There are almost as many ways to get to a wedding destination as there are weddings themselves. Couple variously jet in to Samui, take an overnight train, boat or bus. And they may have come directly from their home countries or gone by some convoluted route that’s taken them half way around the world. One couple who came from Europe, took the Trans-Siberian Express, basically ‘turned right somewhere in Siberia’ and headed south through China, arriving a few weeks later in Thailand. People can afford to take their time and indulge their senses when it comes to destination weddings, because
someone else is looking after the special day for them. They can sit back and relax.
On Samui all wedding planners know how important it is to guarantee their brides and grooms a stress-free time. It’s been many years now since the first wedding here – nobody can even be certain when the first holidaymakers tied the knot on one of the island’s beaches. Samui has grown used to them, and it’s a mini-industry in itself. All of the weddings here are hallmarked by the same palpable absence of stress. It’s one thing that they all have in common. This might lead you to think that all weddings here are the same, but that’s definitely not the case. For each beach and each resort, there’ll be variations. That’s why it’s a task in itself to establish exactly where on the island to go for your wedding. In general, couples look for a spot that’s going to offer privacy, beauty and a range of services that will help them fulfil their wishes and needs.
Chaweng and the east coast seem to be in the limelight when it comes to weddings – many take place here. The beach is wonderful, and celebrations of every kind are de rigueur in this part of the island. But there are many alternatives, and they come with their own advantages.
Located just south of the island’s sleepy capital, Nathon, you’ll find Siam Residence, a quietly chic and understated resort that is increasingly popular for weddings. There are many draws here. For a start, the entire area has a remote and bucolic feel to it. Relatively few people live here as it’s never been developed. Evenings, you can still see buffaloes being led along the water’s edge, and when night comes a hush fills the air. It’s all more in keeping with the way that Samui used to be.
The resort itself is tucked down a lane, a stone’s throw from a peaceful temple, and fronts onto the bay itself. Despite advertising itself as ‘de-luxe’, it’s very reasonably priced. Cheerful, friendly staff conjure a homely vibe, clean and extremely spacious rooms await in the form of villas – each boasts modern, well-thought out amenities, and it’s more boutique than you’d expect. It’s under Swiss-Austrian ownership and management, and the entire staff do a great job to provide visitors, whether they’re staying guests or not, with fantastic quality. As such, many guests return again and again – it’s home from
home. This is particularly so when it comes to children who are always made welcome here (they even get their own menu at the resort’s restaurant).
The resort certainly doesn’t lack excellence, but as any discerning bride or groom well knows, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a good wedding venue. However, Siam Residence carries its successes through to its weddings without
skipping a beat. That’s partly to do with the setting. The beach is part of a five-kilometre stretch and is decidedly beautiful. Were it anywhere else, it would be a lot busier, but since this is one of the quietest parts of Samui, anyone swimming – or getting married – has it more or less to themselves. No rubberneckers, therefore. Siam Residence’s frontage also sports casuarina trees, which make a great backdrop for photographs and allow for shade on the hottest of days. The setting, as undisturbed as it is picturesque, is just what a lot of people look for when they plan a tropical wedding.
Next comes the wedding ‘architecture’. Not every gazebo or arch is created equal – an observation that holds good wherever you go in the world. Some seem plainly skeletal, and the flowers that go on them may be withering by the time they go up. Others are a riot of colour – but not quite the colours that the couple wanted. Siam Residence has its own team of gardeners who know how to arrange all the floral compositions that the bride and groom require. They put everything up with great care and expertise, and make sure that everything’s correctly aligned for the best photography. Incidentally, the beach faces directly west, so is one of the best spots for sunset photos.
Food and drink all come under the aegis of a devoted executive chef, Khun Lamyai, who’s been with Siam Residence since the day it opened some two decades ago – literally. As such, she’s well versed in dealing with all her guests’ requirements. She’s also completely open-minded about accommodating people’s wishes, including putting on a barbecue featuring
the freshest of seafood. It’s really up to the individual wedding party what they want, but there are basically two kinds of menu. The first option is with served food but with the main course being a buffet, and the second, where the entire dinner is individually served.
While it’s always helpful to offer packages – and Siam Residence does so – it’s always more satisfying if guests can know they can have an entirely bespoke wedding and reception. The resort prides itself on offering guests the widest variety of possibilities. This applies whether it’s simply an elopement or an extremely large gathering. The team is happy to arrange details that for many other wedding suppliers would be way too finicky.
Because Siam Residence has a small number of villas set on large grounds, rather than opting for a dense population of guests, you can book the entire property for your wedding. It’s surprisingly affordable to do so. For a minimum of 22 people or just under, it’s possible to do this, and no worries if your party is a lot bigger either. It makes a lot of sense with prices working out to guests’ advantage, and just as good, it means that friends and family can all be together, undisturbed, for the entire period.
Considering the location and quality, it’s hard to beat Siam Residence for sheer value. And the luxury treatment doesn’t end when you walk back down the aisle.
For reservations or further information telephone 0 7742 0008.