Hello! How are you today? I'm really well and enjoying my time in the UK. Michael, our son, is joining me for a holiday at the end of the month and bringing his little girl, Salina, with him! I’m really looking forward to seeing them as is my mother and, of course, our daughter, Charlotte, who has found a little job just near where she lives and is starting on Thursday. Also, the tenants in our house here have said that they would like to buy it, so I am organising valuations, etc, and we shall see where we go from there. I love that house and so enjoyed living in it, in fact we thought that we would live in it forever and would have done had we not embarked on this adventure. I must say though that we do enjoy living in Samui! Another piece of news here is that Robin’s old football club at Watton in Norfolk have just erected two new stands and are naming one after his father, Ken, who died five years ago. He also played for Watton and did so much for the club over the years. The other stand will be named after Robin’s dear friend Dick, who died in a fire last year, and who also played for Watton as well as supporting and sponsoring them. Alas, Robin will not be here for the opening on Sunday, but I shall represent the Worden clan and am very proud of my father-in-law whom I loved to bits. Dick was Michael’s godfather and I shall be very proud to be there for them too. I shall be meeting Simon, Dicks’s son who was back in Samui yet again earlier this year, and Simon’s mother, Margaret.
The weather in Samui has been brilliant. We’ve had some lovely return guests whom I have not been able to see like Cherry and Jeff, (thank you for your kind words on Trip Advisor), Theressa and Gary, (thank you too for your kind e-mails), Alan and Joy whom I spoke to before they left and shall definitely see when they return in July, Alan’s son Joe and his girlfriend, (so pleased you are enjoying your teaching, Joe), Kevin and Jacqueline who are really enjoying it there now and saying that they’ll be back as did Ron and Babs who were there recently and Estelle too. I know I have said this before, but it is such a pleasure meeting and chatting to all these wonderful guests. I just love it and look forward to returning. I see that Glen and Emi who are coming back soon for the ninth time are coming next year with Glen’s daughter and her partner. That will be good.
Norwich City are still in the Premier Division! What about that then? Phew! 4:0 too! I drove past the ground today and felt so pleased that the players and supporters could look forward to next season when the story could have been so very different. Fantastic news! Robin, Michael and I, (and any guests we can drag along), look forward to the matches which have been shown here in the village on a weekly basis. Let us hope that this arrangement will continue as we really look forward to supporting our team on a Saturday.
The staff have been working hard on the rooms and are just about to renew the bar roof. This is always very interesting to watch and no doubt our guests will be doing just that while they relax around the pool, sipping a cocktail perhaps and working on their tan.
Of course, you could be working on your tan too . . . why not send Robin an e-mail with your prospective dates so that he can reply straightaway with our availability? You could have a holiday sorted in no time. We’d love to see you!
Until the next time, take care of yourselves.
Very best wishes
Hi everyone from a sunny, but chilly UK which seems a million miles from Samui. One thing's for sure though, Samui is always in my heart. How could it not be?
Tomorrow is the start of the Low Season and our staff are already starting their seasonal tasks. For example, they'll be replacing the bar roof, re-varnishing the bar, painting and/or varnishing the chairs and tables, emulsioning inside/outside the rooms and all over the hotel including the kitchen, painting and repairing any furniture inside the rooms, cleaning and re-grouting tiled floors, laundering the curtains, cleaning around the pool, making sure all the sun beds are clean and white, manicuring the gardens even more than usual, plus a host of other things. We'll then put out our new sheets and towels, etc, and shall be ordering a few sun umbrellas to go around the pool. So, although we try to make sure that our little hotel is always in tip-top condition, we can only do the bigger jobs when we are quieter and there is no possibility of worrying the guests. Goodness, these years fly by! It seems that one minute High Season is starting and the next minute it is finishing and, before we know where we are, the next High Season is also upon us. Before the recession, of course, we were full practically all year and Low Seasons were just like High Seasons, but at least we are able to offer more availability these days which certainly has its compensations as we do not have to turn quite so many prospective guests away. And we love meeting new guests! And returning ones, of course!
Robin, Michael and I are feeling a bit jaded about the Norwich City football team. We were hoping to be in a comfortable worry-free zone now, but we are biting our fingernails as we are anxious about relegation. We MUST win on Saturday against Aston Villa who won 6-1 last night against Sunderland and whose manager was our manager last season. We have to win! Come on Norwich! As Delia would say, 'let's be 'avin' you!' - there is even a Letsbe Avenue just on the edge of the football ground these days in her honour!
Recently, Charlotte - our daughter - went to see Hayley, one of our returning guests who lives near London. Hayley has just opened her own estate agency which is in Woodford and which deals with some wonderful properties. Hayley gave Charlotte some valuable work experience there and now Charlotte is looking for permanent work in that field too. She loved her time with Hayley and we look forward to our time with her and her family too when she returns at Christmas with Kevin and Tain. A big thank you to all three of you, by the way, for your kind help and fantastic welcome. Hayley really loves the Friday Walking Street in Samui and has organised her holiday so that she has three Walking Streets! That’s a recommendation and a half, isn’t it?
So, if you’re not sure what to do for your next holiday, why not come to Samui and sample not only the Walking Street, but our little hotel and the surrounding area? Bophut is like the jewel in Samui’s crown and we’re sure you’d love it. Many super restaurants and boutiques are just a little walk away and we’re right on the beach here, you know, well just a few metres back from it anyway, and our view is to die for! Come and see us. We’ll look after you. Just send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability.
We look forward to hearing from you and take care until the next time.
Very best wishes.
Hello, hello, HELLO!! Lovely to be in touch again! I do hope you are all fine and that the weather is improving a little bit wherever you are.
As usual, we’ve had some great people here. Lian from the UK who lives in Hong Kong was here with her daughter, Erin, and their friends, Sonia and Meg, and they all had a great time. Lian and Erin were actually here for the seventh time, but hadn’t been here for six years, so were seeing the hotel with fresh eyes and put a review on Trip Advisor to say that the rooms looked like new, the gardens lush and the welcome still fantastic. Thank you, both! We heard from Chris back in Wales that his mother, Christine, is doing well and that her husband, Philip, is happy with the way things are going with her recovery. Nigel & Dianne came back for the second time – they’ve moved from the UK to Kuala Lumpur – and brought their parents, Pat & Arthur, with them and their children, Jamie & Sophie. All enjoyed it very much. Jan & Paul enjoyed relaxing yet again and Jan read a multitude of books, as usual. It was great seeing them and they are coming back in July too – in 14 weeks, they said. Sue, Paul and Archie came over from Abu Dhabi. Archie was only seven, but looked at least ten and, not only was he a great conversationalist, he had the face of an angel too. He went snorkelling with his parents and saw some beautiful coral, “like big, purple lights”, he said in amazement. He is looking forward to diving with his mum when he’s older and she very much enjoyed diving out at Sail Rock while she was here. Marissa & Adam were on their honeymoon from Boston, USA, and they had a good time, especially as they were in our Honeymoon/Superior room which they loved. Glyn & Emi, who enjoyed their eighth stay and who are coming back in July, recently booked for next February too which is great - always lovely to see them. Simon & Shelley were back yet again from Saudi which was lovely and Chris was here for a wedding from Glasgow in Scotland. He wore a kilt for the occasion, as did many other guests apparently. I should think that they were very hot, especially as they had to wear a special jacket too and the sporran, of course, and the thick socks and the leather shoes laced up the leg. Also I felt the weight of his kilt and it was heavy! At least the wedding was at 5pm, but still. Petrius, Pennie, Kate & Anna were also here from the UK – they’d been on a long trip and had stayed at about 45 other places, they told us, but said that this was the best. That’s very good to hear! They stayed in Room 7, our family bungalow which has two bedrooms and a sitting room and, having been shown all around it, Petrius came back to reception and exclaimed, “that’s not a room, Sue, that’s a house!” Other satisfied guests were Thea, Jacqui & Steve from the UK, Christina from Sweden and Gilad & Kobi from Israel.
The day before Songkran, I celebrated my birthday a day early with my friend, Penny. We decided to go to Prego in Chaweng and it was fantastic. We both had a glass of Prosecco and a pizza with smoked salmon and asparagus accompanied by a green salad. It was delicious! The Prosecco was cold and sparkling, (not warm and flat as I’ve been served elsewhere), the pizza was base was freshly risen, (not lifeless, hard and ‘bought in’ as I’ve also experienced), the smoked salmon was full of flavour, the asparagus was succulent and the green salad was fresh and crunchy and tossed in a high quality balsamic and oil dressing – all in all, a delight to consume. Then, much to my surprise, eight staff came out with a mouth-watering dessert and sang Happy Birthday. It was a lovely, lovely lunch. Later, Michael took me to the cinema to see Olympus Has Fallen with Gerard Butler, an actor I have seen in one or two films recently. It was certainly entertaining, if not a bit harrowing, the subject being an assault on the White House. I have to admit that Robin and I returned to Prego today and, again, enjoyed it very much indeed. I had a parma ham pizza this time - fantastic! Of course, they do offer many other dishes and Robin enjoyed Scaloppine which is veal in a wine sauce followed by profiteroles, although he did try my pizza and loved the base too.
Then, on my birthday, which is Songkran, the Thai New Year, I saw that Paul and Jan had left me a beautiful, hand-made birthday card, (thank you, Jan and Paul!), Rosie and Steve had sent me birthday wishes by e-mail, (thank you both and see you soon!), the staff draped jasmine and orchid garlands around my neck, Robin’s too, of course, a huge plant in a blue and white planter was Cooking’s glorious birthday present, a beautiful basket of flowers were given to me from the staff and a magnificent bright mauve orchid display from our flower man, Khun Jack. Then, suddenly, the staff were walking towards me singing Happy Birthday and carefully carrying a chocolate ice-cream cake with, luckily, not too many candles which I extinguished quite easily and then there were photographs taken of us all by many different staff cameras. You know, we are very lucky to have such kind and caring staff. I don’t know how many hugs I had! However, the weather was very grey and quite rainy on the day which marred the usual water fights, at least within our hotel grounds anyway although there were still groups of people on the roads, we’d heard. A very low key affair generally though and far more relaxing than usual. It may be because of the weather and because alcohol was banned in public places on Songkran - it was only allowed at home, so this probably cut out many road accidents and, consequently, deaths. Usually, many Thais die in tragic circumstances on this day, mostly brought on by over-consumption of alcohol.
Then, later on, we went to Classico for an early dinner. I chose fillet steak and Robin chose chicken. Very enjoyable. They were working with a skeleton staff that evening because of Songkran, but still did well. Not many restaurants or anything else were open in the village either, so Classico were busy.
Mr Chilli was closed too, but we managed to watch our football in the Billabong, the Australian bar – Norwich against Arsenal away. Don’t TALK about it!! We really thought we were going to win 1:0 with only 10 minutes to go, then BANG, they won 3:1. I shan’t even discuss the iffy decisions. Needless to say, we are desperate to win points next week against Reading at home.
I leave for the UK tomorrow and shall arrive in Norwich around lunchtime on Tuesday. I have lots to do there, as usual, and so shall be away from Samui for a few weeks. I shall still be in touch with Robin and Michael, obviously, so shall be able to bring you up-to-date news as and when it happens.
Meanwhile, have you thought of arranging a holiday? If you have, why not come to see us? Send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability.
You could be here in no time . . . I should be quite envious!!
Very best wishes and take care until the next time.
Hello! Have you been hoodwinked as it’s April Fool’s Day? I think Robin hoped he had because he couldn’t find his mobile. Alas, nobody had played tricks and he didn’t find it after all which was rather a depressing start to the month for him, not because of the mobile itself which was very inexpensive, but because of the loss of all his numbers. Michael has been advising him as to how he can possibly retrieve them, however, so he’s looking a little brighter this afternoon.
Oh, dear! I hear that the weather is still pretty iffy in Europe. Well, why don’t you come out here and enjoy the sunshine? It’s so w-a-r-m here, (38 degrees in the shade the day before yesterday), and it would do you good to get away for a while. Having said that, I’m returning to the UK myself for a little while in a couple of weeks, but I hope that the weather conditions will be a little more clement by then although I had heard that it could go on until May. I hadn’t planned on going back just yet, but there are matters I have to take care of, so needs must. As much as I love it here, however, I never mind going to the UK as I see my family and friends which is always a huge bonus.
I didn’t tell you last time, or the time before, but one of our lovely guests, Christine, who arrived with Philip about five weeks ago, suffered a very, very bad headache one day which resulted in a long and serious operation, well two, in fact. It was all very worrying and her son, Chris, flew out within 24 hours of her going into hospital. I know that many of you here at the time were most concerned. However, I am extremely happy to report that she is doing very well indeed, in fact I have just seen her. I am amazed by how well she looks, I really am, and I feel so positive for her, Philip and Chris, especially as they are all flying back to Wales tomorrow. These guys have been visiting Christine for hours every day and have been a tremendous support to her and indeed to each other. Apart from this awful experience, however, it has been a pleasure having them here - if only it had been under happier circumstances and Christine had been here with them - and I just said to her that we look forward to seeing her again when she’s better. We also found out that Chris was a singer/songwriter and he sang for us a couple of times which was tremendous and, one evening, he sang with Sharon, another of our guests who you may remember sang at my birthday last year and at Chris and Lamai’s wedding this year. We wish Christine, Philip, Chris and his family much health and happiness for the future and look forward to hearing increasingly good news about Christine as time goes on. Get well soon, Christine!
So, Sharon and Mark have gone, but are coming back next year, (their lovely son, Sean, and his friend, Lewis, who were also here last year, sent me a Mother’s Day card – how sweet was that?), Steve and Angie have gone, but say that they’ll come back with their children in the future, Tim, who’s been here since January, also left today to go into his own house and we’ll miss his smiling face, but we’re sure to see him at the hotel from time to time, (his Thai is coming along really well), John and Elaine enjoyed their stay again and say that they’ll be back, Paul and Jan arrived yet again yesterday and it’s very good to see them – they’re even coming back again as soon as July – Chris and Mary are here again and were only here last at Christmas and Peter returned to Switzerland, to his darling Trudy, and we look forward to seeing them again next year. Lian and Erin arrived yesterday – they stayed with us for quite a few years on the trot – and Lian says that, at last, she feels she’s home again. They’ve joined their friends, Sonia and Meg, who arrived the day before yesterday, so a good time is being had by all.
Mary is here from Australia to meet her twin, Catherine, and Catherine’s husband, Nick, from the UK, - Nick celebrates his 50th birthday while he’s here, Kevin and Jayne were here from the UK and we hope that they enjoy the rest of their holiday and come back to see us again soon - we wish them a very happy 28th wedding anniversary for this week too – Ian and Rosemary are here for the first time from Bahrain, Hillel and Ella were here from Israel with their two children, Yale and Michelle, (Ella’s sister and family were here last year and recommended us), and they say that they’re definitely coming back, Lisbet and Mans have returned to Denmark with their two children and we hope Lisbet is much better now, Vincent and Helen were here from the UK, Louise and Lau from Denmark, Ronit and Elad from Israel, Judie from the USA - we wish her a happy retirement and hope to see her again one day, (we were recommended to Judie by Neil, Mahroon and Amber in Pakistan – thank you all!), Rickmen and Nancy from the USA who live in Bangkok, Gerry and Jane from the UK, Bart and Sharon from Denmark, Ray and Duan from Bejing, Kafka from Israel, Maja and Shahram from Sweden, Gill and Tony from the UK and Scott and Scherell from Australia who were also recommended to stay here and they loved it so much that they are coming back with their four children sometime in the future. That’ll be good. Sharon and Ian, who were recommended to come here by friends, Janice and Kevin, enjoyed their stay too – thank you all. And Iustina and Theodore are here with Aoina and Simion from Romania who just told me that they are very happy, in fact extremely so. We did just receive a negative review from Haklon and Victoria from Norway who were here for three nights. They didn’t like the village and didn’t say that much about our hotel, but gave us a ‘2’ on Trip Advisor. I don’t think they spent much time here at all, so wouldn’t have enjoyed the happy atmosphere that is generated by guests and staff alike. I hope they enjoy the rest of their holiday.
Michael and Margaret, guests who’ve been here three or four times, decided to go to South Africa this year. We then received an e-mail from their hosts at a family hotel there saying that Michael & Margaret had been singing our praises and that they would like to come and stay here themselves. We look forward to their stay and thank you very much indeed, Michael and Margaret. We look forward to seeing you again in the future too.
A couple of points to remember: if you’ve travelled straight from home and only been in transit, you need to collect your baggage from International Arrivals then access the adjacent building by a moving walkway which will take you to the Meeting Point. Here one of our staff will be waiting for you, so look out for your name, and then you will then be whisked away, taken on a tour of the village and given a good welcome drink on arrival at our hotel. Also, don’t forget that it’s much better to change your currency to Thai when you arrive here and there is a bank in the village, just five minutes along the road. Do check your travel insurance too. We’ve had a few occurrences here now where that health insurance has been vital.
Before I write again, we shall be celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year which, as you may know, can be very wet indeed – not because of the weather, no, there should be no problem there, but because of the custom of sprinkling, (if you’re lucky), throwing, squirting or drenching anybody who passes by which apparently brings good luck. In order that I may have even better luck, however, I tend to keep myself tucked away in the office even more than usual, especially as it’s my birthday and our little Yorkshire Terrier Leo’s too. We prefer to keep dry, (Robin doesn’t – he’s in the thick of it all), but that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy hearing the fun and laughter going on outside. Our staff are very skittish that day and quite rightly so. Consequently, we close our restaurant at 2pm and work with a skeleton reception/bar staff for the rest of the day. Khun Mark, one of our staff who generally instigates a lot of the water gun incidents and throws all the staff into the pool, has left to return to the North of Thailand as his father died recently and he needs to help his mother. We were very sorry to see him go, but perhaps Songkran will be a little more sedate this year. I have a feeling that I shouldn’t have said that . . .
The Friday Walking Street continues to do well. Some very good music is played and a plethora of goods are on sale all along the street. I really wouldn’t want it every night as we love our peace too much at The Waterfront, but once a week it’s truly magical and deserves to do well.
Norwich played Wigan away on Saturday. We lost 1:0! Not a very entertaining game either. Next it’s Swansea at home, followed by Reading at home. Could do with a few more points . . .
Well, I’m in danger of overstaying my welcome, so I’ll toddle off now. Don’t forget that, if you feel in need of a good rest, look no further. Send us an e-mail and we’ll write straight back with our availability.
As Jan would say, you could be Samuied in no time . . .
Have just had a cancellation, through illness, in our Honeymoon/Superior Room at 4,150 Baht per night from Saturday, 16 March for 17 nights. Why not take advantage of this sudden availability and come out to see us? It's a great room and always popular. Just send an e-mail or complete the bookings form and we'll be in touch without delay. Best wishes, Sue.
Hi everyone! Hope you are happy and well.
