Three years into TVG, I still find it difficult sometimes to contain my excitement. Some would see it as unprofessional, laughing to myself in complete bewilderment as I first lay eyes on a fancy hotel room or exotic supercar, but I’m convinced the day I begin to take it for granted, is the day I’ll lose my passion. When I walked into Villa 28 at Samujana Koh Samui I was more than effervescent, I was blown away, perhaps more than I’ve ever been, gobsmacked by 270 degree views of Samui, framed by a luxury open plan villa and endless infinity pool.
To say pictures can’t quite do it justice is beyond an understatement. It’s so hard to capture the sense of grandeur, unadulterated views and general epicness in images of the Samujana property. I found myself complaining on numerous occasions that I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to into an image – a horrifying 1st world problem if I’ve ever heard one.
Samujana is located on Koh Samui Island in Thailand, just over an hours flight from Bangkok. The flights are relatively inexpensive, around $300 return, and you’ve got the option to fly direct from Singapore which offers an abundance of routes and carriers for those conscious of their own frequent flyer programs. Once our group had landed and collected our luggage we were transported to Samujana via one of their luxury vans. The complex is located within a 15 minute drive from the airport, perched atop one of the island’s tallest points, with Villas cascading down the hill.
The land and villas were originally purchased and developed in two stages by a private investor who then marketed and sold individual villas to owners located around the world. The group of villas, some privately owned and others still available to purchase, are managed as Samujana Resort. Guests can choose a specific villa, based on availability, that accommodates the size of their party, between three and eight rooms. Prior to arriving guests can then request a range of services provided by the resort including chefs and full-time staff, access to vehicles and activities, as well as anything else they may fancy. Kurt, Samujana’s GM, was confident they could fill any guest request, whether it be Champagne on arrival, specific bed linens, daily Muay Thai lessons or a bar with 10 rare single malt whiskies.
The villas have been designed by architect Gary Fell seamlessly blending contemporary luxury with Thai architecture. Each of the villas has been designed around the unique topography of the land, differing in size and layout, but maintaining a similar look and feel. We did a tour of five villas, each with their own unique attractions, whether that be direct beach access, 360 degree views, giant home gyms, bowling alleys, poolside bars or colossal outdoor dining areas suitable for events.
It’s clear that all the villas have been designed to optimise privacy, aspect and outdoor space, with large open kitchens and common areas. Whilst I made special mention of a handful of special attractions each individual villa has, across the board all the villas are lavishly equipped with gyms, cellars, cinemas, infinity pools, BBQ areas, commercial kitchens, wifi and surround sound systems. There’s no short straw, I’ll put it that way.
Once you’ve settled in, and the wonderful staff have prepared you a sumptuous lunch followed by a fresh coconut (averaging 3 a day at least), you can make the most of your villa’s amenities or check out the local area. Samujana can provide transport around the island, on the land or sea, for sightseeing, shopping and boozing. In fact Kurt’s operation couldn’t be more Hollywood, ‘Want to go to Full Moon on Ko Pha Ngan, or spend the afternoon at Nikki Beach on the other side of the island? We can organise go fast boats to get you there.’ If you’re keen on sailing, Samujana have a 40 foot Catamaran you can charter. If you’re keen on trying local cuisine, Samujana will provide luxury vans to take you there. If you want to go to a fine dining restaurant, followed by a Mauy Thai fight and then have a balls to the wall drinking session until 4am (surrounded by lady boys), the fine folks at Samujana will organise it all, and make sure the same luxury van you took to lunch, is waiting for you the moment you’re ready to retire. In terms of full service resorts, it doesn’t get much better than Samujana.
Of course luxury accommodation comes at a price, but when you break it down on a per person per night basis it’s not that outrageous. Naturally the villas fluctuate in price from low to high season, ranging from US$700 for a 3 bed to US$2400 for a 10 bedder per night. Our villa, No.28 starts from US$1800 a night in low season and goes up to US$2800 in peak season. With 10 people staying, splitting the cost and living like kings, it’s actually quite appealing, especially in low season! Whilst its possible to absolutely blow the budget at Samujana, with incredible bespoke service, I’m positive I could have the holiday of a life time with nine of my closest friends paying for nothing but the villa. But hey, when you’re staying in one of the best resorts you’re likely to ever stay in, why not turn it up?