15 August 2014

Hi everyone! Here we are again, still enjoying our wonderful life in Bophut, Koh Samui. The guests have been marvellous, the staff have been marvellous and the weather has been marvellous too. If you are thinking of taking a super holiday, look no further – come to stay at The Waterfront.

As usual, our guests have been of all ages, all nationalities and all walks of life. They’ve either been with friends, with spouses, with parents, with children or with grandparents. They’ve arrived in twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens or eights and every single one has been a pleasure to meet. Guests do seem to love it here. I’ve often heard them say that it feels just like home. And that makes us very happy indeed. Sorry, if you don’t feel particularly happy at home yourself, but I think you get the drift.

I’m also extremely sorry that the new website isn’t ready. There was trouble with it being compatible with the mobile version, so there’s still more to do, unfortunately. As that wonderful guy said with his inimitable Indian accent and wobbling head in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “it’ll be all right in the end and, if it is not all right, it is not the end.”

Speaking of that enjoyable film of which I believe there is a sequel next year, it has been discussed yet again at our bar, namely with Paul & Jan, that we should open a Marigold Hotel ourselves one day. Well, we do get some great characters staying here, that’s for sure, and it would be good to see them on even a more regular basis. It would have to be a place for fit and sociable guests who have perhaps given up full-time work and who would like to come to stay for a few months or longer, but not, we decided, on a permanent basis and all that could entail with health issues, etc, although we do have excellent hospitals on the island as has been proven in the past. Paul commented that he’d definitely want to mix with some young people too, as he does here, and Jan said that they certainly do love it at our hotel and feel that there is nowhere else quite like it. They’re even hoping to come back in October which will be their third trip this year and were also hoping that they could include it even more in their future plans somehow – when they eventually decide to retire, that is. Not only do we have our hotel, you know, but we have our Waterfront Apartments across the road that you may be interested in if you were thinking of staying awhile. They have a bedroom, a sitting room and a kitchen area. They’re lovely and you can still pop over here to socialise and to use our pool and facilities. So, you could say we already have the makings of a Marigold Hotel, but it’s even better as we already have retired couples, working families and singles, as well as lots of younger guests staying there a few months at a time, and they all love it!

Our guests at the hotel just now are Yukie; Samantha and Theresa; Shelly, Sarah & Patti Jo; Vincent, Sophie, Laurlane & Romain who spent a couple of nights on Koh Phangan and are now back again; Alan & Mandy who have been here many times are now here with their granddaughter, Alicia, and they’re all having a great time; Kevin & Chris; David; David & Helen; Dan & Steve and Marchiano & Remko. Lovely Diana has just left, as have Paul & Jan who’ve been here many times as mentioned above, Keith, Jade & their son, Bradley, Mike & Nas and Hugh, Jo and their sons, Henry & Oscar – all fantastic guests and ones we really hope to see again. In fact, everyone has been remarking on how super the guests are. Of course, they’re always super, we are very lucky indeed.

A few weeks ago, Robin and Michael were in Classico in the village generally chatting about the fact that it was difficult to find a really good roast on a Sunday. Okay, okay, you may be rather surprised that we should even think of such a thing, but we do miss a good roast and have searched far and wide, mainly to no avail. There are a couple of roast buffets on a Sunday, namely Nikki Beach and Beach Republic which are good, (I’ve been to the latter and enjoyed it and have heard the former is good too), but one doesn’t always want a buffet, especially as they are quite expensive, and they are not too near us either. One of the participants in the conversation, Graham, said that he had recently been visiting a new chef to the island, Francois, who does a magnificent roast on a Sunday and indeed a fantastic evening meal too, but he only does one sitting, cooks what he wishes to cook depending on what’s the best available that day, (unless you have a special request, of course), and booking is necessary as one cannot just walk in off the street. We waited for an appropriate time for us all and joined Graham for lunch at Chez Francois. Francois, obviously French, had been working as a chef in Dubai for thirty years and it shows. He greeted us all and told us what he had cooked for us and how he intended to serve it. We had very tasty prawns to start, then filleted loin of pork, carved by him at the table, with the most delicious stuffing I have ever tasted, an assortment of vegetables, as well as a steak and wine, puff pastry pie and a cheesy pasta, followed by berry crumble with beautiful custard and ice cream then a delectable tarte au chocolat. It was absolutely scrumptious. All this for 900 Baht per person, plus drinks. Evening meals are 1,500 Baht per person plus drinks and Graham said that, when he had visited there recently, he and his lady had enjoyed Lobster Bisque with huge chunks of lobster followed by Chateaubriand. Sounds okay to me!

We enjoyed it so much that, when some old guests of ours – Chris, Debs, Grace and her friend, Ali – came especially to see us a couple of times last week, (they also said it felt like coming home, but were staying elsewhere due to arrangements made by another party), they told us that they could be moving to Dubai to live. I knew how much they enjoyed a good meal and mentioned Francois to them and how it could be interesting to chat to him about their new life. They were very keen indeed as were Mike and Nas, a couple of other lovely guests of ours who we knew loved the good life as proven by the odd bottle or two of Prosecco they enjoyed during their stay. We went for Sunday lunch again and I had asked for a beef roast with Yorkshire pudding to be part of it. As happened the last time, we arrived at the big, wooden doors which were opened just for us, then closed again once we were inside, before we were shown to the table. Lovely Francois came out from the kitchen and told us he had cooked a flaked salmon dish which was enchanting, followed by a cauliflower and cheese soup which was breathtaking, followed by roast beef which he wasn’t very pleased with, but which we were all more than happy with, Yorkshire pudding and an assortment of vegetables plus a chicken and mushroom pie with puff pastry – if only I could cook one like that! – followed by apple and rhubarb strudel with that beautiful custard and ice cream and some very chocolatey mousse. Again, everyone present really enjoyed it and felt that it had been an unforgettable experience. So, if you wish to visit Chez Francois, ask us about him when you come to see us. We shall certainly be going again.

Have just heard that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Michael & Maureen cannot now come to see us in February. We’ll really miss them as will other guests due at that time, I know. We very much hope to see them sometime soon after that, however. As they said in their e-mail, it will now enable some other lucky couple to enjoy a holiday at our hotel as February does get booked very quickly.

Our son, Michael, is going to accompany me on my next visit to the UK, but he is hoping to find work and stay there too. Then, as soon as possible after that, he hopes his girlfriend and daughter will join him to start a new life there. Obviously, if he cannot find anything suitable, he will come back to Samui. As Jan said the other day, although she totally understands that he has to go, the hotel won’t be the same without him, that’s for sure. I totally agree.

For those of you who know Charlotte, our daughter, she is currently enjoying a holiday in Magaluf. Yes, various reports have filtered through about the place, but Charlotte said not to take any notice of any adverse press reports. She said that it is very pretty and she and her friend are enjoying themselves enormously. I am so pleased as they were very sick for the first two days of their holiday and even considered flying home. Thankfully, they made a great recovery and are even thinking of going back with more friends next year.

Well, I could go on for ages today! I think it’s time to stop, however, otherwise you may never wish to read my blog again. Do think about coming to see us soon – we’d love it. Just send Robin an e-mail with your prospective dates and he’ll write straight back with our availability. You could be enjoying a marvellous break in next to no time.

Until the next time, take care and enjoy yourselves whenever you can.

Best wishes