The wedding was at 5pm and went wonderfully, especially as the day was full of glorious sunshine. There was an archway of ivory roses on the left side of our beach with petals to mark out the aisle and chairs for the guests either side, although many people stood to watch too. There was also another archway of ivory roses between the reception and the bar and ivory roses around the bar. So, the stage was set and its beauty was magnified by our stunning backdrop of the sea and outlying islands. Lamai was given away by her brother and looked beautiful in her ivory chiffon dress to the knee with its ruched strapless bodice and roses on the skirt. She wore gold shoes and carried an ivory bouquet. Her long, dark hair shone and was secured to the side with a flower. She looked radiant. Chris looked very happy indeed, in fact he probably couldn’t believe his luck, and was very handsome in his dark blue cashmere suit with white shirt, oh and Birkenstocks, his one concession to living on Samui. Simon, who conducted the ceremony, was also very handsome only this time in a cream linen suit and white shirt. He spoke clearly and genuinely and was brilliant in his new role. He looked so angelic and, when he stepped back behind the flowered archway, a ray of sunshine seemed to engulf him and I thought for a moment that he was going to be beamed back to heaven.
The happy couple made their promises, exchanged their rings and kissed. Lamai threw her bouquet high into the air and it was well caught by Raine who also looked lovely in a very simple little turquoise number. There were about eighty guests in all. The food was supplied by Shambala from Banrak and mainly comprised massaman curry, chicken with peanut, prawn salad, curried potatoes, spring rolls and chicken satay. It was delicious. The music was a compilation arranged by Chris and Michael and was very good, I have to say. Then Brett said later on in his speech that Chris couldn’t find a best man, so got two slightly good ones instead, himself and Patch, Chris’s brother. Both delivered excellent speeches as did Chris. It really was a memorable day in every respect. Of course, they nearly forgot to cut the cake and did forget the lanterns, but hey, they remembered the important things like the beers and the wine and the gin and tonics, etc, so everyone was extremely merry and didn’t mind anything at all.
And even I was able to slip off at 10pm with some guests and Robin, of course, to watch Norwich play Manchester United, even though we lost 4:0. No, I didn’t feel guilty about leaving the wedding to WATCH football. Robin PLAYED football on our wedding day after the ceremony and before the evening reception. It even got into two national newspapers: GROOM PLAYS FOOTBALL ON WEDDING DAY. But I can just hear you men. Did they win then? No, they didn’t, they lost 4:1 . . . Norwich could have won at home last Saturday against Southampton in the last minute with a penalty from Holt and he missed! I should think Delia was devastated. And this week it will be Sunderland away. Come on, you Canaries, we have to win!
Because so many of Chris’s friends were here from the UK, he and Lamai postponed their honeymoon until a bit later, well April actually when they are going to have another celebration for those friends and relations who couldn’t be here. And the friends who came here, I mentioned them all in my last notes, were really lovely people. I was so happy to see the returning guests and so pleased to put faces to the names Chris had told me about. Some of them are intending to come to visit us again, some even this year.
Rosie and Steve have arrived from the UK – lovely to see them for the third time – and Keith and Anne have been here again for the fourth time. Hayley, from the UK, who stayed with us a lot in the early days, surprised us with a visit and it was fantastic to see her. She has been very busy with work, but is determined to come back with her partner and son at Christmas. I think our daughter, Charlotte, may be visiting her in London soon too. Mark and Sharon from the UK are here on their sixth visit with Kerri, their friend, and they’re all enjoying themselves. Sarah and Jeremy, also from the UK, are here on their first visit as are Renske and Eduordo from Holland. Peter is still here from Switzerland, (Trudy had to return to work, but is intending to stay longer next year when they are returning for another 32 nights), and Lee and Louisa, marine biologists from the UK, stayed for a week in our Family Bungalow. Doug and Carol from the UK are here again, having just visited their daughter and grandchildren in Australia, Sue and Steve are here again with Sharon and Doug, also Dave and Anne are here again, (they’ve already booked for next year), with Michael and Jayne, John and Elaine are here again too as is Janet who is visiting her son on the island, (all those guests from the UK), Leon and Luci are here with Luci’s parents, David and Wendy, all from Capetown, South Africa, Deborah and Steven are here from Jersey of which I have fond memories and Richard and Angel have been here from China again and it was lovely to see them back too. Fran and Jimmy are back from the UK again and they’re enjoying themselves – they’ve even discovered a lovely Yoga class in the village called Yogarden which I’m going to check out quite soon. John and Yanee are here from the Netherlands, staying in our Family Suite, and Natalia and Bogdan from Russia have just left, but say that they’ll definitely be back for the fourth time next year. Yonatan, Shirli and Juval are here from Israel for the first time as are Jeff and Julia from the UK and Emilie and Steve have been here from the USA – he’s a fireman and paramedic and she is a nurse – what a combination! They say that they’re definitely coming to stay with us again. We’ve also just said goodbye to Jerry and Sarah, Deborah and Steven and Jeff and Julia, all happy UK guests. We also just said goodbye to Jose and Vero, from Belgium, on their second visit, and Alan and Lyn from the UK, on their third visit, and they all say that they are coming back in 2015. Tim is still here from Australia and his Thai is improving by the minute. He’s even learning to read and write Thai and enjoying it very much indeed, especially as our room maids help him with his lessons and play tricks on him on a daily basis.
I have always thought that people who are tied to their telephones are a little bit crazy. However, I am in dire danger of becoming one of these people myself because, since I took over Michael’s old iPhone, I have downloaded apps, checked e-mails, called my family with Face Time, searched on the internet, sent and received photos, etc, etc, and now I wonder how on earth I managed without it. Very well, I have to admit, but this makes things so much easier and anything can be done in a matter of seconds. Actually, Sue, one of our lovely Christmas guests here for the seventh time with Simon, was over the moon with her iPhone when she visited and now I know why.
Oh dear, I’ve probably bored you all to death. Sorry, once I get going, I can’t stop! I can really feel you all out there, you see, and it’s such a pleasure for me to be able to be in touch with you on a regular basis. Many guests tell me that they read my blog and even new guests come in and kiss and hug me straightaway because they say that they feel they know me already. How marvellous is that?
We’ve been very busy recently. Lots of new guests and a huge amount of return guests. We're so lucky. Why don’t you organise a trip yourself? We’d love to see you. Just send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability.
We’ll pick you up from the airport, take you on a tour of the village, (if you haven’t been before), give you a good welcome drink, take you to your room and then you can just chill and enjoy yourself in our little oasis.
Paradise Lost? This is more like Paradise Found.
Take care and very, very best wishes.
Hi everyone! Lovely to chat again. I know lots of you read this and I am so pleased! Thank you for your continued interest in our little hotel.
Things are hotting up here for Chris and Lamai’s wedding tomorrow and I shall tell you all about it next time. Simon has arrived again, but with his fiancé, Lyndsay, and her son, Ethan. They’re actually playing table tennis just outside at this moment. Remember that Simon was here a few months ago and was often texting his new girlfriend in the UK? Well, he popped the question not long after he returned and they’re getting married in July, in the UK though so we shan’t be seeing that wedding, unfortunately. We are so happy for them. Then Pete arrived again. Remember that he had started a motorcycle trip around the world, but badly hurt his leg and had to postpone his plans? Well, he’s almost A1 now and has changed his original itinerary by going east to west around the world instead of west to east. Lovely to see him again too – he’s already piling up the stories. Luke is here again as well, but this time with Klara and their little children, Louis and Maxie and Klara’s parents, Don and Jerry. Luke is quite the family man these days. Nicky and Richard are here with their little son, Dillon, Andrew is here with Maxime and their little daughter, Appelonia, Chris’s brother, Patch, is here with Claire and their son, Louis, Ben is here with his wife, Kirsty, Brett is here with Elena and Bertie is here with his wife, Andie.
Lamai’s hen party started on Tuesday with a drink at our bar, then dinner at Happy Elephant in the village which was very enjoyable, then to a ladyboy show and a couple of bars in Chaweng. The boys went to W hotel in Maenam on Wednesday for an aperitif or two, then Classico in the village to eat and then to Chaweng, also to see a ladyboy show, followed by a few drinks. A good time was had by all, although there were one or two sufferers the following mornings, it has to be said!
Sharon and Mark, who come to stay every year usually in April, arrived early this year with their friend, Kerri, as they wanted to come to the wedding too. Remember that Sharon sang at my birthday party last year? Well, I believe she could be singing again tomorrow. We shall see.
We’ve had Rob and Anna here from the UK, Alan and Karen from the USA, Andrew and Karyn from the UK with their lovely Thai daughter, Willow, who left yesterday morning, (Willow gave me a lovely picture which I have hanging on my office wall just in front of me – thank you, Willow!), Tim from Australia and Warren and Angelet from South Africa. Peter and Trudy are here from Switzerland too. They were staying elsewhere last year when they walked in to have a massage. They returned again and again and decided to book for 32 nights this year. We are so pleased they did as they are delightful and now the icing on the cake is that they have just booked for 32 nights next year too. How marvellous is that?
A couple of weeks ago, two rooms didn’t show one evening. A Chinese lady was to stay for two nights and an English couple for 13 nights. We waited and waited and waited, well into the night actually. Feeling rather miffed, Robin wrote to them both, three times, asking them why they hadn’t arrived. Apart from the disappointment of them not arriving, we were also actually rather worried about them. Three or four nights later, Robin came up to bed in a fit of hysteria. The English chap had written back. He hadn’t arrived or been replying to e-mails because he was in Lanzarote and, as Robin should have known as per his e-mail confirming arrangements on so and so and so and so, he was due to arrive with his wife in February 2014 . . . Before Robin told me, he asked if I could guess what the problem was and it came to me in a flash. Of course! I should have known! The exact thing happened a couple of years ago when we waited well into the night and, when the guest eventually arrived last year, I couldn’t wait to tell him that I had been waiting for him for a whole year! Well, we shall wait for these guests for a whole year now and look forward to meeting them. Never did hear from the Chinese lady. Oh well, p’raps she got caught up in some Chinese New Year celebrations. Hope she enjoyed herself, if that were the case, and we do hope she’s okay.
We heard from Peter and Dot this week. They are coming back next January for 28 nights so they’ll see Michael and Maureen who booked their fourth stay before they left last week which was great. We have Lyn and Alan here for the third time and it’s always a pleasure to see them. They celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary yesterday and enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Seaside Steakhouse. Just said goodbye to Gary and Sarah, here on probably their seventh visit. We had lots of lovely chats, especially one evening when Gary was telling us in great detail about his life as a helicopter pilot for the police force. Lovely to have Glyn and Emi here too, we think for the eighth time and they’re coming back in July. One evening at the bar, they told me that they had visited a couple of other destinations this year before coming to us, but found the staff in the first hotel unable to smile and, as there was no bar or area for guests to congregate in the second hotel, didn’t speak to anyone else there at all. They went on to say how happy our staff are and how it is so easy to chat to other guests here. Also they said that it’s like coming home when they come here - their second home, in fact, like an old, comfortable shoe. Isn’t that wonderful?
Told you last time that we were going to Classico for a special Valentine’s Day meal. It was superb, it really was and Hose and Vero, (who were here last year when Vero had to go into hospital for an operation and was kept in for the rest of her holiday), also had a table there and said exactly the same thing. The food was excellent, as was the service, and it was a memorable evening. We joined them back at the bar later, as well as other guests, and I am ashamed to say that we all crawled to bed around 3am. Oh dear, will we ever learn? They dined there again this week with Glyn and Emi and they all enjoyed it very much indeed.
Gervas, an old friend from Norfolk, arrived on Tuesday so was able to join the guys for Chris’s stag party. I haven’t seen him for quite a few years and it was good to catch up. He is actually Michael’s godfather and was very pleased to see Michael again and vice versa. He has been very complimentary about our little hotel too which is lovely and it has been a pleasure to welcome him here.
So, it’s been pretty busy here of late, one way or another, but still those lovely guests keep on coming. We’ve had three bad reviews on Trip Advisor recently, however, but we’re not worried about those. If people want to spend their holiday looking for fault instead of chilling and enjoying the moment, then that’s up to them, but they needn’t spoil everyone else’s life by being so negative or making out that our good reviews can’t be true. If it is so bad here, why are guests booking a year ahead as soon as they finish their holiday? Many of you have stayed with us time and time again, so you must enjoy it and many of you have taken the time and trouble to post a lovely review too. We can offer our booking records to anyone to check against the good reviews – we have nothing to hide. We are proud of our little hotel. If the chair covers happened to be a bit grubby for a day or two and a towel was not at its best in a room, then just ask for another or tell us about it, not complain to the world. We were actually very proud of our room maid at that time because she was working so hard over a 2-3 week period and often alone as her colleagues had gone off to the north of Thailand to visit a sick relative, then they had to stay on for the funeral, (see my notes of 1 Feb). To be honest, I was more concerned for the room maid at the time than expecting perfection which, quite honestly, we all try to achieve in life, but very rarely do.
No doubt you are or soon will be thinking about your own holiday. Why not think about coming to see us? Send Robin an e-mail with some prospective dates and he’ll write straight back with our availability. You could be here in no time . . . we’d love to see you.
Until the next time then, take care of yourselves.
Hello! How are you? I’m fine. I’m fine because we have so many lovely guests here and lots have been before, even at similar times, so many are saying hello to old friends. It’s great to see, it really is. February always is a popular month, (we used to come on holiday to Thailand in February), and we have already received bookings for next February. So, if you are thinking of coming next year, don’t leave it too long before you book.
We have Hose and Vero here for the second time. Poor Vero arrived feeling unwell last year and ended up in hospital for most of her holiday as she had to have surgery. It’s lovely to see them back again with Vero looking the picture of health and Hose being his usual wonderful self. He is taking her to Classico tonight because they are offering a special 5-course Valentine’s Day menu there which comprises grilled scallops with celery puree and saffron vinaigrette, followed by finely sliced yellow fin tuna with sliced fennel, parmesan and crème fraiche, then a lemon sorbet, followed by a choice of grilled sea bass fillet or grilled Australian beef fillet with exciting vegetables and finally tiramisu. Robin and I have decided to take a table there too, so that should be good. Hope I feel hungry enough though because I had lunch with my friend, Penny, today and we went to Sawadee a fairly new restaurant in the village which overlooks our spectacular view of the sea and outlying islands, as does Classico, of course. I had duck in red curry and she had chicken penang and both dishes were excellent – we’d certainly go again.
We’ve had Kathryn and Stephen here for the second time. They have a delicatessen and fishmongery in Wales and it looks marvellous on their website. They’ve popped over to Koh Phangan for three nights and are coming back again afterwards. They met Carol and John again who are here for the sixth time from the UK, Dave and Veronica who are here for the seventh time from the UK, Bridget and David who are here for the second time from the UK and Maureen and Michael who are here for the third time from Australia. Mike and Liz have just returned to the UK, having been here for the second time, as have Charlie and Rhona for the third time and Adrianne and Ivor for the second time. Glyn and Emi are coming tomorrow, must be for the seventh or eighth time, Gary and Sara coming soon for the fourth or fifth time, Alan and Lyn for the third time and Wendy and John for the second time. We are so lucky that these marvellous guests keep coming back. We’ve just heard that Mark and Alison, who only left last week, would like to come back next year for the whole month of January. We’ll look forward to that. We have Rebecca and Andrew on honeymoon from Australia, Eva and Ake from Sweden, (Eva’s brother was here a few days ago with his wife, Margit and we believe Eva has a special birthday tomorrow), Nimisha and Shashitosh from India on honeymoon, Jens and Line from Denmark, Bjorn, Ingi and Bjorn from Sweden who came back again after a couple of days as they loved being here, Dennis and Jennifer from the UK, Tim from Australia, Petris, Casper, Nicol and Michelle from Switzerland, Lee and Jason from the UK, Paul and Angie who used to live in Dubai, but who now live in UK again, Roger, Marilyn and their daughter, Jude, from the UK who have come to meet Jude’s sister, Rebecca who is living in Vietnam with her husband, Will, and their children, Lynne and Andy from the UK, Natasha, Tim and Frank from the UK, Henring and Else from Holland, Manuel from Colombia with Rekuliak from the Ukraine and Chris and Carolyn from the UK. Allen and Janice just walked in because they are not too happy with their present hotel and are talking about staying for a week in April at the end of their trip and perhaps two months next year. Hope they do.
I’ve just updated the restaurant notes that we have in our rooms as there have been a few changes in the village over the past year. These notes will be printed and laminated shortly to go into the information folders as will the hotel details which I’ve also updated. I’ve also sent out a note to each room today to warn the guests that we shall be having the rooms sprayed and gardens fogged tomorrow to keep mosquitoes, etc, at bay – a monthly ritual we adhere to so that the hotel is comfortable for our guests, but Khun Raine has just realised that tomorrow is Friday and we have the Walking Street going on just outside the hotel – not very comfortable for the stallholders and customers if the fogging wafts out there which, undoubtedly, it could, so we’re postponing that bit until Saturday. Also, we had to strip the mango tree a few days ago because the fruit kept dropping onto a bungalow roof. There’s such a disturbing crack when it happens, but still the fruit falls, so that’s an ongoing problem just at the moment. Our guests say that we shouldn’t worry as it all adds to the flavour of the holiday. See what I mean about our guests?
If you would like to come and be a guest too, send us an e-mail and Robin will write straight back with our availability. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from or what you do, if you enjoy peaceful surroundings with a fabulous view, just a short walk from other restaurants, bars and boutiques, enjoy a little chat with fellow guests and like to be looked after by staff who actually enjoy their work, come and see us – we’d love it.
Very best wishes
Hi everyone! February already! We’re enjoying lovely weather here and I hope that, if you are experiencing snow, gales or floods, you are not being too badly affected and that things will return to normal as soon as possible. Failing that, there’s only one thing to do – send us an e-mail and organise a holiday without delay! There’s a sunbed with your name on it, so what are you waiting for?
Have to admit that, however it’s been for you, we’ve had a smashing two weeks here. You’ll know how lucky we are with our guests, well they still keep on coming. We’ve had Alison and Mark from Keswick in the UK, Angela and Tamara from Switzerland, Dr Ian and Linda from the UK, (recommended to come here by Petra who has been here herself many times with Richard, Rumi and Rushi and whose mother-in-law, Ruth, was here recently), Aziz, Neelofar, Afsham and Maimood – I apologise if that spelling isn’t right - from Pakistan, (also recommended, but by Adolf this time who came here with Delores a few years ago), the Voltolinis and the Defasses from Paris who took the whole top floor and filled our hotel with constant laughter, Sarah, (who celebrated a special birthday whilst she was here), Barbie and Fiona – Fiona lives in Spain, but was from the same town that Robin was originally from and they spent a whole evening reminiscing – Tim from Australia who is moving out here for a while and who is already getting to grips with the Thai language, Peter and Judy from the UK, John and Christine from Jersey, Lynne and Adrian from the UK, Kylie and Kirby from Australia, Derek and Susan from Vancouver, Jane and Tony from the UK, Bjorn, Bjorn and Ingi Johann from Sweden, David, Ongar and Tanya from Australia, and then return guests Carol and John, Adrienne and Ivor and Mike and Liz, all from the UK. We have quite a UK contingent here, at the moment. It seemed that we were overrun with Australians recently and that was a good thing too.
