Samui Wining & Dining
The Library unveils a collection of eye-catching villas, adding an unexpected turn to its story.

p60-1Ever since it opened its doors in 2007, The Library, a luxury resort on Chaweng Beach, has remained unique. It’s too original for anyone to copy and get away with it, and generally so astoundingly different that nobody would dare try to emulate its success. With a motif of literature running throughout – check out the statues of book readers dotted around the gardens – and a seeming love of novels (rooms are known as ‘pages’, for example), the resort definitely leans towards the artistic. And, yes, it does contain a real library, some 1,400 books that have been carefully curated to please its guests. The Library, with its minimalist cubelike rooms, alabaster white buildings and signature red-tiled swimming pool has always been distinctive. Any sequel to this original would surely be expected to be along the same lines.


But the danger of sequels is that they don’t live up to the original; guessed in advance, they simply offer more of the same story. The sequel that The Library has unveiled to the world is quite the opposite: it’s unexpected. In fact, you could argue it’s the opposite of what went before. Instead of repeating the themes of the first part, the designers have built a boldly artistic enclave of villas that are quite different.


They’re hidden from view, accessed by a camouflaged portal. These villas are called the ‘Secret Chapters’. If you can find that portal, go through it and cross a bridge and then the villas appear one by one along a path. The designs are unusual, and what’s so great about them isn’t splashed across all media. It’s up to the guests to discover them. There are just 20 villas in all, and early this year they took top honours at the Asia Interior Design Awards for their originality. The independent judges said of the new collection that they were The Library unveils a collection of eye-catching villas, adding an unexpected turn to its story.“an aesthetically pleasing place that provides both freedom and privacy, like an island…” That island – the phrase is apt – comprises 16 Secret Pool Villas and two Two-Bedroom Secret Pool Villas. And now, the final chapters of the sequel have just been completed. They’re known simply as ‘The Editor’ and ‘The Writer’. As with the other secret chapters, they come with their own in-villa swimming pool. But there’s more to them than just added luxury. Their very names hint at the fact that as spaces they each have their own personality.


The Editor was conceived by interior designer, Khun Tirawan Songsawat, who envisaged travelling couples who would delight in the specific scenario that each of the villa’s rooms offer. The colour palette she’s chosen are pleasing green tones that are bound to soothe the senses, and then there are seductively red hues that bring out passion. It all depends on which room you are in. Key features are a custom-made 11-foot wide bed with mood lighting,a full dining area with pantry, dedicated reading room, outdoor pavilion, a spacious Jacuzzi bathtub and an eight-metre-long saltwater swimming pool. The size is impressive: a 278-square-metre layout, ideal for a couple.The Library unveils a collection of eye-catching villas, adding an unexpected turn to its story.


The Writer and The Editor are, like the other secret chapters, memorably different places to stay; you’ll be drawn into these enigmatic spaces. They will forever stand out as totally original holiday accommodation to say the very least.


There’s nothing self-conscious or earnest about the ethos of creativity at The Library; it’s both laid-back and playful, just the kind of place you feel instantly encouraged to unwind in. This is a place of timeless repose – just like the statues in the gardens, forever relaxed over their books, it’s an immersive experience being here and the world outside though, so close at hand, seems quite distant and unreal, like a mirage.


But even if you have a hotel on Samui, there’s reason enough to visit The Library. Drop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner at the restaurant, The Page. It combines the best of international dining and a chance to taste some authentic Thai dishes that are bound to please. It’s all as relaxed yet as professional as the rest of The Library and you’ll be able to eat fronting the sea. It’s a place to linger and be captivated by an atmosphere that’s as unique as it is pleasing. More than just a physical location, The Library is equally a state of mind, and an intriguing one at that.


Dimitri Waring


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