I checked into the retro chic Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club for a beach vacay in Koh Samui and enjoyed every minute of it.
Confession: beach holidays aren’t really my thing. Scorching sunny rays, sand in places where they shouldn’t be, and salt water stinging my eyes… I’ll stay indoors any day. But when Koh Samui came knocking at my door, the timing was just right. I needed a rejuvenating holiday, and Thailand was just as good as any other destination. Even better, I got the opportunity to stay at the brand new Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club. On an island brimming with resplendent resorts, it stood out as bright, breezy and beautiful. Here’s what I loved…
Vacay in sleek style
The second you step into the hotel, you’re transported back to the 1950s – but with a contemporary update. Avani Chaweng is Koh Samui’s first mid century-inspired hotel, taking inspiration from the era and American destinations like Palm Beach and Miami. It sits along Chaweng Beach Road, which means the location is unbeatable.
You’re literally by the beach and minutes away from the island’s vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment offerings. It’s also just 10 minutes from the airport, so you can fly in on a late flight and be snuggled up in bed with no time to waste. We visited during the start of the monsoon season, but the rain showers didn’t interfere terribly with our plans and we saw fewer tourists (crowd-free holidays are always a plus).
It’s the little things that matter
Avani Chaweng is just three stories high, housing 80 rooms and suites surrounding the swimming pool and cabanas. It’s all about staying social, too. The check-in area doubles up as a 24/7 bar where you can hang out by the pool, the AvaniFit gym is open round the clock, and the hotel is home to Seen Beach Club Samui. Of course, guests get priority access to the beach club’s restaurant, bar and pool, as well as its hip parties.
I loved the tiny touches in the hotel room. You’ll feel right at home with the warm hues and retro-modern look. And that view from your balcony? Priceless. The property stays in theme throughout its premises too, with the quirky decor and bright palette extending to the restaurant. As its wall proclaims, “eat, sleep, beach, repeat”. Truer words were never said.
Calling all party people
We arrived in Koh Samui on a late-night flight on Saturday, so by the time we got to the hotel, the party was in full swing. Think bangin’ beats, neon lights and a high octane atmosphere. If you’re on the island and hankering for a night of revelry, make your way to the beach club and soak up all the party vibes.
Jiving to the tune of soul, house and disco, we had fab cocktails and amazing food. Our fave: the Seen tacos. Made with fish ceviche, blue swimmer crab, guac, pomegranate and wasabi mayo, it’s a light and fresh stunner.
The menu is pretty extensive, serving everything from Kurobuta pork chop, Hokkaido scallop risotto and seafood platters to sushi and sashimi. Of course, the selection of Thai dishes is fantastic. The pad Thai is a total winner in our books. Wash it all down with cocktails like sangria or negroni, and you’ll be pleasantly buzzed for the night.
As the only place serving food in the hotel, Seen Beach Club is also where you’ll have breakfast, brunch and dinner. But with dishes so delicious, we happily dined there across multiple meals with no complaints. It’s ultra relaxing when you’re lounging by the pool in the day with a fresh coconut in hand and glittering waters as your view. Want to beat the heat? Take a dip in the pool and swim up to the bar for a drink.
If you’re in the mood to get up and move, try a little beach yoga, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkelling or stand-up paddle boarding. Or head out to sea on a catamaran to feel the wind in your hair and clink glasses with the island as your backdrop.
Immerse yourself in idyllic island life
As tempting as it was to stay in the hotel and laze the day away, we headed out to explore the island as first-timers. A super sweet staff member, who embodied the country’s Land of Smiles nickname to a tee, accompanied us on our tour.
At Lat Ko Viewpoint, we admired the spectacular sight of Koh Samui’s blue skies and azure waters. Next stop: the Big Buddha Temple, a towering golden statue built in 1972. It’s surrounded by shops hawking apparel and souvenirs, so you can do some shopping after. Tip: adhere to the dress code when you visit, as it’s a religious site.
For more retail therapy (or window shopping), head to Fisherman’s Village and stroll down the street filled with boutiques, cafes and restaurants boasting sublime views of the sea. This spot is home to the popular Coco Tam’s, a breezy, open-air beach bar that’s known for its groovy music, great cocktails and scenic seascapes. Pop in for a breather from your afternoon of exploration – it’s absolute bliss!
Island getaways may not be at the top of my travel bucket list, but Avani Chaweng Samui Hotel & Beach Club was a sweet stay. It combines the best of all worlds: tranquil beach holiday, affordable rates, late-night shenanigans for party animals, and ace location. Plus, Koh Samui is just a two-hour flight away – perfect for your next weekend escape.