24 January, 2013

Karma Samui – the perfect girlie getaway in Thailand

24 January, 2013

It’s a sacred event in our calendars, prized by all women and envied by all men – the girlie weekend getaway. Conjuring up images of evening sunset cocktails, lounging by the pool, indulging at the spa, gossip-fuelled dinners and the obligatory end of evening pyjama session with a cup of tea, it’s no wonder that whether we are single or partnered up, we will always find time for a girlie retreat.

However, as much as we idealise the concept, the reality of planning a holiday for a group of strong characters who all want different things can be quite tough. Fear not though, as I have found the perfect solution!

As an island, Koh Samui has something for everyone. There is the famed touristy nightlife for those who want to let their hair down, inland excursions for the culture vultures and beach seclusion for those wanting to chill out. But hotels seem to oscillate between expensive five star resorts more suited to romantic pursuits or backpacker overrun cheapies. Enter Karma Samui. Having been vetted by Sassy favourites Mr & Mrs Smith, we knew it would tick all the pre-requisite quality boxes. It is also a convenient five-minute drive from the airport, making it perfect for short weekends away where maximising time is key.

The whole resort is set on a hillside (as with all Koh Samui hotels) but instead of rooms, it is solely comprised of private villas – so you get the facilities and service of a hotel, but the privacy and ideal group environment of a villa. We were bedding down in Villa One, a three-bed veritable mansion! There was a main building housing a large and well-equipped kitchen and utility room on the ground floor, complete with living room with sofa, TV and large dining table. The master bedroom was upstairs; a four-poster bed, giant bath, walk-in closet and balcony with divine sunrise views that had us fighting over who got to nab it! Then there was a separate building with two more double bedrooms, equal in size; both were gigantic with lots of wardrobe space, dressing table and large bathroom. There was an outdoor bath too, but in all honesty it didn’t look at all appealing!

The sprawling interior and oodles of space instantly scream girlie group getaway and would work for groups of three to eight people (if you’re happy to share double beds). The interior was looking a little tired in places and could do with sprucing up, but in a way the lack of perfection better suits group trips where comfort is key. The biggest selling point was the outdoors – the private pool, sun loungers and pagoda meant we barely used the hotel’s main pool, even if it had a better view of the gorgeous surrounding sea. One point to note is that the villa comes with only two sun loungers so if there are more than two of you, you’ll need to request more.

The majority of our three-night stay was spent in the villa – the perfect backdrop for girlie catch-ups, bathing and lounging. The fully stocked kitchen means you could pop to the shops and do your own cooking but we opted to dine out and even ordered room service one night from Rock Pool, the hotel restaurant, for pure indulgence. Rock Pool sits by the beach with an incredible decking hoisted above the rocks; the breakfast wasn’t exactly inspired but was sufficient, whilst dinner was a mix of Thai and international dishes expertly whipped up. Its main selling points? The delicious cocktails and incredible view.

If I haven’t shown you the girlie getaway merits of Karma just on its facilities, wait until you hear about the pampering! We got to enjoy the most soothing indulgent massages every day as part of our Koh Samui Goddess package. Nee, the spa manager, was lovely and although the spa was tiny with only one treatment room fitting two at a time, her therapists were magical and the spa atmosphere perfectly serene. Our package also had other perks – a fun in-room martini and manicure session, morning yoga and Pilates classes in our villa and an afternoon with a private driver to take us round wherever we wanted to go.

We left Karma feeling like true goddesses. The villas aren’t top of the range but they are perfect for a group girls’ trip with way more facilities and pampering than you will find in an independent villa. So stop putting it off, round up the troops and book in your girlie weekend away.

SASSY DISCOUNT: Simply send Karma Samui a copy of this article or bring a print-out with you for your stay to get 15% off the cost of your accommodation!

Three-night four-day Koh Samui Goddess package rates start from USD$634 per person; see full rates here

Karma Samui, 80/32 Moo 5, Bo Phut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand, +66 77 234 500


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