Name: Conrad Koh Samui
For some reason I love having a private horizon pool, so when I heard years before it was built that the Conrad Koh Samui would feature one and two bedroom villas with private horizon pools, I fell in love! Originally a good deal on points as a category 7, it was one of the properties affected by Hilton points devaluation, becoming a category 10. So I booked a stay as far in advance as possible (15 months) to get in at the category 7 pricing and built the rest of the trip around those dates.
We arrived at the Conrad Koh Samui late at night, having stayed at the Intercontinental long enough to catch the sunset. Check in was in the breezy lobby at the top of the hill. As a Hilton HHonors Gold I got free breakfast and our choice of what scented lotion and soap we wanted in our villa. It was dark so we could vaguely make out lights below, but had no idea how steep it was until the morning! I’d read reviews and seen pictures, but hadn’t really internalized why we’d need to take golf carts everywhere we wanted to go.
Villa 110 was at the bottom a few villas down from the main pool and fitness center, which meant we had a lot of privacy since our pool overlooked nothing but the ocean. After anxiously awaiting coming to the Conrad Koh Samui I was surprised by my first reaction. Since we’d arrived at night, all the floor to ceiling drapes had been drawn and the space felt surprisingly dark and claustrophobic, especially since we’d just come from the 2 bedroom villa at the Intercontinental! Once I’d walked outside to the pool I started to feel better and when I woke up in the morning with the drapes open, I was very happy.
The villa was great, but for friends traveling together, it can be a little tight and feel rather on top of each other at times when both people are inside. Having your own private pool makes a big difference though and I would spend many a delightful hour toasting on the edge of the horizon pool looking out at the water or taking in the gorgeous sunsets. The rest of the hotel grounds were lovely, though we wound up spending very little time during our 4 night stay outside our Villa (except to go to a Thai boxing match).
I did go to the kickboxing class with hotel fitness expert at the main pool. It wound up being a great workout and wasn’t boring even though I had some familiarity with the technique. We decided to avoid the pricey reservation-only restaurants for dinner and mostly ate at Azure by the main pool or had room service outside on our deck. There was a decent breakfast buffet that had the usual array of pastries, meats, and cheeses. My favorites were the fresh smoothies served in little bottles a la Alice in Wonderland and the little jars of yogurt. While the buffet had a limited number of hot dishes that changed up every day, you could also order entrees off the menu (included as part of a buffet).
Normally I try out that spa, but with prices starting at over $100 and no great specials, I decided to skip it on this stay. Service was great (with the exception of trying to book tickets to the Thai boxing event and the hotel car dropping us off at the wrong place). Given how empty the Intercontinental was, I was surprised to find out the resort was at high occupancy, but at no point did it feel crowded or busy.
Despite my initial disappointment, I wound up loving my stay here and would happily do so again, though now that it’s a Category 10, it’s no longer a great value for points redemptions.
Review by my friend Keri Anderson at Heels First Travel.
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