Christmas in October – Not really! But one of the most-delightful boutique resorts around already has it all sorted – Rocky’s down in Lamai.

Rocky's

Rocky’s Boutique Resort simply has to be one of the prettiest resorts anywhere! The whole place is a study in contrasting textures, from the rocks and fabrics everywhere to the gnarled and twisted wooden sculptures that are subtly dotted around. And at night it’s wonderful – huge red Chinese lanterns glow in the trees. Hidden lamps throw pools of light onto the steeply-descending central path, offset with tiny white fairy lights.

And the red theme continues on into the main restaurant, The Dining Room. It’s open on three sides, Thai-style, there’s a rugged rock wall at the far end over which a steady stream of water quietly cascades. And there are three more gigantic lanterns hanging from the ceiling, red candles and glasses on the tables, and red cushions scattered everywhere. Once in a while, though, they’ll mix in a splash of gold with the red – but more of that in a moment!

As well as The Dining Room, on the other side of the path and raised on a higher level, there’s The Bistro. Although serving mainly Thai cuisine with a Royal Thai bias, there’s an absolutely killer selection of tapas available, too. The dining area here has a different feel altogether, featuring an intriguing open show-kitchen. And being poolside, with an inner shaded section together with sunshine tables under big umbrellas. And to top it all off, there’s also a tiny spur of land at the seawards tip of the resort, secluded by the greenery behind, with a couple of very romantic and intimate tables on the rocky edge of the
shore.

Rocky'sThe point is: Rocky’s is a very attractive place to unwind and enjoy come excellent food. There are dozens of places on Samui that are ‘nice’, but I can’t think of anywhere that’s quite as lovely as here.

The man behind the everyday running, and indeed everything that’s going on at Rocky’s, is Martin Fells. He’s been the general manager here for six years now, and has everything running very smoothly indeed. “Although Rocky’s is very much a fine-dining environment,” he told me, “it’s all informal and very relaxed. We like to think that guests can come here in the evening to enjoy our ‘seven-course Chef’s Degustation Menu’, which comes with the option of paired wines, or simply drop in during the day for coffee, a cocktail or a gourmet snack; there are some super tapas on the menu!”

But one of the things that Martin has planned and organised to indisputable perfection is the seasonal festivities at Christmas and the New Year. But, then, he’s had some practice at this, refining and adjusting the schedule of events each year. And that’s why he’s now able to outline exactly what’s going to be happening at the end of this year – and believe me, Christmas at Rocky’s is one of the best experiences on the island. (The New Year festivities are something else again – but for this issue we’re looking at Christmas!)

Rocky'sOn December 24th you can experience perhaps one of the finest Christmas splashes around. Everything’s decked out in red and gold, and with crisp white skirts on the tables in The Dining Room. There’s a low stage in front of the rocky waterfall at the far end, on which a 5-piece jazz orchestra is fronted by the well-known Trisha Singer – and her voice is as soft as silk. And the evening is lost in the wonderful 6-course dinner with selected wines.

Following the Amuse Bouche there’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Tian of Crab Meat and Garden Tarragon with White Truffle Oil. That leads into the Grilled Butter Fish with Baby Spinach, and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. And then
after a Blood Orange Sorbet, the signature dish of Beef Rossini, with Seared Alan Francois Foi Gras, Fillet Mignon with wilted Baby Spinach and Taragon-glazed Carrots with Madeira Sauce. And, to round it off, an Asiette of Rocky Christmas
Desserts, followed by tea or coffee and Petit Fours.

And then on Christmas day there’s the famed Carvery Dinner, with starters, soups, a carvery of roast chicken, pork and beef, a vegetable station and a selection of sauces and desserts. This in itself is superb: a leisurely drifting back and forth
between the buffet items, relaxing, eating, drinking and enjoying. Also worth a mention: the cost of this is only 980 baht ++.

Two final tips: first of all book this now! It’s hugely popular and already being subscribed to. Second: turn up at around 5:00 pm; there’s an extended happy hour running from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, with 2-for-1 on selected cocktails, spirits and buckets of beer. Sit, sip, enjoy the sunset – and remember you read about Christmas in October!

Rob De Wet

For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7723 3020.
www.rockyresort.com