The father of Khun Serm and Khun Mark was seriously ill recently so they went home to Issan with Khun Yen, Khun Serm’s husband, to see him. Sadly, he passed away and, as is the norm in Thailand, the prayers and the funeral take about a week. I know when we went to one of those days when we lost poor Khun Banjon some years ago in a motorcycle accident, his family invited us to sit and have lunch beside his coffin which was certainly a new experience for us, especially with poor Khun Banjon’s large photo looking down at us. Thais watch over their lost loved ones until the actual cremation which I find very endearing. They also look after their elderly. The young ones work and send money home to their parents and, if they have children, these are often sent to the grandparents too so that the income isn’t affected and childcare bills don’t have to be paid. They all help each other. Rather a lovely attitude, don’t you think? Poor Khun Arom, or ‘Cooking’ as we call her, has a very sick sister too, at the moment, and has been over to Phuket to see her. We really hope that she improves, although the signs are not good. We hate to see our staff upset. We’re so used to seeing them laughing and joking.
Don’t think I mentioned that we have a new nightguard/barman, Khun Sim. He has laughing eyes and a good understanding of English and we are very pleased to have him. He’s very popular with the guests too, so a welcome addition to the staff. We’re also having a new room maid, Khun Som, who has helped us out in the past and we look forward to welcoming her too. Apparently, she’s a very good cook, so that could come in handy one day!
Michael, our son, has treated himself to an iPhone 5 which he loves. And now I am the proud owner of his not very old iPhone 4 which I like too. I’m getting to grips with it and have just downloaded BBC radio which I very much look forward to enjoying.
Robin and I went to bed at 6am this morning – there’s life in the old dogs yet. We were in Chaweng watching Norwich City who kicked off against Tottenham at 2.45am. You may or may not care that the result was 1:1, but at least we earned a point. QPR next.
Sharon and Mark will be coming over yet again at the end of the month. They usually come later, but will be guests at Chris and Lamai’s wedding which is the beginning of March. A little bird tells me that Sharon may be singing on the day – she sang at my birthday last year which was absolutely marvellous.
The weather was a little unsettled, but now it is calming down and some of our guests are sporting some really good suntans. We’ve had lots of compliments about the hotel and our lovely staff and we’re very pleased indeed that so many people enjoy it here.
Why don’t you come to see us? Just send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability.
You could be sporting a suntan yourself in no time at all . . .
Very best wishes
I hope you are all feeling well and enjoying your start to 2013. Have you made New Year resolutions? Are you brimming with ideas on how to improve your life? Are you going to write that novel, paint that picture, run that marathon or do all the thousands of wonderful things you have always planned to do, but never have because you’re always too busy and so promise yourself that you will do them ‘when you have the time’? I am not going to go on about procrastination again, don’t worry, but we should try to incorporate something new into our life now and again, don’t you think? I’m verging on a drawing journal to bring out my latent artistic talent so I shall soon be able to produce large canvasses that will be discovered and bought by connoisseurs for huge amounts of money and shown in museums around the world. I also have a first draft of many thousands of words, written in 2010 during my last surge of creativity, just waiting to be edited and polished into a bestseller. So, I’m full of good intentions, (and something else, you might add), but I think I would find notoriety exhausting, don’t you? P’raps I’ll just start with the journal. At some stage. Have just finished reading The Creative License, (American spelling), by Dan Gregory, himself a journal buff, which I should have found motivating. I have to admit that it did motivate me into the storeroom this morning to glance over at my art things, but they were very difficult to get to and I thought I’d leave it for the time being. Well, I had to get to work. That one-minute walk downstairs in high heels and a pencil skirt, carrying a heavy shoulder bag, newspaper and coffee whilst holding back an exultant and exuberant little Yorkshire Terrier who wants to do it in 30 seconds can be quite taxing, especially in 35 degrees.
Recently saw in a delightful mother and daughter from Switzerland, Angela and Tamara. They know the island very well, but have never stayed at our hotel before and loved it as soon as they arrived. They are staying for 20 nights. Alison and Mark are here too, such a lovely couple from the UK. Mark celebrated his 50th birthday the other day and, amongst other things, went fishing at Top Cats which he loved. Apparently, it was his best birthday ever. We have a feeling that we’ll be seeing them again in the future. Fabian, (Spanish), and Claire, (French), built and ran Cocooning, a small hotel across the road, but moved to live in Ibiza five years ago. They are staying with us again and it’s super to see them. Kerry and Bryan are back again from Edinburgh and it’s lovely to see them too as it is Ruth, back from the UK with another returning couple, David and Anne, who all look very happy to be here. Chris & Beryl are due here again this evening and John & Carol next week – all from the UK – and it’ll be great to catch up again with them too. We have a lovely family from Malta, another from Australia, another from Brazil, another from the USA and two from the Netherlands. Quite a cosmopolitan bunch we are here at The Waterfront. The weather is a little in and out at the moment though, (still some great days), but will surely settle into its constant hot and dry routine fairly shortly – it has to, Carol is on the way!
Bought Robin a Kindle Fire for Christmas after all and he was very pleased with it. Haven’t seen it being used much yet, but then he has some good books on the go already. I’ve just enjoyed How to be an American Housewife, the first book by Margaret Dilloway, about a young Japanese girl who married an American at the end of the second world war and went to live in the States, and am just about to start another Val McDermid, (yes, Jan, thought I’d buy one on the way over – hope you and Paul are well), entitled Trick of the Dark, which promises to be good and then A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks, well after Chris has read it anyway. He found it in our library today. That’s Chris who’s getting married at our hotel to Lamai, one of our receptionists - in March actually. That should prove to be a day! A DAY IN MARCH could be the working title of my bestseller and, with a bevy of characters from which to choose, (hello Simon, hello Luke and hello Pete in case your ears are burning), I can feel my fingers tingling for the keypad already.
A good New Year resolution for you would be to make sure you organise a fantastic holiday. Well, look no further. Here we are! Send us an e-mail with your proposed dates and we’ll write straight back with our availability. We’d love to see you.
P’raps, in the future, you’ll be able to buy my book on the way over. If you're not too busy writing yours, that is . . .
Until the next time.
Happy New Year! May 2013 be a really good one for you.
I am back in the fold! Here with my husband, Robin, our son, Michael, and our staff – and our lovely guests who are from Canada, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, USA and the UK. All really super people. Mick and Debs are back again, not wasting a minute, packing in as much as they can, always smiling and chatting and Sue and Simon are here with their daughter and son and their partners, that’s Emily and her boyfriend, Phil, and Sam, and his girlfriend, Elli. Sue’s sister, Penny, lives on the island with husband, Patrick, and they all spend as much time together as possible with Penny putting on some fantastic fare for them all, when they’re not dining out, that is. The two sisters are very close and, if they haven’t seen each other for a while, one arranges a surreptitious trip to the other – earlier this year, Penny made a surprise visit to Sue in the UK, a wonderful feat organised by Penny and Simon. I was let in on the secret and it was all planned in meticulous detail. Great fun and, needless to say, Sue was over the moon. Another Sue arrived from Australia today with her husband, Ian, their last visit being four years ago. They were very pleased to be back, as we were to see them again. Their friends had been here earlier in the year too. Chris and Mary are back yet again from the UK, with their son, another Chris, his wife, Clare, and their two children, all here to have a good time, of course, but primarily to see Chris & Mary’s daughter, Lisa, who also happens to be the headmistress of the amazing International School of Samui.
We’ve had a bit of rain, especially last night which was a real shame for everyone. There was a power cut in half the village early in the evening and the restaurateurs especially were very downcast, but when the lights came on the situation improved dramatically and some of the table bookings which had been cancelled earlier were soon filled again by hopeful diners walking in on spec. Lots of beautiful fireworks were banging and flashing at midnight and the usual elegant lanterns wended their way across the night sky until they could be seen no more. And so another year commenced.
Have you planned this year’s holidays yet? Are you thinking of coming out this way? I was speaking to Lisa from South Africa yesterday and she said that she was so pleased their family had decided to stay here. She said they felt really welcome and at home, ‘at home’ being a phrase used by Chris at the bar last night whilst explaining his feelings about the hotel and why he and his family return so often.
If you are thinking of coming to stay, send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability. We’d love to see you. We’ll pick you up from the airport, take you on a little tour of the village, welcome you to our little hotel, serve you a beer, gin and tonic or something similar then show you to your room. At some stage, we’ll introduce you to other guests and, in no time at all, we hope you will start to feel ‘at home’ too.
So, after the busy schedule I had in the UK, I am back at work in Samui. Having done the salaries today, I have seen two lots of guests in, shall see another couple in shortly and then I shall be gearing up to watch Norwich play West Ham at 10pm this evening. Not a bad day’s work, eh?
Take care, enjoy this year and do come and see us!
Hi everyone! Hope you’re all well and looking forward to the festive season – we’re already welcoming Christmas guests actually. However, one gentleman had to cancel yesterday, his due day of arrival, as his daughter had been in a car accident. We are very sorry to hear this sad news and wish her a speedy recovery. From the hotel point of view, this means that, having been booked for this period for quite a while, we are able to offer one of our beachfront bungalows sleeping two from now until January 1 with the proviso that the booking is made for a minimum of six nights. So, if you’ve been wishing that you had arranged a Christmas away or suddenly feel that you may like to spend Christmas away, (a lovely surprise present if you’re still stumped for suggestions), send Robin an e-mail and he can book you in. There are still some good prices on flights if you look on e-bookers.com – some days are a lot less expensive than others – or you may have your own very helpful agent to book your ticket for you. You could be winging your way over in no time at all.
I shall not now be in Koh Samui until 30 December. Having been busy in the UK for quite a while, I feel that I cannot leave my mother and daughter at the last moment and have decided to spend the Christmas period with them. They are very happy about this as am I, of course. Both Robin and Michael, our son, quite understand and I look forward to being with them for the New Year. I am sure our guests will understand too as they will be enjoying time with their own families. I look forward to meeting them all on my return.
How heartbroken those families must be in the USA who lost their children or partners in the fatal shooting at the little nursery school yesterday! I am sure you feel just as upset about it as I and every little child I have seen today has reminded me of it. Has it also made you realise how we worry about trivialities on a day to day basis and that very little of it is important? Surely loving one another is the top priority and unfortunately it can take such a catastrophe to wake us up to the fact.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas wherever you are. I look forward to writing again with more news and to meeting as many of you as possible in 2013.
Give each other a big hug from me.
Very best wishes
Hi! How are you?
It’s pretty cold here in Norwich today and, although it has been dull and rainy, the sun is shining just now. Robin says it’s raining in Koh Samui, but I bet it’s still beautifully warm – certainly not scarf and glove weather, that’s for sure. I’ve even purchased an electric blanket for my bed, so that proves how cold I’ve been finding it here.
My goddaughter, Francesca, arrived at the hotel this afternoon with her friend. They have just finished their studies and are travelling around Asia for three or four months. Tonight, however, they are staying in our Honeymoon/Superior Room so are enjoying a touch of luxury for a change. I spoke to her earlier on the phone and said that I was sad she was seeing the hotel in the rain rather than the sunshine, but she said that it was still beautiful and that she was so pleased to be there. What a shame I can’t be there too! Have a lovely time, Francesca.
I have been helping our daughter, Charlotte, find a job and a flat. We have the flat now and have our fingers crossed that she will have found a job in a few days’ time. It’s certainly not easy for even the best educated to find work these days, is it? The majority of jobs have to be applied for online too – you very rarely get the opportunity to present yourself personally to the powers that be. She has a trial on Sunday though and I am keeping all my fingers crossed.
December 1 tomorrow. Where has this year gone? Nearly eight months since my birthday, so yet another one is rearing its ugly head. But every cloud has a silver lining and our Peak Season starts soon with our Christmas and New Year guests coming to stay. How lovely that will be!
Friday walking street again today. Let’s hope that the rain subsides for it. As I’ve said so many times before, the stallholders put so much effort into making this little market such a success and it’s great for the holidaymakers and locals alike. Good for stocking up on Christmas presents too.
Are you gearing up for the festive season? Are you well prepared or one of those last minute people? Whatever you are, save a thought and some cash for your next holiday and come to see us. In fact, send an e-mail now with some prospective dates and Robin will write straight back with our availability. Nothing nicer than having a lovely, warm, relaxing holiday to look forward to whilst braving the cold climes, the endless shopping trips and the festive furore even though that can be great fun too, of course.
Whilst you're braving the queues at home, you could even pick up a little bikini or a pair of shorts in the sales . . . lots of offers on cameras, I notice, or what about a Kindle Fire?? Just right for your hols . . .
Take care until the next time.
Can't believe it's two months since our wedding anniversary and only a few weeks to Christmas. I have been here just over six weeks and it's gone in a flash. Haven't finished all I have to do here though.
Still, at least Robin is holding the fort – very well too, I might add – and all the guests have been enjoying themselves very much indeed, apart from one gentleman who reported some cash missing from his safe which all sounded very suspect to me, I'm afraid. Our room maids have been with us for years and are part of our family – they wouldn't prejudice their good relationship with us or their good reputation for the sake of a few Baht. Our staff are very loyal as our regular guests can testify. The guest in question obviously didn't realise how well we all know, work with and love each other in our little hotel. None of us would dream of taking from our guests, we just want to give them as much as we can so that they'll come back to see us again which they often do, many times over. I am so sorry this gentleman's cash was missing, but I think he perhaps made a mistake, especially as the master key was in the office with Robin for the entire time that the guest left his room to go to the village. I would stand up for my staff, as would Robin, until the bitter end. Loyalty works both ways here. Also, our staff are well paid for what they do and, if they should need anything at all, they only have to come to us and ask, either for pre-salary or an interest-free loan and I can assure you that we are always extremely sympathetic to their needs. We don't like our staff to be unhappy and, as has often been mentioned in past reviews, they are to be seen laughing and joking most of the time – especially the room maids. They wouldn't jeopardise their honour and livelihood or undermine the reputation of us or our hotel. I hope that puts any doubts to rest.
Robin says the weather has been very good, although Michael, our son, says today that it's a little bit cooler – 26 degrees though, which would suit me that's for sure. I'm sitting here in the UK in boots, long socks, warm trousers, a jacket and an over jacket with gloves waiting to be put on again when I leave the warmth of this little nest of a library. I didn't bring my laptop with me, stupidly, but I do love libraries and have borrowed some terrific books whilst I've been here, like a some of P D James and Ruth Rendell, Maurice Saatchi's new book on his wife, Josephine Hart, and her love of poetry, art books too like a good one from Charles Reid, and I've ordered another new one by Kaffe Fassett on his life story, such a talented and creative man.
All the rooms at the hotel have been brought up to scratch although it wasn't a big job as we are constantly checking for repairs and repainting, but we always do a bigger overhaul in the low seasons. All the furniture is repaired and repainted too, in fact very little escapes our eagle eye. We like everything to be in tip top condition for our guests so that they can just arrive and enjoy. We don't have to do anything to the view, of course. That just sits there in all its glory. How lucky we are!
Well, I've just helped the lovely lady next to me with her computer and I can hear the ladies chatting in another corner as it seems to be a Knit and Chat morning – how sweet is that? We tend to have a Drink and Chat evening fairly regularly at the hotel . . . . thankfully the rooms are not too far away.
Come and see us. Have a look through your agenda, find a space and vow to yourself that you'll fill it with a visit to our little hotel. We'd love to see you. Just send Robin an e-mail as soon as you can and he'll write straight back with our availability.
Friday Walking Street today . . . you could be there soon . . .
Take care of yourselves and I'll write in a couple of weeks.
So sorry I haven't kept to my normal schedule of every fortnight. I did say before I left Samui that, because of outside influences, I may not be able to be as punctual as usual and this has unfortunately happened. I do apologise. It has mainly come down to the fact of not being able to get internet in the local library last week and having a full schedule since then with hardly a moment to breathe. I am beginning to see the wood for the trees, but am still very, very busy with family commitments. So, just a short note today and then a longer appearance next week.
The weather has been good in Samui for this time of year and Robin has welcomed some very nice guests, many of whom say that they will definitely be back. I am sorry I haven't met them and hope to meet them next time. Hello to you all!
The staff are all very busy making sure that the hotel is painted, repaired and up to scratch for the next high season which, of course, is just around the corner. Christmas will be here before we know it and all the shops here in the UK are full of goods, tempting you to buy as many as possible. Christmas in Samui is a very low key affair and lovely for it. It feels a special time, but with no stress, constant advertising or manipulation. We enjoy the festive season in a relaxed way. Superb. We are full already and very much look forward to seeing our lovely guests.
If you're thinking of visiting us before or after, just send Robin an e-mail and he'll be happy to write straight back with our availability.
Life is slower there. You really do just live for the moment.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
Why not come and see us?
Until next week, I send you my very best wishes.
Hi everyone from chilly UK. I am sitting in the library here wearing a woolly scarf – not by itself, I hasten to add - and I had a hot water bottle to keep me warm in bed last night, so I am missing the usual Koh Samui sunshine. I believe the weather is pretty similar across Europe, although I'm sure it's fine in other parts of the globe. I hope all of you on holiday in Samui are enjoying yourselves. No doubt you're basking around the pool at this very moment. Make the most of it if you're returning home to cooler climes. As they say, winter draw(er)s on.
Michael, our son, is looking forward to going to the Kuala Lumpur motorbike grand prix next weekend. He's going with Chris - you know, the one who's getting married at the hotel in March. I hope they have a great time. Funnily enough, Michael just rang me, so I had that embarrassing moment of answering my mobile and having to whisper that I'd ring him back later. Of course, he couldn't hear my whisper, so everyone in situ had to hear my garbled refrain. I am expecting another call too which will now be doubly embarrassing. It's a good job that they know me here in this little local library. I love libraries though, don't you?
We're full for Christmas and the New Year. Lots of super guests coming to enjoy their festivities, so it should be lots of fun. We'll write to them soon about the Christmas meal which is in no way compulsory, of course, and shall ask them nearer the time if they wish to partake of our New Year party too. Last year, although we were full over the whole period, nearly all the Christmas guests had left by New Year and new ones had arrived. Consequently, we didn't have a New Year's party at the hotel because there was no time to ask prospective guests or to arrange everything, so many of us met to eat in the village and copious amounts of alcohol were consumed – not by me, of course, how on earth would you think that? - and everyone rolled home at various times of the night, or morning to be more precise. Lots of fun and laughter was had by all.
