Samui Wining & Dining
IN THE MOOD TO BE WOWED
Prana Hotels & Resorts take accommodation and dining to new heights.

Prana Hotels & Resorts take accommodation and dining to new heights.Half way along the bay of Bangrak, you’ll find a rather special resort, Prana Hotels & Resorts, which unusually consists of two hotel properties; the original Prana Beach Villas and the newer Prana Resort Nandana.

          

Prana Beach Villas is a well-established resort, and its guests love the seaside location, where you can literally jump off the restaurant terrace and find yourself on Bangrak beach. It’s a great place for swimming, and doesn’t see the sheer numbers of holidaymakers that Chaweng and Lamai do. Guests are assured of great attention with the staff being friendly and welcoming.

          

Prana Resort Nandana is home to 60 brand new rooms. To get to them, you pass through an atrium that must surely be unique in hotel architecture. The style’s called ‘khwaang’ and certainly isn’t an expression you’ll find in any reference book, no matter how detailed it may be. The word is Thai and refers to a longish basket-style fish trap. If you stand in the atrium and look up you’ll see the shape, acting as a stylish centrepiece around which the lobby is loosely built. It adds lightness to the resort and, isn’t at all gimmicky. Visitors always stop to have a look because they’ve never seen anything quite like this before. It’s eye-catching without being an eye-sore.

          

Once past the lobby you’ll come to the large swimming pool, and if you have accommodation on the ground floor then you’re in for a treat.

          

You’ll find patio doors that open wide onto the pool. What could be better than getting out of bed and going straight for a swim, or indolently lying on your chaise longue that’s set in the water at the edge of the pool? There’s also a swim-up bar, ideal for a cooling drink when it gets hot. By the time you’ve spent a few days in the resort, you’ll certainly feel a closer bond with water than you might imagine – it becomes part of your life,Prana Hotels & Resorts take accommodation and dining to new heights. or at least of your holiday. The rooms are all beautifully designed and have every modern amenity you could think of. Impeccably cleaned and maintained, they have a very chic and welcoming vibe. They’re exactly what you need if you’re on holiday – entirely practical – yet totally comfortable; just the kind of place you’ll enjoy returning to if you’ve been out all day.

          

You don’t need to be staying at Prana to enjoy the excellent restaurant, situated on the resort’s rooftop, Zama. It’s open all day and serves everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to a variety of snacks and drinks. You can access it by a corkscrew staircase or you can take Zama’s rather unusual lift. The lift cage has neither door nor ceiling; it’s a platform set flush into an air well that simply rises up to the top floor. When you arrive you step out onto a beautiful terrace, the setting for Zama. It’s a wonderfully romantic place, as you can look out over the sea and enjoy the stunning views.

          

Zama concentrates on what it calls fine Thai and modern European cuisines. Both are incredibly tasty and use the freshest ingredients, skilfully combined to provide a gourmet experience. The blend of creativity and unpretentious fine dining has won over many a jaded foodie. There are some very tasty dishes on offer that are hard to find anywhere else on the island. For example, you could opt for the falafel wrap which includes tzatziki and feta and is accompanied by the delicious house fries. Or you could have the beetroot salmon gravlax, a medley of home-cured salmon, poached egg, asparagus and avocado. Needless to say, if you’re not in the mood for a full-scale meal, then just opt for a snack or something lighter. Try the select dessert menu for some highly mouth-watering treats. They’ve been creatively put together and are guaranteed to please. Highly recommended is the white chocolate cremeux with sour cherries and almond streusel. Zama also has all the wines and champagnes to perfectly match your lunch or dinner.Prana Hotels & Resorts take accommodation and dining to new heights. Knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand, should you need help in making choices. You can also take advantage of a beautiful poolside café bar right by the sea. Enjoy happy hour delights along with free canapés from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm, with a two for the price of one offer on selected beverages.

          

If you’ve enjoyed the food at the resort, then I’ll warrant you’ll enjoy their spa. Amezcua Spa is a world of total relaxation that, like the restaurant, is again set away from everything else and situated on a rooftop. With a winning blend of traditions from both East and West, it’s the ideal place to just let go and chill out while expert masseuses tend to you with a variety of treatments. It’s ideal, too, for couples. You can choose between aromatherapy, traditional and Royal Thai, scrubs and wraps as well as entire packages. Just, for example, try the excellent Amezcua Signature treatment, which includes refreshments, foot ritual and chakra balancing. It’s incredibly soothing for the back and spine and scalp. Marine products are used that will help you draw even more benefit from the two-hour procedure.

          

Prana is ideally located. It’s a few minutes’ drive from the airport, and a little further to Chaweng, and all its restaurants, bars and nightlife. Heading in the other direction, you’re a few minutes from Fisherman’s Village, Bophut, with its long street of international restaurants and outdoor shopping mall, The Wharf.

          

Prana is a landmark amongst Samui’s resorts, and with its beautiful architecture and excellent all-round service and attention to detail it’s going to be top of the list both as a place to stay and relax and as a venue for delicious dining.

          

 Dimitri Waring


 


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