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  The Anantara Bophut Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand
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Hotel Specialists Mr & Mrs Smith certainly kicked off the Flashpackers' trip to Thailand with an auspicious debut. First stop: the Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa in Koh Samui.

Our uber glamorous room is right on the seafront with its own plunge pool, rainforest shower and private garden with a view of the golden beach and Andaman Sea. In time honoured Thai tradition the gardener who is watering the lawn greets us with the ubiquitous, ‘Sawadika’ (welcome), a customary nicety equivalent to ‘have a nice day’, but expressed with sincerity.

In a flash we two Flashpackers are soaking our jet lag away in a jumbo tub. The room is Thai style with all the state of the art equipment that gadget conscious Flashpackers hanker for, including a 40 inch LCD TV which can be viewed both from the bath and the sumptuous large bed.

The ancient Sanskrit word ‘Anantara’ means ‘without end’. In so many ways that is the custom of the hotel – so much to do and see, that the passing of each day is unnoticeable.

We love the buffet breakfast. A rainbow of tropical fruit, the proverbial cereals, combination omelettes and even cinnamon buns.

You can do everything or nothing here. Bask on the sun loungers, barter with the beach vendors, float in the warm buoyant sea or swim in the elegant infinity pool with it’s little island and shaded areas; ideal for reading lively fiction, paperback or Kindle.

Anantara Bophut Photo Gallery

A new day a new spa therapy – mixed doubles in the same treatment room. We both have the Anantara Signature Massage, designed to stimulate circulation and promote deep relaxation, restoring the flow of energy along the meridian lines. Philip says it reminds him of the beer commercial, refreshes the parts of the body that others cannot reach.  

At the beach we lunch on ‘Street Food’; cooked on a portable burner while we dip our toes in the sea: corn on the cob, chicken sate and fresh sliced mangos for afters. A homage to the Flashpacker budget at 150 barts for two – £3 approx.

Anantara's Italian award-winning Full Moon restaurant serves a superb hot pot of seafood on linguine with chilli tomato sauce. The ice cream is a standout; chocolate, strawberry and coconut– a perfect marriage.

Talking about taking the vows the hotel is renowned for it’s weddings: sanctioned by a bonafide priest and not a look-alike. After the reception on the lawn round the lilly pond, you haven’t got far to go to make a baby. It is truly a heavenly honeymoon haven.

At night it’s the Thai Barbecue and we’re dining on the lawn by the lilly pond, aglow with lanterns. “You look beautiful and so young,” my husband  Philip says lovingly. It must be the lighting I think to myself – a kind of benign botox.  Our food arrives: mine a moist sea bass lightly spiced and for my husband, the moment he’s been waiting for, a Thai Chicken Green Curry.

Outside the cocoon of the Anantara is the Fisherman’s Village – everyone goes there. Scores of restaurants, bars, 48 hour tailors, live music and lobster.

But for the Devil’s Delight and the real night buzz we take a taxi –15 minutes and we’re in Chaweng: choc-full of bars and copycat shops with quality replicas of designer bags and watches.

Feeling in the mood we pop into the Christy’s Cabaret Club. For the price of a couple of drinks we watch the Lady-Boys shimmer and strut in their sequins and feathers as they live out the night as cabaret stars. As they surge up the catwalk and sashay their hips to the ‘boom boom’ we wonder what their day jobs are.

 The Anantara Bophut  is such a complete holiday experience that we could happily stay here for a couple more weeks. We book with Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique and Luxury Hotel experts. You can call the Smith hotel specialists for advice on – 0845 034 0700.

They offer a great service, best price guaranteed and no booking charge. Room rates at the Anantara Bophut start from £159 per night excluding tax. Anyone can book but if you are a member of Mr & Mrs Smith for a £20 annual fee you get more. Please check the website for  current members discounts, offers and extras.

Of course you can fly with Thai Airline carriers but we chose Malaysia Airlines having had such a good flying experience to Malaysia last year. This time we fly again London to KL and take their funky domestic airline Firefly from Subang Airport; a 50 minute taxi drive from their international airport in Kuala Lumpur.


© Philip and Nina Saville, The 2012-15