Taling Ngam Bay in the southwestern point of Koh Samui is a magnificent expanse of crystal blue water as far as the eye can see. Over 10 years ago, it was listed in The New York Times Bestseller “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” And it’s here, right above the breathtaking bay that you’ll find the exquisite InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort.
Before it became an InterContinental Hotel, the property was the very first luxury resort in Koh Samui built 25 years ago. The lovely General Manager, Michael Shin, talks about how the resort has maintained its original design and Thai influence over the years:
“We definitely wanted to keep the Thai influence and the entire design and layout of the resort. Certainly we want to keep as much of the natural environment as possible. Our design incorporates a lot of natural beauty. We have a walkway down to the beach. The suspension bridge and also a lot of landscapes that we have are completely natural. We do a very minimal maintenance. Whenever we do things we try not to do too much artificial stuff. Being natural and being more traditionally Thai is the one thing that we really want to upkeep all the time. “
One definitely feels in touch with nature constantly while staying at the resort. Entering the large, airy lobby cased in a glass balcony feels like you’re stepping onto a cloud above the ocean. The moment you set eyes on the bay, you feel overpowered with awe and amazement as you contemplate how a body of water could be so expansive and vivid. Throughout your stay you’ll never tire of being in the lobby. It’s a heavenly place that’s always flooded with light with calming classical music and the most magnificent view of the ocean you’ll ever see.
The resort is divided into guestrooms, suites and villas. The resort boasts the largest bedrooms on the island, each facing the ocean from the cliff. The villas are scattered throughout the hills and on the beach. The beachfront villas are welcoming while offering lots of privacy, and the beach is conveniently located in your backyard. Whether you’re staying by yourself, a romantic partner or your entire family, there are comfortable and spacious accommodations available.
One of the highlights of the resort is Air Bar, the stunning open-air bar that seats you right in front of the never-ending sea and sky. It’s without a doubt the best sunset spot on the island, popular with hotel guests and locals alike. Other dining options at the resort include Amber (modern Thai cuisine), Flames (classy beachfront restaurant) and drinks at Fireside and the Serene Lobby.
One will easily notice how the staff is very authentic and personable while maintaining five-star excellence. Every interaction feels genuine, not scripted, as if each staff member is sharing who they truly are. This allows for an even more relaxed atmosphere in which guests can enjoy luxurious amenities without feeling uptight or overbearing.
This resort is the only one on the island that offers Club InterContinental Benefits, a highly valuable upgrade available for guests staying in suites and villas. The upgrade includes a 24 hour personal butler who you can contact on a cellphone provided by the hotel for whatever you need during anytime of your stay. Also included is afternoon tea at Serene Lobby and evening drinks at Air Bar, each of which come with gourmet snacks that’re beautifully presented. Other benefits consist of roundtrip airport transfer, complimentary breakfast at Amber restaurant, preferential seating at all restaurants with reservations, complimentary sarong and more. Club InterContinental Benefits allows you to enjoy the ultimate all-inclusive resort experience, without worrying about any of the details during your holiday.
You’ll never run out of things to do within the resort, given its wide range of outdoor activities and spa treatments. Water sports are especially fun since the bay has no big waves and the hotel is fully equipped. Guests can Jet Ski, snorkel, standup paddle board, kayak and even go on excursions to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao on the hotel’s private speedboat. Baan Thai Spa by Harnn at the resort was voted Best Luxury Spa in the World in 2015. It has treatment rooms built for couples overlooking the beautiful ocean from the cliff. Parents can take advantage of the Planet Trekkers kids club whenever they wish to do something alone. Through the kids club, the resort provides just as many exciting experiences for the hotel’s youngest guests.
As a high-profile InterContinental property, the resort certainly lives up to its stature and idyllic location. Staying at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort is the most worthwhile way to experience the wonders of Taling Ngam Bay.
Baan Taling Ngam is actually the word for ‘Home on a Beautiful Cliff.’ So we want people to feel like it’s their vacation home. You can see a lot of the interior design and amenities we provide in the rooms, we want to make sure that you’re not missing anything from your home. We want people to feel like this is your home where you can relax. But at the same time we want to provide that top luxury service that everyone’s looking for. We are very focused on our Club InterContinental service so everyone will feel like they have access to somebody or all of us to have that experience. Our goal is ‘Welcome to the home on the beautiful cliff and relax and don’t hesitate to let us know what you like and you’ll get it.’
Photos: Nadia Cho
Where’s your favorite stay in Koh Samui? Share with us in the comments.