If any of you met Jim whilst you were enjoying yourself last year or had met him before when he stayed at the hotel, very sadly he had a fatal heart attack earlier this year and so we shan't be seeing him again. He had been a sports journalist for many years at the Daily Mail in the UK and was really looking forward to working on the Olympics. He bought a house in Samui about three years ago, so he was a frequent visitor and he was always calling into the hotel with unbelievable tales which would have us all in fits of laughter. Such a lovely man and so very, very sad. We shall miss him greatly.
Another Happy Birthday to Peter for the 21st. Unfortunately, it's not your 21st, but hey, who cares? I hope you and Dot have a great time and am posting the card today, but it won't be an original like the one Dot made me, I'm afraid. No doubt she's making a very special one for you. Take a photo and send it to me – unless it's X-rated in which case I'd better pass.
I'm very busy here. There's always something to do when I return to the UK. Perhaps I can twist Robin's arm to whisk me away on holiday when I return. The problem is that I can't prise him out of the hotel. He is quite happy there, thank you very much. Well, I suppose it's a good advertisement for The Waterfront!
I have to go now as I am helping to move furniture out of a flat and into a house for our daughter and the transport has arrived. So, get your thinking cap on and decide when you're going to join us in Samui for a really good holiday. Send an e-mail to Robin and he'll write straight back with the availability. You could be booked in 20 minutes later . . .
Take care and look after yourselves.
Very best wishes
Hello everyone. Hope you’re all okay and enjoying life! Things are just fine here, but then why shouldn’t they be? Here, in our little corner of paradise, guests arrive with a big smile on their face and often leave with an even bigger one saying that they’ll definitely be back. How good is that?
Friday Walking Street continues to be a big hit in the village. Unfortunately, if there is any rain about, it seems to appear on a Friday evening so that’s been a slight drawback on occasions. But nothing seems to faze the Thais if there’s an opportunity to boost the family income, so they batten down the hatches and stand there stoically waiting for the rain to stop – which it does, of course, and they resume trading, still with the biggest smile they can muster.
We celebrated a wedding anniversary and Robin celebrated his birthday within the last couple of weeks, both nights enjoying dinner at La Taverna, an Italian restaurant in Chaweng. It was quite funny on our anniversary actually as we both handed each other a shiny, black carrier bag. Inside mine was a white box of Armani perfume and inside his was a white box of Bulgari eau de toilette – we’d both been to the same shop and this was a very amusing start to the day. As far as his birthday was concerned, Robin hadn’t been able to decide recently whether to buy himself an iPhone, an iPad or a Kindle and I thought I’d get him one of these as a present. Not worth getting an iPhone until the new one is out here and not being able to buy a Kindle here anyway, it had to be an iPad, but he didn’t seem at all keen when I mentioned it to him. What does one buy for the man who has everything? Nothing, is the answer, not yet anyway. P’raps I’ll buy a Kindle from Amazon and have it sent to him whilst I’m away. Guests certainly love them, especially when travelling, which is obviously proven by the smaller amount of books being left in our library these days . . .
A little while ago, whilst dining out, we were offered a glass of Limoncello at the end of the meal. It was presented on a coaster which flashed red, yellow, blue and green. The colours were reflected in the drink and it was very effective indeed. We asked if we could buy some and were told that we could not as the restaurant had very few now and couldn’t obtain any more. Robin was very taken up with these little novelties, as was I, and he did lots of research over the following period and managed to acquire a couple of samples, not exactly the same, but probably better actually. We have shown them to guests who have been so delighted that they’ve wanted to buy them too. Consequently, Robin ordered some which we’ve already sold, (quite a few to the restaurant where we first saw them as well), and now he’s ordered some more. No doubt you’ll see them used sometimes at our own bar and, if you’d like to buy some to take home, just ask. I’m not going to say that they’ll drastically change your life or anything, but they will bring a smile to your face and anybody else’s too when you serve them a drink.
Norwich drew 1:1 against West Ham, then lost 1:0 against Newcastle, then were annihilated 5:2 by Liverpool. When I told Mike, one of our guests, that I was going to watch the last game, he said that I should wear black. Well, I am wearing black today because of the result. And they played so well last week! And I think it’s Chelsea next! Ouch! Come on Norwich!!!
Chris, a many times return guest who now lives out here and Lamai, one of our lovely receptionists who has been with us many years, are planning their wedding in March and it should be super. Lots of his friends are coming over from the UK, many of whom have been here before. We’re all looking forward to it enormously.
Just a little early special birthday wish for one of our guests, Peter of Peter and Dot fame. He is celebrating a big one on 21 October and, though I shall write again before then, I believe his celebrations are starting early and carrying on, well, indefinitely, if I know him at all. I think Dot should be congratulated for keeping him in such good condition actually. Anyway, I wish them both a very happy time. Happy Birthday, Peter!!
Went to 69 for lunch again last week to see Khun Vivian. He really is so good with his guests. He only has a few tables, but he cooks the food himself which is delicious and presents it beautifully. Certainly worth a visit when you come to see us.
Which I hope will be soon. Just send us an e-mail with the dates you’d like to come to stay and we’ll write straight back with our availability – or rather Robin will as I’ll be in the UK being a mother to our daughter and a daughter to my mother and I’m looking forward to it immensely. I’ll still write whilst I’m there though so, until then, take care of yourselves - and book that holiday soon!
Hi everyone! Can’t believe it’s the middle of September already, but then I know that I’m always saying this sort of thing. Our guests are always amazed by how quickly their holiday goes too and I have tried to slow down the clocks, but it doesn’t seem to work. Oh well, another excuse for another holiday.
Simon duly arrived for his seventh visit, primarily to see Chris who had been a guest thirteen times and who moved out to the island a year ago this month to be with Lamai, one of our lovely receptionists. Simon had been working hard and was in dire need of a rest, but something or rather someone new in his life was making him feel that perhaps he should have postponed his holiday after all and was seriously considering an early return home. We convinced him that it would do him good to stay, to have a good rest and to return rejuvenated which was indeed what happened. Texts were flying to and fro whilst he was here, as well as lots of Facetime, and we hope to meet the lady in question in March when Chris and Lamai’s wedding takes place. It was great seeing you again, Simon, hope you had a good reunion and thank you so much for taking Robin, Michael, Chris, Lamai, Raine and I out to dinner before you left – it was a superb meal at Classico.
We have Dana and Pavel here on honeymoon from the Czech Republic, Emma and David here from the UK, also on honeymoon and have just said goodbye to James and Kelsea from Canada who were on honeymoon too. We wish you all lots of love and happiness for the future.
Chris was here with Margrit and I mistakenly told you before that she was German. She was actually Swiss and we managed a couple of long conversations whilst they were here when she told me all about her interesting life in Zambia and South Africa and her work as a photographer there. She also paints, weaves and makes her own clothes from the cloth, makes silk scarves which she also paints, makes silver jewellery and, because she has a bad back these days, has made raised flowerbeds at waist height in her garden. And there’s me who wants to do so many artistic things and I do none of them at all. ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’. How true. They have decided to come back again next year and I look forward to seeing them then with, hopefully, something to show them of my own. Or not.
Michael and Maureen from Australia, (she’s Irish and he’s Scottish), enjoyed their second stay and chatting their way through their holiday – such a friendly couple and we look forward to seeing them again in February. (Thank you so much again for the wine, by the way, M & M). Shirley and Brian, who love to travel, left yesterday to return to Capetown which always sounds so beautiful, (they said that, if they ever come back to Samui, they’ll definitely stay with us), and coincidentally we have John and Lauren here with his mother, Liz, and their children Samantha and Michael, also from Capetown. Caroline and Caitlin are sisters whose Chinese parents moved to the USA many years ago – they have another sister too - and these girls are very well educated and quite delightful as well as being very pretty too. I wish them well in their future careers. Jon from the UK and his lovely Swedish girlfriend, Malin, live in Abu Dhabi. They have been here for a wedding, as has their friend Gideon from the UK who also lives in Abu Dhabi. These three are really very friendly and it has been a delight having them here. We also have Chris and Philippa from the UK, with their daughters, Josie and Maddie, again all very, very friendly and chatty. Chris works in Borneo and returns home to Bristol after each stint away. Ohad and Merav from Tel Aviv arrived here yesterday with their children, Oki and Aya, who were so excited because we had a little rain when they arrived and they hardly ever have rain at home. Karen, who worked with a charity for children, came to stay from Queensland. She enjoyed her stay and we wish her well with her work. Yin and Frank have just arrived from from Los Angeles, we hope they enjoy it, and Rick and Jacquie, who love Thailand, are here from the UK. Having already stayed on Samui a couple of times before, they thought they’d try Bophut Fisherman’s Village and “it’s suited them down to the ground - just a short walk to lots of good restaurants, bars and boutiques and the Walking Street on a Friday.” Jane, Lindsay and Marietta were also here from New York, having been at a country development conference in Bangkok. They found it very relaxing here so hopefully their batteries were charged for the next stage in their busy schedule. Silvana has arrived with Paul whose Dutch and they both live in Wellington. No doubt they'll be chatting to the others before long.
Have been reading quite a lot. Just wanted Jan to know, (of Paul and Jan fame, guests who’ve been here twice this year already – well, so have Maureen and Michael, I know), that I have just read The Retribution by Viv McDermid. I don’t read crime, Jan does – hugely, on holiday. She left this one behind and I had come to the end of my book pile with nothing in our library to tempt me and thought I’d give it a go. I read it, with breaks, over a twenty-four hour period. Couldn’t put it down. So now I’ve raided our library for crime and have found eight books to read. I suppose the good thing about this sort of writing is that there’s always something happening, you’re always guessing and trying to outwit the character you’re reading about and you always feel in suspense, I suppose, and therefore constantly turning the page. Obviously there are gory bits, but you seem to look on or behind them in a detective’s or psychologist’s way – says she after one book. Very entertaining though. Thank you, Jan. No wonder you get through so many of them!
Actress and TV personality, Denise Van Outen, popped in to see us one evening with her PA and close friend, Tamara, but alas we were out. She was a guest in 2004, but had rented a villa this time to be with her husband and daughter and other friends too. We were so sorry we missed her. I shall, of course, be watching her on Strictly Come Dancing when I return to the UK at the end of the month and wish her well with that. I believe it starts in the UK this weekend. I’m always amazed by the weekly improvement of the contestants, but am very rarely able to see many programmes as I’ve needed to jet back to Samui. So, yes, I’m off to see my mother and our daughter again and we’re all really looking forward to seeing each other. Robin will be holding the fort here and doing a great job, as usual.
I’ll sign off now. Have to preserve my energy for the Norwich match this evening at home against West Ham which has an early kick-off, I believe. I shall be sitting at the bar, with Robin, at Mr Chilli in the village and hopefully doing more cheering than groaning. Wish us luck!
Come and see us soon. Just send us an e-mail and we’ll write straight back with our availability.
Until the next time then, take care and don’t you procrastinate either, especially if you’re thinking of coming to see us . . .
We’ve had a very busy time since I last wrote, although it’s quietening down a little now. Glyn & Emi who live in Geneva, (he’s Welsh and she’s Japanese), were here for the sixth time and took Lamai, Bla who used to work here, Supee, Serm, Pa, Robin & myself out to dinner to Krua Bophut, (Krua means kitchen). We had a large table down on the beach which has been made into a very pretty area indeed and we had a lovely evening. Thank you, Glyn & Emi!
Liz, Ben and their lovely boys, How or Hal, (I’m sorry, I never could get to the bottom of that one!), and Freddy from the UK had a lovely time at the recommendation of their friends, Lisa and Peter, and stayed in our Family Bungalow. They were a lovely family and we hope to see them again. Neil and Zanna with their two children from the UK also enjoyed their stay and Barney learned to swim whilst he was here which was super. In fact, they hardly left the hotel saying that everything they needed was right here. Lucy & Andrew are here now for the second time from Australia with their two children, Emily and Hughie, and have been to yoga every morning whilst the children have been cared for by Khun Carol.
We’ve had some honeymooners too, like Lizzy & Carl who say that they are definitely coming back, here at the recommendation of Andy & Emma who’d stayed here twice themselves, Paul & Karen from the USA who stayed just one night before going to another island, but who regretted not staying longer, and Florian & Brigitte from Germany who said that it was everything they dreamed of in a honeymoon.
We’ve had the two Stevens from Australia who were wonderful and they became friends with Spanish Carlos and Belgian Marc whilst they were here. Such great guys, all of them, and I do hope we see them again soon. Gil from the USA and Niv from Israel are here just now and are having a great time.
Another family from Belgium were here, Patrick & Tanya with their beautiful daughters, Romy & Zita and they very much enjoyed their stay; Shiripad & Prasad from India were a delightful couple who were always smiling; Adrian & Christina were here from South Africa for a short stay; Stefano, a great Italian guy from Switzerland was so sad that he wasn’t staying longer; Joanna, from the UK, here to relax before starting yet another stressful job; Jacqui from Australia, here to finish four screenplays – a great girl and I should love to have asked her more questions, but she was needing to meet a deadline, I know; Amy & Hannah, two good friends from the UK, Chris & Margrit from the UK, (Margrit is German and just lovely), and many more whom it has been a pleasure to meet.
I usually mention our guests so that you can see we have lots of guests from all over the world, many of whom return again and again. It is such a pleasure to meet these people and our life is thoroughly enriched by them.
One of our palm trees is dying and Robin asked Khun Mark to make a table around it and a small shade on top so that we don’t have to cut it down altogether. It is just near and the same height as the bar so will no doubt be used on those busy alcoholic evenings that we have known so well or perhaps during the day for snacks instead of a table on the decking. Now we are searching for another palm tree to plant so that we may have continued shade in that area.
Last week, Robin and I went to dinner at La Taverna, an Italian restaurant in Chaweng and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We usually only have one course, but this time we had three starting with oysters which were excellent. Earlier in the month, we’d been to 69, featured on Trip Advisor, which is run by Vivian who is very sweet indeed. He really goes out of his way to make you feel welcome. He cooks the food himself which is Thai and beautifully presented. I took Penny, my friend, there for lunch recently and she felt thoroughly spoiled. A couple of nights ago, we thought we’d try Barracuda which, I believe, is No 1 on Trip Advisor. It is run by Stefano from Germany and the food, ambience and welcome were very good indeed. So, three good recommendations there for you.
Everything has been going on in its own sweet way, here at The Waterfront. Can’t believe it’s been nine years, as I told you last time. These Friday Walking Streets seem to come along quicker than ever and Low Season starts here on 1 September which means that the next season will be Peak Season which starts just before Christmas – and that comes around far too often for my liking!
Michael, our son, just brought in Salina, our granddaughter who is wearing a bright pink flowered dress and hat which my mother bought her recently and which I brought back from England with me. She gets prettier and prettier every time I see her and looks especially lovely today with her dark curls now beginning to cascade down her back. She is a big girl for two and a half and into everything, as I’m sure you can imagine.
Even though we’ve been busy, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading, the most recent being The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and the Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards, both of which I enjoyed. In the last one, a quote from Mary Oliver, the American poet: ‘What is it you will do/With your one wild and precious life?’ – a wonderful excerpt which I immediately relayed to our daughter, Charlotte, and which set me off on yet another internet research into poets and poetry. I had only been on one last week having read Somerset Maugham’s A Painted Veil in which there was a quote from Oliver Goldsmith’s an Elegy of a Mad Dog, (‘ the dog it was who died’), and Shelley’s Lift Not The Painted Veil. All interesting stuff, to me that is – I hope you’re still awake!
Well, my dears, I must away to guests and hope very much indeed that you will be amongst them soon. Just send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability. We’d love to see you.
Take care until the next time.
Hi everyone! How are you today? I hope you are as well as we are here. My goodness, it’s hot! Not too hot for our guests though who are relaxing by the pool or playing with their children in it. We have lots of children here just now, but they’re all being very quiet today.
We finally said goodbye to Kim, Camilla, Nathalie and Daniel from Norway yesterday who had stayed here for a few nights before returning with their parents, Halvard and Anita, for ten nights, (Halvard and Anita have just left too, sadly) – they have a feeling that our paths will cross again; we have Zanna and Neil, Barney and Tilly from the UK who have hardly left the hotel – apparently they have everything they need right here; Kendra and Kurt, Kezzy and Kaz from the USA with Kurt’s father, Martin, were going out for a walk, but decided to return to eat and relax in our dining room after all; Ben and Liz, Hal and Fred from the UK, are here now at the recommendation of Peter and Lisa who have stayed here before; William, originally from the UK, now living in China with his Chinese wife, Betty, and their son, Eddy, booked last minute for twelve nights and are delighted that they did; Mano and Mona, a charming Indian couple born in Kenya, now living and working in Toronto, are enjoying their stay and praising the staff; Ron and Slavia enjoyed their stay here with their two children from Israel; Peter and Hans, from Holland, with their families, were here at the beginning and end of their holiday with Koh Phangan sandwiched between; Anita and Ben, desperate for a rest after a long Asian trip, have just arrived with their three children from Australia and they’ve all made themselves very much at home with Anita enjoying a massage almost as soon as she arrived and booking babysitters for all the days following; Blaine and Kelly here on their honeymoon would like to stay longer, but we’ll have no room at the inn; Chris and Mary, here for what must be their fourth stay with us to see their daughter, Lisa, a teacher on the island – they’re coming back with more family at Christmas; Glyn, who’s Welsh, and Emi, who’s Japanese, are here for their sixth time; Paul and Jan return to the UK today having thoroughly enjoyed their fifth visit, (they’re planning their sixth); we’ve just said goodbye to Steve and Lisa from the UK, here for their wedding which we attended with their grandmother Anne, grandfather David and bridesmaid Andrea who were also staying with us, (Lisa, a stunning bride just days before, whispered to me on leaving that she hoped to come back with Steve next year for their fourth visit too) – we wish them much happiness; then we have Sarah and Alex, Kirsty and Ben, Alice and Luke, all young and delightful couples enjoying the sun and our charming village before moving on to another little piece of paradise. Hose and Veronique from Belgium were here last year, but Veronique was in hospital for most of her stay. Better now, she has booked a return visit with Hose for next February and we look forward to seeing them again. So, you see, we welcome people from all over the world, all ages, all walks of life and it is such a pleasure, especially when sitting around the bar in the evening and comparing stories.
I don’t know if I told you that Chris, one of our former guests, (13 times), who moved out here nearly a year ago to work as a lawyer and to be with Lamai, one of our longest staying members of reception staff, popped the question whilst on a kayak with her recently. She replied in the affirmative, is sporting a beautiful diamond ring and the wedding is going to take place here next year. We wish them many, many congratulations.
Pete, a guest who has also stayed here many times, was so spurred on by Chris’s change of lifestyle that he decided to undertake a year’s marathon motorbike tour himself including Europe, South America, North America and Asia at which point we should have been looking forward to seeing him walk around the corner. Most unfortunately, a couple of months into this mammoth tour, he damaged ligaments and broke an ankle whilst in Croatia so has had to abandon the trip for now. We send him lots of love and our best wishes for a speedy recovery. Hopefully, he’ll be able to resume his adventure at some stage soon. What a setback!
