Arriving at Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa on a steamy tropical night is like entering an oasis of calm away from the bustle of Koh Samui. Despite the resort's proximity to the airport and Chaweng (the island's main tourist hub), once you are through the teak gates, the commotion of the outside world evaporates.

Everything here is designed for tranquillity: the iced tea and cool towels given to you at check-in; the spot-lit water feature running along the entrance pathway; the clean lines and minimalist decor of the rooms; and the serenity of the spa. There is lots to explore in Koh Samui and the hotel staff can provide guides to local places of interest, such as the Big Buddha (a 10-minute cab ride away). Afterwards, you can retreat back to the haven behind those gates. Wow factor: At the black-tiled infinity pool, waiters serve you complimentary fruit kebabs. Flight time: From 13 hours via Bangkok. Go: Book with Turquoise Holidays; call 01494 678400 or visit for more details or email <a href=""></a>