Three moons under a hot sun

travel January 09, 2018 15:00

By The Nation

The palm tree-covered island of Koh Samui gets another new hotel on Tuesday (Janiary 16) with the opening of the luxury Sala Samui Chaweng Beach Resort.

Designed by Thailand-based architectural and interior design firm Onion, the resort draws inspirations from Koh Samui and neighbouring Koh Phangan’s world-renowned Full Moon, Half Moon, and Black Moon celebrations. 

“Varying moods are pegged to the three lunar phases and these provide the design compass for different spaces within the resort. As guests move through the property they will experience a shift in mood – from the openness and high energy of the full moon on arrival, through smaller half moon connecting courtyards to the more intense shades of the black moon spaces,” said general manager Erwin van der Veen. 

The Oceanfront Wing draws heavily on the energy of a full moon, inspired by the 120 metres of beach frontage. It provides 52 pool villas and pool suites ranging in floor area between 74 and 304 square meters, all equipped with private pools between 18 sqm and 52 sqm. 

The circular shape of the full moon is incorporated into various design elements, from the architectural facade with elements deliberately placed to cast circular shadows, to the swimming pool, aptly named the Moon Pool, which references the lunar muse. 

Inside the rooms, the circular motif continues, with full moon-inspired lighting fixtures and circular bathtubs. Interior archways follow the curve of the pervading theme, creating a relaxing and organic sense of space.

Slated to open in January 2019, the Garden Wing is further from the sea and reveals a shift towards smaller courtyards guided by the half moon and dark moon concepts. Compared to the full moon, the half moon designs feel more cosy and private, with moderate lighting adding to the relaxed atmosphere, enhanced by trees and plants that are placed around the 83 rooms, pool villas and pool suites. This second phase will also include the Sala Spa and Sala Gym, as well as a garden oasis swimming pool, restaurant and bar. 

For the most intimate spaces in the resort, the dark moon inspiration was interpreted by further increasing the density of trees, plants, and green areas to offer a feeling of natural tranquillity. The privacy and intimacy in these spaces is even more pronounced, with native landscaping planned to provide a sense of sanctuary in areas such as the Sala Spa. 

“The guest experiences at Sala Samui Chaweng Beach Resort are carefully and subtly guided by the design of the resort, which ranges from open social spaces at the restaurant on the seafront to the Moon Pool and pockets of serenity where guests are surrounded by tropical trees and plants. The way our designers have interpreted the energy of the full, half, and dark moons also allows us to highlight different moods and themes for special activities and gatherings,” explained Erwin. 

Other highlights include the stunning Moon Pool located on the seafront, and an open-air beachfront restaurant – The Tent Beachfront Restaurant and Bar – serving a combination of international cuisine, modern Thai favourites and Sala Signature dishes amongst various private dining spaces, casual beach salas and romantic beachfront gazebos. 

The resort welcomes its first guests with the special rates starting from Bt8,500-plus when booking 90 days in advance. A 10-per-cent discount is offered on bookings made 45 days in advance.

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