I especially enjoyed spending time in my beach facing second floor room with a covered porch. When I wasn’t in my comfortable room I was indulging in spa treatments or exploring the village on foot and the island by car. Even though I went for walks around the village it was nice to have an on site fitness area for additional work outs and in case of inclement weather. Every morning prior to breakfast I worked out before going for a swim in the infinity edge saltwater pool, one of my favorite facilities. If I had time left over after my explorations I returned to the pool in the afternoon for a second dip.
The hotel’s location next to the Fisherman’s Village and tourist street was ideal for strolls. I particularly liked the Friday night night market that lined the already bustling narrow street. Although the souvenir merchandise, tailor shops, bars, cafes and beachfront restaurants caught my eye along the way it was the heady odor and sight of countless tempting Thai dishes that kept me enthralled as I made my way along the crowded street that seemed to go on forever. Another day I retraced my steps in the early morning and found the end of the street, a much easier, though slightly less colorful, task without the throngs of night vendors and lively visitors.
As a nature and beach lover the beach views from my room and elsewhere at the hotel were one of the characteristics I enjoyed the most about the well run hotel. Although there were many other features to highlight about the hotel, restaurant and spa what I liked most about the Koh Samui property was its friendly and service oriented staff. This more than made up for the new property glitches that popped up occasionally. Everywhere I went at the property staff were friendly, welcoming and helpful. In the dining room they would prepare chili free dishes for me, at the spa they shared body lotion, and at the front desk they organized a canopy tour and an island visit. We even found an elusive island pearl shop I had wanted to see. I look forward to a return visit to Hansar Samui whenever I am in the area again.
Class Of Accommodation Beachfront luxury hotel and spa
Concierge /front office manager Sin Samney
Connectivity There was complimentary WiFi in my room. The signal strength varied between poor and medium.
General Manager Indra Budiman
Handicapped Access The property was in the process of remodeling a ground floor room for handicapped guests. Two wheelchairs were available on request and parts of the common areas on the ground floor were wheelchair accessible.
Length Of Stay Five nights
Location The hotel is on Bo Phut Beach and up-market Bophut Bay on the north side of Koh Samui, across a small street from the beach. It is about 10 minutes from the international airport.
Managed Ativa Hospitality
Owned Som Hansar Co Ltd
Pets Allowed No
Size The 8,862 meter square property had 74 rooms and employed 82 staff.
Year Opened The property opened July 2010
The bathroom and bedroom blended together partly. As I entered the room the closet was to the right and in front of it were twin stone sinks and twin rectangular mirrors hanging from the ceiling, one in front of each sink. To the right, in the corner, there was a water closet with a rattan sliding door. Behind the sinks an eclectic curtain, mostly decorative, allowed a clear view between the two areas. Behind it there was an inviting large oval bathtub set on a bed of pebbles. To the right of it, against the wall, there was an oversize doorless walk-in shower with partial glass walls, one facing the bed and the opposite one facing the water closet. A small bead curtain was on the outer side of the glass wall that faced the bedroom. Within the shower there was a rain shower and handheld shower.
Room 3202, a second floor room of a two floor building, faced a small street and the beach. It was one of only three such rooms on the second floor and six in the first and second floors in that part of the hotel. From the covered balcony, my favorite place, I could see the beach just feet away. It was fun to sit in a rocking chair or oversize daybed to watch the light traffic of motorized vehicles and pedestrians stroll by on their way to and from the adjacent village. My room had the advantage of being quiet within. At the same time, if I sat on the balcony I could hear the sounds of people on the street and village, reminding me there were some shopping and many dining and strolling options nearby if I chose to take advantage of them. Or I could just sit and enjoy my balcony which was sometimes my preference.
The room itself had a contemporary design featuring a single doorless (there was a sliding door in the water closet) ambiance for the sleeping area and bathroom. The center of the sleeping area was taken up by a king four poster wood bed which at night was dressed up with wrap around mosquito netting. Identical drawer-less night tables framed the bed each with identical lamps. One of them also was home to a phone. Next to one of them there was a mini bar with a coffee and tea service and on the bottom a small refrigerator stocked with non alcoholic beverages (domestic and imported beer, soda water, canned juices, sodas, Evian in plastic bottles and two Hershey’s chocolate bars).
At night the staff transformed the bed into an insect free cocoon with white mosquito netting elegantly draped over the four poster bed and brought a selection of delicate bedtime bites (macarons, white chocolate ball with filling, pate de fruit, and milk chocolate filled square were some of the ones I sampled), the perfect ending to my day. Although the bed was slightly creaky it was mighty comfortable. Thanks to the extra cushioning and duvet it felt like I was was sleeping in a puffy white cloud.
