If you enjoy space, peace and nature then a stay at Samudra is a whole experience in itself. This is one of the most unique properties you’ll find anywhere in South East Asia and it offers very flexible, luxurious but casual accommodation, spread over a large area, in a breathtaking beachfront location.
Approached by a long private road Samudra has been designed to blend in with the natural tropical landscaping and large granite rock formations that occupy its position on the side of a hill that sweeps down onto the beach. It’s impossible to imagine exactly what this property will be like as you enter the driveway.
Once through the gate it’s almost like being in a national park rather than a private villa residence. Stepping-stone paths made from Kanchanaburi stone and heavy tree trunks link the various buildings that make up this property, and lead you from one surprise to another.
The first path leads down some steps to the impressive entrance of the first unit named the Bali room. Natural stone bases support enormous antique wooden pillars on either side of the almost medieval wooden doors. One of the first things you’ll notice is that all of the wood used during the construction of this outstanding residence has been reclaimed. In fact complete door frames and windows have been collected from trips around Asia and carefully placed in this home. Just trying to imagine the original homes of these exotic and regal frames adds a point of interest and gives this home a character all of its own.
Floors, ceilings, doors, windows and even the wooden roof shingles are all created from reclaimed wood. A large vaulted ceiling covers the first building which is separated in the middle by a corridor. On the right is a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom and shower and on the left is another double bedroom with an incredible outdoor bathroom that has literally been built around the existing rock formations. Both bedrooms contain heavy wooden antique furniture, including antique Chinese and Indian doors and windows, and this all adds to the overall comfortable and relaxed ambience.
The corridor leads out of the other side and down some steps into a garden area that separates it from the next building. As you approach this building you are greeted with a view through the room across the infinity swimming pool and out to the scintillating view of the ocean.
This room is one that becomes more interesting the more time you spend looking at the details. It has actually been built to house an extraordinary indoor Balinese Temple panels that has been transported from a century old building. Surrounding this are comfortable sofas and Indonesian carved wooden doors and window frames that add to the feeling that you’re in an old pagoda or palace. Ten metre wide hand carved teakwood panels form the intricate back wall and an open front affords one of the finest views on Samui.
Steps lead to the large turquoise stone-tiled infinity pool with natural-stone seating sunken inside. To the right of the pool is a thatched Sala incorporating an impressive and unique one-piece dining table that’s easily capable of seating up to 24 people and which was recovered from a shipyard in Southern Thailand.
A gentle path leads down to a small beach which is made private by the fact that the property is so wide and also because the rock formations and reef make an approach to the beach very difficult other than through the property. As you descend the steps you find another surprising feature. Literally carved out of the hill is an underground suite with double bed, kitchenette and bathroom. A ventilation chute rises out of the rear of the suite creating a natural airflow. Opening the receding pocket doors across the whole width of this suite allow for the great views down onto the beach and to the islands and temple beyond. This suite also has a pull down screen and ceiling mounted projector with surround sound for enjoying a movie in style.
Going back up the steps you’ll find the kitchen next to the indoor Bali room. This stand alone unit has all you would expect from a modern kitchen with the added bonus of antique cabinets and exceptional views.
Just when you think you’ve seen all that this property has to offer there’s another path behind the kitchen that opens into an area even larger than the first with another set of raised buildings. The first contains two more double bedrooms linked by a bathroom and dressing room making it the perfect family suite. A terrace wraps around the outside leading to a set of antique Chinese doors that open into another unique outdoor bathroom which incorporates twin sinks, a shower pouring from a giant granite boulder and a terrazzo bath tub.
The final room is well worth the wait; in fact entering the Octagonal room provides the ultimate wow factor. A large spacious open-sided room with a kitchen at one side and a balcony that circles the rest allowing you to look across the beach, the sea and the surrounding islands, the sunset, and the view over the whole expanse of this one-off distinctive property. When the sun goes down another screen and projector, with surround sound, offers an alternative kind of view to enjoy.
From there, a further walkway leads down to the beach Sala where you can find the sea kayaks, practice your yoga or simply relax and enjoy a refreshing drink from the mini bar.
If you enjoy peace, tranquillity, and nature in a luxurious setting, where the approach to modern comforts and technology is a little more relaxed, then Samudra offers the perfect holiday solution.
This is a property which has such a unique style and character that it’s not just unrivalled on Samui, but possibly anywhere in the world.
Alan Kozlowski, a multimedia artist from California, with a long and interesting career in the film and music world. I founded and was Managing Director of a large Post Production company in Los Angeles that won Visual Effects Oscars for films such as 'Independence Day', 'Titanic', and 'What Dreams May Come'. I fell in love with Samui on my first trip there on my way to film a documentary in Tibet in 2001 and since I spend so much time in Asia and India working on many film and music projects, I decided Samui would be a good base to explore Asia from. I ended up acquiring the Samudra land in 2005, collected materials from all over Asia, and designed and built Samudra, finishing it in 2007. It was my personal 'art project', camping out on the land and studying the light and the breezes. My vision was to create a haven where friends and family could retreat, interact, inspire, and heal from the stresses of Western Life. From the feedback of those who have visited, I have been fortunate to achieve that goal.
I found the Samudra property because my friends John and Karina Stewart acquired the adjoining land on the beach and built Kamalaya, which has become the number one rated destination Wellness Retreat in Asia over the last six years. A truly healing place to visit and enjoy the wonderful restaurants, health club, wellness center, yoga and fitness classes, and visiting healing practitioners. All of that just a 200 meter stroll down the beach
Situated in a gated compound on a very private 3 acres with 180 meters of beach front with seven full time staff, including a gourmet chef, it is a magical place to unwind. Go for a swim in the crystal clear deep swimming channel through the beautiful reef, go for a paddle in a kayak, or hang out by the infinity pool. At night, after a wonderful, hand prepared meal, enjoy a movie in one of the three screening rooms while listening to the tide rustling below.
30 Minutes from Koh Samui Airport
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