Koh Samui, Thailand

Old Apr 7, 19, 9:25 pm
  #1  
_fx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: SEA
Programs: AS 75k, IHG Spire Elite
Posts: 230
Koh Samui, Thailand

Planning to spend 5 days / 4 nights on Koh Samui in mid-June for my honeymoon. I've done a lot of research (especially on this board), but have seen a lot of conflicting opinions so I am struggling to make a decision.

Many threads suggest FS is best; however, a recent trip report by chinmoylad was pretty negative. The property is 2-3x cost of other comparable options, and I'm hesitant to drop the cash. Beyond FS, there's a lot of jockeying for similar prices.

My top priority is something quiet, romantic, and beautiful. No children, no partying, no BS of waking up early to get a lounge chair, etc. I want everything to just be amazing. We do plan to scuba dive 2 days, so we won't be spending 100% of our time just on the resort, but it is a honeymoon so we'll be spending a while in the room :-). Cost isn't a primary concern, but it is relevant (e.g., if I can get something that's 95% as good for 50% of the price, I'll take it).

Any suggestions? Many thanks in advance.
_fx is offline  
Old Apr 7, 19, 11:58 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA 1K; DL GM 2MM; AS 75K
Posts: 8,290
Originally Posted by _fx View Post
Planning to spend 5 days / 4 nights on Koh Samui in mid-June for my honeymoon. I've done a lot of research (especially on this board), but have seen a lot of conflicting opinions so I am struggling to make a decision.

Many threads suggest FS is best; however, a recent trip report by chinmoylad was pretty negative. The property is 2-3x cost of other comparable options, and I'm hesitant to drop the cash. Beyond FS, there's a lot of jockeying for similar prices.

My top priority is something quiet, romantic, and beautiful. No children, no partying, no BS of waking up early to get a lounge chair, etc. I want everything to just be amazing. We do plan to scuba dive 2 days, so we won't be spending 100% of our time just on the resort, but it is a honeymoon so we'll be spending a while in the room :-). Cost isn't a primary concern, but it is relevant (e.g., if I can get something that's 95% as good for 50% of the price, I'll take it).

Any suggestions? Many thanks in advance.
Are you open to someplace other than Koh Samui? To be honest, the best you're likely to find on Samui is 50% as good as FS and IMHO FS Koh Samui is not that great. You might want to consider the Inter-Continental in Da Nang (also a Bensley designed resort - 125% as good as FS Koh Samui at 50% of the price) or Amanoi in Nha Trang (fantastic but pricey.) Diving is not great at either so if diving is priority you might want to consider Maldives... unfortunately somewhat expensive. Baros Resort in Maldives is very nice... easy to get too and not outrageous.
5khours is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 12:16 am
  #3  
_fx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: SEA
Programs: AS 75k, IHG Spire Elite
Posts: 230
Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
Are you open to someplace other than Koh Samui? To be honest, the best you're likely to find on Samui is 50% as good as FS and IMHO FS Koh Samui is not that great. You might want to consider the Inter-Continental in Da Nang (also a Bensley designed resort - 125% as good as FS Koh Samui at 50% of the price) or Amanoi in Nha Trang (fantastic but pricey.) Diving is not great at either so if diving is priority you might want to consider Maldives... unfortunately somewhat expensive. Baros Resort in Maldives is very nice... easy to get too and not outrageous.
Thanks for the advice. I should have specified in the OP we are flying in/out of KUL (thanks to an excellent flight deal) and looking forward to spending some time in Malaysia. I was attracted to Samui because it's only a short 1 hr flight from KUL, so it's an easy add on to the trip whereas Maldives is a bit of a hike. Da Nang looks not too far though so I will investigate there.
_fx is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 2:11 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Programs: HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Plat
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by _fx View Post
Thanks for the advice. I should have specified in the OP we are flying in/out of KUL (thanks to an excellent flight deal) and looking forward to spending some time in Malaysia. I was attracted to Samui because it's only a short 1 hr flight from KUL, so it's an easy add on to the trip whereas Maldives is a bit of a hike. Da Nang looks not too far though so I will investigate there.
From KUL, Bali is a nice option too, and there you have a plethora of options. Koh Samui really isn't that good for what you're looking for.
Lambi is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 2:39 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 292
Given what you're looking for, I would 100% choose Amanoi over anywhere in Koh Samui or Bali (including Amankila). Looks like there is a daily 2.5hr Air Asia flight from KUL to Nha Trang. It will take longer to get there than it would to get to the FS in Koh Samui but for 4 nights on your honeymoon it would be well worth it. Hope you have a wonderful time wherever you choose!

(I have a sense that Amanoi's occupancy rates are fairly low right now so don't take whatever is on the website as authoritative, work with a good agent or direct with the hotel and see what you can work out)
ajca is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 3:22 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA 1K; DL GM 2MM; AS 75K
Posts: 8,290
Originally Posted by _fx View Post
Thanks for the advice. I should have specified in the OP we are flying in/out of KUL (thanks to an excellent flight deal) and looking forward to spending some time in Malaysia. I was attracted to Samui because it's only a short 1 hr flight from KUL, so it's an easy add on to the trip whereas Maldives is a bit of a hike. Da Nang looks not too far though so I will investigate there.
I think there are non-stops from KUL to DAD or MLE on AirAsia.