For a while now, there has been a dog along the beach, (away from the village), who, if he doesn't like the look of you, is liable to bite you on the leg. I am sad to say that one or two of our guests have been bitten and we have been trying to organise his removal, but without success. At last, he has been collected by the local Animal Rescue team, so it is once again safe to walk along the beach without fear of attack.
Cooking has been very busy today. Guests are eating lunch everywhere and some very contented sounds can be overheard too, but I’m starving and have to be bottom of the list even though my tummy is constantly rumbling. We’re very pleased with our Khun Arom who was one of our original four staff when we moved here. She and her son, Khun Orr who also works with us now, gave me jasmine bracelets on Mother’s Day. So kind, so thoughtful.
The monthly spraying of the rooms and gardens takes place today so that our guests can enjoy a comfortable stay without too much of a threat from vermin and insects. The rooms are sprayed at 1.00pm and the gardens ‘fogged’ at 6.00pm. The room spraying isn’t too offensive, but the ‘fogging’ isn’t pleasant at all, so it’s always best to stay in the room or use it as an excuse to partake of an aperitif in the village. Some of us don’t need an excuse, however . . .
So, have you worked out your next holiday? September is usually a lovely month here. Paul and Jan are thinking of coming back in October, at half-term, others in November, Chris and Mary are amongst our December bookings and lots of others are coming out in January, February, March and April. We had another long booking for May today and already have others for June, July and August next year. One guest and his family went to another destination this year and ‘it didn’t come up to expectations’, so he booked with us again, as soon as he returned home, for the seventh time next July. We very look forward to seeing them again too and to celebrating a special birthday.
Perhaps we could look forward to seeing you too? Just send us an e-mail and we'll write straight back with our availability.
Until the next time, take care and spoil yourselves.
Hello from very sunny Samui! 36 degrees in the shade at 3pm today . . .
Yes, I’m back in the fold and it’s great to be back. Lovely to see new guests like Nigel and Yvonne from the UK, soon to start working and living in Kuala Lumpur, who have already booked and paid their deposit for Easter here with their parents and children, (Nigel celebrates his birthday today); Kevin and Lynn from the UK living and working in Dubai who are definitely going to tell all their friends about us; Camilla and Kim from Norway with their children Daniel and Nathalie who are coming back in the next couple of weeks with their parents; Stephen, Jill and Hayley from the UK, (Hayley has been travelling and working around the world for the last three years), here for a wedding yesterday; Cedric and Fred from France who enjoy their evening swims; Max and Louise from the UK who have desperately been waiting for a holiday and who now, at last, can relax; Gilles and Sylvie from France, here with their sons Felix and Mateo, (Mateo was missing his guitar so we were able to acquire one during his stay); Nat, Marja, Gys and Joep from Holland who are coming back next week and other returning guests like the always laughing Sue and Tom, here for the third time from Scotland who brought their friends, Bill and Liz, with them too - their parting words were, “we will be back!”; like Stig and Torill from Norway, also here for the third time, (I love the books, thank you so much!), who are planning their return next year with lots of friends for Stig’s big birthday; Suzanne, Paul, Nathan and Holly, English who live in Dubai, here for their fifth time and who booked and paid their deposit on twelve nights for next July before they left; Shannon and Stavros, here for the second time from Australia, (her mother and sister have also stayed here before), who brought David and Jenelle with them too; Richard from the UK here for the third time, but without poor Jane who couldn’t get the time off from work, (we’re thinking of you, Jane - come back and have that holiday soon!); Julie, here for the second time from Australia, who brought the lovely Colleen and Jenny with her – (we hope to see you all soon!); Billy and Nicole from the UK, here for the second time too; Paul and Jan, here for the fifth time from the UK, were also here in April and are planning to come back in October too, (three times in a year must be a record!) - all these guests are super people and many of them gather around the bar in the evenings for a lively discussion.
One of the topics discussed has been Fifty Shades of Grey a bestselling book by E L James. At one point, four guests were reading it around the pool and were all ecstatic about it, urging me to read it and the two sequels, but I told them that I really didn’t think I could be bothered. I just haven’t felt compelled to read it. Robin has read it now and says that he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. He wasn’t keen on the story, didn’t think it was very well written and said that he’d read far juicier books in the past. In fact, he really couldn’t understand why it’s been doing so well. He thinks that the film will probably be better than the book this time, not the other way around. They’re even doing FSOG holidays in Seattle, apparently - with classes too and they’re all sold out! I should just like to say that we shall not be offering such a facility here. Do feel free to bring with you whatever tickles your fancy, however . . .
We have actually been here nine years on 7 August and it’s been an enjoyable sojourn. We’ve made lots of friends from all over the world and welcomed back many too, time after time. We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of our guests who constantly bring us pleasure. I have also been writing my blog for five years this month and am often told by guests that they follow it avidly. Consequently, I thank you all for your interest .
Steve and Lisa will be here today, ready for their wedding in a few days’ time. Robin and I shall be there and we look forward to it enormously. Chris and Lamai and Raine and Joe will also be going. Joe is not working at the hotel now, so we look forward to seeing him again. Khun Bengk has taken his place and, although his English is not too good yet, Khun Orr is helping him along. Kenny and his sister, Hayley, who were here a couple of years ago with their parents, will also be coming today, with Hayley’s boyfriend, Joe, and it will be lovely to see them. Glyn and Emi will be back next week for, must be their seventh visit. It will be great to see them and catch up on their news too.
So, you see, there’s always something happening here. Nice day for me today too. Robin and I went out to lunch to Spirit House in Chaweng and then I had a foot massage – very nice indeed! When I have posted this, I shall start the salaries and then, later on, have another drink and a chat with the guests. Not bad working conditions, eh?
Think about coming to see us. Send us an e-mail and we’ll write straight back with our availability.
Until the next time, take lots of care of yourselves.
Hi everyone! Still in Norwich, but not for much longer. Shall be back in a few days, but thought I'd quickly write now in case life takes over and I can't make the deadline in time.
Things have been busy here. Have been doing lots of things for my mother and we've had a great time together. Such a shame that we live so far apart - and lots of you will know what that feels like - but we are looking forward to the next time which shouldn't be too long. I like to visit her twice a year, if I can.
Robin, Michael and the staff are living their Samui life, as usual, and the guests have been enjoying themselves, also as usual. It's great to know that our little hotel jogs along, welcoming guests from all over the world and it is so wonderful to hear that, even though these guests can be of any age, any religion, any nationality and from any walk of life, they can still enjoy our little paradise. I did notice from a Trip Advisor posting, however, that a guest complained about barking dogs. I remember that particular guest and I was amazed that he was unhappy. Sometimes local dogs do bark, but our security guard knows to rush outside the hotel to find them and placate them as he did on that particular evening - I know because I was in the room above and, as I also hate to hear dogs barking in the night, (not only for myself, but obviously because I worry about the guests), I was avidly listening to the outcome. Those dogs were only making a noise for about ten minutes in all and, had it been longer, I should have gone outside myself, I assure you. However, it seems that it was long enough to annoy the guest, so much so that he felt that he had to complain to the world. I am so sorry he felt that way. It is difficult, on occasions, to create a perfect atmosphere, especially when we live in a country that has stray dogs. We do our best as we did on that evening. What more can we do?
High season starts again any day and we are looking forward to seeing lots of guests, old and new. If you've been before, why not come and see us again? If you haven't, why not come to see us for the first time? We'd love to see you, we really would. Give it some thought and send Robin an e-mail. He'll write straight back with our availability for your dates and, if you need any advice, he'll be pleased to help.
I'll be there again soon and am really looking forward to it. Hopefully, I'll see you there!
Take care until the next time.
Hello from Norwich!
Yes, still here and shall be for the next notes too, but not much longer after that. The weather here has been hot and sunny as well as cold, windy and rainy, but I don't mind at all. It's just great seeing my mother, our daughter and my friends. The people close to us are so important in our life, don't you think? We really should appreciate them and enjoy them as much as we can. Having said that, we meet lots of new people all the time at the hotel and find it just as easy to appreciate them and enjoy them too which is such a wonderful experience for us and then, when they come back to see us again, we get to know them even more. Not many jobs better than that, I can tell you. Well, it isn't a job at all really, it's more a way of life and one which we are very lucky to have.
Some prospective guests have been asking if it is cheaper to book a holiday with us through agents. Well, it isn't, I assure you, it's exactly the same price. It is very important to us that all our guests pay the same, whether they book through us or through agents. If a returning guest is booking yet another month with us through our website, we don't think it's fair that another person can look on an agent's website and find the same room for a much lower outlay. We believe that our prices are more than fair for what we offer and we would rather our hotel be half full at the normal price than full at half the price. This keeps standards up. We've noticed in other hotels that, when prices are reduced, the facilities and service drops, there's no doubt about that, and also the clientele tends to change too which we don't want as we have been so lucky with our guests - we always seem to get the best! We value our hotel and all that we offer in it. By the amount of return guests we have, it is obvious that other people continue to value it too. We hope that, if you have not stayed with us yet, that you will visit and feel the same way. It is also worth noting that, if you do come directly to us, we are able to answer any questions you may have, whether it be about the rooms, the beach, the neighbourhood or the journey, etc. Always nice to have that personal touch, don't you think?
Whilst in Norwich this time, I have been astounded by the amount of excellent retail staff that I have met. My mother and I really have been constantly amazed by the kindness and courtesy we have been shown during the past fortnight. Often I have found that not to be the case and it is so heart-warming to experience such positive, helpful people. Many guests have also praised our staff at the hotel. I do hope they have felt as happy about it as I have here. It makes all the difference, it really does. It certainly makes you want to return, that's for sure.
Well, I'm off now. I hope that you are thinking of coming to see us soon. Robin and Michael are there, waiting to give you a tip-top service when you e-mail or phone, our staff are there to help as much as they can and I shall be back soon to welcome you too.
Enjoy yourselves and take care.
Very best wishes.
So sorry for the lateness of my posting, but it has been a little hectic the last week due to travelling to the UK myself which is where I am now. Robin arrived back to Samui from his very sad trip and then, two weeks later, I was leaving myself.
I shall be away for about four weeks and shall be returning for the high season in July. I shall be missing Chris and Nadine unfortunately, recommended to visit us by Sue and Simon who also come to see us, (almost on a yearly basis actually and they're coming again at Christmas), but I hope they enjoy their stay and that I shall be able to meet them one day. Also, I shall miss other guests too, but Robin will be there and I know that he will do his best to make their stay a happy one.
Michael is enjoying being back at the hotel and we are so pleased to have him back too. He has just moved into a new home and is enjoying it very much indeed, especially being able to watch all the football on television just now - I know he'll be watching England v Croatia this evening. Good luck, England!
The weather is good on the island, the guests are enjoying themselves and the staff are going about their daily duties as usual, with the added responsibilities of repairing and painting the rooms - the usual routine in the low season. They've just varnished the decking again and repaired a roof or two too - there's always something to do to make sure our little hotel looks its best.
This is just a short one, but I hope you are all well and happy and thinking of planning your next holiday - with us, hopefully! We'd love to see you. Just send Robin an e-mail with your dates and he'll write straight back with our availability. The record of a completed booking from start to finish so far has been 20 minutes, so it needn't be a long, drawn-out task at all. Give it some thought. And it's best to fly straight to Samui - flying to Suratthani adds quite a few more hours of travel either end of your stay.
Take care old friends and new - enjoy yourselves and don't leave it too long before you see us . . .
Well, my goodness, you survived my last screed and have come back for more? I think you’re in dire need of a holiday, dear friend, I really do and, if you’re looking for a recommendation, I know a little place . . .
Karin, Bjorn and Elias, then Aaron here for his 30th birthday with his girlfriend, Therese, his brother and his girlfriend, Blair and Sarah, and their parents, Gavin and Trish, all enjoyed setting off lanterns during their stay. Lanterns seem to make a celebration that little bit more special and I never tire of seeing those magnificent flaming torches ascending and flying off into the darkness. Our view of the beach, sea and outlying islands is also another sight to behold.
Michael & Maureen, who stayed earlier in the year and who booked immediately again for next year, couldn’t wait that long so booked again for August. They’ve just realised that their grandson is being born then and so have re-booked for September. He said that they’re hoping to catch the ‘Perth to Paradise’ on 4 September. Isn’t that a lovely turn of phrase?
Alex, Tracie, Olivia, Sophia and Sienna from Melbourne arrived and loved it so much that they intend to come back again too. Tracie is a personal trainer and looked so well honed herself. Tim, Viola and Lola from Germany enjoyed their stay too and Kelly, Alan, Katie and Ian also enjoyed their break, here from Bangladesh. Sebastien and Maylorn were here from Holland – they actually live on a houseboat in Amsterdam, how marvellous is that? – and were going on for a few nights in Hua Hin where Robin and I went for a break a couple of years ago. Time for another break together, I think, but I don’t suppose it will happen yet. Robin only came back from the UK yesterday and I’m off to Blighty myself soon. Becky stayed here on almost her last stop before returning to the UK, having been away travelling on her own for a few months and she’d enjoyed her experience tremendously, in fact she swapped notes with Jan and Kathrin from Germany who had also been travelling . We saw Francois Xavier and Anne Laure from Paris, another couple delighted with Thailand, as were Frederick and Muriel from Belgium and Ong from Singapore with Nguyen from Vietnam. Thomas and Luis were here from Switzerland and Anne was here from Dublin. Sam and her friend, Gemma, were here from the UK and Dan was here with his wife, Christine, his daughter, Lila, and his mother and father, Lynne and Grahame, from Australia. Excuse me if I get some little girls’ names wrong this time because we’ve had a Lila, a Lola and a Leila in the past two weeks and it’s not been easy to remember! Leila, I think was here with Supy and Heidi who used to live on Koh Phangan and had returned for a holiday. We have Phil and Nicola, Simon and Amy and Chris and Natalie here just now, all lovely young couples from the UK. Chris has recently celebrated his 25th birthday – this accommodation is a birthday treat from his parents – and Natalie has a birthday on 5 June.
It’s been a slow pace here recently, both in our hotel and the village. Just as well because it’s been hot, hot, hot. Three or four times we’ve had rain in the evenings which is fine and quite a big gush of wind one day which would have had us holding onto our hats if we’d had any. We’ve been repairing roofing, varnishing decking, colouring walls, buying and fitting bedroom furniture, etc – there are always things to do and some of the staff have been on holiday so those left have been busy. They’re a good team. They do their best.
Bod, the father of Stefan and Holly who came to stay here in 2005, visited me today. He was holidaying on the island and his children sent him an e-mail asking him to come and see if I remembered them. I certainly did and Bod and I spent a very pleasant hour talking about this and that. He has promised to bring his family to stay in the future.
So, as I said, Robin came back yesterday. Eleven weeks away. I haven’t managed to chat to him much yet as he has been sleeping most of the time. No doubt he’s exhausted from his recent experiences and, of course, the travel.
Michael is back working with us in a much more involved capacity than before. He’s been really helpful to me over the past couple of weeks and I’m very pleased to have him back.
Well, I have to do the salaries now, so I’ll take my leave and wish you well. Don’t forget to come and stay soon – we’d love to see you.
Having said last time that Bjorn and Karin had been shopping, they also bought two iPads whilst they were here and a diver’s watch, all much cheaper than they would have been in Sweden, so they’re very pleased indeed. Also, an iguana jumped on Bjorn’s head one evening and then expertly walked down to his neck, across his shoulder and all the way down his arm. Bjorn rested his hand on his knee and it ran down his calf to the floor and then, having turned its head up to wink a fond goodbye, scampered off to pastures new. Bjorn and Karin were enchanted as was little Elias who has also started to walk and is chattering away with a huge smile on his face. Charming child!
Norwich 3, Arsenal 3! Wowee! Should have been 6:6 actually. They both played well, especially Norwich, I thought. So, Norwich then had 44 points and Arsenal were really worried about Newcastle and Chelsea. But I was just ecstatic about Norwich! Well done ,’Let’s Be Avenue’!! For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, sometime ago Delia Smith, the revered cook and director of Norwich City Football Club, shouted out, “Let’s be ‘avin’ you!” during a football match and so Norwich named a little road next to the ground, ‘Let’s Be Avenue’. It makes me smile every time I see it. For those of you who know me and know how I would yawn every time Robin talked about football, you must be so surprised at my latest behaviour. I’m enjoying it so much and even went back to watch the F.A. Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool! Norwich had already lost to Liverpool 0:3, drawn with Arsenal 3:3 and then they won the last game of the season 2:0 against Aston Villa to finish 12th. Well done, Norwich!
Our whole hotel has just been booked to two returning guests, Ian and Sarah, for themselves and their friends, the prime reason being to celebrate lots of 40th birthdays. They duly arrived last week and some hadn’t seen each other since their 30th birthday celebrations. There were 17 adults and 13 children and they had a great time. 30 isn’t our full capacity, but they wanted the hotel all to themselves and Ian and Sarah booked it just after their last visit.
Some arrived three days early, some arrived a day early, but the majority arrived on Sunday. The children having played in the pool most of the day, usually egged on by one or two dads, chose lots of food from our menu then went quietly to their rooms to watch DVDs whilst the mums and dads drank cocktails around the bar and ordered takeaway Thai from Pichet, their iPod and speaker playing in the background. There was lots of laughter and it was such a happy atmosphere. They had been so excited about meeting each other, some had hardly been able to sleep they were so excited, and all so loved the hotel that I was really, really pleased for them and, of course, for us too.
Four played golf on Monday and Wednesday mornings at Santiburi Golf Club, others went on trips around the island. Monday evening they all dined on the beach at Yin Yang, Tuesday the girls dined at The Pier whilst the men had takeaway from The Hut and sat at our bar, Wednesday saw Hannah’s 10th birthday and, as they had all fallen in love with Cooking’s pancakes, a pancake birthday cake was requested with 30 tiers. This looked even more spectacular with 10 candles on top and everyone, especially Hannah, was very happy indeed. She was given a camera for her birthday, so was able to photograph not only her pancake birthday cake but also her Happy Birthday flowers on her bed, so carefully laid out by our room maids. That evening the guests ate at Shades and had cocktails at Coco Tam’s, a very laid-back beach bar at the other end of the street. Then, Thursday, they had a steak, chicken and sausage barbecue on the beach here, with cool, fresh potato salad, warm, mixed vegetable fried rice and a fresh, crispy mixed salad. We pushed all the tables together on the decking, covered them in cloths and flowers and put up streamers and balloons in and around the palm trees and decking. The younger guests sang, individually and together, and then, after the food, the grown-ups appeared in 70’s costume. I even spotted Elvis and Abba. Then the children went to bed without a word of opposition, (that happened every night!), and the iPod was played, the guitar was strummed, the voices were oiled, (well-oiled actually), and put to the test and the laughter was constant. I heard a few splashes in the pool later on and a good time was definitely had by all.
