Driving down the goat track through coconut palms in the almost deserted Laem Yai beach area on Samui's west coast, you've almost got to rub your eyes to believe what you're suddenly seeing: a massive orange-walled behemoth that heralds a world within its own world. Mai Samui.
The entrance is a grand circular door in a courtyard, stairs leading away up to reception. Bell boys smile and snap off salutes that make me think they've mistaken me for some visiting dignitary arriving on the same day. A bevy of front office beauties in earthy-toned silk complete the royal reception. But, no, it seems everyone gets this treatment.
Mai is calm and cool, all about palms and pools. Each of its 97 rooms look onto at least one pool (there are three) and, at very least, generous glimpses of the beach. A forest of frangipani trees leaves you in no doubt you are in some kind of tropical paradise.
Although the resort is just six months old, it exudes an established charm, with weathered wooden walkways, big brass bolts, and wooden shingled roofs. A modern Thai fusion feel. All the in-room amenities however, are thoroughly modern with all the latest toys in place, including an electronic tennis racquet with which to whack mosquitoes, and in-room wi-fi (although most only work on the balcony -- such hardships are sent to try us.)
As for the room itself, choice of deluxe rooms or pool villas. The deluxe rooms feature a stone bath so big you can swim laps in it. And really cool folded towel tricks: I've never seen a gibbon before, lounging on the day bed like it was so human. Well done, housekeeping!
Deluxe rooms come in around the 11,000 baht mark, pool villas around 24,000 baht per night.
Mai comfortably accommodates two groups: it's absolutely family friendly, with a kids club and a ton of land- and water-based activities to enjoy. Yet, it's also a highly romantic getaway that would suit honeymooners.
The big advantage of being on the west coast is sunsets. BIG orange ones. And the pool bar (one of two bars, two restaurants and one bar and resturant the hotel boasts) puts you in pole position for those each evening. The disadvantage of being on the west coast is distance. You're a good 30 minutes from Chaweng here, meaning an 800 baht (one way) taxi ride or 1000 baht (one way) hotel car ride away. But this would suit a lot of people who have no interest in the gaudy gallivanting of Chaweng.
Unique Quality: Mai is very self-contained: a library. A squash court and fitness centre. Samunprai spa. Cooking school. Water sports centre. Mountain bikes. And peace and quiet.
With all of this here, who needs Chaweng?
Directions: West coast Samui, just north of Nathon.
We will be getting married in Chiang Mai on January 31, 2008.
Can anyone advise as to the wheather conditions during this time?
I have done a search and it does give average temperatures, and I am aware that it will be cooler as you travel North. I am more of need of what you can wear in the day and in the everning if possible (ie. t-shirt/long sleeve in day, light jacket at night?)
We will also be honeymooning in the South, Koh Samui perhaps(?)the first week of Feb. Is it warm enough to swim in the oceans during this time?
Any other advice as to honeymoonspots in the South and things to see would be greatly appreciated. =) Thank you! Jaimie.
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.
For Chiang Mai, I cannot help as I do not stay there. But what I know is that the weather in this part of the world is never that cold. So, T-Shirts is typically warm enough. Maybe someone who stays there may be able to give you more precise answer to your question on the weather there.
As for Samui, yes, you can swim here actually throughout the year. The waters here are not cold at all. You need not be worried about Feb as it is the hot season here as well.
Well, one honeymoonspot is actually the spa. ha ha ha....there are many packages for two. The other important thing is the hotel. As for night partying, then Soi Green Mango is your target hit. Other than that, there is no special honeymoonspots. Rather there are some tourist spots and full moon parties in the neighbouring island.
Places you should see are Big Buddha, Grandfather and Grandmother rock and perhaps if you are adventurous, you should try the Safari tour. Make sure it includes the Secret Garden and Elephant Trekking. You could also opt for Junk Sailing - quite romantic for the sunset cruise.
I wouldn`t worry too much about what to & what not to wear for Chiang mai.
Of a day I would just stick to something light & cool. Of an evening depending on what your doing maybe a pair of slacks or jeans, a normal shirt should suffice with a light coat/jacket.
My opinion is even though Chiang mai is a cooler of a night than some other places elsewhere in Thailand, I wouldn`t think you would need to rug up aside from what i`ve mentioned.
As far as Samui goes, water is fine most of year(you need to be careful around the wet season period).Just pay attention to the prevailing weather conditions.You`ll more than likely be ok in Feb but rips are something to be aware of but the water will definetly be warm enough.
Judy`s advice on things to do & see pretty much covers it but you might want to look at www.samuiguide.com it`s an on line guide for things to do & see around Samui.
Hope this helps
219 Moo 5, Angthong, Angthong, , Koh Samui, 84140, Thailand
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84 Moo 5 Bo Put, 84320, Thailand
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Address: 2/6 Moo 5, Angthong, 84320, Thailand