An ideal vacation spot would be one that straddles the best of both worlds: a stroll through the hustle and bustle of the city and a relaxed beach get-away. Where else can you lay under the sun on a sandy beach, then walk through the busy streets of the biggest city in the world? That place is no fantasy. The answer resides in beautiful Thailand.
Our trip started in Koh Samui, Thailand's second largest island, which is located a mere one hour plane ride away from the Bangkok Airport. The Koh Samui weather is ideal anytime of the year. The sun is always shining and the clear sea-water is perfect for a dip! Thailand has always been one of those places that never ceases to amaze me. It’s localized energy radiates to any passing tourists, and you are always left with an impression of curiosity and excitement wherever you go. After reaching the airport, we were on our way to our home away from home for the next few days, Avani+ Samui Resort.
From the airport, the resort was almost an hour away by car. Tucked away in a secluded part of the island was the ultimate secret hideaway location for those in pursuit of peace and relaxation. The resort houses a total of 25 guest rooms, 27 private-pool villas, and six beachfront pool villas, for a spacious and comfortable stay. Apart from the main grounds, the resort also houses an ‘untouched bay, which is a feature that not many resorts offer and caters to guests that are seeking quiet alone time.
With two different pools on opposite sides of the resort, it’s nearly impossible to bump into other guests and it feels like the resort is all yours. The staff catered to my every need and made me feel like a VIP guest.The restaurant at the resort was divine in its unique taste and interpretation of Thai food, where each dish was exceptionally delicious and fresh. After relaxing our days away on the tan bed, it was time to continue our journey and visit one of the biggest cities in the world, Bangkok.
The busy streets of Bangkok were filled with every means of transportation possible. Cars, buses, trains, and the congenial tourist attraction, the tuk tuk car. At this point, it was clear that we had left behind the quiet and tranquil get-away of the resort and were officially in the capital city of Thailand. With a population of almost 8 million people, Bangkok is overlain with a never ending line of hotels and other housing options, which makes choosing a location quite overwhelming. Here enters Anantara Siam Bangkok.
Anantara Siam was perfectly located right at the center of the city, near shopping areas and other entertainment attractions, which removes the hassle of scheduling and arranging for transportation. When entering the hotel you are transported from the busy, loud streets to an elegant, calm environment. After settling into our room where we completed our check-in process, we were given a private mobile phone which we could take with us anywhere so that we were able to contact the hotel whenever necessary—a truly thoughtful gesture!
The hotel houses a beautiful outdoor pool surrounded by greenery, a shopping district of boutiques and a collection of internationally known restaurants—located in an outdoor greenhouse with wildlife—and of course an outstanding spa area. A true Thailand experience will not be complete without a traditional Thai massage. The spa interior was that of a peaceful temple. Each room was designed to resemble a quarter of the temple with all your desired spa-necessities tailored especially for you. It was a luxurious, private experience that I will never forget.
Guests can experience a whole day of fun and entertainment within the grounds of this family-friendly hotel that truly acts as a microcosm of the city that surrounds it. The choices are endless and the service is impeccable! Bangkok has something to offer everyone, whether it’s a great shopping experience, or a historical tour through shrines and palaces.
Scattered around Thailand are a number of cities worth visiting that are a unique adventure in their own way. My visit to both Koh Samui and Bangkok has made me fall in love with Thailand even more. And the short distance between them made for a convenient travel itinerary. Koh Samui was a well-deserved and needed distraction from our busy day-to-day lives. With a varied list of activities, scrumptious food, and breathtaking natural scenery, Avani+ Samui is an ideal choice. By the same token, Anantara Siam offered a different kind of paradise—one of never-ending excitement—right in the heart of the city.
A version of this article was featured in Khaleejesque’s September 2019 issue.
Words: Noor Al-Sabah
Images: Avani+ Samui Resort, Anantara Siam Bangkok