Friday and Saturday were similar insofar as they either ate locally or had takeaway and, at last Sunday arrived to rather sad, but very well suntanned faces, (the weather had been and still is superb). They had all had such a marvellous time and were sad to leave. They were extremely complimentary about the venue and staff and lots of them said that they would definitely come back, some even this year. Also, they’d be telling all their friends and family about it too. So, phew! I’m so pleased it went well and happy for Ian and Sarah that it went well too. Ian and Sarah are expecting a baby in August incidentally and we wish them well.
So, all of a sudden the hotel was empty! But then my list of ‘things to do’ was growing again and, with more rooms gradually coming in, it soon became business as usual.
When are you coming to stay? Alone, with your partner, with your family, with your friends or with a party of friends and family? We look forward to welcoming you and will do our best to make your stay unforgettable – for all the right reasons!
I have been thinking about getting a kayak for the hotel and was wondering whether I should get into it myself, so to speak - you know, be one of those vital veterans. I could even buy a brightly coloured UV sunsuit to look the part. Unfortunately, I should probably end up looking like a stick of rock, in more ways than one. I’d only go in shallow water though, my goodness, definitely not anywhere deep – you know, just skim the surface parallel to the shore. And I was very pleased indeed to hear that one would need a whistle. Oh yes, I’d definitely need one of those. Would it work underwater, do you think?
Until the next time, take care and enjoy yourselves.
Hi everyone from sunny Samui! I hear it’s been pretty cold in many parts of Europe of late. Oh dear, poor you! Time for a holiday in sunnier climes perhaps?
Orkye has just been here with Marianne, Camilla, Marlin and Philip. They’re from Sweden and enjoyed their stay very much. Marianne’s brother, Marias, came for the day from his hotel in Chaweng and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Jim and Catriona are here. They’re from Dublin, but have been working in Dubai and, before that, Prague where they married. They’re just returning to Ireland to live and shall be renovating their home there before going off on more jaunts around the world, including a wedding in Katmandu which happens to fall on Catriona’s birthday in November. Sounds wonderful. She has been away from the hotel this week doing a detox and has returned clear-skinned, white-eyed and even slimmer than before, plus she feels so much better overall, she says, both mentally and physically. Jim and Catriona love the island and are thinking of spending the winter months here next year. Bjorn and Karin are here, also from Sweden, with their little boy Elias who is so gorgeous! He even wakes up smiling, can you imagine? Bjorn has bought a wetsuit here which is much, much cheaper than Sweden and just as good. They have both bought spectacles too, again cheaper than home and they are very pleased with those too. Oo, from Thailand, but living and working with less abled children in Switzerland is here with Mario, also from there, who teaches less abled children too. Natalia and Bagdan from Moscow arrived one evening and then married the next day on another part of the island. They also really enjoyed their stay, in fact it was their second visit to us. Frank and Mary from Capetown were here and just loved it too. They said that they’d definitely be back and would be recommending it to all their friends. Bob and Vivien were here from Taroona in Tasmania with their daughter, Kylie, and her husband, Max, and children, Tess and Will, from Tennant’s Creek in the Northern Territories. Lovely family and they said that they’d had a great time. I was wondering why a pristine Daily Telegraph had been sitting on the table all day. There were no English here! Ashni, of Indian origin from London, breezed in for only a night, but wrote today saying that she thought she’d come back again for another three nights later in the week. Great girl! It’ll be good to see her. Shengbo and Yue came in today for one night too at the end of their honeymoon. They’re a very attractive and delightful couple from China. This job is so interesting!
Miki and Bruno, Tomohiro and Tomoko from Japan have booked to come back for their third or fourth visit in August – such a lovely, lively group, all in clothes and handbag design and manufacture – and Carol and John from the UK have recently booked another 29 nights next January which will be their sixth visit. Michael and Maureen, Scottish and Irish living in Australia, already booked for their second visit next February, are wondering whether to squeeze in six nights this summer too and Dee, who also works in Dubai and who was only here a couple of weeks ago on her third visit with Juliette, who now works in Kuala Lumpur, is planning to book several rooms for her 40th birthday party next April or May. Heard last night from Suzanne and Paul, who also live in Dubai. They had already been to Mauritius on holiday, but Paul said that he thought that they could come back to Koh Samui too. Well, apparently, he had hardly finished his sentence before Suzanne was sending me an e-mail! Honestly, the time between her knowing, contacting me, booking flights and confirming her hotel booking must have been a record. She did make me laugh! And this must be their fifth time at least. Also today, Christopher and Nadine, also living in Dubai, booked to come in July. This was at the very kind recommendation of Simon and Sue who are returning at Christmas for the seventh time. We never know from one day to the next who we’re going to hear from by e-mail and it is such a delight.
I intend to put a couple of things on FAQs on the website, when I’ve worked out why I can’t use my usual password, that is! The first thing is that we offer free airport transfer to and from the hotel, but we don’t pick up from ferries. We have spent hours searching and searching for guests who have come in on a completely different ferry at a completely pier at a completely different time and, most unfortunately although we’d love to, we cannot afford the amount of time it takes or the staff to be used in this way. It is quite simple to get a taxi from Nathon or Maenam or, if your pier is in Bangrak, which is close to us, transfer can be included in your ferry ticket at a nominal charge.
The second thing is, if you are thinking of taking a flight to Suratthani Airport, be warned that this is not Koh Samui. Koh Samui is in Suratthani province, but Suratthani Airport is on the mainland. The price of the flight may be competitive, but you still have a bus journey, a ferry or catamaran journey and another bus journey to reach us and then you have it all again on the way back which takes time off your holiday and, quite frankly, and who needs all that travelling? You need to come to Koh Samui Airport. Sometimes it worth paying just that little bit extra to make life a lot easier.
Pete & Dot sent me a lovely birthday card, actually made by Dot, which was just exquisite and Hilary and Tony sent me a Quentin Blake one which I really love too.
Robin is still in the UK. After he arrived there in the middle of March, his mother fell ill and then seriously so. A few days ago, very sadly she died. That was two days after a very dear friend of his died tragically in a fire. He was godfather to our son as well as father to a valued friend who has stayed here many times and to another valued friend who married at our hotel a few years ago. So, his friend’s funeral for family and close friends is on 9 May, a memorial for him on 10 May and his mother’s funeral on 11 May. Then he has his mother’s matters to sort out, so I’m still not quite sure when he is returning. Certainly not until after my next news, I’m sure. Thank you those of you who have been so kind in sending your condolences.
Looking out of this window, I can see our three handymen, Khun Mark, Khun Yen and Khun Rot, working on the flat roof about rooms 8 & 9. They are putting a new layer of cement over the whole area for added protection and making it slightly elevated so that the rain will run off the back. We’ve also recently decided to change a room to either a kingsize bed as it was before or twin beds to give us another option and, in our other rooms of this nature, we have a lovely bamboo headboard. This time, I suddenly thought that perhaps Mark could make one. I was right. He has and it’s very attractive indeed. They’ve also upgraded the surround of the pool, cleaned the lining of the pool, upgraded the pump, made new and then painted some letters to our sign outside, painted outside and will soon do repair work on another roof and take the old varnish off and re-varnish the decking. Upkeep is constant, if we want to keep on top of things and present our product to you in its best possible light.
Only a quick mention of football this time as we lost to Blackburn 2:0 and lost to Liverpool 3:0. Oh dear! Still, we are safe and hopefully we can bring something out of the bag before the end of the season.
Michael, our son, is 27 tomorrow. He was 18 when we came here and now he is a father himself – his daughter, Salina, is two – and working very hard at Classico, a restaurant in the village which is building up a very good reputation. Our daughter, who was eleven, is now twenty. Jeepers, creepers! Tempus Fugit!
Salaries today, so I’d better get on with them otherwise I shall be lynched. Just a quick goodbye to Maggie and Brian who were on the island recently – lovely seeing you and I look forward to seeing you again on your next visit.
Have had lots of enquiries over the past few days. Looks like you’re all getting in the holiday mood again. That’s what I like to hear! Look up those dates, send us an e-mail and, well, you could be winging your way out here in no time . . .
Very best wishes to you all and take care.
In my last bulletin, I told you that I was being coerced into staying at the bar until 2am at times, well I am ashamed, but delighted to admit that it has been even later, until 4am on two occasions. That was down to Pamela, Ian, Lisa, Sharon, Mark, Sean and Lewis. Sharon even sang one evening and she has a beautiful voice. Earlier in the day, I had told my mother that I was definitely going to bed early which just goes to show that, whatever your age, your mother doesn’t know what you are doing. Bob and Jan left after what seemed to be no time at all, but they were with us here for a week at the beginning and a week at the end of their holiday with a week of Koh Phangan sandwiched between. They had stayed three or four times before and we hope they’ll come back to see us yet again – if the weather’s not too hot, Jan, and I’m still on Chapter 3 of that book, Bob, as I haven’t had the time to read!
Brynley and Georgina arrived from Saudi Arabia with Dai and Sam, two great little chaps who very quickly became friends with William, then Carol arrived, Georgina’s mum, from the UK. Bradley and Sarah arrived from Woolner, NT, Australia, on their honeymoon and, when Alena, (pronounced Alawnya), and Anton arrived from Moscow, Alena rushed into her room and brought out a bar of Russian chocolate for me. It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out that they had only been married a week and were on their honeymoon too.
Sharon celebrated her birthday on 3 April by going around the island with her family. A great time was had by all, but she wasn’t too well alas during the evening. She bounced back, as usual, and she, Mark, Sean and Lewis took Khun Joe and Khun Raine out the next evening and me out to dinner at The Shack on 5 April to celebrate too which was super.
Norwich lost to Fulham 2:1, but I thought they were going to draw as, in the last 15 minutes, Norwich played like heroes. Too late, I fear. They played excellently against Everton at home, but failed to pull it off again. At least a draw, 2:2, was some consolation. Then, yippee, they played magnificently and beat Spurs 2:1. Then Man. City last night . . . well, words fail me. For those who do not know and probably do not care, we were beaten 6:1. We’re still safe though!!
Vinny walked in to stay three nights. He had been in Laos visiting ethnic tribes then he came to Samui to relax between dives in Koh Tao before returning to the UK. A real action man and absolutely charming too.
Five beautiful Australian girls came to stay, Steph, Steph, Meegan, Annamiek and Francesca who, unfortunately, had hurt herself on a rock in Phuket whilst the others were diving and we had to dash out to buy some crutches on her arrival. That didn’t stop her or the others from going to the Full Moon party two days later, however. Other Full Mooners were Anton and Alena, Mark, Sean and Lewis and Haydn and Heather and a good time was had by all. Haydn and Heather are from Sydney, he sits his medical finals this year and she tells me that she makes babies, so she’s a nurse in IVF and loves it. They went to a wedding at the Anantara one day and looked stunning, he sporting a bow tie with his smart shirt and trousers and she in a most beautiful dress with a very attractive plunging neckline.
Liz, Anne and Laura came to stay from Canada as did Tessa with her English friend, Rachel. In fact, Laura looked so much like Francesca, I thought she’d changed her mind and come back for her crutches. Deb and Rod from Melbourne stayed before going off to dive in Koh Tao. People come to stay from all over the world and we love it.
Ten Israelis came to stay, Sigal, Niv, Bar, Amit, Ido in one family and Anat, Yoram, Aviv, Noa and Adi in the other family. The table tennis table, volleyball net and swimming pool were in full use and it was a joy to see. What with them and William, Dai and Sam, who were like water babies, it was a real family atmosphere.
Paul and Jan flew over from the UK for a week with another three weeks already booked in July and August. Lovely to see them again. When they come here, they really R-E-L-A-X and good for them.
Simon, DL, Ross and Adam arrived from Dubai so we now have five little boys here. Dee who works in Dubai too and Juliette who now works in Kuala Lumpur are here for the third time as are Theressa and Gary and their friends Cherry and Jeff. It was Cherry and Jeff's wedding the day before they arrived and the photos were fantastic. They looked so happy and I wish them well. This was their third stay here and they’re already talking about their fourth.
Songkran, the Thai New Year, was the day before yesterday. It was also my birthday, (it was Leo’s too, he was seven), and quite a big one, alas. I left my room and four staff immediately put garlands of flowers around my neck and, when I arrived downstairs, all the guests and staff, at this point around the pool and bar area, sang Happy Birthday to me – it was just wonderful. I shall never forget it. Then more garlands around my neck and on my wrist then three baskets of flowers, one from Cooking, one from the staff and one from Sharon, Mark, Sean and Lewis and a bunch of flowers from Khun Pa as well as a lovely chocolate ice cream cake with candles from the staff too. Then bedlam resumed around the pool and all the guests were throwing water over each other or squirting it from water guns as well as throwing each other into the pool. Screams of delirium, squeals of delight, bellows of laughter, giggles, splashes big and small, the sound was pure enjoyment and it wasn’t costing a thing. This went on until around 2.30pm when most of the staff went home to continue their celebrations there. Little Dai and Sam each made me a birthday card before giving me a kiss and a big hug – pure magic. Anton and Alena gave me a huge and beautiful basket of flowers, Cherry and Jeff and Garry and Theressa gave me a lovely pair of silver earrings which I am proudly wearing today, Chris and Lamai also gave me a lovely pair of silver earrings today which I shall wear tomorrow and Dee and Juliette very kindly took me out to dinner at The Shack last night after watching the dreaded football match. I also had my lovely card from Anne & Keith, who stayed here a few weeks ago, sent to me from the UK and a lovely e-mail from Jan & Paul who only left recently. Thank you all so much! In the evening, I had a few friends to dinner at Classico and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Certainly a day to remember.
Life is made up of good and bad, as we all know. I lost my lovely aunt a few days ago and Robin’s mum has become very sick and is in hospital. As I told you, he is in the UK at the moment, so it’s a good thing that he’s there for her. Very sad times and I know you will all join me in sending him our love and best wishes.
On that note, I know I am repeating myself when I say that we must remember to seize the day as we never know what’s around the corner, do we? Hearing that laughter at Songkran was so wonderful and a reminder that we have to put away serious things sometimes and have FUN. Come and have some at our hotel – we won’t throw water over you unless it’s Songkran, but you can relax in the sunshine, enjoy the view, have a massage or manicure and pedicure, eat some good food, drink whatever you fancy, meet and chat to some other guests, (you don’t have to speak to anyone if you don’t want to, but I’m sure that you will), read a book, watch a DVD, saunter along the street and enjoy all the great restaurants, bars and boutiques in our charming Fisherman’s Village of Bophut, or go on a few trips, the choice is endless. If, like me, you make lists, put HOLIDAY at the top and start planning. We’ll be here waiting for you . . .
Very best wishes
Hello! How are you?
Well, Robin’s been away since 15 March and I hardly dare say, but I’ve had a whale of a time, (no doubt he has too, said Tim today). We’ve had a great bar, often until 2am, with lots of chats and lots of laughs. We’ve put the world to rights a million times. We’ve had Doug and Carol from Liverpool, on their way back from seeing their daughter in Australia, and they say they are definitely coming back next year; Jim and Saskia from France, although Jim, a writer, is English and Saskia, a photographer, is Dutch; Ian and Pamela from Manchester, Ian is Scottish and Pamela’s from London; Rueven and Daniela from Germany who spent seven nights here, went over to Koh Phangan, were not happy there and returned to us the next day for a further six nights; lovely Jose whose poor wife, Veronique, was in hospital for most of their holiday, and even they're saying that they are definitely coming back this or next year; Christian and Marie are from Poole, although originally from Norfolk, and they say they’re coming back too; Bob and Jan from London, here, we’re pleased to say, on their fourth visit; Sharon and Mark, lovely to see them here on their fifth visit with their son, Shaun, and his friend, Lewis; Pamela and Christopher are here for the first time from Sussex and have been very complimentary; Tim and Karen, here on their third visit, are here with their daughter Rebecca and her son, William, who is an absolute delight of three and half years; Barbara, Lara, Lars and Pascale have just arrived from Switzerland and are feeling relaxed already; Diane and Henry are from Paris, both French, but they used to love living in London and love it here too; Isabelle and Raymond from Belgium who were here a week ago and have decided to come back for a further week; Lee and Karen, originally from UK, who’ve lived in Kuala Lumpur for ten years, here on their ninth or tenth visit with their daughter, Lisa,(Lee had retired, but hated it so much that he’s back working harder than ever); Jane and David are Georgian and are loving their stay too; Elizabeth is here from the UK enjoying a last holiday with her friend, Ella, from New Zealand, who has been working in London, but is on her way to start a new job in Melbourne; Joni and May from Vancouver, great girls who have been sightseeing on their motorbikes and Stephanie and Patrick from Marseille, a charming couple who stayed and then came back again too. All lovely people. It has been a delight meeting them and having them stay at our little hotel.
Christian recently went into business with a friend who was already an established garden equipment supplier, but now he’s joined he’s added trees, shrubs, bulbs, seeds, etc to the portfolio. I have just looked on the site and it makes me want to buy everything and rush home to do some gardening. The prices are very competitive too. So, if you are in need of anything for your garden, do look on www.selections.com and they’ll courier your goods to you without delay. Marvellous present ideas there too, in fact I think I’ll order my mother a shrub right now . . .
Christian and Marie very kindly took me out to dinner at Classico whilst they were here. We had a really good evening. The food, wine and conversation were excellent, we sat on the terrace with the lights of Koh Phangan twinkling in the distance and it was charming. As if that were not enough of a treat, Saskia and Jim very kindly took me out to lunch at Happy Elephant a couple of days later. We also sat out on the terrace looking out to the aquamarine sea and outlying islands and, again, everything was perfect. Actually, to save a hot walk along the village in the middle of the day, I asked them if they would like to ride there on the back of a motorbike and, after initial raised eyebrows in astonishment, they readily agreed. So, three staff made available their motorbikes and, there we were, a passenger apiece, throwing off the years like overcoats, zooming along the village to the restaurant. When we had finished our wonderful lunch, I rang the hotel for our drivers to pick us up again and, once more we were aboard, without a care in the world, careering along in convoy to our little hotel. They loved it and just the thought of it brings a very big smile to my face. Also, out of the blue, Stephanie and Patrick gave me a lovely tin of sweets from Provence, Penny brought me a lovely bunch of flowers and, last but certainly not least, Anne and Keith sent me an early birthday card from England which I couldn’t prevent myself from opening and it was just perfect. And last night, Sharon, Mark, Shaun and Lewis invited me out to The Shack later in the week, so my feet are hardly touching the ground! Thank you all, so much!
Last week, I took myself off to The Mosquito bar to watch Wolves play Norwich. Yes, I’m so keen that I even go on my own when Robin’s away. I am very pleased to say that I thought Norwich played well and deserved to win 2:1 which put them in 10th place. I am watching them play Fulham tonight and I am, of course, hoping for another win. I shall be there rooting for them. Come on Norwich!
