Friday, June 21, 2013

Varinda Garden Resort Koh Samui Inspection Report

I stayed at the Varinda Garden Resort in early June 2013. This small Thai family owned and run resort is located on the hillside at the southern end of Lamai beach. It's about two minutes walk from the beach and from Lamai centre where bars, restaurants and shops can be found.

I arrived in the evening as the sun was setting and immediately liked the place. The friendly greeting from the owner and the secret garden setting, full of quirky ornaments, provided a relaxed and welcoming vibe. There is nothing formulaic about Varinda resort, it hasn't been designed by numbers, it feels like it's been grown with love. Every room is unique, each painted multiple different colours that blend with the natural setting. The style will appeal to old hippies, wannabe eco warriors or anyone else who hates the idea of staying in just another identikit resort.

Varinda Garden Resort Lamai Beach Koh Samui
The gardens are full of quirky ornaments

My room was a Deluxe double room with separate living room and bedroom, both of which had large teak doors opening onto the balcony. It had a very nice view of Lamai bay which had me asking myself, why is this resort called Varinda Garden Resort and not Varinda Lovely Sea View Resort. I later realised that my room (number 39 if you want to request it) is the only one with a seaview, all the others are in a garden setting. 

Varinda Garden Resort Lamai Beach Koh Samui
Each room is individually styled

The best sea view is actually from the resort restaurant, a cool and breezy room with a rustic ambiance. Breakfast was included in the room price and if I hadn't been so busy doing all kinds adventurous stuff on  Samui day tours which picked me up at the crack of dawn each day I could have happily whiled away an hour there over coffee and croissants. Although the menu sounded delicious I never did eat dinner at the resort, choosing instead to eat in Lamai centre which has plenty of local eateries to choose from.

The swimming pool also overlooks Lamai bay. It's a small pool but does have a slide which you might fancy trying after a few cocktails.

Varinda Garden Resort Lamai Beach Koh Samui
Sea view swimming pool

The resort location will not suit everyone because it's not on the beach front and access to the beach, as well local restaurants and bars, is down some rather rickety steps. It's not ideal for pensioners with dodgy hips, it's certainly not wheelchair friendly. 

In summary, the Varinda Garden resort is an idiosyncratic resort. Not luxurious and not directly on the beach but full of unique character run by a charming local family who will make you feel very welcome. We are  happy to offer it as one of our Easy Day Thailand selected resorts.

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