The boutique resort of Akaryn Samui, is the latest venture by Thailand hospitality pioneer Anchalika Kijkanakorn, and has lifted the veil on one of Koh Samui’s best-kept location secrets after welcoming its first guests in February.
Akaryn Samui offers new private pool suites and villas on the pristine crescent cove of Hanuman Bay, a 500m powder sand beach flanked by dramatic granite outcrops at each end, nestling between Cheong Mon bay to its north, and the bright lights of Chaweng to its south. It is just seven minutes drive from Samui International Airport yet remains largely undiscovered, even by the island’s cognoscenti.
Akaryn Samui is located on Koh Samui’s little-known yet stunning Hanuman Bay.
“It really is Koh Samui’s best-kept secret,” said Ms Kijkanakorn. “I fell in love with it the minute I saw it, and that’s when my vision for Akaryn was born. There’s no other beach like it on the island. It feels so removed and private that it’s hard to believe it’s such a short drive to the airport.
“A unique setting requires a new approach. We are the first resort to be built at Hanuman Bay. That’s why in creating Akaryn Samui, it was vital to design every detail to complement the bay’s natural beauty and integrate it into the guest experience in many subtle ways, like our signature ‘Outside Living – In’ philosophy.
“For example, there was a huge old sea almond tree right on the bay almost at the high tide line. We have made that the heart and soul of the resort, and designed the pool and chill-out deck around it, so it’s a place where people can really connect, given that the rest of the experience is so private.
“The main pool is rather special too: it’s done in black lava rock, and we have found a way to simulate the shimmering effect of phosphorescence in the ocean. Part of the pool features Samui’s coolest submerged bar, The Wet Bar. You’d be hard pressed to find a better place to kick back with a cocktail and soak in the sunset.”
Akaryn Samui is the fourth property in Ms Kijkanakorn’s Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) portfolio, following the recent launch of the 62-room, 4-star akyra Chura Samui resort at Chaweng Beach. She is also the founder and owner of the Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi and Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga resorts, and the driving force behind the Pure Blue Foundation, a marine conservation charity.
A pool suite at the Akaryn Samui Resort.
The new resort features 34 stand-alone pool suites, five of them absolute beachfront, each an expansive 80sqm, as well as 18 gracious 100sqm villas with 8m private pools. Akaryn Samui’s design offers a radiant take on tropical modern, Asian-influenced décor and a selection of genuine antiques. Standard features include LCD large screen TV, iPod and iDock with a large movie and music library, naturally sourced amenities from AHMS’s exclusive Spa IV, and 430-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
Apart from The Wet Bar, Akaryn Samui’s food and beverage options include The Edge, with chic international all day dining on the waterfront, tapas with a twist at Ochos, Royal Thai cuisine complemented by the freshest seafood at The Legend, and an elegant selection of genteel brews at The Tea Salon. Other facilities and amenities include 24-hour room service, free wi-fi throughout the resort and yoga classes, a stylish boutique.
It is also set to become the hot new ticket for Koh Samui weddings, with its unique private beach setting, romantic ambience and the AHMS team’s track record in creating some of Asia’s most exceptional tropical beach weddings.
So little known and hidden away is Hanuman Bay that it barely registers on most maps and didn’t have an official name. But some locals believe the bay’s crescent shape and jagged rocks resemble the gaping mouth of the monkey god Hanuman from the Ramayana story.
Ms Kijkanakorn is well-acquainted with the Hindu epic, as it is a constant source of inspiration for bedtime stories for her two children, after whom her two Samui properties are named. “I love the idea of Hanuman watching over this magical place. It suggests mythical romance, long strolls, deep conversations and contemplation, and perhaps the odd bit of mischief. I can’t wait to welcome our first guests, and let the story begin to unfold.”