Capturing Koh Samui through the lens of Mantra Samui Resort
Koh Samui, an island lined with palm-bound beaches, filled with coconut groves and populated by rich, hilly rainforest. Where mangos and papayas are aplenty, local flavors leave an impression, and artisans are present in all aspects of life. Ah, if only you could experience the magic of it all from one, blissfully secluded place.
Don’t you worry, I wouldn’t just lead you on like that. I found it at Mantra Samui Resort, a gateway into discovering Koh Samui within acres of lush hilltop land.
Before even stepping foot inside, indigenous trees and plants framed the road that leads the way to its grand entrance. With a slight crack in our car window, the calming breeze of island-scented air welcomed me here. Eager to get out and explore, we pulled up to a structure reminiscent of a traditional Thai house. I thought we’d stopped along the way to merely admire it, but much to my surprise, it was actually the hotel lobby. A lofty, tiered ceiling and a lush vertical garden that comprise the lobby overwhelmed in an ode to the island’s natural charm.
Midday sun and our long journey left us longing to head straight to the pool. I dropped my bag in the lobby and sped up the dramatic hillside as fast as I could. I turned a corner of perfectly manicured greenery to an expansive infinity pool in an ever-so-chic lounge setting. The seemingly limitless saltwater pool blends with a crystal-blue ocean on the horizon to create an elevated beach experience. We dipped in and out all afternoon, only taking breaks to enjoy locally picked mango shakes and authentic Thai delicacies.
A small traditional street-food stand sits in the middle of the adjacent View restaurant that overlooks Koh Samui. To my left, a couple was taking a cooking class with local ingredients they’d bought at the market earlier that day. Just around the corner, a fully-fledged herb garden with treats from chili to coriander thrives to accent The View’s vibrant cuisine.
After our skin was exfoliated with saltwater and sun-kissed, and our stomachs were filled with Thai green curry and southern fried shrimp, we finally decided to check-in to our room. Slightly down the hillside from the pool, we walked up a small set of concrete stairs and opened the doors to the private oasis we would be calling home. Our room, one of the Resort’s 38 Love Rooms, lived up to its name. Each element was clearly curated with attention and love. The intimacy of the balcony overlooking the sea, fresh fruit baskets daily, the light and colorful aesthetic, and best of all, the sense for sustainability.
Mantra harvests rainwater for filtration and reuse, and our room had been installed with air-conditioning systems that ensured energy was being saved when we left the doors open to let in that lovely island breeze. A breeze that, as we would find out, has the alluring ability to rid all burdens in sense of time. So when we caught a glimpse of the sunset, we decided to head back up to the pool and admire it with a Samui Colada that of course, came with an eco-friendly bamboo straw.
What better way to round out a paradisiacal day than at the Jai Spa? Every detail in this serene setting has been drawn from the dense Samui jungle, from the bamboo-clad walls to natural ingredients blended in-house and harvested in its gardens, to the homegrown lemongrass scented throughout. We opted for the signature Yaa Jai treatment, 90-minutes of pure coconut bliss. Using smooth and warm coconut milk in place of oil, Yaa Jai was the perfect antidote to any lingering stress from life back home.
It’s safe to say my new mantra, is that Mantra cures all.