That good weather you’re having in Europe and elsewhere will never last, you know. You really ought to plan your next holiday . . . with us . . . asap.
Until the next time, dear friends.
Hello again! Blistering hot and humid weather here today, 33 degrees in the shade and it will, no doubt, get hotter up until the end of April. But it doesn’t stop those sun worshippers, good gracious no. There they are, tanning to a tee, in absolute bliss, just stopping to mop their brow with a cold towel and to eat thirst quenching pineapple before returning to yet another comatose position. Ah, holidays! The time to do as little as possible for the majority, I think, whilst the rest pack in as much as possible. Well, you can do either on Samui.
A couple of weeks ago, Peter and Trudy walked in to say that they have been coming to the island for nine years. They stayed nearby this time which gave them the opportunity to pop into our hotel. They liked it so much that they booked a month with us for next year. We are very pleased and look forward to welcoming them as our guests.
Sadly, we’ve had two guests who’ve been into hospital. Chris, on holiday with Richard, was there last week, but is now back and improving day by day. Veronique, on holiday with Jose, had an operation yesterday and Ron is going to see her this afternoon. We wish them both well and are so sorry that their holiday had to be interrupted by illness. I have to say that I am very impressed with Richard and Jose as they have done everything in their power to help their lovely girls.
At long last, Robin is going back to the UK, this evening actually. It’s been almost two years since his last trip and he has decided that it’s about time he visited family and friends. He’s going via Dubai where he will stay with one old friend of his and then to Norwich where he will see many others as well as his mother and our daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte is thoroughly enjoying being back there. In fact, every time I have rung she is either out somewhere or just about to go out. Good for her. I hope she enjoys herself. I shan’t be lonely here, however, as I still have two men to look after me now that we have Ron, our manager, and Orr, who’s on reception. Ron has become a much valued member of the staff, always trying to find new ways of improving the hotel as well as being extremely helpful and courteous. Orr is always smiling and really goes out of his way to help anyone who needs it and so we join with Cooking, his mother, in her daily appreciation of having him work here. We’ve had lots of compliments about our staff and we are so pleased that they continue to give our guests the kind service that they so deserve.
Norwich drew at home against Stoke on Sunday. “That’s ok,” Robin sighed before gulping his last mouthful of Heineken, “I’ll settle for that.” It’s Newcastle on Sunday, another 11pm kick-off here, and I shall be watching it in the village even though Robin’s away. Can’t let the side down! I know that any of you who have seen my complete lack of interest in football in the past will be astounded by my attitude, but Norwich going up into the Premier League did it for me and I am very proud of them.
Thank you everyone who has been kind enough to take the time and trouble to post reviews for us, either on www.tripadvisor.com or other sites, especially when we hear that sometimes it’s not straightforward as in the case of David and Anne who tried many times, so a special thanks to them. We really do appreciate this as do potential guests, of course, when they are researching all the hotels. Many, many times new guests mention these reviews as being the clincher in their decision to come, so keep on writing and keep on coming!
St Patrick’s Day on 17 March and I remember how my father, ‘himsellff’ from Cork, would receive a package of shamrock from home and we would all proudly wear a little clump of green leaves on our lapels for the day which, at my convent school, would make me and any other Irish or part-Irish girls also sporting ‘the shamrocckk’, very popular and full of our own self-importance.
Tempus Fugit and Carpe Diem so, whether you’re a relaxer or a doer, find a gap in your schedule to enjoy some quality time here with us and send us an e-mail or fill in the booking form on this website.
I look forward to hearing from you as I shall be doing the bookings whilst Robin is away.
Very best wishes
Hello everyone! March already!
We have another new gentleman member of staff, Khun Orr. He is on reception and is fantastic. He has such a kind face and manner and we are very proud to have him. Cooking is really pleased he is here because he is her son and she can see him every day. We have had Thai-style shirts made for him to match the girls’ uniforms and he looks great. Welcome, Khun Orr!
Unfortunately for us, Charlotte, our daughter, is returning to the UK next week. We have tried to persuade her to stay, but she is missing her friends and her life there. Not many western people of her age actually live on Samui so we quite understand. Also, the job opportunity we thought she would enjoy here didn’t materialize and she wants to get back to work.
Last year in March, David and Anne enjoyed their second stay with us so much that they booked and paid for this March before they left. David has just come into the office to say that they are having such a good time this year and to ask if we could book them into the same room in March 2013 which is just wonderful. We were delighted to tell him that we are able to fit them in our Superior/Honeymoon room which has been very popular with many of our guests. I believe their friends Michael and Jayne, who have also stayed with us before, will be joining them. We look forward to seeing them too. It was lovely to see Peter and Dot again and they are talking about coming back next year - also Carol and John, Pete and Sue, Gary and Donna, Rose and Steve and Peter and Julia, all guests who’ve been here again and again. Nigel and Di enjoyed their first stay and are coming back too. We’ve also just heard from Paul, (remember my mention of the ‘Paul Syndrome?’), who’s not only coming back with Jan for a week in April, but three weeks in July and August. Great! We look forward to seeing them as we do Maureen and Michael who have just booked again for next February. Michael and Margaret are back for the third time as are Anne and Keith, this time with their nephew, Mark, and his wife Wendy. Alan and Lyn are also back, for the second time, and they celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary on 28 February. Janice and Kevin are back for the second time too, having had an horrendous bout of ill health, but they are now back on their feet and better than ever. Great to see them looking so well. It’s also so super to see how these different guests enjoy each other’s company and often friendships are established followed by frequent e-mails to catch up and even visits to one another’s homes. We just said goodbye to Sue and Stephen and their friends, Sharon and Dean, who stayed in a 5-star hotel last time, not too far from here, and said that they had thoroughly enjoyed staying with us this year, that it was a completely different experience, ticked all their boxes and, not only would they be coming back again, but that they would be recommending us to all their friends. Sharon even said that this was the best holiday she had ever had. I am thrilled and look forward to seeing them again.
We had a couple of rainy days last week, but the sun is shining again now. Everywhere looks bright and sparkling. Samui is just beautiful when the sun shines which is, of course, most of the year. Why else would we have come here?
I very much enjoyed reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and the film of it too for which Octavia Spencer won a Bafta, as I mentioned in my last news. The subject is the sensitive racial divide in Mississippi in the early sixties. Very well written and very well acted. I recommend both and I know that Dot seconds my opinion. I see that Meryl Streep just won an Oscar for The Iron Lady as I hoped she would. I notice that Christopher Plummer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in his role as the father in Beginners and I have just watched a trailer of that film on the internet and I shall certainly be trying to get that DVD as soon as I can. Ewan McGregor is in it too. Another one I have read about and watched the trailer to is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It stars Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy as well as other good actors. It’s about a few of the older generation who decide to do something more exciting than the usual with their years of retirement so go abroad to live in an Indian palace. Should be good – and food for thought perhaps? I suppose we could make our hotel into a retirement alternative . . . no, a bit too hot here, Robin says. We had thought a few years ago of opening a 'retirement hotel', (bearing in mind that we never grow up, we just grow old), in the north of Thailand where it’s cooler. Any takers?
Friday Walking Street gets busier and busier. If we have to walk to the other end of the village whilst it's on, it takes us ages as the pace is slow, slow, slow. Well, it would be with all those interesting things for the pedestrians to see and buy. The atmosphere is buzzing and everyone loves it. Normality returns around 11pm when the stallholders dismantle their equipment, pack everything away and prepare for another market on the Saturday, somewhere else on the island. They work so hard to make their living and we are so pleased when they do well.
We watched Norwich lose to Manchester United on Sunday, two goals to one, but they put up a brave fight. We thought we were going to draw until Giggs scored one in the last minute. Even Ferguson said that we deserved a point, although Alan thought he was just rubbing salt into the wound. Anyway, onwards and upwards. Stoke away next.
I am sorry if it takes this news takes a long time to come up on your screen. It does on mine too. If anyone has any idea what we can do to alleviate this problem, I should be very happy to hear. Meanwhile, don’t give up!
Have many of you enjoyed/not enjoyed the delights of the piranha pedicure? There is an establishment in Bophut and some of our guests have been there over the months. Dave was here recently from Spain with Ave, (hi there, both of you, hope you’re ok!). He told us that this treatment had been excellent for his leg which could, at times, be very dry indeed. Consequently, he was going along to see the fish here quite regularly and his leg looked amazing, (well, he had amazing legs anyway, to be honest, but I digress). Robin has been suffering from a very dry patch on his leg which was itchy and sore and getting worse by the day. This week he decided to give the fish a try. His leg looked so much better on his return that it was unbelievable and, after the second treatment yesterday, there was hardly a trace of dryness to be seen. So, thank you Dave, for that excellent advice and I report this today so that, if any of you are suffering from anything similar, not just hard skin on the soles of your feet which the fish are very good at anyway, take yourselves along to your local piranha pedicure, or the one in Bophut when you come to see us, and see the results.
As many of you will know, I was an air stewardess some years ago, travelling worldwide on jumbo jets. As you will also know, before the small video screens appeared on aircraft informing passengers of emergency exits, etc, stewardesses would stand in the aisle grandly pointing to these exits, a sweeping motion of the right arm to the right side and a sweeping motion of the left arm to the left side. Suddenly, yesterday, I had a déjà vu. I was checking in some guests and found myself using exactly the same motions whilst I was showing them the menus, my right arm sweeping in the direction of the ones in reception and the left arm sweeping in the direction of the ones in the bar. I had to laugh to myself. How history repeats itself! You can take the girl out of the job, but you can’t take the job out of the girl . . .
I should finish as this has been a long one and you could all be fast asleep on your keyboards, hopefully not from boredom, however. If you did nod off, or were near to it, all I can say is that you could have a temporary concentration problem, probably brought on by overwork, possibly overtired too and in dire need of a holiday. With this in mind, I suggest you waste not a moment longer and look over your schedule for the coming months. A possible gap emerging on the horizon? Fill it now. Write to us and book a holiday. You too could be lying on our sunbeds on the beach, around the pool or in the garden, eating lunch on the decking whilst you take in our glorious view, lying in the sala enjoying a massage, sitting at the bar sipping a cocktail . . . why read about it when you could be here? Send us an e-mail or fill in the booking form on the website and we’ll write straight back with our availability.
Until the next time, my dear friends, best wishes to you all and take care.
Hello one and all!
The weather continues to be absolutely fantastic here and there are lots of bronzed bodies to be seen. David and Ann have returned to see us today, David and Veronica are here for, what must be, around the sixth time, (they thanked us very kindly after their first visit, but said that they never go anywhere twice), Carol and John here for probably the same, Peter and Dot here for their third, Steve and Rose here for their second too, (they also had never been anywhere twice), Chris and Mary also back for their second, (they brought their married son with them this time who wanted to stay in a 5-star, but they convinced him to stay here with us and he loves it so much that he wants to return as soon as possible with the rest of his family), Nigel and Di have already send an e to say that they are planning their return next year even though they’ve only just arrived back home, Adrianne and Ivor said that it was their best holiday ever and, if Ivor is 100% fit next year, they’ll definitely be back for even longer, Pete and Sue were here for their third time and are still holidaying on the island, Gary and Donna were here for their second visit to us and they just sent an e-mail to thank us too. So, you see, we do have many return guests which is just wonderful, but we have lots of new guests too like Mike and Pat and Michael and Maureen who love it here and are already talking about coming back next year.
At different times recently, both local business people and holidaymakers have either told me or written to tell me that they had been walking along the beach when they chanced upon our hotel. They also told me that they had been very impressed with how fresh and well-kept it was, certainly compared to many others they had seen in different areas. In this climate and being so near the sea, it is imperative that maintenance is carried out on a regular basis and we are always painting, varnishing, colouring, staining, washing, power-washing, repairing and replacing, whenever necessary. We can’t afford to let things go, even for a moment, if we wish to present our hotel in its best possible light and thus give our guests a great holiday in smart, clean and comfortable surroundings. Thank you all for the compliments.
You may or may not know that I do like my DVDs. The latest one I have loved is The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep which I thought was excellent. Her acting was magnificent and she so deserved the Bafta award she received this week. No doubt an Oscar will follow. Others I’ve enjoyed have been The Help, Octavia Spencer winning a Bafta for Best Supporting Actress, (I’m enjoying the book just now), and Page Eight with Bill Nighy. I enjoyed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in the UK, another Bafta winner for Outstanding British Film and John Hurt, also in that film, won for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. I know that many of you love cinema and enjoy our collection of DVDs in the hotel. I try to purchase new ones whenever I can and, as each room has a DVD player, there’s nothing to stop you watching one, two or even three on a particularly lazy evening. I have been known to watch four. My next one to watch is A Dangerous Method with Kiera Knightley. Apparently, she had to drink vodka before some of her scenes. Whether I need to drink vodka whilst I am watching remains to be seen.
Valentine’s Day today. If you’re in love, enjoy and have a drink or two. If you’re not, don’t worry about it and also have a drink or two. In fact, have three or four because why should you care about Valentine’s Day anyway?
Come and see us soon. Whether you like the sun, our well-kept hotel, our DVDs or none of these, we’re sure you’ll find some special ingredient to make you happy. Come and give it a try. But, be careful, you may have to come back again and again and again . . .
Take care until March.
The weather has been brilliant, except for a downpour the day before yesterday and quite a breeze yesterday, but mainly it has been hot, sunny and clear with lots of sunbathing going on. I was even told one day that there were not enough sunbeds which surprised me greatly as we generally have so many. Apparently, a few were spoiled during the bad weather so, within a couple of hours, new ones were proudly displaying themselves on the beach, much to the pleasure of the guests, and normality was resumed. We’re also just in the process of having all the sunbed cushions recovered so that our guests have only the best.
Most impressed by Pete, a recently early retired fireman here on his fourth visit, who has hired a mountain bike and is cycling great distances for nearly an hour every day. Don’t forget that it’s been 30 degrees in the shade here, so it takes some willpower and enthusiasm to be so energetic. I thought Gary had caught the bug and was going to join him, but he prefers bikes with engines and I can’t say I blame him, although I’ve heard that Donna, his wife, hasn’t been quite in her element whilst sitting on the back. She and Sue, Pete’s wife, have had a much different agenda anyway. They’ve been seriously testing the sunbeds by establishing how little energy needs to be spent lying, turning, sitting and moving the bed in order to secure the optimum number of sun rays. I expect a full report from them before they leave at which point they’ll be perfectly tanned and perfectly rested. I am extremely grateful to them for their interest in this experiment for which they appear to have limitless talent. Actually, Carol and John would be excellent contributors to this ‘exercise’ too. In fact, many of our guests seem to have a talent in this area.
David had a birthday whilst here with his lovely wife, Tanja, and sons, Ruben, Vincent and Emillion. I think I told you about them before. Well, they’ve left us now and have returned to China where they are living for a couple of years. Lovely family. Very sorry to see them go and hope to see them all again one day. David knows a lot about hotels as his family runs a beautiful hotel in Croatia, so we are very pleased indeed that he enjoyed our hotel too. Good luck with the entertaining, Tanja!
Charlotte had a birthday dinner at Classico – yes, we do go there often! – and it went very well indeed. We then went to Cosmic bar in Bangrak where a pool tournament took place, accompanied by the inevitable alcoholic beverage, (pool is thirsty work, especially if you’re a spectator like me), and then Charlotte went off with her friends to Sound nightclub in Chaweng where she partied until dawn yet again. 20 years old. My goodness! Boo, hoo . . . sniff . . . my baby is all grown up.
Peter and Dot have arrived and it’s great to see them again. So have Carol and John and we’re so pleased to see them too. They all had such fun together when they were here before, laughing and joking, and I am sure it will continue – they’re even neighbours at the hotel this time. Last year, Peter and Dot moved from Norfolk, (where I would see them on my UK visits), to Derbyshire and they absolutely love it there. Their new life sounds terrific and I am so happy for them. They’ve also joined choirs again and a little bird has told me that they are devilishly practising here, in front of their adjoining door, much to the chagrin of their new neighbours. No doubt sweet revenge will be in the offing. Watch this space.
One of our room maids, Khun Sam, who left us two years ago due to family problems, has returned to work for us again. We are so pleased to welcome her back into the fold and she looks really well now too. Great to have you back, Khun Sam!
Those of you into football will know that we are very proud of our team, Norwich. They played Sunderland yesterday which just happens to be Gary’s team and Robin and I met Gary in reception at 2.15am this morning. We then found a bar showing the match which began at 3.00am and prepared to watch in awe. Of course, all of you au fait with football will know that Sunderland won 3-0. Gary was euphoric. We were not. Norwich looked like a different team this time, it has to be said. Let us hope they have regained their mojo for Saturday against Bolton which, of course, we shall be watching with avid, nail-biting interest especially as Bolton drew with Arsenal at home yesterday. 900 Norwich fans travelled to Sunderland, by the way, probably a 7-hour journey. As Robin said, “I bet they were chuffed.”
David, Bridget and Barbara have just left. David and Bridget work at the Thai Consulate in Birmingham and have visited Thailand many times over the years. Bridget worked with Barbara 40 years ago since when they have remained great friends. Barbara even moved to Denmark 30 years ago, but that hasn’t prevented them from seeing each other on a regular basis. Great to meet them all and hope to see them again.
Steve and Rose never go anywhere twice, on holiday that is. Well, they duly arrived here the day before yesterday for the second time. They actually live and work in Norwich and we hadn’t known them until last year, but found out that we have lots of friends in common and I did see them on one or two of my UK visits too. It was Steve’s birthday yesterday. Happy birthday again, Steve!
Dave and Ave live in Spain and their friends Colin and Andrea have been visiting them in their villa for a few years now. They've enjoyed it so much that they’ve just bought a holiday home a stone’s throw away and are looking forward to spending many months of the year there with them and both of their families. All very good friends, they’ve travelled the world on holiday together and they’ve just been staying with us for a couple of weeks. Lovers of life and easy to please, they were a real pleasure and we wish them all the very best for the future. If ever your new boss get’s a website, Ave, I’d love to know so that I can drool over the cakes and pastries at DC’s!
Adrianne and Ivor are here too. They are also such a lovely couple. Adrianne has a great sense of humour, but just told me seriously that she loves us and our staff so much that they are definitely coming back next year. We are delighted. They’re fab – or should I be saying 'awesome' these days? Both descriptions fit perfectly.
So, you see, life chugs along happily at our little hotel on the beach. Why don’t you come out and take part in this relaxing life? We have many return guests here just now who’ve been here two, three, four and six times so there must be something to it. Take a break, live for the moment, seize the day. Send us an e-mail, letting us know your preferences and we’ll write straight back with our availability.
And, before you know it, you could be chugging along with us too.
Until the next time, take care and enjoy.
2012! Still can’t get used to it.
