Local Expert Javier from Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui shares what you must see and do when visiting "the sexiest place on earth'!
Q: What makes Koh Samui such a great LGBT destination?
A: Thailand is a very LGBT-friendly country. Its religion is very respectful and the LGBT community can feel very integrated and welcomed in this country. Why Samui? Because, besides this freedom and LGBT acceptance, it’s also a lovely place!
Q: What are the top five reasons for LGBT travelers to visit your city and stay at Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui?
A: 1. First of all, our concept is different. We have a strong, lively Beach Club with daily DJs and other entertainment, which complete the guests’ experience. Also it’s such a beautiful beachfront location with the longest pool on the island (75 meters) and it is perfectly integrated in the Thai rainforest.
2. Our privileged location on the small but exclusive and relaxing Lipa Noi Beach, facing the most breathtaking sunsets.
3. We have the friendliest staff, who not only deliver the best service but who are also LGBT-friendly.
4. Our relaxing spa, which offers a very wide range of treatments from the traditional massages to wraps, scrubs, facials, sauna, jacuzzi, etc., and our fully-equipped beauty salon, where you can get pedicures, waxing, all kinds of manicures, as well as hair treatments, haircuts, hairdos, and our signature wet foam scalp massage.
5. Last but not least, our Amazing Sunday Brunch with Nikki Beach Signature entertainment, delicious international cuisine, and big format champagne bottles.
Q: What are some of the “hot spots” LGBT travelers should check out while visiting your city?
A: Koh Samui has a lot to offer: from beautiful temples where you can learn about Buddhism, to interesting street markets where you can observe the locals, or shopping malls where you can do some shopping, as well as astounding natural spots to relax and enjoy. I recommend Big Buddha and Pra Laem, Fisherman’s Village, Grandmother and Grandfather rock, a half-day visit to Koh Taen and Koh Madsum—by way of long-tail boat—a cocktail at sunset at Nikki Beach, etc. Food wise, there are a lot of wonderful restaurants around the island. Thai cuisine is one of the best in the world, and this is the place to enjoy it!
Oh, and even though the LGBT crowd is quite mixed in the party area—which, by the way, I love because it makes you feel integrated—there are a few spots you can check out: a couple of gay bars in Chaweng, inside Solo Bar alley; one of the Ladyboy Cabarets in the same area; and for those who may be interested, a few gay spas and massage parlors around Chaweng area. But there are many clubs which are not labeled as LGBT, but much of their crowd is indeed LGBT, like Sweet Soul, Ark Bar, or even Hush. The party scene is not as crazy and out of control as Pattaya, Bangkok or Phuket, but in my opinion it’s actually nicer.
Q: What makes your Amazing Sundays Brunch so spectacular? What are some of the offerings guest can expect during their visit?
A: I’ve been to many brunches in my life, but I’ve never seen such a well-organized brunch pool party with such good vibes, where people from different backgrounds can all have fun together, some dancing, some chilling and drinking mojitos, some on a VIP table enjoying a 3-litre bottle of Crystal Champagne! It’s perfect! Delicious international cuisine from Asian-American-European dishes, cheese and cold cuts, carving station, risotto, pasta, noodles, organic vegetables from Chiang Mai, salads, and the most exotic fruits, all the way to the sushi and seafood station with Fine de Claire oysters, and an amazing dessert display and ice cream and pancake station to top it all. And the music and entertainment are great! DJs, musicians, dancers, etc. Exclusive bottle deliveries on a big bike or in a big box carried by a beautiful model. That’s a Sunday at Nikki Beach Koh Samui—it’s something you’re never going to forget!
Q: In your opinion, what sets Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui apart from other hotels in your area?
A: We have a wonderful property, perfectly integrated in nature, with exclusive surprises, such as the sunset and our infinity pools. We have amazing service. We have plenty of activities for our hotel guests, from Kayak and paddleboard to yoga, pilates, muay Thai, and we also offer options for rainy days, like the Games & Sports Room, the Gym and our Cooking Class, or you can learn some basic Thai. We have entertainment every day with DJs and musicians and always some special performance for dinnertime. Our rooms are very spacious, with simplistic natural decoration by Dutch designer Erik Kuster, and they all have a porch or terrace in front of the room, where you can relax on a chaise longue. Garden View and Sea View Villas, Pool View and Pool Access Suites, two spectacular Ocean View Penthouses with king-size round beds and round bamboo bathtubs facing the sunset for romance, and two exclusive Beach-front, Private Pool, 2-Bedroom Villas.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Koh Samui?
A: Kobori (delicious sushi and Japanese food) and Green Talay (amazing Thai food).
Q: What is your favorite bar/club in Koh Samui?
A: Ark Bar, Sweet Soul, and Hush.
Q: Favorite place to unwind in Koh Samui?
A: Any of the beaches on the West and South ends of the island, far from people. Or a good spa session, of course.
Q: Where’s the best place to enjoy the outdoors in Koh Samui?
A: Again, any of the beaches on the West and South end of the island, or I like to go to Grandmother and Grandfather Rock at sunset. A nice outdoor restaurant is also a good option, like the Jungle Club, with amazing views. And my favorite quick escape would be Koh Taen and Koh Madsum by long-tail boat.
Q: What’s one thing that your city has to offer that you can't find anywhere else?
A: Samui’s relaxed and friendly vibe.
Q: Does your city have a ”gayborhood” If so, where is it and tell us about it?
A: Not really. As I said, it’s all very mixed. But I guess at the entrance of Chaweng Beach Rd., you have the ladyboy cabarets and a couple of gay bars, all very close by.
Q: Best gay club/restaurant/attraction?
A: I love Gay Point Bar. It has a great decoration, very friendly staff, nice music, and very mixed clientele. It’s a pity the owner is going to move out and they’re probably going to seal it or close it. Sighs!
Q: What three things do I have to pack to enjoy Koh Samui?
A: Shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. Whatever you want to bring. But don’t worry; if you forget anything, sunscreen or mosquito spray, you can get them for very cheap from here!
Q: What is the best time of year to visit?
A: Anytime. If you want to avoid the busy seasons, you can come in April, May, or June (April and May are a bit hot but bearable, and in June the rains start.). And October, November, or December (It’s rainy season, but that shouldn’t be a big problem.). The busiest seasons are January, February, and March, and indeed, the weather is great; although, March starts to be a little too hot, nothing crazy. And then July and August, although it’s still rainy season.
*Important Note: Rainy season means it rains almost every day, but just for a short period (about an hour in the afternoon or evening). After a sudden heavy shower, it stops raining, the sun shines again, and life goes back to normal. Sometimes it may rain for 2-3 days in a row, but that’s rare--normally only in the case of a cyclone. The rainy season may disturb some travelers a tiny bit, but believe me, you can still do everything and have a wonderful holiday!
Q: I’m in town for 24 hours. What are three things I absolutely have to do?
A: If it’s Sunday, come to Nikki Beach’s Amazing Sunday Brunch; you won’t regret it. If not, go to see Big Buddha and Pra Laem, visit Grandfather and Grandmother Rock, eat by some nice beach, get a massage, and drink a coconut. You’re then ready to go to the next place.
Q: What’s something people would be surprised to learn about Koh Samui?
A: Its history. It was discovered by Chinese merchants, who settled on the island for a long time. There are still some Chinese temples. Samui didn’t really get much tourism, but in the 1970s it became a backpackers’ haven, with a lot of cottages and bungalows. Then, in the 2000s, it started to develop more and more until it became what it is now. I love Samui now, but I would have loved to see it 40 years ago!View More Interviews Articles