The Kala Resort Review

Lamai Beach - Koh Samui

The Kala's slogan is 'Where Time Stands Still' and it certainly has done so for the hundreds of beautifully preserved French-Colonial Cambodian antiques and fittings distributed throughout this 38-room-and-villa boutique hillside resort. The Kala looks out over the Gulf of Thailand, affording sea views to all accommodations.

Newly constructed, the deft balance of buffed concrete with lush greenery – interlaced by sometimes bold antique counterpoint – works spectacularly in what could be loosely termed as 'heritage chic'. 

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Where Is It?

The Kala is situated between Chaweng Beach and Lamai, on the crest of a seaside hill.

It is approximately 30 minutes from Samui Airport by car.

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How Many Rooms?

The Kala has 36 rooms in total – 28 Deluxe Rooms, seven Pool Villas and one Presidential Villa.

Room Facilities

One of seven, our 45sqm Deluxe A Room (there are also 14, 52sqm Deluxe Rooms) features highly varnished wooden floors, a deliciously comfortable king-sized bed with vivid natural-dyed bed covers and a 22" TV with a wide range of international and local stations.

Central to keeping the room tidy is a beautiful antique trunk along with plenty of hanging space in the dark-stained wooden wardrobes that also hold a minibar, fridge, safety box and silk robes with cotton slippers.

Attractive hanging ethnic textile arrangements adorn the walls and the room has plenty of lacquered coconut shell accessories – 'Kala' meaning coconut shell in Thai.

The bathroom has a jumbo-sized bath with a rain shower and a toilet enclave to the side. Complimentary toiletries in attractive containers (again made from lacquered coconut shell) are either side of the raised sink and the bathroom features wooden louvered hinged shutters. 

Both room and bathroom feature subtle lighting throughout. The balcony has a stone table and seats with views out over the lush gardens and sea, in the background the sound flowing water from the resort's sealed waterways and waterfalls and the fragrance of the many frangipani trees lies heavy in the air.

The eight private Pool Villas range in size from the 160sqm 'Goz' Villa to the 188sqm 'Coconus' Villa and Kala also offers one 228sqm Presidential 'Kalapa' Villa. All Villas feature the delightful French Colonial Cambodian theme and antiques and aim towards total privacy, yet each possesses highly distinctive features such as a garden area, a private dining terrace and a treetop perch.

Villa décor is minimalist and beautifully executed with many stylish touches. Sensational views out to sea over the hulking granite rocks below are guaranteed. 

Restaurant and Bar

Located just below the lobby, the 80-cover 26th Degree (named after the latitude and longitude at which the coconut tree flourishes), the Kala's restaurant, serves up fusion dishes and extremely popular all-day a la carte breakfasts.

Faux antique fans keep things cool with solid wood tables and chairs to keep in running with the natural feel of the resort. 26th Degree is open sided and commands panoramic views out over Chaweng; an ideal place to while away the afternoon with a good book. The restaurant also hosts a Thai buffet complete with a Thai dancing show every Monday evening.

On the next level down stands the Rabbit Bar – an intimate and cosy place so-named after Chinese astrology. It has clever stone arrangements that incorporate special lighting effects. 

Leisure Facilities

Nearing the bottom level is a 60sqm Balinese stone infinity pool with 12 sun beds. Unusually, the surrounding trees have not been hacked down to provide a clear sea view.

This provides a natural enclosure-like feel to the pool area and guests can go down a level further to a sea-level granite boulder enclosure to sunbathe or to kayak and snorkel or even fish (complimentary).

Visitors can also book a private dinner on the resort's deck area perched above the boulders where cocktail parties and functions are held. 


The Agarin Spa (Sanskrit for 'where time stands still') has two double and two single treatment rooms. Here, the resort's Cambodian antiques come into their own with frescoes, huge cupboards and drawers (once used in a pharmacy), carved wooden partitions and antique timepieces galore.

The rooms feature quaint copper baths and of course lots of lacquered coconut tools and amenities. Using local products, Agarin offers aromatherapy massages, pedicures, manicures, traditional Thai massages and scrubs – all in an incredibly quaint setting.

The internet centre with its two (free) computer stations doubles as the library and here you can access WiFi. All wooden, all very rustic and natural. Finally to the left of reception guests can browse through an attractive selection of souvenirs, knick knacks, ethnic textiles, teddy bears, ceramics and clothing at the resort's shop. 


With an eco-conscious delivery (Kala is part of the Green Leaf Association), an extra friendly maid service, unusual décor and fittings, Kala has a lot going for it.

The resort is multilevel and the only way of getting around is by using the many stairways but for the fit and able this is not too much of a challenge.

By Sam Wilkinson - Photos by Stephan Audiger

The Kala Resort

The Kala Resort

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