I chose a moderate priced hotel right in the heart of Chaweng beach with traditional Thai charm and decor, Dara Samui Beach Resort and Spa Villa for the last 4 days of our "holiday."
We paid about $ 60.00 USD per night via a special through agoda.com. At first, I was a bit hesitant due to the mixed reviews on Trip Advisor but as soon as we entered the hotel, I was at ease and happy with my decision.
We were welcomed with a refreshing iced cold drink and cold towels after a long day in the sun.
The bathroom was spacious with a his and hers sink, large closet with 2 robes, soak in tub and separate toilet and shower area. I loved the large soak in tub and the bamboo tray. We used it to hold beer and wine during our baths. There was also beach bags for us to use.
The Mo enjoyed his coffees and "vacation cigarettes" on the attached garden view patio.
There were Koi ponds throughout the hotel hallways with real fishes and lotus plans.
Chaweng beach is great. The water is warm and calm. The beach by our hotel was protected by a cove. These pictures were taken in the early morning during low tide.
There were many sun loungers on the beach. It worked out great because we could switch it up between the beach and the pool.
Between 3 - 4 PM, there was a "Buy one Get One" Happy Hour Drink Special. We tried the Sex on the Beach and Mai Tai's.
We made reservations for dinner at Serene Restaurant at the resort for Friday night. Once 4 PM hit, the hotel started to set up for dinner and removed all the loungers and umbrellas. They made "Tee-Pees" using tulle and bamboo stalks with a lantern in each one. It was pretty cool.
The beach was lined with beautiful semi-private tables adding a special ambiance for dinner.
Diners could order off the extensive regular menu that includes western food and steaks or order from the BBQ preset menus that included fresh seafood.
We started dinner with scotch, wine and their salad and bread bar. For appetizers, we shared Yum Nuer, (Thai Beef salad) and fried shrimp and vegetable tempura with sweet chili sauce.
We could feel the ocean water touching our feet. It was pretty cool.
For dinner, we went with the Penang beef curry and Pineapple crispy duck. Both dishes were delicious. The meats were tender and full of flavor.
To my pleasant surprise, the crispy duck curry dish had red grapes. I will definitely try that in my recipe next time. The flavor of the dish also reminded me of something my mother makes called "Som La Ka Ti" with pineapple and coconut.
It was a great dinner we will always cherish and remember.
The bill for dinner was about $ 40.00 USD for:
- Johnny Walker (Black)
- Red Wine
- Salad and bread
- Yum Nuer Thai Beef Salad
- Fried Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
- Penang Beef Curry
- Crispy Pineapple Duck
- Mandatory govt tax and service charge
Of course it's a little pricier than what we have been spending on food but the experience was worth it.
The next day, there was a beach wedding on the same beach we had dinner. It was fun to watch the bridal party line up and get ready for the procession.