Points for creativity, lacking in privacy
They weren't kidding when they called this a design hotel and we warrant you won't find another place quite like this on Samui – and we're not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
Filling a narrow block running back from the main drag through Bang Rak on the off-beach side of the road, P10 Samui Design Hotel is comprised of two two-storey glass-fronted buildings facing one another across an equally narrow 60-metre lap pool. All of the rooms have direct pool access, because all of the rooms are two-floor suites, with a living area on the ground floor and a quite plush bedroom upstairs.
The design may have worked better had the pool been twice the width and there were palms, or trees, delivering some degree of privacy, because the whole joint is glass fronted. If nothing else, it will be easy to keep up with the Joneses because you'll be able to see everything they do! When we asked the manager about the privacy issues, he looked quizzically at us and explained that yes the rooms have curtains, so once you've closed them (or not) you're welcome to cavort around in your birthday suit. We do think that some degree of frosting or tinting of the glass, would have been a good idea.
Anyway, getting past our prudishness, the rooms are actually great. At 90 square metres, they are great value size-wise, with a spacious living room downstairs, and a bedroom upstairs. A bathroom is on each floor, including a rain shower in the ensuite. The rooms are all identical, save some variety in the soft furnishings and artwork. Pool verandas and outdoor showers attached to each duplex allow you to relax and shower in front of your neighbours across the waves... Pool access is via a metal ladder and each room has a moderate-sized wooden deck with a table setting facing onto the pool.
Rooms are comfortable and stylishly furnished, with low-slung lounges and plenty of shelf area, but again you're in a fishbowl. Facilities include flatscreen TV, safe, fridge, and a coffee-maker. WiFi is included in the room rate as are four bottles of water a day. The hotel has no restaurant, but you can eat across the road – perhaps ask your neighbours to join you.
If the style of the P10 appeals, then it represents very solid value, despite being off the beach. If you're looking for something a little more private, across the road and a little to the west lies the very solid and professionally run Secret Garden, where you'll need to leave two doors open for anyone to see you shower.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 19th September, 2016.