NOVA SAMUI RESORT
"NOVA SAMUI RESORT INFO"
We stayed at the Nova Samui Resort for 2 weeks in April and had a wonderful time, in fact we were a little disappointed that the Volcano in Iceland stopped erupting as we would have happily stayed on for a couple more weeks!
The hotel is about a 10 minute transfer from Samui airport and it's just opposite Chaweng Lake. Our first impression was good, a few steps up to the reception desk and formalities were quickly taken care of and we were shown to our room (207) which was on the 1st floor overlooking the swimming pool. Each room has a large balcony with 2 chairs and a small table.
The room was kitted out with a huge bed which was very comfortable. wardrobes, drawers, TV and fridge inc. minibar. The bathroom had a wet room with shower and everything was very clean and functional. A hairdryer is provided in the bathroom and you also got 2 bottles of drinking water per day.
We did have a problem with a leaking tap but within 5 minutes of reporting it, the tap was changed and the problem solved.
The hotel offers buffet style breakfast from 0730-1030, the restaurant was very light and airey and the staff very helpful. There was an egg chef to make your ommlettes and pancakes fresh to order, a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, toast, sausages, bacon, beans, noodles, rice, hash browns and a selection of pastries and cookies together with lovely cold fresh fruit drinks of orange and pineapple or water. All in all, a good selection to keep everyone happy.
On check in you are given a card for use at the pool bar which you exchange for 2 towels and you exchange it when you return your towels. The pool itself has 2 shallower pools at each side, 1 fitted with a jacuzzi, a great place to get out of the sun and cool down. There were a number of sunbeds around the pool complete with the softer matresses, which JP the pool guy puts out every morning.
The poolbar offered drinks and a menu which was very cheap considering it was in a hotel. Tuna salad was 90 Baht, Sandwiches with fries were 100-120. Wine was 100 Baht per glass, Fanta 20 Baht and beers about 65 Baht per bottle.
The reception sold Internet cards for their 3 computers, cost was 60 Baht for 30 minutes, connection speed was not too slow. There was also a place to leave and borrow books just in reception.
Just opposite the hotel are a few shops where you can buy drinks, cigarettes (80 Baht for 20) and ice creams. There is a travel agents where you can book your Island tours, a restaurant and a bike repair shop.
The hotel offers a free minibus transfer on the hour and half hour to the Shopping area on Beach Road, it takes about 5 minutes and you get dropped off on the parallel road and walk through McDonalds to come out onto the Beach Road. This is where most of the Bars, Restaurants and shops are situated. You can go either way, left or right and you're about in the middle at the drop off point. At this point, the road is 1 way but further down, it reverts back to 2 way traffic. If you want to get the minibus back to the hotel, it's best to tell the driver what time you want to return so he can be there for you.
"OUT & ABOUT"
But if you choose to walk, it's only a 10-15 minute stroll down the side of the Lake.
If you do walk back then you'll see a bar at the T junction called Muzz's Bar, it's run by a Londoner (Muzz) and his wife and it's got to be the friendliest bar on Samui. There are the usual selections of drinks, but at weekends, the big screen comes down to watch the sports events and they even supply free BBQ chicken and the best chips ever!
To say Muzz is a character is an understatement! He's well known for never wearing a shirt. His wife cooks the most amazing food in her small kitchen and the value was out of this world, so many King Prawns died during our stay...lol.
There's music every night, free pool table as well, all in all our fave watering hole on Samui, and best of all, it's only about 100 yards from the Nova Samui!
As we were there for Songkran, we took part in the water throwing and had a brilliant time, being next to the road junction, the motorbikes had to slow down so they were easy meat! No other country could get away with doing this except Thailand, brilliant fun!
I would also recommend him for your motorcycle hire, 250 Baht per day for an automatic Honda and he trusts you and doesn't demand to hold onto your passpot, unlike all of the other hire shops there.
Just along the road is a place called Bar Ice. They had a resident UK hypnotist in April but the real star of the show is the Ice Bar. There's a charge of about 450 Baht to enter but that does include 2 drinks. They supply you with a fur hat, gloves and a cloak as once you go through the freezer type door, the temperature inside is a mind numbing minus 7 degrees, the coldest place in Thailand! Obvioulsy, for Brits, it's just like a normal day at home really..lol.
There are several large Ice carvings inside, my favorite being the tuk tuk, you can climb inside. Even the glasses you drink from are made of ice! You can also buy more drinks inside at 100 Baht each, I can heartily recommend the Toblerone flavour shot!!! And Debs loved 'Brian, the Lady Boy' Gin, Lemon & Soda.
As far as bars go on The Beach Road, Tropical Murphy's was worth a visit if you like live music. Pint of cider and a Gin 'n' T came to about 400 Baht. Blackjacks pub was the cheapest at 330 Baht and Bondi Bar was well expensive at 800 Baht. The Islander was about 350 Baht but the food was good here and good value.
Several places were offering deals along Beach Road, 2 for 1 cocktails, free starters etc so you could eat well and not spend too much.
"STILL OUT & ABOUT"
We went on a half day tour of the island, cost us 250 Baht each. We were collected by minibus ( air con thankfully ) we visited one of the viewpoints, a monkey show, Grandmother & Grandfather rocks, Mummified Monk, Big Buddah, The Chinese Temple, Nathon Town and Namuang Waterfall.
Big Buddah was excellent! Just before you leave there is a fish spa where you put your feet into the pool where hundreds of small fish come and nibble away at your feet, fantastic laugh and good for you as well! Cost was 300 Baht each.
The waterfall was a total waste of time as they have had so little rain that they're forced to pump water through pipes back up to the top and it's barely a trickle!
The worst bit is where they drop you off, they offer you a choice of walking or 4 wheel drive truck for 100 Baht each. DO NOT WALK IT!!! It took us about 30 minutes, up a very steep road in sweltering heat, no shade then you go into jungle and have to climb over rocks and a stream. Our legs ached for days afterwards. We bribed the truck driver to take us all back, even that was up and down steep ridges so that we were all nearly falling out of the back of the truck!
This was our first visit to Samui, we usually go to Phuket and we found Samui to be a lot quieter, the whole pace of Samui is relaxed. There is not the choice of shopping as in Phuket, no hidden rooms full of designer fakes, but nowhere near the amount of ' in your faceness' either.
The weather was fantastic, temperature about 38 degrees everyday, we had about 30 minutes of rain on 1 day.
Samui airport is beautiful, free snacks and internet in the open air departure terminal. We flew with Bangkok Airways and loved their passenger lounge at Bangkok Airport, free snacks, drinks and magazines and a nice comfortable place to wait for your flight departure.
If you are transiting through Bangkok and they do not check you all the way through at Samui, remember that you have to go to the International Transfer desks on arrival at Bangkok Airport to collect your boarding passes. VERY IMPORTANT !
We loved Samui, we are already planning on returning for next Songkran and this time we'll stay for 3 weeks