Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Hotel Koh Samui -- Coral Cove Chalet

The taxi driver damn near causes an accident as we round a bend on the ring road between Chaweng and Lamai: He sees a sign that says Coral Cove and stops dead in his tracks. I tell him to go a bit further round the corner where it's safer to turn. Then there are two more places called Coral Cove something or other. What the? I have completely forgotten which one I have booked into, just assuming it was one place called the Coral Cove.

And you know what they say about the word 'assume': it makes an ass out of u and me.

As luck would have it, Coral Cove Chalet where I enquire is where I'm staying. I pay my taxi driver and wish him a safe onward journey. Coral Cove Chalet belongs to Khun Seni, who runs the Tourism Association of Koh Samui (I interviewed him a few blogs back, you'll remember) and he's very kindly put me up for a night here.

A wonderful tropical malaise permeates this resort. Afternoon sea breezes drift in through the open-sided reception area, and the impossibly blue waters of Coral Cove glisten just below. It is a perfect crescent of white sand, framed by massive grey boulders. Snorkelling, even scuba diving, can be done in the crystal shallows just off the beach. What a great spot. Totally quiet, yet 10 minutes either way to the bright lights of Chaweng to the north or up-and-coming Lamai to the south. Out of sheer excitement, I let out a massive yawn ...

My room is one of 43 deluxe rooms. Some are in the so-called deluxe block, others free standing. It's a good thing I'm wearing my sunglasses: All the bungalows are done out in a jaunty yellow. Some gay interior designer would probably venture it'th popcorn yellow or thunflower yellow. You get the idea. But the interior is a vivid pink that makes me feel like I've accidentally walked into a girls' dorm at a boarding school. Fortunately, those in the deluxe block are more classic muted tropical earthy tones.

Dark woods set the tone for the rooms, and I throw open the balcony door to let in the sea air. The view really is gorgeous, framed by coconut palms and banana leaves -- Seni's picked a great spot here.  It's not designery, it's not ostentatious, nor intimidating. But it's clean and comfortable. A cool place to hang out for a beach holiday. And to think that deluxe rooms start at just 1800 baht per night (with whisper quiet air-conditioning).

You'll save in other ways too. Where a pick-up van cost me 1800 baht per day to rent through other hotels in Chaweng, the staff here found me one for 1200. And helped me with my unreasonable demands for adapters, phone chargers, and other NASA-like gadgets that are the life support system of a disorganised journalist on the road.

Breakfast is served at Coral's Restaurant overlooking the kidney-shaped pool, where 30 deckchairs -- if you don't believe me, count them yourself -- slumber under umbrellas. They serve Thai, western and Chinese meals which I didn't try (honesty is my new year's resolution, we'll see how long that lasts) but the western breakfast selection I can wholeheartedly vouch for. Jing jing!

Big smiles upon check out. 'Can we call you a taxi, Khun Lloyd?'

'A taxi? N-n-no thanks, I'll walk. It's safer.'

1 comment:

  1. Salamander Dive center in Samui.We are PADI dive center located in Samui.Visit us at www.scubadiveinthailand.com


DO please leave your comments below ... always happy to hear feedback and suggestions from engaging fellow travellers (but if you are an auto-bot kindly $#@& off)