SINGAPORE — Mantra Samui Resort is pulling up the curtains on a new tropical retreat in early 2017 after extensive renovations to its lobby, spa, pool, rooms and its green profile.
The bold changes for the ocean-view property on Thailand’s popular Koh Samui island begin at arrival. The lobby now features a lofty, tiered ceiling reminiscent of traditional Thai house and a verdant, five-meter high vertical garden that references the island’s natural beauty. Indigenous trees and plants now frame the road to the hotel, and a water feature adds a new dimension of appeal to the lush surrounds.
The leading room categories of the hotel have come back to life with natural wood furnishings and contemporary art work. Bathrooms feature his and hers sinks and a spacious rain shower. And each 67-square-meter (721-square-foot) room exudes a cool new contemporary atmosphere, with an earthy color palette long on creams and browns, with splashes of ocean blue in the furnishings and decor and couches. While terracing now encloses sizable balconies in order to provide more seclusion.
A panoramic view of the Gulf of Thailand beckons guest to the infinity edge pool which now features a swim up bar. A new, more spacious, pool deck finished in white marble quarried locally is now in place and a new saltwater filtration system has been added. The new saltwater pool will ultimately remain the most favored spot of the hotel by guests.
The existing squash courts have been converted into an elegant new spa, Jai. With three single and one double treatment room, and a foot reflexology treatment area, guests can indulge themselves with a range of traditional Thai massages, facials, body scrubs and more. New mood lighting and high ceilings provide a sense of space and tranquility, while bamboo cladding connects guests to the lush green of the island.
At the middle level of the hillside resort, a newly refurbished lounge area provides guests a relaxed air-conditioned space to enjoy the mesmerizing views and partake in some bar games in full swing.
Behind the scenes, Mantra has put some more muscle on its reputation as an environmentally sophisticated hotel. The hotel is harvesting more rainwater for filtration and reuse, and using more of its greywater for irrigation and gardening. With an expectation to reduce the hotel’s reliance on deep water wells and private water suppliers by a third this will significantly improve the efficiency of the water management around the property. They’ve also installed Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air-conditioning systems in the 38 “Love” rooms, creating energy efficiency by using only seven condensers, rather than one for each room.
“With such extensive changes throughout the property, we almost feel like a brand new hotel,” said Akira Park, the hotel’s general manager. “And with all these new efforts to drive sustainability, we feel like we’re really moving in the right direction.”
The hotel's management company, Louis T Collection, has collaborated with three design firms on the renovation; TIERRA Design, a Thai-based firm with 25 years in the industry and two up-and-coming design firms, Habros Design and Terra Architects. Many of the raw materials were sourced locally through Louis Thomas Leonowens company, Louis T. Leonowens Ltd, that was founded by the 19th-century pioneer in the Thailand’s timber industry more than a century ago. Leonowens adventurous spirit and deep ties to the region were also the inspiration for the creation of the Louis T Collection.