Tongsai Bay Articles
Tongsai Bay, truly paradise on earth
Nestled into the hillside above a secluded cove on the north east of Koh Samui, Thailand’s third-largest island, is the Tongsai Bay. Truly paradise on earth, this incredible family-run all-suite garden resort, is as romantic as destinations come.
Why is Tongsai Bay so heavenly?
This elegant hideaway manages to combine Thai charm, tropical surroundings and unadulterated luxury without a whiff of ostentation. Contemporary and sophisticated yet almost rustic, the first-class friendly service makes Tongsai contender for The Most Perfect Place to Be. The owners have been careful to ensure all the buildings are in harmony with the lush natural habitat, successfully creating an unforgettable holiday environment. Sun lovers have a half-crescent freshwater pool with an infinity edge that melts into the horizon and a seawater pool by the private beach to choose from. Here Tongsai ticks every box you could wish for – the sunloungers are even equipped with flags to grab the attention of the bar staff, while iced water and cooling face clothes land in your paws at regular intervals. And fear not the word ‘resort’ – the cottages and rooms overlooking this little enclave ensure are anything but tacky. Even the coastal Internet café is a dream – cool, clean and modern, it also serves cakes and coffees that make Starbucks taste like the kind you’d get at a dodgy greasy spoon, all served, as ever, with a mega-watt smile.
What are the rooms like?
Whether it’s a beachfront suite with a bathtub on the balcony or one of grand villas, all of the accommodation boasts spectacular sea view. And honeymooners couldn’t find a better bunk-up than the Tongsai Pool Villas with their enormous porches bearing an alfresco four-postered bed, a bath, their own not-so-mini bars and private pools.
What should I eat?
There is something for every tastebud at Tongsai, whether it’s the local fare you fancy or something more reminiscent of home. There are few cuisines in the world more tasty than the flavours from this fine land, and Chef Chom’s Thai Restaurant delivers with aplomb. Whether it’s Pad Thai noodles, Red Curry or Tom Kha soup, each mouthful packs a punch. Bagsy a table on the large moonlit terrace, which is an enchanting spot on which to enjoy delicious seafood, cocktails and live music. The Butler’s Restaurant plumps for a more international dining experience, even offering roasts on Sundays. Floyd’s Beach Bistro is the perfect coastal spot for a lunch of salad or noodles, and their beach barbecue on Saturday nights is especially convivial. If you find yourself unable to leave your suite, room service is another extremely attractive option. Swift and delightful, and unfussy, let the feeling of being in a five-star restaurant come to you.
What is the spa like?
The Prana spa is an oasis of relaxation and lush vegetation. Each spa cottage is uniquely designed so that two people can enjoy one of their heavenly treatments together. What relaxation magic the herbal steam room doesn’t work, the open-air floral bath in a beautiful garden will take care of – and there’s still the miracle-working massage beds to hit, inside. One of their signature treatments capable of removing a lifetime of pent-up tension and a toxic lifestyle is ‘Vata’. Having been scrubbed, rubbed and steamed, you’re left to relax in a little round tub festooned with the petals of two dozen roses and orchids. Next comes an incredible massage where gifted Thai hands are capable of instilling Buddhist calm in all that they touch.
What’s the nightlife like?
Originally a backpackers’ magnet, parts of the island are undeniably built up and riddled with budget package holidaymakers. Still, if you can bear to leave the comfort of Tongsai, the shopping in Chaweng is worth investigating. Faux designer handbags and sunglasses, the latest cinema releases on DVD and cheap clothes ensure that there’s a bargain souvenir for everyone. The nightlife can be as energetic as Ibiza, and voyeurs should seek out the infamous Thai lady-boy stage shows. Hedonists are still lured to neighbouring island Koh Pha Ngan for the monthly full moon parties, but you may find the calm of Tongsai keeps dragging you back before you get the chance to stray too far.
When should I go?
The climate varies across the country, but the best time for sun-worshippers to visit Samui is November through to March. The skies tend to be clear and blue almost every day, with temperatures ranging from 26ºC to 32ºC.