A Southern Haven

The Four Seasons’ new tropical island resort

By: Carole Dixon

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Clients can relax next to their private pool.
Samui means ‘safe haven’ and you will certainly feel cosseted in the dense tropical hills at the new Four Seasons Resort off the gulf of Siam.

The expansive ocean view from the open-air wooden reception deck will stop clients in their tracks. It’s as if you’re hanging off the edge of a luxury treehouse about to take the plunge into 42 acres of perfectly manicured flora and mango trees. The entire island resort has a lush jungle setting with 58 one-bedroom private landscaped villas tucked amid the coconut palms and jackfruit. They will want to spend ample time on their large deck complete with infinity pool and day beds for lounging and gazing out at the beach below. The interiors are contemporary with warm colors, dark woods and a massive terrazzo, shell-shaped bathtub facing a large picture window encompassing that one-in-a-million view. If your clients don’t want a perch from the top, there are also two beach villas and two residences available all with wireless Internet access just in case you feel the need to check in with the office.

While visitors may not want to leave their rooms, a major draw to the resort is the spa villas. Complete with private treatment rooms, full bath and decks with soaking tubs, you’ll be in complete seclusion perfect for celebrity clients. After you indulge in one of the 90-minute massages ranging from an Ayurvedic blend to Siam fusion you are led up through a maze of wooden stairs shrouded in a lusty forest to an open-air teahouse for relaxing with a soothing herbal drink in the midst of chirping birds.

Actually, if your clients don’t love to walk, this might not be the resort for them. The hilly landscape requires a steep trek down to the beach or up to the main restaurant, but you can take a ‘buggy’ ride at any time. The speedy golf carts are readily available at all the major restaurants and the spa, but be prepared for hair-pin twists and turns in the road and just consider it part of the experience. The beach offers snorkeling and fishing off the coral reef, or if clients prefer dry land, try a game of coconut petanque (a form of bocce) on the sand. Other daily activities range from hatha yoga classes, Muay Thai boxercise and a tennis clinic where you can learn “the stroke of the week” to tropical cocktails classes at the beach bar during sundown.

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A variety of spa treatments
are offered at the resort.
For dining, guests have a choice of casual beach bites all day at Pla Pla, where you can order a wide variety of salads, sashimi, chicken satay, hummus, smoked-duck quesadillas, pizzas or a juicy burger with fries.

More upscale fare can be found at the top of the hill in Lan Tania restaurant. A few signatures include Mong Korn pon fai a stir-fried Phuket lobster with dry chili, oyster sauce and cashew nuts that could easily feed several people; and by stark contrast, the chef’s crab risotto is one of the best this side of Milan. Surprisingly, they both mix wonderfully together with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which features predominately on the wine list.

Excursions on the island include designer knock-off shopping in the main village but it will be hard to leave the service-friendly grounds, unless you’re in the market for fabulous fake Prada. Another idea for clients to consider is flying via Singapore rather than Bangkok. It’s less than a two-hour daily flight on Bangkok Airways and you can enjoy some wonderful upscale shopping and dining in Singapore before escaping to the island. Air Singapore has just added the sky’s largest business-class seats on the Los Angeles and San Francisco direct flights for supreme comfort.


Four Seasons Koh Samui

Rates: $530 and up
Commission: 10 percent