Ostentatious and grandiose, the Ammatara Pura is one of a kind. Huge villas with plunge pools and private salas on a quiet stretch of busy Lamai beach, some with sea views, others with private gardens, are designed in northern Thai Lanna style with dark wood, carved images and arm chairs fit for kings.
The Ammatara Pura is located at the southern, quiet end of Lamai beach. During the rainy season, the beach can be very narrow, but the water here gets deep quickly and is great for swimming. It’s a short complimentary tuk-tuk ride to the central strip of Lamai where countless restaurants and bars can be found. A taxi to the airport takes 45 minutes, to the Chaweng night life area it’s about 20 minutes.
Address: 128/75-76 Moo 3, T. Maret, Koh Samui, Suratthani Lamai Beach, 84310, Thailand.
Style & character
Upon entering Ammatara Pura through a huge imposing gate, guests will find themselves in a dazzling fairy-tale world of carved spirit trees, life-sized statues of deities and celestial dancers, crenellated walls, ceilings decorated with historical iconography and even a picturesque Buddhist temple. The palatial collection of eighteen beach front villas and rooms are conceived in a very traditional northern Thai Lanna style with heavy wooden furniture, gold taps, plenty of mirrors and chic lighting.
Service & facilities
Service is prompt and very friendly. Two rather small pools are separated by a narrow bridge that leads to a large sala where complimentary yoga classes are offered. Between the pools and the beach, smaller private pavilions with large circular sofas facing the sea make for a perfect afternoon nap.
Complimentary cooking classes and Thai costume dress up sessions – guests will get a photograph to remind them of their experience – are available. The gym, complete with wall carvings of Apsaras, has the feel of a Cambodian temple despite the modern equipment.
The 18 villas are spacious and have a palatial feel. The beds are extra wide and comfortable and face the garden or sea. The furnishings, like the rest of the property tends towards pomposity, from the heavy wood furniture to the intricate wall carvings. Sliding wooden shutters open to broad terraces and deep plunge pools as well as private salas with seating arrangements. All rooms have writing desks with computers, air-conditioning, TV and DVD player. Everything is in top condition. Some villas have their own kitchens with washing machines and cooking facilities.
Bathrooms are just as lavish and come with outdoor rain showers.
Food & drink
The beachside restaurant, a collection of heavy wooden tables graced by fairy lights, serves an eclectic selection of international and Thai dishes. As the owners are vegetarians, there are plenty of vegan options including a great tofu mushroom and black pepper salad and there’s a halal menu too. The Thai menu is extensive and heavy on seafood – the herb-encrusted snow fish is recommended as is the white snapper with tamarind and lime sauce.
The breakfast buffet is served in its own dedicated indoor, air-conditioned space and includes the usual standards – fresh breads, cereals, yoghurts and so on while egg dishes and fruit and vegetable juices are freshly prepared.
The best place for a pre-dinner drink is on the villas’ private terraces.
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