Samui Wining & Dining
Another Gem

But this is one you don’t have to search for – Anantara Bophut!

 But this is one you don’t have to search for – Anantara Bophut!Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort is a 5-star resort. It has a quiet and unassuming elegance that’s almost regal. Unlike some of the downtown places that are screaming for space, here it’s opulent and lush – you could fit another whole resort in the gardens alone. Touching onto the fringe of Fisherman’s Village, it occupies a sweep of real estate that runs from the ring-road to the beach.

The grounds are mature and luxuriant and, having passed through reception, it’s hard to spot all the lovely little suites and cottages which peep out from amongst the giant trees, surrounded by wide ponds, water features and lush tropical greenery. Everything is solid, substantial, understated, and simply whispers quality. And as well as the 106 luxurious rooms and suites, some of the other things you also won’t notice are the library, the fitness centre, two excellent restaurants, the Children’s Club, the tennis court and the spa.

Anantara Spa offers a delightful setting for their various signature spa treatments and Ayurvedic healing rituals. There’s a surprising 3,000 square metres tucked away here amidst the greenery, featuring six glass-walled luxury treatment rooms and private alfresco tubs for outdoor soaking and relaxation. There are certainly other spas on the island, but very few of them are as lovely or as well-staffed as this one. There’s a wide range of rejuvenating and healing programs, catering for singles and couples together, and several signature treatments.

One such treatment that’s particularly exciting is the ‘Anantara Bophut Coconut Dream’. This is an integrated 3-stop program involving first the ‘Floral Foot Ritual’, then onto 10 minutes of ‘Coconut Reflex Balancing’, before seguing into the 90-minute ‘Coconut Dream Massage’ – after which there’s a relaxation and wind-down session, when you’ll be served fresh and crispy coconut in combination.

Which neatly brings us onto the restaurants. As well as a super beach bar, Ocean’s Edge (and a lite-bites service in the Eclipse Lounge) there are two restaurants which stand out: Full Moon and High Tide. The former offers a superlative menu of contemporary modern & traditional Thai, mixed with island chargrilled cuisine and international classics. High Tide (offering authentic Thai and international cuisine) But this is one you don’t have to search for – Anantara Bophut! is to be found just as you step through the reception area. It’s a very laid-back space that’s glassed all around and fitted with mellow wood and warm lights.

But if you follow the path onwards and down between the greenery towards the sea, in a few moments Full Moon will emerge. This restaurant is split-level; the lower area bordering onto the resort’s pool, the upper providing unbroken moonlit sea views. This is very much in the bracket of fine dining but, as with nearly all such venues on the island, there’s an easy atmosphere, and the only formality is in the quality and promptness of the service you’ll experience. Every resort tries to boast about customer care, but here at Anantara Bophut it’s an established fact. Full Moon’s quality of service and attention to detail are just two of the reasons it has established, and held onto, its enviable reputation.

Of course another element in this is the resort’s Executive Chef. And here the skills and experience of David Eldridge come into play. South African born, he’s plied his trade at luxury hotels in the Maldives and Tanzania, before coming under the wing of the Anantara group.

It’s a delightful dining experience, here at Full Moon. But there are a couple of other attractions, too. Every Wednesday evening a new set of serving tables are laid out on the beach for their superlative beach buffet – Taste of Siam. This is a quality smorgasbord where snowy-white cloths cover tables on which gleaming stainless steel heated servers vie with traditional Thai charcoal-based crock pots and live cooking station sizzle temptingly. wining - dining 5-03There’s entertainment in the form of a Thai dancing show, too.

And, to go with this, every Sunday there’s another enticement in a similar vein: a sumptuous full-tilt beach barbecue which I can assure you is one of the best you’ll find anywhere. Sea Fire and Spice – complete with an exciting fire-dance show for your enjoyment.

A further point to bear in mind – Anantara Bophut is a 5-star resort, with all the experience and established standards that go along with this. But, if you check the prices of the beach buffet at your own resort, you’ll find that the price here is hardly any different. And that’s a huge incentive to get out and about and sample a real taste of the good life!

Or if your inclinations run to something a little more mellow and even more refined, come along to Full Moon on every Tuesday or Saturday. The soothing vibes of the acoustic duo, the Samui Jazz Brothers, will form an unforgettable backdrop of Swing Jazz with Latin and Bossa Nova grooves – with the stars overhead and the sea whispering along the nearby shore.

As I said to start with, it’s another gem, revealed for you here, at Anantara Bophut!


Rob De Wet


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