Tag Archives: koh samui

Thailand 2014: Conrad Koh Samui

Introduction
Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge The Pier Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Millennium Hilton Bangkok
Cooking with Poo
Overnight Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Le Meridien Chiang Mai
Patara Elephant Farm
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai to Ko Samui
Conrad Koh Samui
Bangkok Airways Koh Samui to Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Check-in and Lounge Bangkok
EVA Air Evergreen Lounge Bangkok
Louis’ Tavern First Class CIP Lounge Bangkok
Singapore SilverKris Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways Lounge Hong Kong
Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Suites Seoul to New York
United Airlines Business Class PS Service New York to San Francisco


While the Park Hyatt Tokyo might be the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at, the Conrad Koh Samui deserves some sort of superlative as well because this place is incredible. The views are absolutely stunning, the service is wonderful, and it’s a great spot for relaxation.

The view from the hotel lobby

The view from the hotel lobby

For our trip, we decided to rent a car so we wouldn’t be stuck at the hotel the whole time. Beware: you need to be comfortable driving up very, very steep roads to get to the Conrad. If you’ve driven extensively in SF, you’re probably okay, but it’s really steep and curvy to get to the hotel lobby.

With GPS and in daylight, the drive from the airport to the hotel wasn’t too bad. It took a little getting used to driving on the left side of the road and navigating the relatively small and crowded streets, but we got to the Conrad in about an hour. There’s a Tesco Lotus on the left-hand side of the road on the way to the hotel, and lots of people recommend stopping there to get snacks since the hotel is pretty isolated and the hotel restaurants are all pretty pricey.

When we arrived, we were greeted with cold towels and a refreshing drink. We were assigned room 218, which has unobstructed views (as do most of the rooms) and is walkable to breakfast.

The rooms are gorgeous. Sitting in bed, you can have a view of your private pool and the ocean. There’s a giant tub (that’s honestly pretty impractical/wasteful because it takes forever to fill) and spacious bathroom. But the private infinity pool is easily the best part.

Bed

Bed

TV and view into bathroom

TV and view into bathroom

Giant tub

Giant tub

Separate shower

Separate shower

Loungers by the pool

Loungers by the pool

More pool seating

More pool seating

Unobstructed views

Unobstructed views

Waiting in our room was a small welcome amenity of some fruit and baked goods. Every day at turndown service, more baked goods would arrive.

Welcome amenity

Welcome amenity

The hotel must do a really good job at bug spraying, because there are very few mosquitos on the property. There were lots of ants running around the pool, so I wouldn’t leave the doors to the room open, but it was nice to not have to coat myself in DEET throughout the stay.

The Conrad Koh Samui is really the perfect place to do nothing. An average day for me would be to do some morning yoga, eat a long breakfast, sit by the pool and read, swim a little, sit by the pool some more, swim some more, do a little bit of exploring, watch the sunset, eat dinner off property, come back for an evening swim, and go to bed. There’s a larger main pool for the resort, which is where you should go if you want to swim laps, but the main area can get pretty windy, and the beach isn’t anything special, so there’s not much reason to leave your room unless you want someone to bring you drinks.

View down to the main pool

View down to the main pool

While other reviews I’ve read have been unimpressed with breakfast, I enjoyed it a lot. The Thai eggs benedict was essentially just a poached egg on an English muffin with curry on top, but I loved it. The food wasn’t the best food I ate in Thailand by any means, but I was perfectly happy to eat there for four days. You can also request a coconut as a drink, if you’re so inclined. And although breakfast officially ends at 10:30am, the staff didn’t seem strict about it, and you’re definitely allowed to loiter there well past the end time.

Outside seating at breakfast

Outside seating at breakfast

Hot food options

Hot food options

Egg and pancake/waffle station

Egg and pancake/waffle station

Foods like noodles and congee

Foods like noodles and congee

Pastries

Pastries

Salads and other food

Salads and other food

I found the service at the hotel to be wonderful, and English proficiency was very high. Everyone was cheerful, and the staff would always provide a greeting, even if you’re just driving by in a buggy. There were lots of small touches, like if you’re working out in the gym and running low on water, someone will probably notice and hand you a new bottle. Or I tried going to one of the workout classes and it happened to be cancelled, and I later received a call  with profuse apologies and an offer to reschedule the class to any other time of my choosing.

We didn’t eat at the hotel except for breakfast, so I can’t comment on the other food options at the hotel. We did ask one of the hotel staff for restaurant recommendations in the area, and he gave us the typical touristy recommendations which included Green Talay (which is much espoused on Flyertalk). I asked him if he would ever eat there, and he laughed and said no because Green Talay was for farangs and had good food but was too expensive, so I asked him for where he would eat as a local, and he recommended the restaurant that’s kitty corner to the Family Mart at the turn off from 4170 to get to the hotel. We ended up eating at his recommended restaurant, and we enjoyed it. The ambiance is pretty dismal as it’s just an open-air seating area with the family’s daughter watching Thai TV, but it’s probably the best Thai food for your baht that you’ll find close to the hotel. A giant bowl of delicious green curry was 100 baht, and they’ll make it Thai spicy for you if you choose.

Overall, the Conrad Koh Samui is a great spot for seclusion and relaxation. I’m not sure how you can get much better than your own private infinity pool, and the service at the hotel is top notch. You shouldn’t go to Koh Samui if you’re looking for a great cultural or food experience, but if you’re looking for R&R, this place is great. I booked this hotel at a pre-devaluation AXON award rate, which was an absolute steal at only 145k Hilton points for 4 nights. This hotel is now either 80k (during February and March) or 95k points per night (the rest of the year), which unfortunately makes it a much harder redemption, but this hotel could be a good candidate for the two free weekend night certificates that come with the Citi Hilton Reserve credit card.