Samui Wining & Dining
As the Name Says…

The Sunset Beach Resort & Spa is perfectly located to catch the best sunsets on the island.

 

24-25What’s in a name, you ask? We’ve all seen hotels with names that are a little far-fetched in their descriptions, such as those that use the word ‘mansion’ when in fact they are barely a one-star establishment. And those that market themselves as beach hotels, or only a ‘stone’s throw’ from the beach – meanwhile, you’ll need superhuman powers to throw a stone that far, or binoculars to see the beach from your balcony.

      But with The Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, the name says it all – and really means it. Located on Taling Ngam Beach, with views across to the Five Islands, the resort really does boast some of the best sunsets on the island. It’s also right on the beach. No empty promises or false advertising here. Located in a lush tropical garden overlooking the ocean, this boutique resort offers an intimate setting with only 21 rooms and villas.

      The Sunset Beach Resort has plenty to offer if you’re hungry, with their main restaurant, L’Ananas, being set at road level to take advantage of the views. That’s not to say you can’t dine beachside, and the Lilavadee Pool Terrace is the perfect place to grab a light bite to eat, or enjoy a few sun-downers. But it’s private dining and special functions that the resort specialises in. Although they host weddings on the beach (for up to 100 guests),

it’s the other functions surrounding a wedding that have become popular at this destination resort. Hen parties for the bride and her friends are a speciality, starting with a pampering session for the ladies at the spa, and ending up with a set menu at a private table decked out on the beach, where the ladies can catch up and bond before the big day. It is also the ideal venue for wedding proposals, and any special request can be arranged. Recently, a baby elephant accompanied a guest as he proposed to his fiancé … a moment she’s not likely to forget.

      Couples seeking solitude and a romantic escape particularly enjoy the resort, and a private boat trip at sunset makes the perfect outing – the resort owns its own speedboat and longtail boat. Trips include drinks and snacks, and depart at 5:30 pm, to return at 7:00 pm. Charged at only 3,500 baht for two people or 5,500 baht for four, it’s a great way to explore the bay and the Five Islands, heading back as the sun dips into the sea.

     Several private dining options are available, both on the beach, as well as in-villa for those that are staying in one of the resort’s ten villas. Outside guests are more than welcome to book too, and enjoy a beach dining experience. The first option is the ‘moo-kra-ta’ Thai barbecue, similar to the Korean barbecue. This is a great way to eat like a local – very different to a Western-style barbecue. A clay dish containing hot coals is covered with a slotted domed metal dish and placed on the table. A chunk of pork fat is placed on the pinnacle, and boiling stock is poured into the base of the pan. Cook your meat and seafood on the dome, heated by the coals, and greased by the pork fat, and drop your vegetables into the trough of flavoured stock below. Three options are available: the Meat Lover Set for 1,200 baht, the Seafood Lover Set for 1,300 baht, or the Mix & Match Set, with a bit of each. The price is for two people, and each set includes dessert of mango and sticky rice, as well as a fresh fruit platter. A variety of vegetables and condiments accompany each set, such as tofu, fresh greens, egg, mushrooms, glass noodles, and several sauces.

      If you’d prefer not to cook your own food, but still want an authentic Thai experience, the private ‘kantok’ dinner, on the beach or in the sala, is a great way to sample several dishes, and is well priced at 2,200 baht per couple. A kantok is a type of raised basket-tray, which holds several dishes to share. On the menu for August, you’ll find a selection of mixed Thai appetisers and a pomelo salad with shrimp to start. The soup you’ll enjoy is a ‘pla tom kamin’ – sea bass in coconut milk and fresh turmeric, and a ‘pla muk tom kati’ – squid soup in coconut milk. Main dishes include a beef massaman curry, sweet and sour prawns, and steamed seafood with curry paste. Finish it off with a platter of mixed tropical fruit.

         A third option is a private beach barbecue, complete with chef and waitress, and a Western menu, for those not in the mood for Thai food. You’ll start with an organic green salad and cold cuts, including smoked chicken, smoked salmon and pepper ham. Next, you’ll have the choice of either a spinach soup or classic lobster bisque, before moving on to the show barbecue station, where the chef will grill your choices to order. Choose from seafood: rock lobster, king prawns, sea bass fillet, squid and mussels, or meat skewers: beef tenderloin, pork, chicken and vegetables and potatoes. Finish off with a choice of panna cotta, crème brûleé or fresh tropical fruit. This substantial feast will only set you back 5,000 baht for two people, and like all other menu prices at the resort, tax and service charge are included.

         Lastly, try the ‘private candlelight Thai menu’ on the beach, which starts with two salads: grilled tiger prawn salad with Thai herbs and a spicy yellow tuna salad with vegetables. Soup is next, with a coconut cream soup with rock lobster (tom kha) and a mixed seafood tom yum soup. You’ll need to take a rest, enjoy the view and perhaps a stroll on the beach to make space for the main dishes – a green curry with grilled duck breast, and a red curry with grilled tiger prawns, both served with jasmine rice. End the meal on a sweet note with fresh tropical fruit and banana in coconut milk. The price per couple is just 4,000 baht.

         If you fancy an outing, a trip to the local market with the chef can be arranged, where he’ll select the fresh produce for your private beach dinner, while explaining the local ingredients as he goes along. This makes your sunset meal all the more memorable.

         So if you like beaches and sunsets (who doesn’t right?) and want to celebrate a special occasion or just life itself, The Sunset Beach Resort & Spa is sure to please.

         

Rosanne Turner


 


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