Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort and Spa
Built on a footprint of a traditional Chinese village, this intimate resort on Koh Samui’s Lamai Beach offers a refreshing take on the art of living well. Janice Seow has this story
Most resorts invite guests to kick back and relax with the tempting offer of a decadent spa experience (or two), but Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa – formerly known as GuRich – offers such blissful features, and more. Here, Bangkok-based studio BEGRAY has carefully factored feng shui into the design to promote a sense of wellbeing.
The octagonal shape of the porte-cochere resembles yin and yang to ‘screen out’ stress and negativity. Water ‘reservoirs’ are also used to signify prosperity and abundance, enhanced by flowing water throughout the resort by way of wall fountains and swimming pools with overflowing edge, among other features. The main buildings have been designed to reflect the island’s strong Chinese heritage – following the journey made by Chinese immigrants to Thailand centuries ago.
All 77 suites and villas are built across a mere 4 acres of land, with the maze-like formation ensuring privacy while nurturing a sense of community.
Apart from water, the other important elements of wood, ﬁre, earth and metal – that together represent a balanced physical body – are also well incorporated into the design. For example, wood forms the main building material, while natural stones (earth) are widely used throughout the resort to imitate the natural setting.
Beyond its Chinese influences, the resort thoughtfully reflects the rich cultures that geographically surround Thailand; the landscape is Balinese, and the interiors carry a mix of Thai, Chinese, Burmese and Indian elements. Art here also comes in both visual and conceptual forms, from physical objects such as Chinese antiques to modern lighting displays.
And lest we forget, the resort has indeed every manner of luxury expected of a resort getaway, including a specially constructed ocean pool, located at the end of a floating dock.