Tried and true luxury
South Chaweng, Ko Samui T: (077) 422 419 F: (077) 422 420
Much has changed in Chaweng since Poppies opened in 1994, but the small beachfront resort remains an excellent choice both for its elegant Thai-style cottages and fine-dining restaurant.
Guests first pass a small museum filled with antiques behind reception: check out the stunning old quilt that resembles Thai temple mural work. Then comes a teak footbridge spanning a waterfall and fishpond before you emerge into a miniature forest at the heart of the resort. This is where you’ll find the 24 Thai-style cottages, placed at varying levels and facing different directions, resulting in a measure of privacy.
The white-walled cottages look almost like structures out of historic Thai temples, with unglazed ceramic tiles leading up to fretted wood on pointed roofs and hand-carved bannisters. Interiors feature polished dark-wood floors, soft lanterns, wood ceiling fans (in addition to air-con) and day beds placed in corner nooks, along with all expected comforts. Cushioned chairs are set out on private terraces, but only a few of them afford sea views. The back cottages are set high above the rest and get more sun and perhaps some traffic noise, so we’d opt for a room around the centre of the property.
The exceptionally polite and professional staff offer a spa and beachside swimming pool buttressed by large stones. A broad pavilion shelters one of Chaweng’s best-regarded fine-dining restaurants overlooking the beach. Though we wouldn’t go so far as to call the surrounding area tranquil, Poppies is located in the quieter south part of Chaweng.
Some fine alternatives are found in the area if Poppies is too pricey. The nearby Buri Rasa Village and Banana Fan Sea Resort are both quality Thai-style resorts starting at around 5,000 baht a night, while Kirikayan Boutique Resort has stylish Chinese-themed rooms starting at around 3,000 baht. You could also head to the opposite end of Chaweng for a plush room in the 5,000 baht range at Baan Haad Ngam Boutique Resort, which has a lovely waterfall feature but lacks a decent beachfront.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 17th September, 2016.