Think Wem Wenders meets Knots Landing at this natural cliff top resort on Koh Samui, Thailand.
As I get older and find myself with the itch to get away, I am turning more and more to all inclusive holidays, especially the last minute deal sites to help me find a cheap, and simple holidays not far from home. But once and a while I like to journey a little longer, a little farther. To take my laptop and family on the road and travel for a month or more to laid back destinations – places where it’s not hard to find the sun, good food, and affordable and ecological minded hotels. While eco is definitely on my mind, it’s not the defining factor in where I stay. But when I travel to places like Thailand, I like a little bit of pampering. Because Thailand is the place to go to get knee deep in nature, and get spoiled at the same time on a reasonable budget. This past February I travelled to Koh Samui, an island in Thailand.
About halfway through our journey we found the Baan Hin Sai Resort and Spa. Easy to reach from one of the east island’s beaches, Chewang and Lamai, this place is a sea and nature lover’s dream.
While the island of Samui is expanding at a rapid rate, faster than rooms are filling up due to limited flights in, this particular resort was built with nature in mind. Builders and architects were probably scratching their heads on how to work around all the natural black boulders covered in lush greenery. And the trees that weren’t to be cut down by order of thr owner. In the arrangement of buildings, you’ll see the seemingly haphazardness of nature.
A breathy walk from the top reception down to the sea, electric golf carts are at your beck and call should you need assistance and no more exercise for the day.
The Baan Hin Sai is a little bit of an alternative to the debauchery over on Koh Samui’s Lamai and Chewang beaches. Comfortably away from the ruckus (but close enough to visit when you want company), the hotel offers reasonable rates for a very good standard of luxury. If you book, try to score one of the bungalows down close to the beach so you can watch and smell the water smashing onto the rocks below.
While there are no green hotel standards bodies to certify who is ecological or not on Samui, the 11-year-old Baan Hin Sai gets some green creds for going out of the way to set its own green standards. Meeting with the manager, I learned this:
The resort composts food and gardening waste.
They decidedly use no chemicals or sprays in the garden.
Wild vegetation and trees are part of the charm and they try as little as possible to cut them –– you’ll see a much different story at the beach resorts closer to the popular beaches. All existing trees and plants were clearcut to make way for large buildings.
Baan Hin Said has installed septic tanks so sewage doesn’t run into the sea. That’s considered exceptional for the island.
While some of these points might seem basic for westerners, these are big steps for Thai hotel operators.
Baan Hin Sai caters to a middle class crowd, and likely the upper middle class who book the view to the sea rooms at the bottom of the resort with the million dollar views.
I was a bit confused by the artificial concrete beach deck down below. It reminded me of scene from a Wem Wenders black and white film. But I am not holding it against them. I don’t mind seeing chinks in the armour of places where I stay.
Stay there if you want to get lost in green and the dreamy sea.
They also have a gorgeous spa seaside where natural waves waft with the smell of orchids. Divine pleasure.