You know you’re in a place apart when you arrive at Cape Fahn: the resort’s 24 elegant villas, each with a perfectly proportioned infinity pool, are arranged atop a palm-fringed private island. Here, you’ll have the best of both worlds: serenity and seclusion when you want it and, just a hop away, Koh Samui’s restaurants, bars and nightlife when you’re ready to mingle. Not that you’ll be in a hurry to leave – the sugary beach is perfect for swimming, there are two brilliant restaurants for relaxed or fine dining and the elegant Cape Spa specialises in invigorating Thai massages.
Get this when you book through us:
A floating breakfast tray – stocked with goodies for two and best enjoyed in the pool
Check-in is at 2pm and check out is at noon. If you arrive early or have a later departing flight, the hotel’s hospitality lounge on Choeng Mon has free non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, WiFi, newspapers and magazines.
Double rooms from $423.73 (THB12,864), excluding tax at 18 per cent.
Rates generally include breakfast, served either in the Crest or right to your villa.
Once a week, the resort hosts Moonlight Cinema – a classic Hollywood movie screening at the pool with drinks and snacks.
At the hotel
Beach, spa, gym, fitness classes, three pools, activities room, library, boutique, laundry, WiFi. In rooms: private pools, furnished pool terrace, TV, DVD player, air-conditioning, free bottled water, tea, coffee, daily fresh fruit.
Our favourite rooms
For sea views and sunsets, the Ocean-View Pool Villas can’t be beaten. For ultimate swagger, though, it has to be Bond-villain lair Fahn Noi Private Island Pool Villa with its commanding spot on the tip of the island, preposterous proportions and enormous private pool.
There are three, so choose your own aquatic adventure: the central salt-water pool has Gulf of Thailand views and perfect parasols, the children’s pool is, um, splashy, and the adults-only plunge pool is the definition of serenity.
The calming Cape Spa specialises in Thai massages and aromatherapy treatments. There are two rooms for couples’ treatments, a steam room and hammam.
Pack your Lululemon to take advantage of the yoga and pilates classes on offer in the gym. Left something at home? The adorable resort boutique has teeny weeny bikinis and tchotchkes galore.
All ages are welcome – there’s a children’s pool and both restaurants have children’s menus.
Can’t drag yourself from that perfect villa? Have dinner delivered or ask them to set up a lantern-lit table for two on the beach.
Hue is come-as-you-are casual. The Crest has a more refined air, so don your pressed linen and prettiest prints.
Breakfast and dinner are served at the Dtai, the resort’s fine dining seafood restaurant helmed my celebrity chef David Thompson. As well as outdoor seating and iridescent island views, you'll find sustainably line-caught seafood, Southern-style Thai dishes and imaginative cocktails. Hue is a more laid-back affair – you can float there from the pool for regional Thai dishes as well as salads, burgers, pizzas and pastas.
The Crest’s bar is prettily tiled in sea-cove green and has outdoor seating for sundowners.
Breakfast is served at the Crest between 6.30am and 11am. Crest isn’t open on Wednesdays. Dinner is served at Crest from 6.30pm until 10.30pm. Hue is open all day from 9am until 10.30pm (grazers, rejoice).
Cape Fahn offers round the clock villa service – choose from healthy fish dishes, hearty burgers, Thai specialties or all-day snacks. Bonus points: the room service trays float so you don’t have to leave the pool to sip your mango smoothie.
You’ll find Cape Fahn on a private island, just a hop from Choeng Mon Beach on the north-east corner of Koh Samui.
Fly direct from Bangkok to Koh Samui Airport. From there, it’s a 25-minute taxi ride to Cape Fahn’s hospitality lounge at Choeng Mon, or the hotel can organise a private car transfer for 800THB each way. At the lounge, you’ll be plied with drinks, snacks, WiFi, newspapers and magazines while you’re waiting for the ferry to take you across the 200-metre strait to the island. In low tide, it’s technically possible to walk across… but we don’t suggest it with suitcases.
There’s a free car park on Choeng Mon for Cape Fahn guests.
You can also reach Cape Fahn by boat from Surat Thani ‒ the journey takes just over an hour.
Worth getting out of bed for
The angle at Cape Fahn tends towards the horizontal: there are just too many perfect perches by the salt-water pool and on the palm-fringed beach. But if all that Vitamin D has given you a sudden burst of energy, spring from your sunlounger and sign up for a cooking lesson, take one of the hotel’s paddle boards for a spin around the island or work it out at a traditional Thai boxing, yoga or pilates class. You can even hire the hotel’s yacht for a day’s excursion around the nearby islands and to seek out perfect snorkelling spots.
You’re in wading distance (or take Cape Fahn’s boat) of Choeng Mon when you’re ready to commune with the crowds. Stroll through the narrow alleys, old wooden shops and street food stalls at the colonial fisherman’s village in Bophut or visit the weird and wonderful Secret Buddha Garden, a sculpture park on top of a peak in Surat Thani with excellent views and cool breezes. If you want to venture into the jungly interior of the island, you can cool off in the natural pools at the foot of the Na Mueang waterfalls. There’s a short but steep hike to the second waterfall (so bring sporty shoes), but you’ll be rewarded – it’s far less busy than the first.
Chaweng’s Coast Beach Club has chill-out tunes to go with their beachside food and cocktails, or you can head to fellow Smith spot The Library for their catalog of cocktails and Thai tapas.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this private-island hotel in Koh Samui and unpacked their bikinis from the boutique, a full account of their serene island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Cape Fahn in Thailand…
Sure, there are certain things you miss about being 19 – your waifish waist circumference and having all your knee cartilage, for instance. But when you arrive at Cape Fahn, you’ll be glad you’re all grown up. Surveying this lush private island just a hop from the sedate Choeng Mon beach, you’ll smile fondly at the memory of yester-you on a Thai island – dancing on sticky floors, drinking something ungodly and electric-blue out of a bucket and sleeping in a 20-baht beach shack. ‘Farewell to all that’, you’ll chuckle, as you step into Cape Fahn’s hushed and serene lobby, where elegance and quietude reign, and are greeted with a cool towel and the friendliest smile you’ve seen in years. ‘Aging really does get a bad rep,’ you’ll think, as you’re shown you to your staggeringly vast villa, dressed in soothing tones of white, taupe and mint. But as a sliding door reveals your very own sun-brightened terrace, plush-pillowed sunloungers and aquamarine infinity pool, you’ll struggle to keep your dignified mask of composure, nudging Mrs Smith in the ribs and saying, ‘Cape Fahn? More like Cape FUN. Tickle fight!’ Ok, so maybe you haven’t grown up entirely: your ability to make terrible jokes is still intact and, funnily enough, you find you’re still able to drink colourful cocktails by the bucketload – but isn’t it infinitely nicer when they’re served directly to your pool on a floating tray? Also, now that we think about it, that deserted, palm-fringed beach is practically crying out for cartwheel practice. Once more into the fray, old knees…
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