Samui Wining & Dining
Waves of Pleasure

Enjoying the finer things in life aboard Hansar Samui’s ‘Decadent Sunset Cruise’.


Waves of PleasureWe all deserve a special treat now and again. An occasion when we can totally indulge ourselves. Spoil ourselves, even. Perhaps not every single day. But just once in a while we all need to lose ourselves in a few golden and unforgettable hours of unashamed luxury.


And that’s the crux of the matter – to become lost in a fantastic dream. To step into the shoes of the idle rich and pampered gentry, at least for a while. Or, if not, then to become immersed in something so dizzyingly romantic that time stands still. But on Samui there weren’t so many ways of doing this, until very recently. And it’s at this point that the award-winning Hansar Samui resort comes into the picture.


Hansar Samui is one of the island’s more-recent additions to its list of 5-star venues. Located at the far western end of the well-known Fisherman’s Village, in Bo Phut, its uncluttered exterior reveals sumptuously-appointed rooms, two laid-back fine-dining restaurants (H Bistro and The Chill Lounge), a quality spa (LUXSA Spa) and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. And when you stand along their expansive beachfront and look out towards the shimmering turquoise blue Gulf of Siam, you’ll see a scattering of yachts and sail boats sitting serenely upon the water with their white sails rippling in the sea breezes, with the Hansar Cruiser being the one nearest the shore on the days it sails.


We’ve made this cruise something special,” the resort’s dynamic and outgoing General Manager, Indra Budiman, told me. “Other places have other cruises. But the Hansar cruise is the height of luxury. It’s just so unashamedly decadent. There are two butlers who are constantly on hand to serve the champagne and free-flow cocktails. And to go with this there’s a range of imported oysters from France, Canada and the USA, prepared specially by our Executive Chef, Stephen Jean Dion. Our cruise is the pinnacle of leisurely indulgence; a lazy sail around Koh Pha-Ngan and back again into the setting sun. It’s romantic, it’s refined and it’s one of the most exceptional cruises that you’ll come across. Oh,” Indra added, “and there’s also a selection of Dean & Deluca® chocolates included.”


The excursion begins at 3:00 pm, when you’ll be greeted in the lobby with an iced drink and cold towels and then guided towards the rubber dinghy that’s beached expectantly at the fringe of the resort – there’s no need to get even get your feet wet. And, as you clamber aboard, you’ll again be welcomed with more cold towels and refreshments, but this time it’s a glass of sparkling, chilled champagne.


At that time of the day the sun’s still high overhead, and the fitted canvas awning provides a welcome relief from the blaze, although there’s plenty of space on deck for sun-lovers to recline and catch the rays. The affable captain, Khun A, speaks excellent English, which is probably a good thing as he’s right there with you in the ‘cabin’. He gently chugs the 30-foot cruiser out past the reef using the engine and then his crewmen will switch over to the sails. This is all about leisure, there’s no dash to go anywhere, and the sudden contrast of the whispering silence when the engine is cut underlines the point.


It’s cooler out on the open water. The gentle pitch of the boat and the freshness of the drifting spray are balmy and relaxing. But it’s deceptive, too. Those UV rays are still very much at work and, thoughtfully, the butlers are on hand to distribute sun lotions and cool misting sprays courtesy of Hansar’s fabulous LUXSA Spa. This degree of courtesy and attention to detail is typical of the entire cruise. And it’s all been planned and put together with every ounce of consideration that you’d expect from a 5-star operation.


Bring your binoculars. And a camera, too. You’ll be seeing panoramas that are memorable – as if Samui and Koh Pha-Ngan have swapped places. And as the afternoon comes to an end the lowering light at this time of day bathes everything in a golden glow that’s the stuff of which postcards are made. You’ll cruise towards the town of Tong Sala and then along the west coast of Koh Pha-Ngan, skirting the island’s most-westerly tip and past the popular area of Haad Yao Bay. Watch the sea around you, too. There’s a good chance that you’ll see a huge bill fish or sail fish burst out of the water, not so far away.


And then the poles seem to reverse again as you drift back towards Samui. By this time the sun has started to sink and the lights are beginning to wink-on along the coastline. This is the time for photos – if you can let go of that cocktail for a moment! And, finally, you’ll come back to where you started, but this time with all the blaze of Hansar and Fisherman’s Village shimmering out, reflected across the water to greet you, as the sky dulls to purple in the fading light.


Being exclusive doesn’t mean that this trip is tightly-scripted and there’s actually a lot of room for variations on the theme. You can opt for cold cuts of meat instead of oysters. Or go for the indulgence of the ‘Seafood Melody’: lobsters, scallops, king crab and tiger prawns. Liqueurs, wine or beer? Just ask and it shall be provided. The only things that are cast in stone are the departure days and times: the cruise begins at 3:00 pm, finishes at around 7:00 pm and ventures forth every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And if you want a special romantic cruise for two, then this can also be arranged, given 24 hours’ notice.


The costing is excellent, too. Although the boat is licensed to hold 20 people it’s been agreed that a maximum of six friends together is much more enjoyable. And if you come in a group of six then you’ll need to part with only 7,800 baht per couple. Fewer than this and you can expect the price to be modified accordingly, as you can if you decide on beverages that aren’t included as standard.


Hansar Samui is just one of many resorts on this small island. And yet it’s already gained international acclaim and has now been nominated as ‘Asia’s Leading New Resort’ and also ‘Thailand’s Leading Beach Resort’ in the current round of the prestigious World Travel Awards. So it should come as no surprise that when Hansar takes you out on a boat it’s something special, too.


Rob De Wet


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