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Trip Report: Sunsets & Villas at the Intercontinental Koh Samui

a room with white pillars and a piano

17 months ago I booked a reservation at the Conrad Koh Samui before the devaulation of Hilton Points. Then when it came time to book my flights there 5 months in advance, it turned out I needed to arrive on Koh Samui a day early to get the best schedule and price. So I decided to book the Intercontinental Koh Samui for 25,000 points, definitely a bargain when rooms were pricing at $250+!

A few days after I booked it, all rooms started coming up for 25,000 points. For my original night, only standard rooms were available, but for the rest of my dates both the 2 bedroom villa and the ocean front villa with pool were coming up. I split my days between the two, debating whether or not to cancel the Conrad.

As it wound up, the ocean front pool villa got downgraded with no announcement, so I cancelled those dates, but I kept the two bedroom villa, hoping they would upgrade me that first night. And they did!

I loved this property! We arrived and were immediately escorted to the gorgeous lobby to be checked in.

a room with a table and chairs

a room with chairs and a table

We were presented with icy towels and fresh glasses of juice. While we waited I was blown away by the gorgeous view from the open air lobby.

a hand holding a towel and a straw

When we checked in, they had upgraded our room to the 2BR for our entire stay. I worried about telling them I planned to leave early, lest I have to pay a fine rather than just the points, so I didn’t (which later came back to haunt me). While we were waiting I checked out the business center which is arranged like a beautiful library.

a room with two computers

I was most impressed by the 100+ year old chess set for guests to use (with care).

a board game with chess pieces and a card

The resort property is extensive and we were then escorted to a golf cart to take us to our villa. We arrived, and were then guided down about 5 flights of stairs to our building. I felt very bad for the poor folks carrying our large suitcases.

I have stayed in many many nice hotel rooms and this 2 bedroom villa is among my top 5 all time favorites. The top floor is completely open featuring a dining table.

a statue on a green cabinet next to a window

a dining room with a table and chairs

A living room.

a room with white pillars and a piano

A wet bar including our own wine fridge.

a cabinet with shelves and objects on it

a refrigerator with bottles of wine

And a nice lounge bed?

a woman lying on a bed

There was a great wrap around porch with a table and chaise lounges.

a deck overlooking a body of water

The downstairs was two bedrooms and bathrooms. I claimed the Master Bedroom since I had applied my points, and reveled in the large space and great views of the ocean from my window. And a cute welcome gift of a Conrad monkey, floral sarong, and purple thai pants.

a bedroom with a television and a bed

a stuffed monkey sitting on a green tray

The masterbath included a large tub and non-portable amenities 🙂

a bathroom with a bathtub and sink

a bathroom sink with soap and other items

a group of bottles on a shelf

The second bedroom was quite nice — with only slightly obscured views of the ocean.

a bed with pillows and a painting on the wall

The bathroom lacked a bathtub but was otherwise quite nice.

a bathroom with a glass shower

After we arrived I scheduled an appointment with the spa, missing the amazing sunset but getting back in time to watch the candle lit balloons go up for a wedding happening nearby. It was breathtaking, and slightly surreal since we could also hear Pharrell’s Happy being played by the DJ.

My Ambassador status had lapsed, so there was no free breakfast, but even though the room service menu was expensive by Thailand terms, it was still very affordable for by US prices.

a plate of food on a table

The next morning we decided to take a tour of many horizon pools. We went first to the closest pool — red — which was above our villa.

a pool with trees and water

It was completely empty, and the foliage obscured the view so we soon vacated and went down to the pool along the beachfront, stopping to get lunch at Flames, their pool-side restaurant.

a pool with umbrellas and chairs on the beach

The food was good, though wine was expensive so I wound up with beer. I also wound up with a delicious crab dish that had too much shell for my taste, but that’s another story.

a woman holding a beer bottle

a bowl of food on a place mat

We spent some time in the pool — because of the heat it was bathwater warm and thus slightly scummy on the bottom and sides. We did the swim up bar and the underwater stools felt slightly slimy. Laying on the lounge and listening to the ocean was amazing though.

a beach chair and umbrella on a beach

Later that afternoon we crossed the hanging bridge and made our way to the lobby (I felt like a kid again!).

a woman walking on a bridge

The lobby horizon pool was our destination (apparently the first horizon pool on Koh Samui) and it had some of the most impressive views.

a pool with a house in the background

a woman sitting on a pool with trees in the background

That pool also was a little too warm and slightly scummy. Don’t know if they don’t clean the pools enough or if it’s just because of the heat and humidity. But we headed from the pool to adjacent Air Bar which overlooks the gulf of Siam and caught an amazing sunset while sipping on horribly expensive bubbly!

a couch on a deck overlooking the ocean

a sunset over a body of water

Then it was time to head over to the Conrad and I hadn’t counted on not wanting to leave the 2 BR villa. Nor had I counted on the uproar leaving early caused. A sign of good customer service, they took us leaving a day early as a sign that things weren’t right and the general manager was there to check us out and make sure things were ok.

I felt really bad, and at the same time was even more impressed, which I didn’t think was possible. At only 25,000 points, this property is an incredible deal.

Would I have loved it as much if I had been in a standard room? Probably not. Yet, I still would have thought it was a bargain and worth staying at. Just make sure you get baht from the airport ATM, as they don’t have a cash machine on site, and arrange for private transfer from a private company. The hotel charges 2,000 baht, a private company only 850.

More posts from the trip:

Checking In and Air France Lounge at IAD
Korean Airlines First Class IAD-ICN
Hyatt Regency Incheon: Great Service, Hard Beds
Accidentally Seeing Seoul Like a Native
Tight Quarters at the Park Hyatt Seoul
Worth a Hike — Bukchon Hanok Village
Checking In for a Flight from Downtown Seoul 
Korean Airlines First Class Lounge Incheon Airport
Korean Airlines First Class Seoul to Kuala Lumpur
You Don’t Get Massaged By a Blind Paralympic Everyday...
Great Value at the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Flying Firefly Airlines from Subang to Penang
Is Penang Hill Worth It?
Tour Bust in Penang
Campbell House: the Highlight of Penang
Penang to Koh Samui on Firefly


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    1. #travelfail on my part — I’d booked one day in regular room and then two days in a 2BR villa, forgot to cancel the 3rd day before the penalty when I decided to keep my Conrad reservation. So we stayed 1 night, but checked out at about 9PM, so 2 days.

  1. I booked there last year for New Years on a IHG promotion. You had to stay 5 nights but each night was 25K points instead of 50K like it usually is. Hubby is a RA and we didn’t get upgraded 🙁 The regular rooms ( or at least the one we had) have a nice ocean view. So at the end we were happy.

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