Review: Conrad Koh Samui, a return to paradise

Back in 2016 when Mason and I first visited Koh Samui, we were in awe at everything we experienced on the island.  Koh Samui was beyond beautiful, and as soon as we got to the hotel, we both knew we revisit Conrad Koh Samui again.

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Our buddy Swalinie

Check-In

We arrived at the hotel just after 8 am. Exhausted and tired from our connecting flights and hauling luggage around, we couldn’t think of anything better than checking in and just relaxing. Luckily, the hotel was able to accommodate our early arrival and our room was almost ready when we got there. The hotel invited us to have breakfast while we waited.

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Check-in was quick, and I’m still in awe of that incredible ocean view from the lobby. Conrad Koh Samui sits atop a hill surrounded by forest; the lobby was airy giving me a feeling of being free and one with nature. It was a completely different experience than the city life we’re accustomed to.

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Mason’s Side: Check-in was friendly and quick. Absolutely no complaints and the views were just as astounding as I remembered. We met the director of operations, Marco, while checking in. I mentioned our previous room number and that we were returning guests and he managed to get us the same villa that we had the last time we were there.

Room

We received an upgrade to the oceanview pool villa on the third line. It was right next to the spa and had a clear view of the Five Islands. Our villa was rather far from the main lobby, but walking distance from the breakfast restaurant and the main pool. The room was spacious enough for a couple or even a family with a young child. My favorite area in the room was, and still is the bathroom; with a huge soaking tub, a double vanity sink and floor to ceiling sliding glass door leading to the private infinity pool, it’s hard not to spend time pampering yourself.

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Our initials on each end of the pillows, how sweet!

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A satisfying portion of welcome fruit

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Our initials on the bathrobes!

Mason’s Side: I’m a walker, not The Walking Dead kind, but I don’t mind walking distances. Although the breakfast restaurant is relatively close to our villa (316), it still sits atop a steep hill.
Are you older or have children with you? Has time not been friendly to your knees or waistline? Call for a buggy pick up. You are not Jack, don’t fall down a hill.

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Conrad Koh Samui buggy

Shuttle bus

Since the hotel is located a reasonable distance from the downtown area, (almost an hour drive), we didn’t think of leaving the resort. But the concierge gave us some information about their complimentary shuttle bus service. If I remember correctly, this service was initially for those guests who were staying over four nights at the hotel. However, the shuttle is now available for all the guests and runs daily, so this was a significant change. The shuttle bus makes two stops, one at Lamai beach where there’s a Tesco and other small shops, and at the Central Festival mall area. We went to the Central Festival and got an excellent facial spa treatment. It was the best 399B that I spent for the day. Definitely worth the money after I saw the results and felt how soft my face was!

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Central Festival mall near Chaweng beach

Activities

The property offers a lot of different activities for guests to enjoy. Once you book your stay, the hotel will email you a pre-arrival information package including their restaurants and events offerings. We decided to see the Conrad Night Market. The night market was held at Asadong beach area and offers 5-6 traditional Thai dishes and fresh grilled seafood. Of course, we could not forget the famous Thai banana roti on the dessert tuk-tuk. There were traditional Thai dances and a mind-blowing fire show performance. We originally had concerns about the night market being too artificial and boring, but we were quickly put at ease when we arrived.

Mason Side: I still think the night market was bit artificial when compared to real night markets across Asia, or even just in Thailand, nevertheless, the experience was still worth it. Other night markets don’t have fire shows, and this had a fire show. Fire show wins.

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The fire show!!

Pool

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One of the reason we choose Conrad Koh Samui, and I’m sure many people do as well, is for the private in-room infinity pool. The pool is not too deep and big enough to use those Instagram type of floaties. The view from the pool is breathtaking, and I found myself lost in the moment. Around sunset, the sky becomes a beautiful medley of vibrant red, orange and yellow hues coming together for an awe-inspiring moment.

Mason’s Side: I wholeheartedly. The sunsets were majestic, and the pictures don’t do it justice. Sunsets at the Conrad Koh Samui are something you have to see in person to truly experience and understand the feeling.

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Our new buddy on this trip, Cactie!

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Food

Zest, Conrad Koh Samui’s breakfast restaurant has changed the least from 2 years ago. They moved the noodle and waffle truck outside, and added a fresh juice bar. There wasn’t a wide selection of food, and unfortunately, most of the dishes weren’t satisfying. There is also an egg menu with 4-5 a la carte dishes to choose from, but none particularly good enough to re-order or even finish for that matter. My favorite items from breakfast were the watermelon juice and the sliced passion fruit.

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During our stay, we ordered room service and also visited Zest for dinner. Surprisingly, the food was much better than I expected and more delicious than what we had at breakfast.

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One of our favorite Thai dish, morning glory

Mason’s Side: I was disappointed with the food at the hotel. Last time I was there I ordered room service and the food was fresh, tasted fantastic and sentenced my soul to a damnation of fire. My gosh, it was some of the spiciest food I’ve had in a while. And I am someone who can handle a fair amount of heat. This time around the same dish I ordered two years ago was almost sweet. I suspect there were probably a few complaints to the kitchen about the spicy the original recipe was, but this change was a little too drastic for me. Thankfully, the restaurant dishes had the heat I was looking for but, toned down and balanced so you can still enjoy those local Thai flavors, without burning alive internally

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Minced pork with Thai basil (Pat krapao moo sap)

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As a diamond member, we got four drink coupons

Overall

This trip was our second time staying at the Conrad Koh Samui. We usually prefer not repeating our stays at same hotel properties, in part, because we don’t want to taint our good memories. Also, they’re so many new hotels to experience. However, this stay was near flawless, and dear I say it was even better than the first time we visited. All the staff we encountered were friendly and tried their best to make sure we had a wonderful time. I know this isn’t going to be our last time staying at Conrad Koh Samui.