It’s often quite tricky. I mean, how can you know? Fads and fashions come and go. Websites can look really good. But, when it comes down to it, how can you be sure that the resort you like the look of is going to fulfil its promise? If you’re here, on Samui, then you can pop around to check. But if you’re booking from abroad, you need to be certain.
So, of course, you’ll do what everyone else does and turn to the internet oracle. This is where the truth will out! This is the feared and respected TripAdvisor. The only problem here is that sometimes you have to read between the lines a bit; now and then you’ll catch sight of oddities. But, generally, TripAdvisor is a pretty good rule of thumb – after all it’s real people talking about what things are really like, rough edges and all. And thus be prepared to get all excited when you read what’s being said about Boujis!
I could describe this lovely little resort as ‘boutique’, meaning that it’s comparatively small, is uniquely designed, and is privately owned. But I’m going to go a step further and boldly declare that Boujis is a step up from merely boutique – Boujis is ‘bijou’; a ‘jewel’. And while Samui has more nice little resorts than you can shake a stick at, very few of them are such gems as this one.
Two obvious reasons for this jump out at you right away. The first one is the location. Partly this is to do with the fact that it’s just a few minutes’ drive away from the bounce, bustle and glitter of Chaweng Beach Road, which is literally around the corner. Right away this means Boujis is pleasantly placid, yet right on the edge of Samui’s centre of shopping and nightlife. But that’s only half of the tale, because it’s also situated on the rocky cliffside that makes up this part of the coast. And this means that the outlook and views are stunning.
This part of the coastline gets higher and rockier as it gets further away from Chaweng, but here it’s totally, beautifully, just right. It’s elevated enough to give a vista to swoon over (as when you wake up in the morning and open your eyes to walls of glass that frame this pastel-tinted vista), but not so high up that you can’t get down easily to the water below. And here there are huge slabs of sun-warmed rock perched and twisted every which way, and crystal-clear water that’s just chest-high at the deepest. And with none of the rip-tides and currents you get in Chaweng.
The second reason is the way it’s all laid out. Boujis has evolved over the years, with two or three ‘villas’ being built to begin with, then several more being tacked onto a new terrace below at a later date, and a few more built after that. This means that the whole site, and its 14 ‘villas’, is whimsically and charmingly embryonic, with irregular steps up and down (often through short tunnels of mature foliage) from one layer to the next. I dare say there are some personality types who will just hate this inconsistency. But for the rest of us it’s an utter fairyland.
But I’m just beginning! Because then there are also the ‘villas’ themselves. I keep saying ‘villas’ simply because, if I tell it like it is, these are not ‘villas’ in the accepted sense of the word. What you’ve got here are 14 differently-designed, cliffside, self-contained apartments of varying sizes and at differing levels. But, whether one bedroom or two, they all share the identical dream house panorama that’s deeply coded in our genes: we are drawn to them like forgotten memories of a home we might have once had – or actively want! And they’ve all evolved so that, as new ones were built, none of them blocked or interfered with the view from the others. Bijou indeed.
I’m not even going to think of listing each of these sublime ‘apartments’ in detail: you can get that from the excellent website that’s the shell for Boujis. And a visit to their Facebook site will round things off. And make a note that the hugely approachable Resort Manager, David White, answers each of the TripAdvisor comments personally. How many resortsdo that?
There’s more! There’s a generously-sized pool. Each villa has a kitchenette, with microwave, fridge, and tea/coffee making. There’s Apple TV complete with Netflix. The villas are cleaned every day. There’s an on-site laundry. You can rent a motorbike. There is a yoga room with sessions five times a week. You can book a Thai massage. And you’re even provided with a phone with preprogrammed emergency numbers, should you ever need it.
And then there’s the whole idea of food and room service. Boujis is right next to one of the island’s best restaurants, Dr Frogs. And there’s an arrangement that there’s a 20% discount for guests here. Or that you can dial for room service (during the restaurant’s opening hours). Dr Frogs is a fine-dining restaurant but, even so, this is yet another plus for Boujis.
Finally, let me give you an insider tip. Shop around for the best price. As the resort is really just getting off the ground, Boujis is often offering promotions. It’s not expensive to start with – not for what you’re getting. But tour agents take their profits. And so the results of a direct email to David White, particularly off-season, might give you a big surprise. He is ever so approachable – as indeed are all the staff at Boujis.
What more can I say? Given a chance I’d go to live there full time, like a greyhound off the line. It’s a jewel in the holiday melee that is Samui. It’s one in a thousand. Boujis is, in fact a jewel. Bijou Boujis, indeed!
Rob De Wet
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7744 8544.