The trendy Starwood hotel group has grown to 38 properties offering a mix of modern 'luxury' with a hip vibe. This new Koh Samui property is nothing short of these standards. Although there are no red carpets directing you to a runway over the ocean, it sure feels like it after a walk through the resort! The resort is uniquely positioned at the point of Mae Nam and Bophut beaches; allowing you to watch the sunrise and beautiful sunset from the beach. Whether you are seeking pure island relaxation or fine dining and nightlife nearby, the W Retreat is a wonderful way to experience the island and surely a cut above other W hotels I've experienced or heard about.
(Date experienced: May 2012)
Need to Know
A gorgeous beach get-away: in style!
Lover or friends – All of the options for fun in the sun and romantic lounging.
Entering the hotel lobby to be awed by the stunning panoramic views and varied architecture.
Best time to go
January through June. These are the best months to avoid rainy season, but the later months tend to get very hot. Not to worry though – as long as you are on the beach, the ocean breeze is quite cooling.
Like most W resorts, a younger crowd tends to populate! If you enjoy walking on the beach, be sure to bring appropriate shoes or borrow the water shoes the resort have at hand as the sand can be very rough at parts.
Good to note
The W plans trendy events during the evenings for those who enjoy mingling over cocktails and tapas. Inquire upon your arrival what the staff may have planned during your stay.
The property is made up of 75 private villas, ranging from a Jungle Oasis to a WOW or Extreme WOW Ocean Haven. Each villa has sleek touches including floor to ceiling windows overlooking your spacious private pool (and even the ocean), indoor & outdoor rain showers as well as any iPod & sound system gadget you may want. When you call for a reservation, ask for a villa closer to the beach or the pool – depending on which you prefer as the resort is situated on a hilly enclave and it could be a slight walk depending on your preference. We found the Jungle Oasis lovely as it was a minute walk to the beach and we also thoroughly enjoyed our 11 meter private pool with a day bed – no need to leave the villa if you favor!
Service & vibe
We were graciously welcomed by the young staff into the sleek and sophisticated open air “lobby” overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, with a passion fruit drink and cold towel. The entire resort gives off a modern beach chic vibe that is enticing to many of its young visitors.
The Kitchen Table offers an enormous selection during their breakfast buffet and a variety of global cuisines for lunch and dinner. Be sure to experience this restaurant’s incredible infinity views over the sea at some point during your stay. Namu, which is situated just steps off the beach, mixes contemporary Japanese cuisine with a smaller, intimate setting – perfect for a night out with your date! The Sip Bar located on the beach is great for snacks and a full food and drink menu throughout the day.
Price per night
Sport & Activity
The SWEAT Fitness Center offers a full array of equipment and facilities (although is indoors) and the SWING tennis court overlooks the sea. For those who want to explore the island, borrow a kayak from the W Beach and paddle out to a small nearby island. More adventurous? Learn to wind surf right at the beach in some of the best conditions.
There are endless spectacular diving spots on Koh Samui and local islands, which make great day trips. Sailing, fishing, catamaran excursions and picturesque golfing can all easy be coordinated through the 'Whatever/Whenever desk'.
Spa & Grooming
AWAY Spa has a variety of treatments and massages in modern private or double villas. The entire experience is simply peaceful as each treatment pavilion is perched on the hills overlooking the Gulf.
For some Thai/Mediterranean fusion, head to Barracuda Restaurant near local Mae Nam beach, only a short distance from the resort. If you have some time to make an evening out of dinner, take the hotel’s complimentary shuttle to Chaweng beach to explore the main drag full of shopping and restaurants. While most offer generic food, walk about 10 minutes from the shuttle to The Library’s restaurant The Page. Sit outside on the terrace overlooking the ocean and enjoy some delicious Western or Thai dishes.
Koh Samui Island is relatively small so it’s fairly easy to get to other areas. There are several Buddhist landmarks and hiking trails leading to waterfalls for those with more time. Local Chaweng beach is known for its clubs and nightlife, attracting a generally younger crowd.
4/1 Moo 1 Tambol Maenam
Koh Samui 84330
The hotel is located a short 15 minute drive from the airport. Contact the Whatever/Whenever service desk for them to easily arrange transportation for you during your stay.