6 September 2011 by Luke McCormick
Channel Editor, Luke McCormick, checks into Thailand's newest lifestyle resort, Akyra Chura Koh Samui, to discover a unique ‘outdoor living - in' concept.
Located on the quieter northern end of Koh Samui's popular Chaweng Beach, the recently opened Akyra Chura Samui ‘lifestyle' resort offers a smaller, more modern alternative to some of the area's larger, more established resorts.
Catering to everyone from young, free-spirited travellers to discerning tourists looking for style and luxury, the resort provides comfort and sophistication with 61 stylish rooms and suites, mixing understated luxury with Asian chic.
Lead-in rooms are on the smaller side, so if you want space opt for one of the one-bedroom suites located by the beach. The best room option would be the Grand Deluxe Seaview Room, conveniently located beside the white marble swimming pool and cocktail bar. Although, if privacy is an issue ask for a room set behind the pool or the top floor Grand Deluxe Seaview with private balcony.
Inside, rooms are stripped back and minimalist in approach, with plenty of natural light provide by large picture windows. Rain showers, double vanities, wooden shutters and airy, poled gauze bathroom walls allow you to experience the outdoor elements at all times. Air conditioning provides respite from the heat in the main room.
In the suites things are taken up a notch with the entire ‘bathroom' located in a private outdoor terrazzo with an oversized bathtub and rain shower, as well as a private garden.
With 70 sq/m of floor space the four one-bedroom suites are the pick of the accommodation, although most would be happy with the 40 sq/m Deluxe Rooms.
The resort's designers have made clever use of what is a thin plot of land for Chaweng's standards, the three rows of room blocks run in parallel facing towards the beach, each featuring a semi private wooden deck.
Natural bamboo walls create privacy throughout the grounds, while strangler fig bonsai of various sizes dot the walkways and public areas. Large palm trees and orchids round off the clean landscaping.
On the food front, guests can choose to dine casually on the sand with a menu of grilled seafood and steaks from Barracuda Bar and Grill or fine dining at Sui Kin Japanese Restaurant in the main building. The resort also features a sake bar, which serves the most comprehensive selection of sake on the island.
The Akyra's exclusive Spa IV has a menu of massages, facials, body wraps and rituals to help you unwind. Four well-finished treatment rooms create a tempting atmosphere, allowing you to indulge in the signature massages and treatments or indulgent full-day wellness experiences and lifestyle packages.
The resort's fantastic location on Chaweng Beach means great bars and restaurants are within easy walking distance. Nearby Green Mango Square and Chaweng Beach Road are packed full of pubs and bars, with more laidback nightlife further along the coast at Lamai Beach and Fisherman's Wharf in Bo Phut.
Overall the resort is a welcome addition to the accommodation on offer along Chaweng Beach, with a firm focus on quality service. There are more exclusive resorts along Koh Samui's various quieter beaches, but for a convenient, no-fuss approach to sophisticated chic located close to Chaweng's various attractions, the Akyra is hard to beat.
The group behind the Akyra, Aleenta Resorts, has a collection of small, award-winning luxurious boutique hotels with suites, pool villas, and private beachfront villas with stunning design and personalised service.
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, its other Thailand properties are Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga and Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi.