The island of Koh Samui is the second largest within the Gulf of Thailand and is known for its beaches, rainforests, coconuts, and high-end spas and hotels. Few places are better examples of this than SALA’s newest luxury property, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort. Situated just South of the airport and despite it being right in the heart of the busy shopping, hotel and restaurant district, the resort feels like its own secluded island with private beach access and uninterrupted views of the coastline. Taking up residence for a few days in one of the Oceanfront Balcony Pool Suites, we somehow managed to drag ourselves away from the room’s private pool to explore the rest of the resort; where SALA’s stunning architecture weaves intricately into Koh Samui’s natural beauty.
While phase two of the hotel is still under construction, the initial segment currently open to the public features fifty-two pool villas and suites. Further expansion will add an additional eighty-two rooms in the coming months to go alongside a roadside restaurant, gym, spa, and garden swimming pool with a bar. SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort design language combines a minimalistic palette of white and oak, which creates a timeless beachside aesthetic. Inspired by the moon’s silhouette, repeating circular shapes have been injected into the linear configuration of villas and suites. From archways connecting adjoining spaces right down to the custom circular light fittings on the walls that resemble a solar eclipse. The softened spaces have left the resort with a serene, comfortable atmosphere. This conceptual approach behind the design gives the resort a distinct personality that is synonymous with the SALA name.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the warm and friendly concierge team offering delicious tidbits, welcoming drinks, and refreshing cold towels before being guided to our room.
The property isn’t too sparse so it was only a brief walk to our room. Upon entering it we immediately noticed that it was a very generously sized room, offering a good deal of closet space, giving us enough room to lay our luggage side by side to unpack; a rarity in our experience. Wide sliding glass doors allowed for plenty of natural light to flow in with breathtaking views of the private pool. But we weren’t prepared for the next thing that happened – our guide presented to us a little box, called SALA Selection, with what looked like four mini pillows neatly fanned out, and proceeded to explain that they were the range of pillow types that we could choose from. Upon selecting our favourite pillow, we were tasked to choose from the same number of options for soap bars and room scents. Now this was another level – we opted for goose down, cinnamon and orange, and lemongrass for those wondering.
Lavish furnishings are dispersed throughout the room including the carved double sink that blends seamlessly into the benchtop, generous bathtub capable of fitting two people with their legs stretched out, large rainfall showerhead and a fully stocked mini bar with a curated selection of high-end spirits. The room’s decor matched the refined timber and white palette of the rest of the property and drew your eyes directly to the star of the show – the private balcony pool with unparalleled vistas of the moon pool and glistening ocean beyond.
The hotel currently only has one restaurant, The Tent Beachfront Restaurant and Bar that opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. No matter where we chose to sit; in one of the indoor dining rooms or on the shaded deck, the beach was always in full view. The Tent offers a wider variety of menu items than many other resorts around Chaweng including seafood, modern Australian, pizza and pasta. A welcome change of pace if you’ve had too much Thai food. Dishes are excellent across the multiple cuisines on offer, but seeing as we’d flown all the way to Thailand, trying the local cuisine as it was intended was a must; and Tent was a great place to do so. The waitstaff were just as attentive and friendly as the rest of the SALA staff, and we spent some time chatting with Executive Assistant Manager, Nick Hall, about the restaurant’s concept, background and menu creation.
A notable point of difference for SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort is their environmentally friendly approach, very much piloted by Nick. All rooms feature water bottles made of glass, not plastic; while the shower amenities were provided in ceramic, refillable dispensers rather than limited use disposable plastic containers. Ordering coconuts at the restaurant brought another surprise as they were delivered with lemongrass shoots as the straw, while some of the cocktails came with paper straws. It was great to see that the resort had considered the impact of waste created from its operation, and it’s something we hope to see from other resorts in the future.
The resort sits adjacent to a white, sandy beachfront that was kept immaculate by hotel staff during our stay. Guest are encouraged to make use of the sun lounges and daybeds to relax around the beach, as well as free kayaks and paddleboards to experience the crystal clear waters first-hand. If sand isn’t your thing, then the moon pool is a luxurious retreat with a selection of double-sized daybeds to laze around and drink cocktails on.
Each night as the sun went down, we took advantage of happy hour and sipped on delicious cocktails as the crystal blue skies gave way to kaleidoscopic orange, pink and purple sunsets.
SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort amplifies Koh Samui’s natural beauty and the fresh, contemporary design of the building is an attraction in itself. From the plush beds to the private pools and the consistently warm and friendly staff, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort is the ideal way to unwind and enjoy Koh Samui island.