Dr Iroshini Chua travels to Samujana Estates, Koh Samui, and discovers a peace and serenity that has to be seen to be believed.
“You won’t feel like coming back downstairs once you’ve been up to the roof terrace!” crooned my sister as she glided down the handcrafted spiral staircase of Samujana Villa 30. I hurried up to a 360-degree panorama that was so blissful; I felt there was no coming back to earth either. The luxuriously appointed open living space boasted serene sea views interrupted only by lush granite out crops in the south. The breathtaking infinity pool that sensually wrapped around two facades of the room seem to melt into to the azure ocean. The room itself was adorned with shades of white, taupe and wood evoking a sense of relaxed contemporary chic. A sleek pantry, long dinning table, over-sized lounge chairs and couches peppered the space while modern Asian art accentuated the interior. I decided this was going to be my favourite space to reconnect with each other during our family reunion.
Set in the northeastern coast of Koh Samui, a tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand, Samujana estate encompasses 33 luxurious 3 to 8-bedroom villas. Located just 10 minutes from Samui International Airport, Samujana is perfectly perched on a hillside overlooking a pastel coral cove with private beach access and some of the best sea views in Samui. The large and lavish villas, designed by award-winning Gary Fell of Gfab Architects, aim to satiate Asia’s increasing appetite for luxury villa residences and have received a new accolade recently; the highly regarded Property Report award for Asia’s Best Resort Residences 2015. Villa 30 is literally the trump card of Samujana and the most spectacular villa on the island of Koh Samui. Featuring five en-suite bedrooms, all with stunning sea-views; a state-of-the-art cinema; private gym, infinity-edge pool; two lounges and two fully equipped kitchens, the sophisticated villa proved to be the perfect venue for our intimate soiree at the pinnacle of the island.
“Sawasdee!” The team of villa attendants were generous with their traditional greeting of ‘Wai’; palms pressed together in a respectful bow armed with a warm smile. Such authentic touches of Thai hospitality were ubiquitous of our stay. Nop, our villa manager was a permanent fixture that took care of our wishes and whims - from helping the kids choose DVDs in the cinema to coordinating the day’s activities. The villa offered a sumptuous variety of dinning options suited for every palate. The adults enjoyed the local cuisine from the in-villa menu while the kids were thrilled to have sushi delivered from a nearby Japanese restaurant. One balmy evening we indulged in the art of taking it slow, sipping champagne and embracing the glow of the setting sun whilst a team of private chefs prepared a succulent seafood BBQ.
Enjoying the solitude, peace and the view of the aquamarine seascape, we spent our days doing as we pleased to our own beat. There was plenty of chatter, whispers and giggling among the sisters between dipping into the buoyant salt-water pool and sipping fresh coconut. Old family tatler_tatler_stories were retold and received with bursts of laughter and cheer. A gentle breeze lulled me to sleep during one of my quiet moments whilst reading a paperback. When I awoke, I watched a flock of birds swiftly dip their heads into the infinity pool and stare back at me with indifference. Samujana offers a host of activities. You could explore the outlying islands on exclusive boat charter, immerse yourself in the islands’ culture by visiting the local markets, go elephant tracking, embark on waterfall hikes or even have in a game of tennis in the estate’s flood-lit tennis courts should you wish. We could not bear, however, to leave our home away from home and decided to keep our activities strictly within the comfort of our Villa.
My family members are self-proclaimed chocoholics. We were delighted to have the opportunity as a family to learn how to make a healthy version of chocolate under the expert tutorship of Alison, the owner and managing director of NatureHomeAsia. Using organic produce such as raw cacoa, almond butter, coconut oil and agave, we constructed chocolate bars frosted with Goji berries and Brazil nuts. Needless to say, over the next few days I found myself constantly heading to the refrigerator to snack on my superfood chocolates (much to Nop’s amusement).
My younger sister is an energizer bunny and convinced us to take part in Muay Thai lessons. Muay Thai (or Thai kickboxing) is Thailand’s national sport. It is steeped in tradition and considered one of the most lethal sports in the world. Aj, our instructor, trained us by the poolside, which involved the use of our fists, elbows, forearms, knees, shins and feet to kick and shove. Next, we were ready to sooth our achy muscles with an in-villa spa session. I decided on an oil massage in the sanctuary of my room while my sister opted to be massaged on the rooftop surrounded by the stunning view. With each stroke I slipped into a dream state that left me completely relaxed and rejuvenated.
Early in the morning of our departure, I ascended the spiral staircase and took to the soft couch which I have now discovered to be a grandstand seat to one of nature’s spectacles. Alone, I watched the golden rays shoot over the glittering water and pierce the darkness. Samujana has the distinction of offering private sunrises and sunsets packaged in a fusion of high architectural ideals with exemplary personalized service. It was a unique and interactive journey, which facilitated family bonding and helped us strike the perfect balance between achieving fitness goals and relaxation.
For reservations - see here
Dr Iroshini Chua is a Medical Director at Drs Chua and Partners (AV) Pte Ltd and a jewellery designer. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Women Doctors Singapore and a mother of two. A travel writer with a keen eye for asthetics, she has embarked on a passion project with her husband Kevin to donate their travel photographic prints toward charitable causes. Her love of fashion, food and friendship has her traversing the globe. Follow her on instagram @iroshinichua
You might also like: