Escape From Budapest To Samui: Bhundhari Spa Resort & Villas

  • 22 Jun 2013 8:00 AM
Escape From Budapest To Samui: Bhundhari Spa Resort & Villas
This luxury resort is a unique blend of classic Thai architecture and hospitality, smart design and contemporary elegance. As part of a warm welcome, full of smiles, I was informed Bhundhari means lotus or water-lily in Sanskrit. It’s the spiritual flower of Buddhism, and like a lotus flower the hotels’ holistic beauty lifts the spirits and provides positive inspiration. The resort is idyllically landscaped along the slops of a hillside, so it offers spectacular views from many villas and rooms, and it also connects to the peaceful northern-end of Samui’s legendary Chaweng beach.

Bhundhari Spa Resort is a wonderful location to experience the amazing turquoise waters of the Gulf of Siam, be it for water-sports such as kayaking (free of charge for guests), or for simply having a splash to cool off. The resort's conveniently positioned around 5 km’s from the Samui’s award winning airport, and it’s less than 10 minutes by taxi from the heart of Chaweng’s shopping, entertainment and dining options.

Whilst its architecture is in keeping with traditional southern Thai design, the resort harmoniously integrates all of the lavish facilities you’d expect from a high-quality hotel. It’s stunning, in a slightly understated yet mesmerising manner. I’d go as far as suggesting its gracious good-looks are similar to that of a naturally attractive woman, capable of giving intense aesthetic pleasure and deep satisfaction to the mind and senses.

Since that female image is also an allegory for the lotus, to follow the flower theme you can picture the resort magnificently unfolding like a Sacred Lotus. Anyone with an eye for beauty will see how this resort unfurls from the waters at its lowest point, and opens outwards and upwards to reach a breathtakingly majestic hill-top peak. Sheer perfection, in paradise.

From a very practical point of view, taking all the first-class amenities and various unique features into account, such as the high-end hillside villas - which may not suit wheelchair users - this resort offers incredibly good value. The prices currently offered by the local owner are considerably more attractive than those presented by the international 5* brands on the island.

On an esoteric level, time spent at this Thai resort - surrounded by the beautiful blend of nature + luxurious hotel facilities + views of distant uninhabited islands - seems to offer the possibility of an expansion of consciousness, and even the soul. Certainly it’s a great place to meditate about everyday life, although the lotus position isn’t mandatory of course.

As well as the white-sands of the beach at the base of the property, there are two pools situated in this lower part of the resort, one with a very welcome swim-up bar, especially popular during the regular happy-hours. Also near the sands there’s an intimate beach-style restaurant called The Pearl, therefore it's with good reason that some guests choose the luxury accommodation in the part of the resort that’s closest to the sea.

The Bay, the main restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating - where an extensive breakfast is served - and the Spa are both situated on the hill-side of the resort. There are also two large pools is this higher section of the resort.

Here the Spa, with an amazing range of life-balancing therapies, is certainly not an afterthought, and it is well worthy of praise and your patronage. Considering their signature treatments as an integral part of your holiday experience, and as I did, you’ll find these wellness-treatments are an outstanding part of an indulgent sea-side escape from day-to-day life.

Visiting the Spa is especially encouraged if, like me, you need any help slowing down to ‘island time’. As soon as I arrived at the resort the Spa provided a tension-melting treat, much needed after long travels. Just as I discovered, you’ll find the resort's professional Spa therapists can tailor a session to meet any individual needs. After such expert pampering, and a heavenly rainforest-style shower, I had no trouble slipping effortlessly into vacation mode.

Bhundhari Spa Resort is right for you if you prefer a secluded - practically private - beach rather than noisy overcrowded sands crawling with tourists. You’ll love this high-end holiday haven if it’s discrete and real Thai hospitality you prefer rather than gushing and overpowering service. By the way, you’ve probably noticed that the trick to getting great service, anywhere in the world, is to speak with staff ‘on the level’, rather than trying to order anyone around like a ‘Tourist Sergeant Major’.

If you’re dreaming about a blissful night’s sleep, feedback from everyone I spoke with suggests that you probably won’t find a more comfortable bed on the whole island. Perhaps to help guarantee guests get the relaxation and tranquility they seek, it seems to be a fairly child-free property, only one family was around during my stay. This peaceful setting best suits those looking for a laid-back vacation; a romantic get away; or even a wedding venue.

Bhundhari Spa Resort was once managed by the large Centara Group, however the family that owns the property took it back into their loving care about a year ago – follow this link for an interview with the resport owner and Orapin Group managing director Mr. Somchai Sangchaysuppakorn.

