When it comes to travel, we all hope to be in a state of wide-eyed wonder when we arrive at our destination. Samui as a world vacation destination certainly provides marvels a-plenty with its beaches, jungle and uproarious party life. And beyond that, a handful of its resorts and hotels provide almost as much wonder as the island itself. With luxury brands making their home here, parts of the island are famed for the best food and drink imaginable, all niched into settings that are amongst the most sought-out by holidaymakers.
W Koh Samui is as much known for its dining facilities as it is for its beach, which sits on both sides of its remarkable headland. Everybody who’s ever come here agrees that the location is one of the best on Samui. It’s also deliciously private; so much so that it has a total hideaway feel to it. Just a 15 minute drive from the pulsating night life of Chaweng, it’s spectacularly separate yet easily accessible, right at the western end of the bay of Maenam.
If you’re a guest, it’s an amazing place to stay if you love creative and aesthetic detail, but you don’t need to be vacationing here to take advantage of what W is all about. Spend a few hours unwinding in the bars and restaurants here, and enjoy some of the best food and drink to be had, all of it in stylish settings. Here’s a brief round-up of what’s available at W, starting from just beyond the hilltop main lobby and working down to the coast. It’s a feast for the eyes as much as the
palate, and W Koh Samui has garnered some serious attention for both looks and taste.
Woobar and The Barrel Room
One of the island’s most spectacular bars deserves a visit in its own right. Walk in through the atrium of W Koh Samui and you’ll see it just a few steps away. Woobar sits at just about the highest point in the resort and looks out over an entire maritime panorama, gazing out to idyllic Koh Pha-Ngan beyond. Lush green foliage can be glimpsed either side of the bar reminding you that the jungle’s always close at hand on Samui. The fact the bar has seating sunken down into beautiful pools just adds to the pizzazz. Come and experience an entire range of cocktails, as well as some highly innovative craft beers. A half dozen DJs rotate through the week and every night there’s a different theme. Many attend the Wednesday night ‘50/50’ extravaganza; order a drink, flip a coin. Heads or tails? If you guess correctly, W picks up the tab, if not you pay the regular price. Definitely the place to come and chill out. It’s open daily from 11:00 am until midnight. There’s an entrance fee for non-guests of 1,000 Baht, redeemable against food and drink. Close by Woobar, you’ll find The Barrel Room, where you can try out some of W’s very own brand of cocktails, along with cigars and wines. The setting is
cosy and select, a little world on its own, and befittingly chilled.
The Kitchen Table
W Koh Samui’s all-day international dining facilities are located just under Woobar in an extremely contemporary dining area, with blond wood and veranda-style windows which allow you to take in the same views from upstairs. On Sundays come for the ‘Lazy Breakfast’, not quite a brunch, as it finishes at midday, but more a deluxe way to start your day. As popular as it is decadent, this is undoubtedly one of the best breakfasts on the island.
The Kitchen Table also puts on a special tea-time, daily, but it’s not just a worthy round of sandwiches and a pot of tea. It’s a contemporary take on afternoon delicacies that doesn’t just give it a boost but turns tea-time on its head. W T-Time, as it’s called starts with the arrival of a Perspex chest of drawers, filled with delicacies such as smoked salmon finger sandwiches, hummus and cucumber rolls and marinated chicken drumsticks. Desserts consist of temptations such as Valhrona chocolate opera cake, macaroons, and the pastry chef’s signature cakes. Definitely come hungry and be ready to linger. W T-Time is served every day from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at The Kitchen Table or if you prefer upstairs at Woobar.
There’s nothing quite like it on Samui, or even faintly like it. Namu, W’s signature restaurant offers top-notch Japanese sushi, sashimi and other delights in a convivial air-con dining room and outdoor terrace next to the sea. It’s a cool take on contemporary Japanese food, as relaxed as an izakaya, yet as sophisticated as a first-class restaurant in Tokyo or Osaka. It has influences that channel the best of Asian contemporary cuisine as well as international. Take a seat at the bar and you can watch the chef, Fook Seong Kok, more usually known simply as Chef Andy, and his team work their creative magic, dexterously preparing your sushi before your eyes. You can enjoy something very simple such as edamame or gyoza, as well as an exquisite lobster dish or premium Wagyu beef, but you’ll find no matter what you choose, that it’s engagingly delicate and perfectly presented. These are the real tastes of Japan, wonderfully re-created thousands of miles away. You
can even arrange a cooking session with Chef Andy where he’ll teach you how to make classic Japanese dishes – it’s a rare chance to learn from a maestro. If you’d like an extremely romantic dinner, Chef Andy can provide it for you, right on the beach. Dining under the Stars, as it’s called, is highly recommended, and will be instantly memorable and a stand-out feature of any holiday on Samui.
Namu is open daily from 6:00 pm until approximately 10:00 pm in the evenings, but now you can also come for lunch on Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm. Lunch has four different set menus (Chicken Teriyaki, Sushi & Sashimi, Vegetarian and Grilled Shansho with Caper Sauce Set) as well as à la carte fare.
Open from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm, W’s beach bar, Sip, is both relaxed and sophisticated at the same time. Come and enjoy snacks and all manner of beverages while you gaze out to sea. Situated right on the headland that divides the bay of Maenam from that of Bophut, it’s quite different from anything that you might usually encounter in a beach bar. Sip also hosts a single weekly event, ‘Monday Night at the Movies’. Mainstream films are shown but the setting isn’t exactly like your local Cineplex. It’s held adjacent to Sip right in the open air. Choose between a daybed, beanbags or a modernistic circular pod with views out onto the sea. The evening starts at 7:00 pm with drinks and at 8:00 pm the film is shown. What could be more fun? Especially with the added faint soundtrack of swaying palms? Better still, there’s no admission fee, apart from any food and drink.
Amazing days on the beach call for food to match, and here at W’s beach bar, you’ll find a medley of treats that range from grilled dishes, through Thai salads to mouth-watering sandwiches and burgers. And there are all the various types of drinks to quench your thirst, too. Nestled into the trees, Beach Grill provides both shade and cool, ideal for a break from the sun.
With three bars and three restaurants, W Koh Samui has you covered when it comes to food, drink and chilling. Ranging from beachside snacks to full gourmet dining, W makes sure that whatever it does is intensely creative and therefore bound to please. They also regularly host one-off events; most recently guest chef Tim Butler from Eat Me restaurant exhibited his exciting menu at Namu, and an exclusive fashion showcase of ALIX bodysuits straight from New York City. One to watch, W Koh Samui is always at the helm of what’s new and cool.