Guest Writer Mallory (my wife & Editor-in-Chief) is in charge of AYP today as she gives her full detailed hotel review of the Conrad Koh Samui in Thailand! Note – the opinions displayed in this article are our own and we did not receive any compensation related to this writing.
After leaving Singapore and The Four Seasons Singapore, the second destination on our trip to Southeast Asia in April took us to the island of Koh Samui, the second largest Thai island, which is located off of the east coast of Thailand.
Booking – This hotel is DEFINITELY out of our normal price range (a common theme during our travels) – so we looked for another way to pay for our stay! Since the Conrad Brand is owned by Hilton, we could have redeemed HHonors points, but instead we decided to utilize our Hilton free Weekend Night Certificates!
We earned the 2 Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificates with a sign-up of the Citi Hilton Reserve card (upon spending $2,500 in 4 months). You will pay $85 for the annual fee, but I assure you that the Free Weekend Night Certificates will more than make up for that initial cost! Think of it as in investment in your happiness and relaxation 🙂
These certificates are ideal for high value luxury property redemptions (like the Conrad Koh Samui) and provide a better value than using HHonors points! Just make sure to catch the weekend for your travel (defined as Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)!
If you do have a large stash of HHonors points, you can choose to book this room for 95,000 points per night… Or, if you are filthy rich (more props to ya!), you can spend anywhere from $600 to over $1,000 per night!
Getting there/Location – We flew into Samui Airport, which, interestingly enough, is owned and operated by Bangkok Airways. The airport was an open-air facility, and one of the prettiest airports I’ve ever seen.It is situated on the north eastern part of Koh Samui, which is about as far as you can get from the Conrad Koh Samui, which sits on the south western point of the island.
The area in which the hotel is located is relatively secluded, which was both good and bad. It took us about 35-40 minutes by hotel transfer service (we scheduled a 4Runner to pick us up) to arrive at the hotel. I would advise stopping at a Family Mart convenience store along the way to pick up some snacks and drinks (and some cash – Thai Bhat if needed) for the room in order to avoid any snack runs once you get to the hotel. The round-trip transfer from the airport to the hotel cost 3,000 Thai Bhat – which works out to around $45 each way… expensive by Thai standards, but given the hotel’s remote southern location, it seems like the most comfortable option!
Hotel Check-In – We were dropped off at the check-in spot, which, similarly to the airport, is another open-air building situated at the top of the ocean-side mountain. As soon as we exited the 4Runner, we could immediately see why so many people rave about this hotel. The view was INSANE.
The receptionist offered us a refreshing drink while he located our reservation in the system. As Hilton Diamond members, we were presented with our choice of scent in a special amenity kit (in addition to the amenities that were already in the room.. I thought this was a strange, but nice gesture), as well as the opportunity to reach into a bowl to pull out a “bonus offer. I selected a sliver of paper that awarded us 1,000 extra Hilton Honors points.
After checking in, we promptly boarded one of the hotels MANY golf carts, and were escorted to our villa.
The Room – Every room at the Conrad Koh Samui is a hillside free-standing villa (equipped with its own infinity pool and private deck), so you really cannot get a sub-par room at this property. We were shown to room 315, which is one of the larger 1-bedroom suites. It sits high above many of the other suites, giving it an awesome view of the Gulf of Thailand.
Due to the design of the property, it is almost necessary to request a golf cart when venturing from your room to the common areas of the hotel. Luckily, golf carts arrive to your doorstep within 5-10 minutes of phoning a request.
Our room was extremely spacious, well appointed, and offered a breathtaking view (especially at sunset) of the open gulf. The décor of the room was simple and understated, which created a truly relaxing space. The king bed was comfortable, but I needed to turn on the fan and pump up the AC at night in order to keep cool (don’t forget to pull down your shades if you’re gone during the day, or you’ll come back to a HOT room).
The bathroom is also quite large, and home to my favorite feature of the room – the massive bowl-shaped bathtub that had an unobstructed view of the Gulf. Definitely the perfect storm for spending an afternoon turning into a prune.
The uncontested star of the room was the private infinity pool, which was much larger than I imagined it to be. We were perfectly content lounging in our pool for the majority of the trip, and only went to the communal large pool once.
Dining – If you’re a Hilton HHonors Gold or Diamond member, you’re in luck! You will enjoy complimentary breakfast as part of your benefits, and the breakfast buffet here is on point (Note: Earn Gold status with the Citi Hilton Reserve or the Hilton HHonors Card by American Express). Breakfast is served at the resort’s casual restaurant, Zest, which, along with most every other location on the property, also boasts a gorgeous view. Zest is open all-day, but definitely is busiest at the breakfast hour. Breakfast included the standard spread one would expect at any breakfast buffet (think cereals, breads, yogurts, many different tropical fruits), as well as a made-to-order omelet bar and local Thai dishes like noodles, rice, and curries. If you time it right and arrive towards the end of the breakfast buffet, this meal could definitely hold you over until dinner time.
In addition to breakfast, Zest also serves lunch and dinner, and we chose to enjoy dinner one night at Zest rather than take a cab 20-30 minutes into the busier part of town. I was quite surprised by how empty the restaurant was at 8pm on a Sunday, but we welcomed the peace and quiet! The service was top-notch, and the authenticity of the Thai dishes surpassed my expectations.
Pool and Beach area – The large, community infinity pool was seldom busy, so we spent a quiet afternoon sprawled out in lounge chairs that sit on a large platform within the pool. As Hilton Honors Diamond members, we received 2 free drink certificates, and we redeemed them at the pool bar for a couple of refreshing (and strong) cocktails!
The hotel’s small, private beach is accessible by foot and is situated adjacent to the pool area. My favorite features of the beach were the hammock and sun deck, located 20-30 feet into the water.
In addition to the lovely private beach, the hotel offers a complimentary off-site snorkeling excursion, which takes guests by private boat to an awesome snorkel spot, followed by an hour lounging on a private island. Guests can also choose to upgrade their experience by adding a “picnic basket” to their trip for a fee!
Fitness Center/Spa – The fitness center is located right by the pool, and contained everything I needed for my (brief) workout. I also thought it was a really neat feature that the hotel offered daily fitness and yoga classes by the pool deck.
“WOW! This hotel looks absolutely stunning! Too bad I could never stay at a hotel like this…”
SHUT YOUR FACE! This amazing hotel is well within your reach – you will just have to utilize your points and miles savvy! Remember, this hotel is a Hilton Property… so follow our lead and apply for the Citi Hilton Reserve card. After spending $2,500 in 4 months, you will earn 2 Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificates – valid at ANY HILTON PROPERTY WORLDWIDE!
These certificates can save you over A THOUSAND DOLLARS during high value luxury property redemptions (like the Conrad Koh Samui)!
Just make sure to catch the weekend for your travel (defined as Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)!
If you make the trip to Thailand, get yourself to the island of Samui and stay at the Conrad Koh Samui – you will not be disappointed! Our two night stay was the perfect amount of relaxation and recharge we needed to power us through the remainder of our Thai adventures! The best part about this hotel (ok, maybe it is a tie with the breathtaking views…) has to be the ability to redeem Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificates earned through the Citi Hilton Reserve card! Two nights at a 5 star hotel staying in a 1-bedroom villa overlooking the Gulf of Thailand… for free (aside from the $85 annual fee)? It seems too good to be true, but I assure you it is possible, not just for me (see above!), but for YOU TOO!