Celes is so new, bright and squeaky-clean that it has just had its official opening. But here’s a resort where money has been no object. Where everything from the 5-star cuisine, to the amazing eight-foot-wide beds, to the sumptuous treatment rooms of the spa, to the fitness centre and even the library has had only one criterion – the most up-to-date and the highest quality.
But, after all said and done, expense doesn’t necessarily equal style. However when you get to Celes, and walk around and soak it all in, you’ll realise that this resort has real individuality. It does have its own unique style. And everything here has been put together with both consistency and flair.
Possibly one of the most pleasing aspects – on first acquaintance – is the fact that the layout is embryonic. There’s a distinct lack of straight lines or any feeling of ‘blocks and grids’. The paths are pale and glowing, and wind their way between a variety of different villa styles; some on two floors, others on one but going further back, and yet others right on the edge of the sand. The buildings themselves are a clean bright white with black iron railings on the balconies, swathes of warm timber cladding and a range of roof styles that are cool and geometric. This is all very ‘un-Thai’! In fact it’s exactly like being in a high-end resort on the shore of the Mediterranean somewhere.
And talking about being on ‘the shore’, the eight exclusive Beachfront Pool Villas (each running to 160 square metres!) have come up with a design feature that’s unique. They really are on the edge of the sand, with their generous plunge pools having an infinity-edge effect that seems to run right into the sea. But the way that their privacy has been achieved has been the result of some massive terra-forming: the entire seafront edge of the resort has been raised up above head height. That way you can lounge around by your private pool just a few feet from the beach, but high up above anyone
walking below. And the final touch is that each beachfront pool villa has its own step-down gate directly onto the sand. It’s magnificent.
As, indeed, is the luxurious range of options included as standard when you book a villa here. There’s a pillow menu that includes thin or thick, a choice of fillings, and even a rubber-foam posture pillow. The ‘amenities’ menu gives you a choice of top brands of shampoo, shower gels and foams, and/or soap. There’s even an ‘aroma option’ which governs what fragrance-tint will be in the background for your stay. And that’s before you even get to the choice of the bed. The ultimate has to be the eight-foot-wide selection with custom-made bedding – you could cuddle your partner, fall asleep with the kids, and even still have half of the contents of your suitcase out on the bed without ever noticing!
And, of course, the restaurant, unpretentiously named ‘Seagrille’, matches all the high standards outlined so far. Firstly its breakfast menu has been regarded in the same way as its evening dinner menu – top ingredients (‘Victoria’ fresh-ground coffee all day) and quality service. The ingredients are, naturally, both prime and fresh-off-the-boat – the Thai and international offerings are equally as gastronomically-sumptuous as the architectural fittings and fixtures of the villas. When you order a ‘gang som pla’ (curry soup with fish) it’ll come with chunks of succulent sea bass. And the ubiquitous ‘pad Thai’ is built around king prawns, not bought-in-a-bag peeled and frozen ones.
One other thing – none of this is expensive. Drop in one afternoon and check it all out – it’s right next to Fisherman’s Village. (Seagrille is open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm). You’ll be in for a surprise!
And I’ll let you into a secret – Celes is twinned with (next to but separate from) the long-established Samui Palm Beach Resort. And so it also has one of the largest banqueting and conference halls on the island, plus a huge lawn – they’re experienced at accommodating and catering for large groups. This is one place you’ll need to think seriously about if
you’re planning on tying the knot here on Samui!
Every now and then a new jewel appears in Samui’s crown. And this time around there’s no doubt . . . it’s the splendour that is Celes!
Rob De Wet
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7790 0999.