Fahn Island, Thailand

Photo: Cape Fahn

What’s your idea of luxury? A private island hideaway with glistening beaches. Chic villas that start at 3,000 square feet. Your own 26-foot pool with a panoramic view of the ocean. A floating breakfast served in that pool. Dinner from a Michelin-starred chef. That’s quite a wish list. This is usually the point at which you’d have to begin prioritizing your demands. Not so off the coast of Koh Samui.

Koh Samui has been one of your favorite Thai destinations for years. A lot of people agree with you. There were no roads on Thailand’s second-largest island when island-hopping backpackers arrived in the Gulf of Thailand in the early 1970s. Things quickly changed as word spread about the white-sand beaches, the all-night beach parties, and the cheap, delicious food (spicy curries and straight-from-the-ocean seafood). An open-air airport was added in 1989. Luxury resorts and pampering spas followed. Koh Samui was no longer a secret.

There’s still a secret off the coast of Koh Samui, though. Choeng Mon is a gorgeous beach bordered by a rock formation on the northeast shore. Fahn Island lies less than 1,000 feet from the beach. The six-acre island is covered with porous rocks, green gardens, and pristine beaches. As of two years ago, it’s also home to a luxury resort.

Photo: Cape Fahn

Cape Fahn Hotel certainly knows how to make a good first impression. The hotel has its own lounge—stocked with cold drinks, snacks, and wifi—on Choeng Mon. It’s only a three-minute trip, by a big-wheeled truck at low tide and a small boat at high tide, across a shallow channel to reach the island, where the front desk staff is awaiting your arrival. You immediately fall in love with the hotel’s simple, natural decor. Light wood. A white and taupe color palette. Blue decorations that blend instead of pop. Lots of natural light. It’s both elegant and beachy.

That vibe then flows into your Deluxe Pool Villa. A vaulted ceiling. A king-size bed with an ocean view. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open into—yes, into—your private pool. An outdoor shower. You’d be happy, thrilled really, with everything you see right away. But there’s more. That floating breakfast. Afternoon tea delivery. A bath butler. You may never want to leave your villa.

Don’t forget the rest of the hotel, though. There are three more salt-water pools on the island. A Moonlight Cinema is set up near the main one in the evening. The Cape Spa features strong Thai massages. Its fitness studio offers Muay Thai boxing. Other classes include Ram Thai dancing complete with traditional Hanuman costumes. While local flavors—line-caught seafood and Southern Thai dishes—are served on the terrace of Long Dtai, a new restaurant helmed by an Aussie chef who’s well versed in Thai food. Just don’t forget the hidden beaches that line Fahn Island. They’re the original luxury that first drew you to Koh Samui.

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