Complaints of frequent smoking around public areas
The Melati Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury beachfront retreat in a secluded spot on the northern end of the island, a 15-minute drive from the dining and nightlife options in Chaweng. The smallest of the 77 villas have balconies with outdoor soaking tubs, and most add private gardens with plunge pools. There are two communal outdoor pools as well (one is adult-only), along with a full spa and a yoga studio. The hotel also offers a kids' club, game lounge, and water sports at the beach, plus there are two restaurants and four bars, though some guests complain that they are pricey. It's also worth considering the Royal Muang Samui Villas down the coast, which offers similar amenities and slightly more elegant rooms.
Beachfront resort with waterfalls, surrounded by jungle
The Melati Beach Resort & Spa is surrounded by acres of jungle landscape, its teak and tile buildings open to the warm ocean breeze. A covered promenade is flanked by shallow pools and leads to the main pavilion where white columns and wood beams support the lobby's tall shingled roof. Traditional Thai architecture blends with contemporary furnishings in this lounge space that's decorated with stalks of lemongrass and ever-twirling rattan fans. From the lobby, stone paths weave through 15 acres of thick tropical foliage crowned by coconut palms, the centerpiece of which is a waterway with a waterfall -- or rather a series of seven small waterfalls and rocky ponds that tumble downhill, toward the beach. Gardeners work hard to maintain the grounds, and it shows. Mosquitoes can definitely be a nuisance, but the resort does what it can to help guests combat them by fumigating and providing guests with repellants.
Along a stretch of beach on the island's northern coast, but a bit far from Chaweng
Located on the northern end of Koh Samui, the resort is in a quiet area of the island surrounded by jungle and has its own beachfront. It's far from the bustling center of Chaweng, which is about 15 minutes away by car. The town is packed with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and cabaret shows, plus plenty of shops, including the Laem Din Market. Other attractions include Petchbuncha Boxing Stadium -- known for Muay Thai -- and the Aquapark water park. Wat Khao Hua Jook Buddhist temple is a 20-minute drive, and it takes about the same amount of time to reach the Fisherman's Village, with plenty of 19th- and early 20th-century Chinese homes. The Mae Nam Pier is a half-hour drive away for the Lomprayah high-speed ferry to Koh Phangan (the boat ride itself takes 20 minutes), while Samui International Airport is a 12-minute drive from the hotel.
Villas and suites with outdoor tubs on furnished balconies, most with private plunge pools
The resort's 77 villas are large and airy with a neutral color palette livened up with Thai decorative accents. Most of the wood furnishings are painted off-white or gray, with a few teak pieces left natural, and all rooms open to furnished balconies or patios with outdoor soaking tubs. The Grand Deluxe Rooms occupy a single floor of two-story villas, with the larger ground-floor units opening to private courtyards and the upper floors getting balconies with landscape or ocean views. Sitting areas have daybeds, flat-screen TVs, and small desks. Stocked minibars and electric tea kettles are also provided. The bathrooms have double vanities and tiled rainfall showers (plus the aforementioned outdoor soaking tubs). Just over half of the other villas and suites are private, single-story buildings with their own gardens with stone patios and outdoor plunge pools.
Beach with water sports, two outdoor pools, multiple dining and drinking options, full spa, and fitness center
Downhill from the landscaped jungle ponds and gardens, the resort's grounds spill onto a white-sand beach with comfortable loungers and umbrellas set up in two rows, with one above a small sea wall and the rest nearer the lapping waves. There's a beach bar, plus guests can rent kayaks as well as snorkeling and diving gear from a hut on the sand. The main outdoor pool sits above the beach, with a swim-up bar, a large sundeck, and a tiny kiddy pool. A second adult-only pool, designed with the serenity of a hidden temple, is tucked away in the middle of the grounds. The sunken pool has shady loungers on a grassy lawn and a pair of private cabanas. The two restaurants have their own full bar areas with outdoor terraces. The View Restaurant serves all-day international cuisine with a bias towards Mediterranean fare and pizza, while Kan Sak Thong serves Thai food on a terrace with views of the resort's waterfalls. Private romantic dinners can be arranged on the beach, and the hotel does in-villa barbecues as well. Some guests complain about food and drink prices, and there aren't a ton of cheaper options in the immediate area, as the resort is a 15-minute drive from Chaweng.
For hands-on pampering, the Melati Spa sits astride the relaxing ponds and has treatment rooms, a steam room, and a nail salon. The hotel also has a yoga studio and a fitness center, plus personal trainers are available. The kids' club offers supervised activities, and there's a guest lounge with a pool table and Mac computers.
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