November 01, 2010 // Franchising.com // KOH SAMUI – W Hotels Worldwide, the hotel category buster and industry innovator, today opens the doors of W Retreat Koh Samui, the first W in Southeast Asia. An all-villa beachfront resort uniquely located at the peak of the north shore of Thailand's famed Samui Island, W Koh Samui brings an alluring new dimension to Thailand through its location, forward-looking design, and vibrant contemporary lifestyle. The opening of W Koh Samui is also an important milestone as W Hotels continues to grow internationally, on track to more than double its global portfolio by 2012, reaching more than 50 hotels worldwide.
"W Retreat Koh Samui redefines the way we live and play. The day is dedicated to individual moments of relaxation and detox that will inspire you for a night of energy and celebration," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "We are delighted to have brought the W brand to Koh Samui, one of the coolest islands in Southeast Asia. W Koh Samui marks an important move in the global expansion of the W brand, and after W Maldives and W Vieques, it is our third Retreat worldwide."
"W Retreat Koh Samui is another great example of our ideology in investing in a destination with a great site, product and the ideal brand to compliment it – certainly a perfect blend of lifestyle, entertainment, hospitality and commerce," said Sunny Bajaj, Managing Director of Amburaya Hotels & Resorts. "We are confident that W Retreat Koh Samui will be a scintillating playground for the discerning leisure traveler and a fresh destination on the global stage of entertainment, music, fashion and culture for years to come."
A modern paradise of vibrant foliage, unspoiled golden sand and warm island breezes, W Koh Samui offers panoramic sunrise and sunset views of the Gulf of Thailand from its exceptional beachfront location. The Retreat features 75 private villas equipped with modern lifestyle innovations, including a private pool, daybeds, an outdoor shower, Yamaha sound system, 46-inch plasma screen TV, wine refrigerator, and the signature W bed.
W Koh Samui's signature services and amenities bring a new level of indulgence to a renowned Thai island. Exclusive experiences include W's signature Whatever/Whenever® service philosophy, providing guests and residents with whatever they want – from a Champagne brunch on a deserted beach to an intimate sunset wedding on a stretch of Koh Samui's glistening sand to an impromptu island-hopping excursion – whenever they want it, as long as it's legal!
Showcasing innovative architecture by MAPS Design Studio and interior design by Thailand-based design firm P49 Deesign, W Retreat Koh Samui – like Koh Samui itself –is an island within an island, a place that will "light up the night." With a hill separating its own peninsula of land from the rest of Koh Samui, W Retreat Koh Samui offers an escape within an escape for guests and travelers who seek something extraordinary – a far cry from the everyday resorts nearby.
W Koh Samui has been designed as a modern paradise where the day is dedicated to individual moments in which guests can slip away from themselves and each other to refuel for what comes next. When night falls, the people and the Retreat come to life – nocturnal in nature like the W brand, full of energy and ready to mingle.
W's signature W Lounge (W's take on the traditional hotel lobby), a magnificent design, rich with stunning ocean vistas welcomes stylish island guests as they arrive at the retreat. Upon entry, guests will experience interactive digital floor projections that give way to an environment accented with off-white terrazzo floors, high ceilings clad in angular bleached wood veneer panels, large bookshelves and oversized lamps. A key element of the W Lounge is a water feature and relaxing area, inspired by the shape of a lotus flower.
W's signature W Lounge brings an irresistible new highlight to Koh Samui's nightlife scene. Right next to the W Lounge is the breathtaking WOOBAR. Open on three sides and perched on the corner of a hillside, WooBar offers 270-degree views of the Gulf of Thailand and the surrounding hillside. Overlooking the bar on the mezzanine level is the DJ booth, perched high from a commanding point in WooBar. The unique design allows WooBar to transform from day to night, becoming the ultimate destination to wow guests with W's dynamic programming in the form of unique W Happenings – lifestyle events reflecting W's passion for music, design, fashion and film.
Guests of the Retreat may enjoy preferred dining reservations and seating at The Kitchen Table, which serves food from the heart, including freshly baked treats, gourmet pizzas and inspirational buffets, as well as at W Retreat Koh Samui's signature restaurant, Namu. More than a Japanese restaurant, Namu creates the food of "Asia Tomorrow" and brings a modern reinvention of Asian ethnic cuisine styles for guests, from the menu to the design and the service concepts. Before dinner, guests may spice up their evenings with one of W Retreat Koh Samui's signature cocktails at SIP while taking in the most spectacular sunset on the Edge of Wonderland.
Away® Spa, the signature spa at W Retreat Koh Samui, will whisk away guests and in-the-know locals into a playground of surprising sensations and signature treatments that detox, decompress, delight and refuel, while enveloped in an aura of peace, silent beauty and simple elegance. Unlike any other spa in Southeast Asia, Away® Spa is an exceptional wellness escape that features signature treatments including massages, facial and body treatments, manicures and pedicures, as well as a range of treatments incorporating local Thai influences – whether it be ingredients or massage techniques – in a cool and playful way. A masterpiece of modern design, Away® Spa comprises 576 square meters of indoor and outdoor spa treatment areas that allow for total privacy and complete renewal, as well as TONIC juice bar and the first "Thaimazcal" treatment facility. The first of its kind in Asia, the Thaimazcal treatment is unique and based on Mexican tribal rituals, using local Thai ingredients. Guests will also be able to enjoy the WET pool, SWEAT state-of-the-art fitness facility, water sports center and tennis court, Style Lab and much more.
The Great Room function area at W Retreat Koh Samui serves as an ideal island venue for weddings, business gatherings, creative meetings and so on. Creative in approach and innovative in design, the Great Room serves 60 people with the latest in meetings technology. With its location on the tropical wonderland of W Retreat Koh Samui, the Great Room is also expected to be one of the best venues in the world for WOW VOWS and wedding parties.
Located adjacent to W Retreat Koh Samui will be The Residences at W Retreat Koh Samui, which will feature 17 secluded beachfront villas ranging from three to five bedrooms and from 1,000 to 2,752 square meters. Each residence offers a modern tropical Zen style with exotic touches, and each offers full access to the benefits, services and amenities of W Koh Samui.
W Hotels is an innovative, contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 36 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of "Wow." Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand's sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous nightlife experiences, stylish retail concepts and signature spas. With more than 10 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to more than double its footprint by 2011. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Taipei, Bali, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Austin and Verbier, among other international destinations. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.
The owner and developer of W Retreat Koh Samui and The Residences at W Retreat Koh Samui is a joint venture between Amburaya Hotels & Resorts and Istithmar World. Amburaya Properties is a vibrant Thai-based developer bringing new and innovative lifestyle-oriented accommodations and residential developments to new and well-established destinations. The company currently has properties in Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and India and continues to look for opportunities to grow its portfolio within Thailand and the region. Istithmar World is one of the world's largest privately held real estate developers, with a portfolio of developments that includes The Palm trilogy, among others.