One of Thailand’s most revered landscape architects, Wannaporn Pui Phornprapha, has declared her work at the new Hyatt Regency Koh Samui as one of her most “special” achievements.
Wannaporn, the managing director of Bangkok-based firm P Landscape (PLA), has steered numerous award-winning projects during her illustrious career. Under her lead, the landscape and design studio boasts a client portfolio that includes well-known developments including 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai and the Museum of Contemporary Art Bangkok.
Therefore, her ringing endorsement of the Hyatt Regency Koh Samui speaks volumes about her satisfaction at another job well done.
“Everything from the beginning was special,” she said. “The passion everyone poured into this project. I can’t say enough about how proud we are about Hyatt Regency Koh Samui.”
A collaboration between three of Thailand’s biggest hotel design names — Office of Bangkok Architecture, August Design and P Landscape — the 140-room property occupies eight acres of private coastline in the far northeast corner of the paradise island. The beauty of Koh Samui is legendary. And the resort’s appeal leverages the visual appeal of the coastal landscape, a forest of protected trees and the proximity of the ocean.
Indeed, Wannaporn says that the dazzling scenery at the property was the first thing that struck her when she was enlisted by resort owner Ithichai Poolvaraluck to be a member of his design dream team.
“Our vision for Hyatt Regency Koh Samui started to come together after the initial site visit by a PLA team led by our design director Sutisa Patanapanich,” she said. “It really is a joint effort between us, the architecture team, the interior team and Khun Ithichai to convey this beautiful scenery into a unique experience that blends seamlessly with the guests’ lifestyle.”
Deploying a design-forward philosophy, the property, which is located in North Chaweng — and is less than ten minutes from the island’s international airport— bills itself as a “vacation gallery” due to its array of visual highlights.
These include a showpiece lobby, the longest lobby arrival point in Koh Samui, where numerous skylights allow for natural illumination by the sun and the moon. Other standout features span plush accommodations that showcase terrific ocean views to one of the largest pool zones on the island, where a series of pools cascade down from the main pool on the upper deck of the resort.
The latter feature is a particular source of pride for Wannaporn who singles it out as one of her favourite aspects of the resort.
“We are especially excited about the pool area,” she said. “Each terrace accommodates diverse types of guests and lifestyles. The top layer serves families with a kid’s pool adjacent to the main pool. The bottom layer near the beach is more colourful and reflects the party vibe at Sesun (the resort’s beach bar).
“The swirling of dark and light colour tiles mimics the gleaming effects of the waves reflecting off sunlight and the gradual change in tones resonates with the ever-changing colour of the ocean throughout the day.”
Sympathy with the existing nature of Koh Samui is a cornerstone of the landscape design at Hyatt Regency Koh Samui. Indeed, the resort incorporates around 80 native Yang Na trees (Dipterocarpus alatus) that were once used by sailors and fishermen as navigational landmarks. Wannaporn believes that such harmony with its surroundings bodes well for the resort.
“It is crucial to acknowledge that landscape and nature are not static, they are seasonal, temporal and dynamic,” she said. “Preservation of local trees gives this project a unique aesthetic that endures. At PLA we believe there is nothing more sustainable than protecting the beauty that is meant to be there.”