In the middle of the room, next to the bed, there were two wood armchairs and a wood table in the middle (I preferred the matching wood rocking chairs on the porch because they had cushions and were comfortable to sit on). There was a low table mounted on the wall opposite from the bed that housed: service menu, fruit bowl, two flower vases, a large Teac dvd player, and stationary. Hanging on the wall above the table there was a large flat screen television.
The was teak wood flooring in the bedroom; in the bathroom it was L-Thai clay tiles made locally. Mosquito repellent burned in the room at night left behind by the staff when they did the turn down service. For the most part I only noticed mosquitoes on the balcony once in the early evening. The air temperature was controlled via a digital display mounted on the wall for the central air conditioner. Although the digital display indicated the temperature was 24 Celsius it felt warmer. Sliding glass doors behind double privacy curtains led to the balcony.
The balcony was furnished with two cushioned wood rocking chairs, a small table on wheels and a cushioned daybed set against the porch railing. From my second floor shelter I could hear the gentle surf, the frequent motorcycles and cars, passing pedestrians and beach goers as well as the occasional motorboat. The bay area was peppered with anchored vehicles including a number of sailboats.
The restaurant had 46 seats inside and 28 seats outside and was open for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dinner was served between 6 p.m and 11 p.m. One night I ordered room service for dinner and it arrived within minutes. On Sunday I dined at H-Bistro where I ordered calamari and a crab cake followed by Australian lamb with a glass of Chilean cabernet sauvignon. For dessert, on my waiter’s advice, I had coconut ice cream. It was just the right ending to the meal. Wittawat Roongklung “Eh,” an aspiring photographer, was one of the more outgoing servers in the dining room and always provided outstanding service.
Stephen Jean Dion, the executive chef, was a native of Canada who began his career as an eighteen year old apprentice at Les Halles restaurant in Quebec, Canada. After working in Singapore, Bangkok and Malaysia he spent two years as private chef to His Majesty the King of Jordan where he catered to many high profile dignitaries and visiting Royalty. He then returned to Thailand, spending five years at the Lebua at State Tower Bangkok and working first as chef de cuisine of the Sirocco restaurant and eventually becoming executive chef.
He and his staff dedicated much effort to sourcing the best ingredients available. The foie gras, for example, was imported from the Soulard farm in France’s Perigord region. Fresh Maine lobsters and oysters were flown from Canada, Japan, and France.
I liked H-Bistro’s French Mediterranean cuisine and the opportunity the restaurant offered to sample Thai dishes.
Beach The beach, just across a narrow street from the hotel, was tranquil and pretty in a postcard sort of way. The water lapped gently on the shore regardless of the time of day. There was an area in front of the hotel with lounge chairs for Hansar Samui guests. In the calm water, an area was cordoned off for guest use. In spite of the designated area and beach chairs I seldom saw anyone from our hotel on the beach. Curious, I went for an hour long beach walk. On closer inspection I discovered that the water, although pleasantly warm, was murky. I couldn’t see the bottom. During my walk I found two jelly fish on the shore.
Facilities H-Bistro, the restaurant, Chill Lounge, Luxsa Spa, Beach Bar and Pool Deck, an internet room, the saltwater swimming pool and a nearby kiddie pool (never saw any children in it while was there), a fitness center, and a clothing boutique.
Fitness Center And Spa The hotel had a modern air-conditioned fitness center open between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. with computer controlled cardio-vascular equipment including treadmill, elliptical trainer and upright bicycle as well as multi-station free weights. I was the sole guest when I visited the fitness center in the early morning although I ran into guests leaving a couple of times. The machines were new looking and clean and worked perfectly. I also appreciated that there were free weights in my size preference. There was a large flat screen television hanging on the wall, a handheld stereo, work out towels and bottled water. Luxsa Spa, the Hansar Samui’s 670 square meter spa with three meter ceilings had four double spa treatment rooms and a Thai massage suite.
Pool One of my favorite features of the property was the 15 meter by 30 meter saltwater pool with a Baltic green lava sand stone surface. The only disappointment were the loud children (and adults) playing ball on several occasions. The pool was open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Other Sustainable tourism practices included utilizing recycled paper for all collateral, using refillable containers for toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and mosquito repellent. The property also separated waste by type such as plastic and paper. There was a waste water recycling process that re-treated waste water for the garden by using ultraviolet light and a bio degradable system.
Date Of Review September 2010
Reviewers Article and photographs by Elena del Valle
Service There was twice daily room service. Staff were friendly, helpful and service oriented.
Would You Stay There Again? Yes