From KUL, Bali is a nice option too, and there you have a plethora of options.
Agree with Lambi on this. Good weather in Bali in June. Amankila in Bali is really nice and if you're interested I can PM you with a recommendation for an outstanding dive shop near Amankila. Diving is much better there than either Da Nang or Nha Trang
5khours is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 2:49 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: PVG, FRA, SEA, HEL
Programs: UA Premier Gold
Posts: 3,226
No children
You were a child sometime in the past as well.
warakorn is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 11:48 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 5,789
I absolutely hated USM as a destination, but the RC was nice.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 4:38 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: HH Diamond, SPG Gold, Marriott Elite Gold
Posts: 1,021
Wife and I did a Thailand trip and spend the last four nights at the Conrad on KS. We loved it! I made a trip report a few years ago.
greg0ire is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 5:31 pm
  #10  
Four Seasons Contributor BadgeHyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 6,696
I would second either Aman recommendations over FS Koh Samui.
FlyerEC likes this.
Aventine is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 5:49 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 10
Recently spent almost 3 weeks in Thailand for our honeymoon. We stayed at FS Koh Samui for 4 nights and agree with many of the previous comments. While it was nice and checks a lot of the boxes you want, Iím not sure it was worth the premium and feel there is better value to be found elsewhere nearby. We found Krabi to be much more appealing and enjoyable as a destination.
szacksanders is offline  
Old Apr 11, 19, 12:55 am
  #12  
_fx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: SEA
Programs: AS 75k, IHG Spire Elite
Posts: 230
Thanks all for the comments, they're very, very much appreciated. I'm glad I checked here because I was very close to booking something on Samui. I'll be taking a look at the Aman properties in Nha Trang and Bali instead.

I am keen to minimize travel time -- we're adventurous people who want a breadth of experiences, so we're already cramming in a lot: Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Cameron Highlands, and [NICE BEACH RESORT HERE]. However, both those suggestions have direct flights from KUL and are only 1-2 hours extra which I suppose is tolerable.
_fx is offline  
Old Apr 11, 19, 2:07 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Programs: HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Plat
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by _fx View Post
Thanks all for the comments, they're very, very much appreciated. I'm glad I checked here because I was very close to booking something on Samui. I'll be taking a look at the Aman properties in Nha Trang and Bali instead.

I am keen to minimize travel time -- we're adventurous people who want a breadth of experiences, so we're already cramming in a lot: Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Cameron Highlands, and [NICE BEACH RESORT HERE]. However, both those suggestions have direct flights from KUL and are only 1-2 hours extra which I suppose is tolerable.
Just a personal recommendation - even though the flight times seem really short, your transfer to/from the airports, the waiting at the airports, passport/security checks and so on are real time sinks. Keep that in mind, that a short 1-2 hour flight might actually be a 5-7 hour total transfer. I've done the same in the past, and felt that I really never got to rest properly with 2-3 day stops at many destinations and seemingly short 1-3 hour flights in between.
francophile likes this.
Lambi is offline  
Old Apr 11, 19, 5:14 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 292
Originally Posted by Lambi View Post
Just a personal recommendation - even though the flight times seem really short, your transfer to/from the airports, the waiting at the airports, passport/security checks and so on are real time sinks. Keep that in mind, that a short 1-2 hour flight might actually be a 5-7 hour total transfer. I've done the same in the past, and felt that I really never got to rest properly with 2-3 day stops at many destinations and seemingly short 1-3 hour flights in between.
Excellent point - and highly recommends asking your luxury hotels along the way how you can organise fast-track through immigration at both ends. Both KL and Bali arrivals can be an absolute disaster at certain times. At Nha Trang I am not sure these days but I would be surprised if Amanoi could not organise fasttrack.

If the hotels can't do this themselves then there are 3rd parties that will if you book in advance (through whatever dubious means they procure this service from the airports I know not) with limited time this would be worth doing.
ajca is offline  
Old May 25, 19, 12:37 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: OSL
Posts: 4,430
I have pretty similar requirements to the OP so thought I would ask here. Flying in/out of BKK in July, and would like to find a nice beach resort. Have been considering Koh Samui because of the weather, although past experience says this doesn't usually play a big role, and based on what I've read here so far, maybe I should consider a different destination. Considering Vana Belle or RC in Samui as they are Marriott properties, but not sure at that price point how luxurious they really are, especially if FS is the "best" and even that is not very good?

Have previously stayed at the IC DaNang - but not sure I want to schlepp over to Vietnam. It was a great stay at the time with IC status, but wouldn't be as nice without. Bali is also not interesting - too long flight, and was there just a couple of months ago.

Stayed at Rayavadee a couple of years back so thinking of maybe going back there. The beaches were not that impressive (likely due to the weather), but the concept, service, breakfast were nice. Maybe the RC Reserve, which we didn't have a chance to try last time? Just feels a bit boring going back to Krabi, where I went on the last visit to Thailand.

Have avoided Phuket like the plague for a number of years now, but maybe worth considering it? The Aman comes up to almost $1k a night on the rate incl. breakfast, with taxes, which is a bit steep. Important finding a balance between quality of the beach and quality of the resort... I've been to some fantastic beaches in the Philippines for example but with zero infrastructure, and conversely some great resorts with terrible beaches. Thanks!
ung1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread