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Friday 17 May 2013

Getting away from it all with the family: Thai style

If you are visiting Thai resort regions like Koh Samui and Phuket you have two choices. You can either base yourself in the heart of the action, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the bars and massage shops of Chaweng and Patong, or opt for a more remote and authentic experience like the luxurious Baan Taling Ngam on the little-visited Virgin Coast of Koh Samui.

Situated on top of a cliff, surrounded by coconut plantations, the hotel has infinity and beachfront pools and just 79 guest suites featuring private balconies with sea or garden views, wooden furnishings, and traditional Thai d├ęcor. All rooms have satellite TVs along with DVD/CD players and the service is friendly, slick and unobtrusive.

There are four on-site eateries while just down the road is the Five Islands restaurant, casually chic; right on the waterfront and specialising in local seafood (think dishes like baked crab meat and herb curry served in the shell). Long-tail boats leave from here to explore the surrounding waters.

The obligatory spa offers a large menu of treatment options, ranging from aromatherapy and four hands massages to body masks and polishes, facials and a selection of herbal baths.

This is a perfect escape from the hurly burly; the beaches are all but empty apart from during high season and the lounge is the perfect spot to relax with a cocktail while taking in the magnificent sunsets overlooking the unspoiled and uninhabited Five Islands. 

Now part of the InterContinental chain, the resort recently launched a new Family Retreat package, designed to allow parents plenty of pampering time while at the same time keeping kids entertained. 

The package features luxurious accommodation and a range of complimentary experiences, including daily breakfast for the family, meals for children under 12 throughout the stay, return airport transfers, wifi throughout the resort, access to the signature kid's club, Planet Trekkers, and a 60-minute spa treatment for two adults at the Baan Thai Spa.

Available for minimum three-night stays, the Family Retreat package starts from around $315 per night for stays from May 1 through to December 22, 2013.

The former Baan Taling Ngam – the first luxury resort in Koh Samui, opening its doors in 1993 – has undergone major renovations. Highlights include seven swimming pools, kids cooking classes and visits to the local markets, complimentary mountain biking, snorkelling and mini beach soccer.

The InterContinental is a 45-minute drive from Koh Samui International Airport so local taxis will sometimes be needed to get around as the area is unspoilt (read quite remote). But the resort is near to the Angthong National Marine National Park and the dive sites of Koh Tao.

For more information and bookings see:

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