by Janice and George Mucalov
Thai-style coddling in private pool villas...
Tongsai Bay - Villa Bedroom
Open the front gate, walk up to the private deck fronting your villa, take in the views over jungle to beach cove and ocean, and exhale – you’ve arrived at the most serene rainforest oasis on Ko Samui, an island gem in the Gulf of Thailand.
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Tongsai Bay is set on 25 lush acres embracing its own crescent of golden sand beach. Remarkably, not a single tree was cut down to make way for its 83 understated suites, cottages and villas that dot the hillside – and the brown wood buildings are in perfect synch with their tropical surroundings. Stylish in a back-to-nature way, they delight honeymooners, couples and families alike.
Tongsai Bay - Seafront Pool Villa
Our Grand Villa coddled us with gleaming hardwood floors, an air-conditioned master bedroom, lots of closet space and a spacious bathroom with separate dressing area. Outside was the enormous covered deck – really an outdoor living room. It came with a “sala” (curtained double-daybed), kitchen sideboard with fridge and coffee-making supplies, dining table, sturdy lounge furniture – and even a freestanding tub (romantic bath with a view, anyone?). And let’s not forget the private pool!
For breakfast, the famous fruit lady’s freshly-made fruit smoothies were a must and our welcoming server immediately remembered how we liked our skim milk latte and double cappuccino. To make life that much sweeter, we soon learned that in pool villas like ours, sandwiches and chocolate brownies are delivered for afternoon tea.
Sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding were complimentary, and no motorized sports spoiled the peace. There was also a large infinity pool (adults only), a freeform family pool, and the romantic spa offers acupressure-style Thai massages in bamboo huts with outdoor showers.
How fortunate, we thought, that years ago the owner’s visionary father fell in love with this secluded cove – and built The Tongsai Bay.
Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Fall/Winter 2016 issue.