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Town of peace and tranquility


Living up to its name, Santiburi is a slice of peace and quiet on the secluded 300m stretch of Mae Nam Beach in Koh Samui.

At first glance, Santiburi is dripping in Thai aesthetic from the orange roof tiles, a pond in the middle of its open-air lobby to four-poster daybeds in the lounge, it also offers another all-villa zone called The Reserve for those who seek a stay with a more contemporary vibe.

First Impression

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. It starts sizeably with a 55m² One Bedroom Duplex Suite, which fits three (two adults and one kid) and offers views of the main swimming pool and lush surroundings from a private balcony. The Two Bedroom Grand Deluxe Beachfront Villa with Private Pool accommodates four adults and two children within its 195m² and gives easy access to the beachfront. However, I checked into a Grand Reserve Pool Villa inside The Reserve zone, which isn’t shabby at all.

The Beach House in the evening.

Breakfast buffet at Vimarnmek.

Staying in

The Reserve feels like another village within this beachfront property, offering 19 Grand Reserve Pool Villas. A resort within a resort, if you will. Each of them is shielded with discrete walls, trees and manicured shrubs for extra privacy. Behind the dark double-panel doors lies your own sanctuary of about 250m². Among the first things that are likely to catch your eyes, besides the private pool of respectable size, are floating pillows — obvious props for your IG shots. The private pool is walled on all sides by tall hedges so I reckon you can safely skinny-dip underneath the stars if you want to (I did).

The villa design is impressive throughout. The cathedral ceilings lend spaciousness to the living room and bedroom. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow in plenty of natural light, as well as a view of the garden and pool. The ensuite bathroom is certainly more than big enough for him and her (or her and her, or him and him, we don’t discriminate) with separate basins and a wardrobe that may be bigger than the one you have at home. The pool is certainly not just for wading. It’s deep enough for a refreshing dip and there are steps you can sit on while letting a mini waterfall massage your shoulders. Next to it are two sunbeds under a big umbrella so you can tan without prying eyes. If I have to nitpick, I find it’s strange that you can open the sliding door of your bedroom and drop right into the pool’s full depth.

The Lounge.

Find your room’s QR code in the living room and use it with Santiburi Koh Samui app to find interesting activities you can enjoy and promotions you can avail off at your fingertips.

While you can get a lift on a golf buggy from your villa to have a beachside meal at The Beach House, I recommend working up an appetite by taking a short walk there and enjoying the lush surroundings, to the tunes of birds chirping. You have an expansive beach to stroll around or lounge on a hammock under the shade of tall palm trees afterward.

F&B wise, guests have four more venues to choose from. Opt for The Pool House for light meals and cocktails next to the main 50m swimming pool. A hearty breakfast awaits at Vimarnmek. The good news is that Santiburi offers a buy-one-get-one deal for any dish and drink (except top-shelf spirits) at all five eateries. If you want to live large, a private BBQ in your villa or dinner on the beach is worth splashing out for.

There are several ways to preempt the vacation weight gain from a good ol’ gym session, throwing punches in a boxing ring and yoga on the beach. Paddleboards and kayaks are also available.

After sweating it out, you may earn a pampering session at Len Spa, which puts your mind at ease with an impressive interior that fuses Thai aesthetic with serenity. Its long hallway, which leads to private treatment rooms, is a symmetrical beauty to behold. The barefoot therapists kneaded me into a blissful slumber.

Grand Reserve Pool Villa.

Going out

There are various types of eateries on the same road as Santiburi but need to check if they are still operational because of you-know-what. There are several local markets that may interest you. The Maenam Walking Street in Samui’s Chinatown has returned and it’s a little more than 10 minutes on foot from the hotel. Time your visit well, as it opens on Thursday nights from 5pm until 10pm. Don’t expect it to be as lively as it was pre-Covid-19, obviously.

Final verdict

You have both choices of luxuriating in your villa or enjoy various activities on offer at Santiburi. If you sign up for the Rao Tiew Duay Gun campaign, you can stay at Santiburi for an affordable price of B3,904 for two nights in a One-Bedroom Duplex Suite with breakfast. If you want to experience the Grand Reserve Pool Villa, rates start from B10,126 for two nights with breakfast and a whole bunch of perks. This offer is valid until Oct 31. Guests will further receive the buy-one-get-one-free promotion on airport transfers, dining at the resort’s five F&B venues, activities and spa treatments.

Grand Reserve Pool Villa.

Grand Reserve Pool Villa.

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