Where did April go? As usual, the months fly by. We’ve had more great guests, some of whom have been absolutely delightful children, like Ivy & Amber who were here from Australia with their Mum, Julie, and Dylan & Charlie here with their Mum & Dad, Lanna & Ashley. They were all here to meet Zema and her family, Peter & Amal and Derek & Mona to celebrate Derek’s 70th birthday which he thoroughly enjoyed with all his lovely family around him – and the ice cream cake, of course, which was a big hit! Renate was here from Germany, Paulus & Miriam were here from the Netherlands, David was here whilst his wife, Anne, was in hospital recovering from her broken hip before they returned to Shanghai, (he would spend all day at the hospital with her and then join us sometimes for a very enjoyable dinner in the village), Tim & Karen were here again and were talking about coming back next year with lots of family and John & Linda were here again with their delightful girls, Molly & Rhea. Cathy & Simon think that they’re going to become a member of our repeat guest community and were here from the UK as was Alan & Yvonne, John & Linda and Susan & Stephen and also Richard & Sarah with Stephen & Nancy who were here to celebrate Sarah’s special birthday. Mark & Bonney also from the UK had already been in Samui and were in Bangkok on the way home when they decided to return to see their friends. Luckily they chose to stay with us, as did their friends, Jeff, Paul & Justin from Australia, and they said that they had loved it and felt really at home here. Richard & Clare were here from Scotland, Caron & Cleliel and Trinel were here from France and Mariette & Michael were here from South Africa. Marianne & Martin were also here and loved it too.
We had a first this month. I actually asked some guests to leave. I’m not proud of the fact, but I felt that our hotel and staff were being totally compromised by their attitude and felt strongly that I didn’t wish to pander to their rudeness and unfounded complaints. I was tempted at check-in as they were very unkind to the staff and then very rude indeed to me, but another experience the next day left me with no alternative. A few moments later, Tim & Karen booked yet again, this time for three rooms for three weeks next year. They love it here as do the majority of our guests and we have already had so many repeat bookings for next year, we must be doing something right!
Our guests love the fact that we are a small hotel with only 18 rooms right next to the beach with excellent restaurants, bars, boutiques and spas just a gentle saunter away, in fact we have two superb Thai restaurants right on our doorstep. Our saline pool is very popular and there are lots of very comfortable chairs and footstools around it with more in the garden area too. Also, there are plenty of sun beds on the beach and a round beach/pool bar which has heard some very interesting conversations over the years. From any vantage point in the grounds and every window of the rooms, you can see a most beautiful view of the sea and surrounding islands. A cooked to order breakfast is served from 7.30am-11am so you don’t have to rush up in the mornings and our all-day menu is served until around 5pm. We encourage guests to sample the wonderful restaurants on offer in the village, in fact staying here is almost like a gourmet holiday. Food is a subject well discussed amongst our guests as they recommend where they went last night and where they are going tonight. Lots of friendships start in our little hotel too. In fact, what is now known as ‘the February crowd’- not by us, I hasten to add, but by themselves – have become firm friends and even stay in contact. We are very lucky to have a high proportion of return guests throughout the year and they have all become dear friends of ours too and we always look forward to seeing them and to welcoming them back. We revel in meeting new guests, of course, and love hearing their story. This is such an interesting occupation!
Songkran, the Thai New Year, arrived with a bang on 13 April as did my birthday. As usual, I kept a very low profile as our staff are always up to no good on that day, well they have lots of fun actually, throwing water over each other and us too. Mark, one of our maintenance staff is the worse culprit. He did leave to return to the mainland to help his family a few years ago and we were all safe, but he’s back with a vengeance and, once he’s squirted every one with water from a huge, brightly-coloured water gun, he tries to throw each member of staff into the swimming pool. Robin is up for it and was asked to sit in a chair poolside where they sprinkled his hands with a few drops of water to make him feel safe and secure, (it only made him feel more anxious, of course), when suddenly they doused him with loads of freezing water which, even though he was expecting something untoward, was obviously a huge shock and, to warm himself as soon as he could, he jumped into the pool himself! About seven of the staff were thrown in by Mark whilst others hid. ‘Cooking’ made a hasty exit home as soon as she could. Sometimes guests become involved, but only if they wish to, so some did and hugely enjoyed all the shenanigans. I usually manage to get away with the girls just dripping a little water on my hands whilst they put copious garlands around my neck and luckily miss anything worse. As you will have gathered, I prefer the sedate approach and it was my birthday after all.
This was celebrated at Chez Francois in the evening which was superb, as usual. Francois used to serve whatever he thought was the best produce on offer that day, but now he has a small, select menu. You can have a four- or five-course meal and we had a four. It’s only 200 Baht more for the five, so it’s certainly worth the extra, but we knew from experience that four would suit us fine. The food is absolutely excellent as is the service. We had carrot and ginger soup to start – delicious – I then chose mushrooms in pastry and Robin chose foie gras – delicious – then I chose duck breast and Robin chose lamb cutlets, both with vegetables and jus, of course – delicious – followed by a dessert, a variety of four – again delicious! Robin had beer and red wine and I had Prosecco. I was also treated to a Happy Birthday song when the dessert was served which was lovely. It really is a splendid venue for a special occasion. Francois works non-stop in the background. He truly is a talented chef. We enjoyed it so much that we returned again the next week too!
So, that’s all for today. I hope you come to visit us soon. If you are thinking of doing so, send Robin your prospective dates to firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll write straight back with our availability or book for you then or you can book direct on our Bookings Page. Don’t forget that we offer a 10% discount for stays between 1 May to 30 June and 1 September to 21 December. Agents should be offering the same price as us, but may not have the same availability, so please do let us know if you are looking for certain dates.
Until the next time, take good care of yourselves – and especially Maureen whom we hope is feeling better day by day.
Very best wishes