Samui Wining & Dining
Cooking it Up !

Samui’s answer to those hen party blues – at the spectacular Samui Buri.

 Samui’s answer to those hen party blues – at the spectacular Samui Buri.It’s a man’s world. James Brown made it official when he belted that out, back in 1966. But of course, things have changed today, haven’t they? Really? Then ask yourself this. Every year a thousand happy couples come to our little island to tie the knot. It’s such a special thing – a picture-postcard tropical island paradise and all that. Getting married here is not only a joyful occasion, it’s super fun, too. Plus it’s a totally cool place for the looked-forward-to parties for the stags and the hens. And so off the fellas go on the jet skis, the quad bike runs, powering above the jungle canopy on a zip line, banging away at the shooting range, tearing about on go-karts, throwing themselves about on bungee ropes or even playing football golf. And what do the ladies do? They go to a spa.

Well, I suppose they could go for a nice meal somewhere. But there’s really not much that doesn’t involve copious amounts of alcohol for wedding-group hens to do in these parts. It would be really good, say, if they could all go off and do a really well-organised and fun Thai cooking class and then, I don’t know, just lounge about around a pool or on the beach, happily full of their self-made Thai food, and add a cocktail or two as the sun starts to sink.

Unfortunately, although many resorts do a cooking class, the maximum number they can handle is about six. Possibly eight, maybe – but even then it’s getting tricky, because eight people is a lot for a chef to cope with. But not at Samui Buri Beach Resort. Because they’re now set-up specifically to handle wedding groups of up to 25.

Sorry about being deliberately sexist to begin with – but I needed to bang home a point! In fact, mixed groups are the norm at Samui Buri, and they have gained a reputation for being the only resort to be able to offer this very enticing option to wedding parties on the island. Samui Buri is a part of the Resotel Group and has three other sister-resorts on Samui. It’s situated right on the beach in Maenam, but not out in full view,  Samui’s answer to those hen party blues – at the spectacular Samui few visitors to Samui ever get to know of it. And that’s a shame. Because this resort is really impressive. It’s not only big, but it’s probably one of the most dramatically designed resorts around. As you’re making your way from the turn-off to Wat Napralam and the landmark of the Lomprayah ferry, you can see its golden spires peeping up above the trees in the distance.

They spent the best part of two years constructing this place, and when you see it you’ll understand why. It’s been designed to highlight the traditional roofing styles of the four regions of Thailand, and there’s a spectacular and complex tangle of lofty and overlapping cascading gables, plus tons of gold leaf everywhere. But the contrasting interior is coolly contemporary-chic, and there are no fewer than 52 secluded villas scattered around the landscaped grounds. A network of small paths wind their way through the lush greenery before emerging next to an elevated pool. And it’s here, right next to the sand, that you’ll find the resort’s shadily elegant signature restaurant, Seetawaree.

This is a luxurious variation on the usual Thai restaurant layout. Usually you’ll see a big kitchen block that has a dining area outside which is open on all sides, but roofed over to shade it from the sun. Here at Seetawaree the roofed dining area is quite large, and kitted-out with sturdy-but-comfy heavy wood tables and chairs. But, instead of butting up against the kitchen, at the back end of the open-sided main area there’s a wall of opening glass doors,  Samui’s answer to those hen party blues – at the spectacular Samui Buri.allowing an idyllic and panoramic view seawards.

The resort’s cheerful Executive Chef is Khun Suraporn Munyeun – nicknamed Khun Porn. And how on earth can he handle two dozen cooking class students? Answer - he doesn’t!

There are four other highly qualified chefs, each selected for their ability to express themselves in English, and groups are allocated one chef per four students. Cooking stations comprise one ceramic induction hob (for convenience and safety) between each pair of students. And the entire affair is not only ever so well organised, it’s a laugh a minute, due to the inherently fun-loving nature of the Thai people!

To pull such an event together, what needs to happen is for a couple of folk to go along and talk to the resort’s experienced Wedding Co-ordinator, Khun Nisa (who also manages the weddings for the other three resorts too). There are ten different dishes on offer and it takes careful planning for every person in the group to end up making what they opted for! Everyone will make four dishes, but all the ingredients have to be bought-in fresh for the event and then prepped beforehand so that there’s little time wasted with unnecessary peeling and chopping. (Thus a booking needs to be made two days in advance. As the restaurant is only free between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, classes like this usually begin at 1:00 pm.) And then, having taken the menu dish options back to the group and everyone having chosen what they want to make, the summary can be emailed back to Khun Nisa to get things started.

There’s also the option of laying-on transport for you. Samui Buri runs a free shuttle bus twice a day to Chaweng and back, anyway. But if you’d prefer, you’re invited to negotiate a nominal additional fee per person for a couple of bespoke mini-buses to take care of your transport back and forth.

Good, eh? Something like this has been needed for a long time. But it seems like it’s only Samui Buri Beach Resort that has got it together enough so that whole wedding groups can go ‘cooking it up’!


Rob De Wet


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