The Tongsai Bay forges ahead with its transformation • Hotel Designs

Interior spaces at the luxury eco-haven of The Tongsai Bay are being extended and refined to complement the improved facilities undertaken in Phase One, while staying true to its ‘Natural to the Core’ philosophy. Phase Two of the transformation extends the inside-outside ethos into the new Nest co-working space in The Tongsai Bay lobby. This well-defined and dedicated area offering calm and sophisticated palettes is ideal for those travelling for business or for making genuine connections with colleagues and associates. The contemporary approach perfectly suits the modern traveller looking to recharge in a distinctive and beautiful minimalist space.

living space with seating at level below bedroom in the guestroom at The Tongsai Bay

Image credit: The Tongsai Bay

Recharging in the Phase Two upgraded and remodelled 8lements Spa area brings a distinctive wellbeing approach for guests to experience the latest techniques of self-care at The Tongsai Bay. In-room exercise is possible with mounted equipment, stretch bands and yoga mats, while space for private practice and silent fitness immersion can be enjoyed via digital classes projected on the wall with headphones for direction. The 8lements Spa is set amid the hotel’s natural green surroundings, providing a haven of relaxation and beauty with a selection of fuss-free, accessible, and relevant signature treatments, massages and therapies focused on restorative wellbeing. The private spa cottages are each equipped with two massage beds, a separate area for Thai massages, an outdoor foot wash and relaxation space, herbal steam room and an open-air bathtub for floral or milk baths.

freestanding bath with bamboo towel ladder opening onto courtyard

Image credit: The Tongsai Bay

The wealth of nature surrounding the resort provides the inspiration for artworks and rugs designed by internationally renowned Thai textile designer MookV (Mook Vinyaratn) using yarn spun from recycled fast fashion clothing. The textile waste is separated by colour and fully recycled, bypassing the dyeing process. All her artworks adhere to the philosophy of sustainable living and with titles such as ‘Home Sweet Banyan’ look to the welcome shade and home to birds offered by trees, vines, roots, and leaves for their subject matter. Recycled paper is also used in works such as ‘Blessed Tranquillity’ and celebrates the woods and greenery that protect many species of animals.

A new landscaping project to enhance The Tongsai Bay’s commitment to the local ecology is also under way under Phase Two, aimed at preserving the indigenous plants of Tongsai, a unique venture that will be a green trail-blazer not just for Koh Samui but for the whole of Thailand. The past three decades of success have seen The Tongsai Bay develop similar Green Projects which have gained national and international recognition and become a sustainable model for others to embrace.

aerial view of The Tongsai Bay showing greenery and ocean

Image credit: The Tongsai Bay

The landscape designer Chunlaporn Nuntapanich, who was born in Koh Samui, has been commissioned to devise a three-year plan for the area which over time will include a path to a hidden viewpoint at the highest point of Tongsai, overlooking the whole bay and beyond. Nuntapanich, who lectures at Chiangmai University and specialises in Ecological Architecture, focused on developing a sustainable local economy, surveyed The Tongsai Bay property and split the land into three categories; beach forest and small swamp area, secondary forest around the buildings, and indigenous forest on top of the hill, left untouched since before the hotel was built and throughout its 35-year existence.

The principal idea is to preserve and allow indigenous plants to take over the alien species over time. The large trees – even if non-native – will be left as they are, because they have been there for decades but ground-covering grass may be turned into more indigenous weed. On completion, the landscape will be a planned preservation of the indigenous plants of Tongsai, offering guests a walk through both a visually rewarding and an educational terrain.

bathroom opening onto a terrace with views over the sea

Image credit: The Tongsai Bay

While Phase One built on the mandate of resort since it opened in 1987, which was to provide luxury green hospitality on the idyllic island of Koh Samui, the stage is set for Phase Two to advance its philosophy and its committed leadership role in defining new travel trends. Combined with a true passion for the environment, it has built an enviable reputation for friendly and impeccable service in an unrivalled pristine paradise for active travellers, families, well-being seekers, and guests for whom privacy is a priority. The Tongsai Bay believes nature, the protection and preservation of the environment, state-of-the-art technology, and friendly service can go hand in hand with its ecological credentials to create a truly magical getaway for guests.

Main image credit: The Tongsai Bay

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