A trop­i­cal par­adise where the pres­sures of mod­ern life seem­ingly melt right off you the very sec­ond you sip your first Mai Tai

GT (UK) - - TRAVEL -

the dis­tance and the ocean breeze run­ning through your hair. It took ev­ery fi­bre of our be­ing NOT to throw our iPhone into the is­land’s sur­round­ing wa­ters – which are, quite frankly, so ridicu­lously crys­tal blue they’re al­most a self­par­ody of them­selves – be­fore gath­er­ing up reeds of bamboo and hav­ing a crack at recre­at­ing our own Gil­li­gan’s Is­land.

To­day, Koh Sa­mui is a lot of dif­fer­ent things to a lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple. For ev­ery ca­bana-es­que beach bar or back­packer haunt, there’s an ar­ti­san eatery or fine dining brasserie. And while it’s no se­cret that Koh Sa­mui has be­come more com­mer­cialised over the years, with even a Star­bucks panoramic views of the en­tire is­land, au­then­tic Thai cui­sine and sig­na­ture cock­tails, it’s so easy to wile away the hours in a ham­mock that miss­ing your flight home soon be­comes a very real pos­si­bil­ity.

We stayed with the sim­ple, yet con­tem­po­rary, OZO ho­tels in both des­ti­na­tions, which is a new mid-mar­ket chain from the Thai­land-based group Onyx. Both of the ho­tels are in ab­so­lute stel­lar lo­ca­tions, too. The Hong Kong ho­tel – OZO Wes­ley Hong Kong – boasts res­i­dence on Hen­nessy Road, which is in the prime Wan Chai dis­trict, merely min­utes away from some of the best nightlife Hong Kong has to of­fer.

Mean­while, the Koh Sa­mui ho­tel

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