Jun 22, 2020
SIDLING UP ALONGSIDE POWDERY Choeng Mon Beach, the new Melia Samui is the first resort from Spanish mega-brand Melia to land on Thai soil/sand. Located on the northeast edge of the island just five kilometers from Samui airport, this sizable resort features 159 rooms, 41 suites, YHI Spa, a fitness room, two restaurants, two pools and a slew of MICE facilities. Considering the resort’s location and full spectrum of amenities, it’s a good bet for families with kids, weddings and corporate groups, and has its own loyalty rewards program and club level (called Level) for extra perks. Even though Melia Samui is on the larger side, the property’s gardens and individual suites provide plenty of privacy and space—and even some romantic corners for couples.
The first thing you’ll notice about Melia Samui is how blessedly close it is to the airport—within half an hour of touching down you can be in your room, or wading in tropical waters. This is not a small deal on Samui, on which peak times can suffer big-city levels of traffic, putting agonizing minutes between you and your first beach beer.
The second thing you’ll notice is that Melia Samui is big. It’s got several low-rise blocks that flank a green garden strip and a loop pool, plus 30 separate boat suites peppered throughout the gardens at the beach end of the property. It’s a long walk to the beachfront boats from the lobby, but there’s a golf cart if you’d rather ride. What’s a boat suite? It’s a hundred-year-old wooden Thai-Chinese boat converted into a guest room with a king bed on the top floor and a rather swish bathroom beneath. These boats were used in olden times to ferry goods from Bangkok to Samui, and now live out their days in the shade of Melia’s palm trees.
My Premium Pool Access Room is not in a wooden boat, but it does have a loop pool–adjacent balcony from which I can wade directly into the water (and drift directly to the pool bar). At 58 square meters there’s more space than one person really needs—plenty of room for an extra bed. A nautical theme permeates the resort, but my room is neutrally monochrome—i.e. the emphasis here is more on comfort and functionality than on radical design. A comfy king bed, deep tub and rainfall shower ensure I feel suitably pampered.
On my terrace there’s a daybed, but my room is right by, and visible from, a main gangway, so I opt not to use it. Why would I anyway, when the loop pool is right here? Floating around the property between palm plants and orange jasmine, under walkways, past the waterslide, and even beneath the kids’ club’s trampoline, the last of my urban anxiety melts away.
Breeza Beach Club, Melia’s main diner, keeps the island vibe alive with comfy sofas overlooking the beach. Seating spills out onto a covered terrace where you can order from Chef Aziz’s local produce–centered menu, which includes actually-good vegetarian options and lots of local seafood. You can’t quite watch the sunset from here, but if the fading purple light bouncing off the bay doesn’t move you, you have more serious issues to address. Tip: For extra life-affirming views, skip a night out in nearby Chaweng and get up for a pastel sunrise on Choeng Mon Beach.