Plai Laem villas in Koh Samui, Thailand

Plai Laem occupies the eastern side of Samui's north coast peninsular, which most visitors know thanks to the Big Buddha statue that sits proudly on a small island at its apex. Plai Laem is the less developed of the pensinsular's two coasts, although easy access to the airport and ferry piers to neighbouring islands has prompted a number of new villa developments, low-key resorts and small residential compounds to spring up, both along the seafront and scattered through the palm-clad hinterland. The restaurants in this area are mainly of the local variety, although some of the resorts also offer international cuisine. The beach is narrow for most of the year, so not really a bathers' paradise but the views across to the small island of Koh Som and left to the Big Buddha are superb.. For local culture, Plai Laem temple is an impressive, colourful compound containing large religious statues set in a man-made lake filled with carp.

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Villa Belle

Villa Belle

Thailand » Koh Samui » Plai Laem

Villa Belle catches the breeze perfectly from its hilltop position. And the views! We loved the couches on the deck – with their white cushions and low coffee table they made the perfect spot for an afternoon read over a cup of tea. The WiFi signal is good out here too, so you can catch up on emails while soaking up the sun – just watch out for ‘laptop tan’ on the thighs.

As evening arrived we were reluctant to leave the view, so chose to dine outside (pleasantly surprised that the elevation and breeze meant we weren’t pestered by mosquitos). Samui’s resorts let off fireworks most evenings, and it was as though we were being treated to our own private show. Then there are the luminous fluorescent green lights that appear on the horizon as it gets dark. At first glance it looks like alien spacecraft is coming in to land but, in fact, the lights belong to night fishing boats and are to attract squid to the surface. The villa’s attractive lighting shines at night – in both senses of the word – and our turn-down was unique with towels arranged to form of a heart and sprinkled with flowers.

Should you decide to hire a chef, there’s a comprehensive selection menu at the villa, or you can browse the recipe book of Thai dishes for even more choice. The chef prepared some pasta and a Greek salad for us, both of which were well made and tasty. Comfortable beds dressed with white linen and with a choice of foam and feather pillows, meant a peaceful sleep before our pre-breakfast swim. Khun Noom sets out an impressive Continental breakfast, and thanks to the villa’s state-of-the-art coffee machine we could enjoy cappuccinos too.
 
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