patio houses a private swimming pool, as well as an outdoor kitchenette and seating. Leading from here are two pavilions, one appointed as a bedroom, and the other a living room. Bathrooms are impressive, with rain showers, double vanities and of course, the Jacuzzi – just what you need to feel pampered. Flat-screen TVs with DVD can be found in both the bedroom as well as the living room of the pool villas. Décor is elegant, with Thai elements, yet offers all the modern amenities one would expect from a five-star resort, including Wi-Fi throughout the resort.

          Both Muang Samui resorts offer wedding packages, with their own in-house wedding co-ordinator ensuring every detail is to the bridal couple’s specifications, whether it be a beach wedding, Western ceremony or traditional Thai wedding. Anything can be arranged, with no request being too much trouble – here, they understand how important this special day is and staff do their utmost to make it as memorable as possible. With banquet and meeting rooms available, larger functions can also be hosted with ease.

          Some resorts, although beautiful, could be anywhere in the world. At the Royal Muang Samui Villas & Suites you truly know you’re in Thailand.

          

 Rosanne Turner


 


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