Have had David, Tanja, Ruben, Vincent and Emilion here, a lovely family from Germany who are living in China, Ingrid and Simone, two lovely girls from the Netherlands, Alan and Alissa from Israel, here for a wedding at which Alissa will be a bridesmaid, Carrie and Nick, an English couple who left home on Christmas Day to travel to Bangkok, Chang Mai, Phuket, Krabi and Samui and Nicole and Billy, from the UK, here to relax, party and meet friends. Of course, we have had many other guests too, including Mandy and Kate from the UK whom we hope will come to visit us again soon, and many more are coming. We’re very much looking forward to seeing Peter & Dot and Carol & John, for example, here again before the end of the month.
The Friday Walking Street is still going well. Honestly, you have to walk at a snail’s pace along the stall-lined street as the throng of buoyant holidaymakers and locals stop to buy some jewellery or a dress, sample some Thai food or sip a cocktail. Charlotte bought a little dress herself last night and was proudly wearing it at dinner. Even the bars and restaurants that are not usually so busy try to find an empty seat for yet another would-be diner and their staff scurry from table to table, taking orders from the many, many different nationalities passing through, secretly hoping that the dish served will actually be the right one. It is all very good for the village and the holidaymakers love it. The stallholders start setting up around 4pm and dismantle everything a little bit later every week, it seems. Last night it was around 11pm.
Our son, Michael is enjoying his work at the new Classico restaurant which itself has had a good start. Many customers have returned again and again already and he is very happy indeed. We’ve eaten there many times ourselves and the steak, sea bass and tuna are excellent. They have a variety of great wines too. Mmmmm! Feeling hungry at the thought! There was a surprise and most welcome dish on the menu last time – our granddaughter popped in to see her dad and we were able to have big hugs and kisses. She’s two in April and such a delight. I know lots of you have your own grandchildren and will know how we feel.
Our daughter, Charlotte, is still here and looks to be staying awhile. Her father and I have been socialising with her every night since she and I arrived, so we’re feeling slightly jaded, but extremely happy that she is here. We even went to Chaweng and saw daylight one morning . . . we really should grow up, but I fear growing old is all that we shall do.
Did I tell you that we’ve moved back to the hotel? We lived on-site when we first moved here, but have been living off-site for five years. With all the toing and froing, we decided to make our life even easier than it was already and we can be at home or at work in 30 seconds now. No commuting for us!
It’s so relaxing here, you know. If you’re in need of a rest, you’ll certainly get it here. Some people chill so dramatically that they can’t even speak and crease up into peals of laughter because of it. I can think of one guest who’s returning yet again at Easter who has that experience and comes here because of it. Paul?? Striking any bells? Jan, his lovely wife, reads and reads - something I love to do when I get an opportunity and what better time to do it than when you’re on holiday?
So, leave all those responsibilities, troubles and woes behind and come out here as soon as you can. We’ll pick you up at the airport so you can start to chill as soon as you arrive. You can even stay in bed in the mornings, if you wish, as we serve breakfast until 11am. Then you can haul yourself to the bar or to the hugely comfortable chairs around the pool or force yourself just that tiny bit further onto the beach where you can enjoy, say, a cocktail, a cold beer or a glass of wine whilst you appreciate our stunning view of the sea and the outlying islands. You can even have a massage at the same time. Just chill. That’s all you have to do. Of course, if you’re the active type, you can jet ski, fish, deep-sea dive or paraglide, and that’s just scratching the surface. There are also plenty of trips and tours available and cars and motorbikes to hire too. And, in the evening, you can just gently stroll along the village and sample the many culinary delights on offer there. And then stroll back, in a straight line or not, fall onto your bed and do it all again the next day.
Tickling any fancies? Just send us an e-mail and you could be r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g too. You may even get the Paul Syndrome – if you’re lucky.
See you soon then? I hope so.
Best wishes to you all and take care.
Happy New Year to you all!
Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. About 35 of us went to Classico for our Christmas turkey luncheon and then because most of our long-staying guests had left before New Year, we couldn't really organise an event at the hotel for short-term guests, so 16 of them went to the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan, others joined together at Starfish & Coffee restaurant, some met friends and relations at their homes or other restaurants and we had a table at Classico again with some guests which was lovely. After the meal and, at midnight, we sang Auld Lang Syne and watched all the fireworks along the beach and coastline which were spectacular. We then visited one or two bars, ending up at the Frog & Ghecko and we returned to the hotel around 4.30am. Charlotte, our daughter, who returned to Samui with me from the UK, (yes, I am so pleased about that!), came back from the village with others to enjoy her breakfast at 7.30am. She is now looking forward to her birthday party later this month, so more celebrations to enjoy. Michael, our son, is doing fantastically at Classico. He loves working there and the customers seem to love him too, often returning to the restaurant again and again. I am pleased as punch that he's enjoying it. The very experienced chef, Yura, is actually Lithuanian, and his food is delicious. Certainly worth a visit when you come. Robin and I have just eaten steak there two nights on the trot as it's so good.
Saw John and Alwyn the other evening. They built Ban Bophut, a hotel two doors away from us. It was so good to see them. They were here around the same time as us in 2003 to get their business off the ground, but their son, Dominic, ran the hotel for them after that and now their daughter, Lucy, takes the reins. They had been based in Dubai, but have now retired and are spending their time travelling first around the UK then Europe.
I've now met Ron, our new manager, who is a very kind, courteous, hardworking, talented and gentle man. We are very pleased he is here and I have noticed lots of little changes, for the better, that he has made already. He likes to work early in the day which is great for us as we prefer to work later, if at all possible. I don't think we've ever been early to bed here and late nights and early mornings don't seem as easy as they were a few years ago! We'll be watching Norwich play QPR away this evening which, thankfully, is showing at 10.00pm as opposed to the ungodly hours of 3 or 4.00am, as it has been recently.
As I am typing this, the rain is teeming down. In fact, since my return, and before I am told, the weather has been pretty dire. We feel so sorry for our guests who had been looking forward to a hot and sunny stay, but alas it was not to be for most of it this time. Obviously, we hope that the weather will improve forthwith so that our guests may enjoy themselves and see our hotel and the island at their most beautiful.
Most of the year, Samui sees hot, clear and sunny days. If you haven't decided yet what to do for your holiday, come and see us here and we'll look after you. Just send Robin an e-mail or complete the booking form on this website and he'll reply in no time.
Whilst wishing me a happy new year, my brother told me to make this year special. I thought that was a lovely thing to say and I am passing that thought on to all of you.
Make this year special.
I look forward to seeing you.
Until the next time, take care.
Christmas is almost upon us and I hope you're all gearing up for the festivities. Our girls have put up the Christmas tree, the Christmas Luncheon is being organised and Ron, our new manager, is going to sing a few carols during our Buck's Fizz gathering on the day. All sounds good! I shall be back on 20th and look forward very much indeed to seeing my family, staff and guests.
Robin was out with Ron, his wife, Michael, Chris, (the guest I have mentioned many times who visited us around 14 times until, at last, he decided to live and work here himself), and Lamai, one of our staff, last week. Ron and his wife volunteered to sing - apparently they sound fantastic together - and then Michael volunteered too. He sang three Thai songs and received rapturous applause. Robin said that I would have been so proud and he actually admitted to a tear in his eye. A repeat performance will be top of my list when I return, that's for sure.
I am so looking forward to chatting to our guests over the Christmas period. Apparently Keith and Soo are there already and it'll be great to see them again as well as everyone else. Shall be wanting to hear all the news accompanied by a special glass of wine. What bliss!
When the celebrations are over and things calm down, give a thought or two to your 2012 holiday and how you might just enjoy a break with us. We'd love to see you!
All of us here wish all of you, wherever you are, a very merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.
Enjoy yourselves and live for the moment.
And please take care.
*STOP PRESS* *STOP PRESS* *STOP PRESS* *STOP PRESS* *STOP PRESS*
We were completely booked for Christmas and the New Year, but our situation has suddenly changed as one of our guests has just been taken ill and is unable to join us. We are so sorry that he will not be here with his friends and family and our thoughts are with him. We wish him a speedy recovery and very much look forward to seeing him in the near future.
So, if you were wishing that you had arranged something different this year, why not come and join us here? We now have a Beachfront Room with a kingsize bed available for Christmas until 31 December and another room available after that if you'd like New Year away too.
Give it some thought. If you wish, you're also welcome to join us for Christmas Lunch in the village and for our buffet, music, fireworks and lanterns at the hotel on New Year's Eve. It'll be fantastic.
Hi again! How are you? DECEMBER's here, can you believe it? This year has flown even faster than last. Please slow down!
Lovely weather in Samui, Robin told me this morning. I am still in UK with still more to sort out here, but shouldn't be long before I return.
Last week, a very nice young man, Ron from the Philippines, called in to say that he was looking for a manager's position. Robin was very impressed with him and told me all about their conversation. I was also impressed and so, as from today, we have a manager. He is very keen, very presentable and the staff love him. We have thought of having a manager for years, but have never found the perfect person, so perhaps serendipity was playing its part that day. Maybe now I can even get Robin to take a day off each week so that we can relax on a beach ourselves - how marvellous! Or even a holiday together perhaps? That sounds good. The only problem then would be where to go? Where would we go when we love the life we have there already? I suppose we could become guests in our own hotel . . Ron is also a musician, so we'll be able to enjoy his talents in that direction as well. I'm really looking forward to meeting him and hope you'll like him too.
There's a new restaurant with a varied menu opening in the village soon called Classico and Michael, our son, is going to be on the management team. So, you may wish to try it for a drink or a meal or both and we shall be popping along there ourselves to partake and to see Michael in action. We were hoping our daughter, Charlotte, would be tempted to work there too, but she loves the UK too much and has made a life for herself here. In fact, she's moving into a new house tomorrow.
I suppose you're all gearing up for Christmas, whether it's at home or abroad, and we look forward to welcoming our guests there. I must say that it is so nice that Christmas isn't a commercial enterprise on Samui. In the UK, as I'm sure elsewhere, we're bombarded with it from September and it just gets far too much. You just feel that it's a special day on Samui and that's great. Then, of course, we have a great New Year there too.
If you haven't organised your 2012 holidays, why not think about coming to stay with us? We'd love to see you and you'd have a really relaxing time. Send Robin an e-mail. He'll write straight back and you could be booked in no time.
So, take care and I'll write soon, as you know.
Hello! How are you?
'Samui is still as wonderful as ever, especially the Waterfront', according to some lovely guests who recently stayed at our little hotel. They were on their third visit and had recommended us to their friends who had decided to come with them. Well, that's wonderful to hear and smashing to know that some more return guests will be staying at Christmas, New Year, January, February, March and April - not the same ones, I hasten to add, but lots of different ones! Fantastic, that's what we say, can't wait to see them all again. And, if you haven't been before, don't let that stop you - we'd love to see you too and perhaps you'll come back to see us again yourselves!
The girls and boys on our staff have been working hard with the decorations and renovations and I think I'll have to organise a staff party on my return which shouldn't be too long now except that we have another very sick member of the family here, so that's a bit of a worry. Leo, our little Yorkshire Terrier, is missing me, I have heard, although I believe Robin is looking after him admirably and he's getting lots of walks along the beach - Leo, I mean, not Robin, I believe that job is being delegated to the staff!
Looking forward to having a fab Christmas Luncheon at Villa Bianca again this year and shall be writing to all our Christmas guests in the not too distant future to see if they'll be joining us. We all enjoyed it immensely last year, so thought we'd have a repeat experience this time.
Getting some great bookings through for next year - great to hear from you again, Lee and Karen!
If you haven't booked your hols yet, why not come to see us?
We'd LOVE to see you!!
Take care and very best wishes to you all.
November already. This year 'has flown by, hasn't it? And we know what next month brings!
I asked Robin for an up-to-date weather report and this is what he said:
'The floods in Bangkok have had little impact here as all the flights have been arriving although we have had a couple of cancellations. They are hoping that the floods have peaked today and hopefully it will improve soon. So far the weather here has been quite good although it is getting a bit windy now.'
So, that's good news as far as Samui is concerned!
We've had more return guests recently and are expecting more for Christmas. It's always such fun seeing old friends and making new ones too, of course, and our life in Samui has been such an adventure.
The clocks have just gone back in the UK making the time change seven hours now between here and Samui. It really makes everyone think of holidays, doesn't it?
Why not come and enjoy yourself at our little hotel in Samui?
We'd love to see you!
Hi! Sue here again! Hope you're all enjoying October and, with what sounds like a pretty grim winter on the way, are you perhaps thinking of planning your next holiday? If you are, or if you soon will be, give some thought to our little hotel in Bophut, Koh Samui. It is only a small, family-run affair, but it has everything you need and there are many superb restaurants very close by. We're right beside the beach too and have a fantastic view of the sea and outlying islands. All our details are on this website, including photos, and our FAQ's will give you all the info you need. If you'd like to send Robin an e-mail, he'll write straight back with our availability and you could be booked in in no time!
Don't know how long I shall be in the UK, but Robin and the staff are doing marvellous things at the hotel, making sure that everything is in tip-top condition for you. They're a great team as you'll see when you visit.
So, so sorry I am late this time, but so much has happened in our family recently – illnesses, accidents, emotional upheavals . . . that I find myself, once again, in the UK. Have had no access to a computer until now and so, immediately, I think of you and write.
Life in Samui, especially Bophut, is very tranquil just now. Not many holidaymakers about so, for those who are there, it is so, so relaxing. Some of our staff are on holiday, but the rest are making our guests feel extra special or are decorating the rooms ready for the next high season.
I have been getting into football recently – Robin says that I’ve seen some excellent games – so we’ve been seen on our little motorbike going along the village to the Frog & Ghecko to watch a late night match on more than one occasion. I’ve even watched two matches in one evening, so you’ll appreciate that I must be getting hooked!
Chris, one of our guests who’s visited countless times, has moved here to live. He’s found a job not far away as a lawyer, (he was a lawyer in the music business in the UK), and is loving his new life. We welcome him with open arms and wish him well. A fantastic guy!
Many guests staying recently have thoroughly enjoyed their stay and have either booked to return or promised to do so. We can’t wish for more than that and are so, so pleased when guests enjoy their stay.
Why don’t you think about staying – for the first time or the tenth time? We’d love to see you! Just send Robin an e-mail and he’ll write straight back with our availability. Once you’re here, It doesn’t take long for all those cares to just slip away, it really doesn’t. Start thinking about it and plan a visit.
Until the next time, take care. And thank you for your newsy e-mails - I love them!
Hi Everybody! Hope you are all well and enjoying life.
It will not be a long one this time as I have just spent four nights in hospital with a corneal abrasion and am sitting here, half blind, typing away so as not to let you all down, (hear the violins?), because I couldn’t let my deadline come and go without saying a few words. So, let this be a lesson to all you contact lens wearers – make sure you don’t forget to take your lens out at night because the next day, when they’re very dry and not easily removed, you could damage your cornea and experience the most insufferable pain, (sorry, violins again), whilst you put drops in your eye on an hourly basis - for days - which is torture in itself because you can’t sleep properly. I was only just recovering from corneal conjunctivitis in the left eye too. Coincidentally, Lisa and Matt just checked in and Matt had experienced this both in the UK and New York, so I’ve managed to get some sympathy from somewhere!
If any of you have been trying to access our website during the past few days, you will have had no luck whatsoever. It’s a long story, but you know that the internet can be an extremely good thing or an extremely bad thing and, because of somebody else’s wrongdoings, we thought that we would lose our website. However, all is ok now, thankfully, and we are back up and running. So, if you tried to write before, do try again and we apologise for any inconvenience caused, especially to those of you who wouldn’t give up and telephoned or faxed instead.
Daniel and Christine are here from Melbourne and enjoying themselves very much, in fact Daniel is on a diving course this very minute. Sharon, (alias Claudia as in Claudia Cardinale), and Mark are here again for the fifth time and really pleased to be back, in fact they’re thinking of bringing family and friends with them next year. It’s very peaceful and relaxing around here, at the moment, and the view is just superb.
Michael should be getting his car back in three weeks’ time now, so he’s over the moon and Robin should be going back to the UK for his yearly visit fairly soon when he should be able to watch Norwich in the premier league playing at Carrow Road.
So, please excuse me, I’ll have to stop now. But more will be building up for the next time. Take care and start thinking about coming out to see us – soon!
Happy September everyone!
This year is flying by, isn’t it? Slow down, please! I don’t want to be thinking about Christmas yet, although a guest did ask me only yesterday what we would be doing.
Said goodbye to Paul and Jan the other day, for the third time, and we look forward to seeing them again, hopefully in October. Steve and Jean have gone now too, having been here for twenty nine nights and, as usual, it was a pleasure having them here, for their fifth visit this time. Glyn and Emi were here – you may remember they married last year in Geneva – for their fifth or sixth visit and they have gone back to organise the building of their new home. Lovely to see them again too. Bill just left this morning and he was here on his sixteenth visit, I was wrong before thinking it was his seventeenth, and he looked better than ever. Alan and Mandy surprised us with their third visit a few days ago and it's great to see them again too.
I believe I told you before that Steve and Lisa, who enjoyed their two stays so much last year and the year before, have decided to marry in Samui next year. We are beginning to receive bookings from their guests now and have even received an invitation ourselves as have Khun Raine, Khun Joe, Khun Pim and Khun Pla, and we are all very pleased to accept. It should be a great day. There could be a second wedding coming up too, we think, and I have a feeling there could even be a third at some stage. We shall see.
The weather here has been very good, although we have had some rain too, but it has been welcome, I think. The gardens are looking very green. One of our palms is dying though so we think we shall have to replace it soon. We are also looking into getting some more big boulders to put along the beach ready for the monsoon season. Before that, we shall be checking, painting and bringing up to scratch every room so that we can continue offering our guests the best service we can. We have started bungalow roof repairs too as the little overhangs were rather damaged during the last big rains earlier this year. Never a dull moment here. Always something to do.
You may have heard that poor Ian who stayed here earlier this year with his lovely wife, Linda, lost the fight a few months ago. We have just heard from Linda again who says that she has been well supported by family and friends and is being kept busy by grandchildren. She even managed to have a little holiday recently which, I hope, did her the world of good. We all send you our love, Linda. You are both frequently in our thoughts.
Heard from Carol and John the other day who say that they are meeting Peter and Dot in Derbyshire soon, but they’ll also be meeting them here again in February, so there’ll be lots of laughter, I’m sure, what with all the jokes they play on one another. Michael and Margaret are also coming in February, as are David and Veronica and David and Ann – all return guests.
A couple of weeks ago, Michael and I were out in his car – he is so proud of it and it had just been in the garage for little bits of painting to the odd scratch so it looked all shiny and new – when a car coming towards us overtook the one in front of him and just kept on coming in our direction, finally hitting us all along Michael’s side and ending up in the car behind us, leaving our car with huge dents and a broken rear axle, at least. My goodness, what a bang! Luckily, we were fine, but the car . . . I felt so sorry for Michael. Then he was even more upset as, when the car was towed to the mainland, he was told that it would take around a month to repair, but this was changed to six months and then even nine months, (no courtesy car is given out here either), but the car has just been
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