While he and his team are now taking a passionate approach to breathing fresh life and energy into the resort, they’re dealing with a few ‘hang-over’s’ caused by previous management. Orapin staff candidly recognise the need to iron-out one or two past issues, they've completely restocked the hotel ponds with fish and aquatic-plants, they’re thoughtfully fixing any glitches with efficiency.

A lot of quality wood has been used in the making of this resort, which gives it a very premium feel, and naturally such an environment needs a fresh coat of varnish from time to time. This was quietly taking place while I was there, a tangible sign of renewal.

Accidents can happen to anyone of course, I once locked myself out of my villa but soon after having a quiet word with reception the engineering department had me back in my room – all effectively overseen by guest relations manager Andrew ‘Andi’ Jones.

The presence of an experienced British expat at the report provides guests with an added sense that’s everything’s well taken care of. Andi has an approachable, open and caring persona, which I noticed guests warmed to immediately as a down-to-earth, understanding and friendly man with everything in hand.

It’s worth highlighting a few of the finer details, such as the well equipped fitness room, the cosy mini-library, and the club lounge for anyone wishing to enjoy a few tempting extras. For all guests there’s free WIFI in they lobby (pictured above), which provides a hub for meeting and chatting with fellow guests, making a stay even friendlier. From the lobby guest can request a buggy and driver to take them up to their room, or down across the road to the beach. Getting around on on foot is fine, and the road-crossing attendant has a lovely character and a smile for everyone.

Some guests might chose not to leave their villa at all given all the in-room comforts; ample indoor and outdoor living space, and excellent in-room dining facilities. Seafood is a hotel highlight, it’s as fresh as can be, and the local lobster platter is a holiday treat that really deserves to be ordered.

Rooms and villas are set within a lush landscape of tropical trees, shrubs, plants and flowers. There are a total of 124 deluxe rooms and villas to choose between: namely Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Villas, Deluxe Spa Villas, Deluxe Suites, Deluxe Pool Villas, Luxury Pool Villas, and Royal Pool Villas. In each case the contemporary interiors offer the feeling of holiday indulgence. Upgrading to the high-end rooms is a luxurious treat that’s well worth considering to indulge in extra comforts such as your own private pool. Each room and villa has its own private terrace or patio, the larger villas offer a Jacuzzi on the sundeck - often with flowers scattered around courtesy of Mother Nature.

A lotus specifically symbolizes divinity, wealth, knowledge and triumph, it also represents fertility, long life and good fortune. Accordingly, you could say that a stay at the Bhundhari Spa Resort offers a divine holiday experience - one which can inspire guests to enjoy the uppermost pleasures in life, a wealth of Thai treats – and it’s a very fertile environment for relaxation and contemplation. Almost certainly this all leads to a triumphant vacation, which as we all know can seriously contribute to a long and fortunate life. Those in the know about all its charms, about its almost sacred qualities, choose to return here again and again for rejuvenation, inspiration, and another delightful holiday.

“Sitting quietly and gently taking in the powerful scent of the lotus flower can induce a nearly hypnotic state that can transcend the mind of the person experiencing it. At the end of the 'scent journey,' the person will feel more relaxed and peaceful,” says the founder of the School of Aromatherapy in London. That was definitely my feeling after staying at Bhundhari Spa Resort & Villas.

To sum up, nestled naturally in a serene hillside location, the resort offers a luxurious; peaceful and rewarding retreat. With its ‘away-from-it-all’ charisma, this is an ideal high-end destination to quickly unwind, and be uplifted by the stunning range of delights that only the very best hotels in Koh Samui can provide. Plus the current price of a stay here, with a gorgeous view, is beautiful value too.

Tried & tested, verdict: recommended: Visit Bhundhari Spa Resort & Villas Online

Getting there:
As you probably know, there are several daily air connections from Budapest to Bangkok. From there, Asia's best Regional airline, Bangkok Airways, operates several daily flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui. Flying to Samui is far more convenient, and efficient when taking time into consideration, than using a bus / train and ferry combination.

The 'boutique business lounge' at the award winning Koh Samui Airport is outstanding, therefore upgrading is worth considering to enjoy a range of relaxing and refreshing services, including a complimentary meal and drinks. The latest additional to Samui Airport is the "Soul to Sole" spa where passengers can loosen up with a traditional Thai massage before boarding their flight.

Bangkok Airways, celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2013, currently flies to over 20 destinations around Thailand and overseas. Justifiably, the airline was recently named top 20 most colorful airlines in the world by Skift, USA.

Related Link:
Escape From Budapest To Samui: Bhundhari Chaweng Beach Resort


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