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The first rum library in Asia
Rum Vault Koh Samui / Photos: Kim Choong

The first rum library in Asia

Four Seasons Koh Samui

- 219 Moo 5, Angthong, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

The resort alone is a destination for anyone visiting Koh Samui. The property is built on a hilly section in the north of the island, with a view across from Ko Pha Ngan and north west towards the Chumphon Archipelago. The 10-year-old resort houses 60 villas, each with a private pool. Their restaurants, bars and villas spread throughout the well-planned landscape fully utilise the hill, welcoming visitors on a trip of culinary indulgence, fancy tipples and top notch service.

The restaurants

Koh Thai, the resort’s feature Thai restaurant, is set on a breezy spot with a stunning sea view. The menu comprising authentic Southern Thai cuisine is designed by Thai Executive Sous Chef Sumalee Khunpet, who is herself from Southern Thailand.

Coco Rum
Coco Rum by the pool with a view of the sea

Oceanside grill restaurant Pla-Pla, led by Chef de Cuisine Ivo Benidio from Portugal, serves fresh seafood and prime cuts over a laid-back setting. There is a beach BBQ twice a week where guests get to enjoy scrumptious meals by the ocean at sunset.

Perhaps the best, and most romantic, view of sunset is from Koh Bar with its selection of premium wines (including Koh Samui’s largest selection of Thai wines), cocktails and canapes, located at the top end of the resort overlooking the lush greenery below.

Koh Bar
Koh Bar for a romantic sunset snuggle

CocoRum

Coco Rum Jungle Bird cocktail
Jungle Bird cocktail

El Presidente cocktail at Coco Rum
El Presidente, one of rum soaked cocktails in Coco Rum

With wide-cushioned-twin-seating on one side overlooking the infinity pool by the beach on the other, CocoRum is elegant yet relaxed, where classic, tiki and barrel-aged rum cocktails are served alongside a selection of artisanal spirits and canapes. Each cocktail on the menu uses ingredients from the original recipe and has a brief description of its origin and year of creation. The Malaysian classic cocktail Jungle Bird is on top of the list - using none other than blackstrap rum and garnished with an orchid, it closely resembles the original creation served in the Aviary Bar at the KL Hilton.

Rum Vault

Four Season Rum Vault Door
The door that enters the rum vault

The main highlight for any rum (or whisky or cognac) lover would be the Rum Vault next to CocoRum. Touted as Asia’s first rum library, the Rum Vault (as of writing) houses over 144 bottles of rum meticulously curated from around the world. The Rum Vault is also where rum cocktails are barrel-aged and bottled. Book a guided rum tasting conducted by Head Bartender Samart Khethong (Khun Mee), who has 12 years bartending experience and was the Top Bartender in Koh Samui in 2012 and top 10 in the Diageo World Class Competition Thailand in 2013.

Four Season Koh Samui Rum Library
Rum library with spaces still to fill with rare rums

The Rum Vault is always looking for special or limited edition bottles to add to their library. While some of these are available in Thailand, the collection is uniquely grown by contributions from guests. For qualified contributions, guests then enjoy a one-year membership to the CoCoRum Club with benefits which include rum tasting flights, a house barrel aged cocktail and a dining experience for 2. To find out which rums are on Khun Mee’s wish list, check here or write to the resort with the bottle intended for the collection.

Experience these:

Apart from walking, the only means of transport in the resort is using the buggy driven by their very experienced drivers. Whisk through the hills and sharps corners like a roller coaster ride.

Book a rum tasting in the Rum Vault guided by Khun Mee, the very knowledgeable Head Bartender and talk about everything rum.

Head bartender Khun Mee
Head bartender Khun Mee

Try wines made in Thailand (yes, Thailand does produce wines) at Koh Bar, which has the largest collection of Thai wines on Koh Samui. Meet their very passionate 24-year-old sommelier, Danaiphong Tongkamkaew (Aun), one of the youngest certified sommeliers in the world.

24-year-old Sommelier Aun
Possibly the youngest sommelier, Aun

Stay (at least) a night in one of their private villas - each villa gets a bottle of their barrel-aged cocktail (100ml), and of course, to enjoy the rest of their facilities and excellent hospitality.

El Presidente bottle
Gift for every house guest

Worth noting:

Thai taxes on alcohol are (very, very) high and the sommelier has specially marked this on their wine menu. The percentage of taxes they pay for their imported wines is at 450% per bottle.

Thai wine
Thai wine

The Four Seasons brand is big in advocating environmental conservation. In Koh Samui, the resort has restored over 16,000 corals since early 2018 with the help of in-house marine biologist Benjawan Sansittisakunlird.

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