Sounds of sea and cicada

Kimpton Kitalay Samui, the second Kimpton in Thailand and Kimpton's first resort in Southeast Asia, lives up to its Thai portmanteau -- kita for music and (ta)lay for sea -- as it sits right next to a secluded and unspoilt stretch of Choeng Mon Beach, Koh Samui. Not only you can hear the sound of waves rolling ashore during your stay but also the buzzing of cicada.

Sounds of sea and cicada

Kimpton Kitalay Samui, the second Kimpton in Thailand and Kimpton's first resort in Southeast Asia, lives up to its Thai portmanteau -- kita for music and (ta)lay for sea -- as it sits right next to a secluded and unspoilt stretch of Choeng Mon Beach, Koh Samui. Not only you can hear the sound of waves rolling ashore during your stay but also the buzzing of cicada.

First Impression

While the reflecting pools and open-air lobby are the first to greet your eyes, a true sense of arrival comes as you look over, from a U-shaped wooden building that houses Lanai Bar & Lounge, the main swimming pool that showcases a proper infinity edge effect as its blue seamlessly blends with the blue of Andaman Sea at the horizon. The fishing-village-inspired open-air reception area exudes chicness with a dash of a rustic laid-back vibe.

Opened earlier this year, the oceanfront property boasts 138 rooms, suites and villas spanning eight categories. A stay here starts rather spacious at 58m² of an Essential room types and goes up to 628m² for those who want to live really large in the sole Two-Bedroom Villa Kitay. While the Essential type may be the starting tier, it comes with a few whistles and bells to make your stay memorable. I checked into an Essential Pool Access Resort View Room which, as its name suggests, comes with direct pool access from your private terrace. Sometimes you may be the only one swimming, having the pool all to yourself.

Chao Samui Benedict.

Essential Pool Access Resort View Room.

The room is basically divided into a bedroom with a minibar and sofa corner and a sizeable bathroom which can be, with sliding doors, closed off or opened to make it roomier. While luxuriating in a big bathtub, you can check out a list of things you can borrow during your stay or take home with you, free of charge, from their "Forgot It? We've Got It!" amenities. One of many signatures that both Kimpton properties in Thailand share.

I snuck into a One Bedroom Oceanfront Pool Villa, of which there are only 12 units, and not only was impressed by its spacious size of 224m² but also its stylish layout. Upon entering the villa, you have a big bathroom with an outdoor shower on one side while a bedroom adjacent to a terrace with a plunge pool and direct access to the beach awaits you on the other.

Staying In

I'm already a fan of F&B offerings at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok and Kimpton Kitalay Samui also doesn't disappoint in this regard. There are five outlets, each of which has its own appeal and is designed for different occasions. Quite a foodie playground. Lanai Bar & Lounge will be the first to impress you with vibrant, nutritious and colourful dishes such as refreshing Burmese crispy duck salad, succulent Steak and eggs and -- my personal fave -- Mexican marinated chicken bowl, which gives many flavourful bursts thanks to well-seasoned rice and avocado pico de Gallo.

Fish House Restaurant & Bar.

Kid's club.

BoHo Thai Lifestyle Cafe is another culinary crown jewel and the breakfast service will definitely be a highlight of your stay. While you can help yourself to the usual breakfast items such as pastries, cold cuts, cheese and bread, you can also (and must) order from the placemat menu, which has signature offerings such as Chao Samui Benedict, which is a Thai southern take on the classic Eggs Benedict with crab rosti, curry Hollandaise sauce, grilled chilli and betel leaf. You can even go North while you're in the South with nam prik noom, moo ping and sticky rice. If you're going for the yule hole, then order Brioche gypsy French toast, which is extra indulgent with vanilla mascarpone, lemon curd and thyme syrup. If you're fans of fruits of the sea, Fish House Restaurant & Bar can satiate your craving with international recipes, ranging from ceviche, paella, crispy seabass with sweet and spicy dressing to Thai-style shrimp tartare.

Preempt your vacay weight gain with a session at the 24/7 fitness centre or a swim in the Olympic-sized main pool. Or enjoy various activities you can do on the beach. Hop on a fat-tire bike for a beach ride or explore the clear water on a clear-bottom kayak. Kimpton doesn't kid around with their kid's club Junio, which is a split-level club whose design is inspired by a nautical theme. The young guests can enjoy engaging and non-tech activities across 500m² of the club while their parents can treat themselves to a bliss-out treatment at Pimãanda by Harnn.

Also, existing fans of Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok would be pleased to know that signature perks are carried on at the Samui property, namely social hours with free drinks and canapes and pet amenities. You can even borrow a leash if you forgot. It's a place for pooches and their parents.

Going Out

While Kimpton's location affords easy access to many nearby eateries and attractions, you can be more adventurous with a junk boat cruise by Red Baron. Or to experience a local way of living, you have Bophut Fisherman's Village or Hua Thanon Muslim Fishing Village. The island's art scene is growing but perhaps underappreciated with more than 15 galleries to choose from. If you want to get close to nature, opt for The Nature where you can have a colourful and nutritious meal with a hill and lotus pond as your backdrop and make a tie-dye bag with colour extracted from barks and leaves.

One-Bedroom Ocean Front Pool Villa.

Final Verdict

The relaxed yet luxurious vibe, good food, beautiful surrounding along with attentive service makes Kimpton Kitalay Samui a memorable stay. It offers several packages such as "Leave Your Footprint In The Sand", which is an indulgence of a villa stay with massage, B5,000 worth of resort credit and private airport transfer. Visit kimptonkitalaysamui.com.