Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Winery owners; art lovers; philanthropists

Elias and Colleen Jreissati have made a huge impact on the Australian wine industry over the past few years with their Levantine Hill wines. 

Based at Coldstream in the Yarra Valley, Levantine Hills has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in the Yarra Valley with its Ezard @ Levantine Hill restaurant. 

The wines, made by former Yarra Yering maestro Paul Bridgeman, have also won several awards. 


In addition to their love for wine, the Jreissati family also has a passion for fine art - and for Tasmania, where they spend a couple of months each year in their Hobart apartment.

This week marked the unveiling of one of Australia’s most significant historical paintings, depicting Hobart in the 1850s, at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

View of Hobart Town with Mount Wellington in the background (1856) by Austrian artist Eugene von Guerard is one of only a small number of paintings of Tasmania known to exist by the renowned artist.

The Jreissatis bought the painting in 2016 for a reported $1.5 million and have loaned it to TMAG for the next 12 months. 


“We got so excited about being able to buy it because it is just fantastic, but also we hoped that one day we would be able to bring it back home, and we were able to do that with the help of the TMAG people,” Elias said.

“Seeing it on display in the museum with other paintings of its era was in goosebumps territory. We are thrilled.”

View of Hobart Town is on display until November 2018.

Meanwhile, Levantine Hill was also celebrating a top award at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. 


The 2014 Levantine Hill Syrah was awarded the trophy for best syrah/shiraz from entries received from over 80 countries.

Regular readers will know I am no fan of wine show results but this is a biggie. 

This spectacular wine, much more restrained than most Australian shirazes, retails for around $85.  

For details visit www.levantinehill.com.au.

Vinexpo expands further with new event in Paris

Vinexpo, the world's foremost wine trade exhibition, has unveiled dates for its next Bordeaux exhibition and announced the launch of a new Paris event in 2020. 

Vinexpo has already launched several events in Asia, but the move to Paris was totally unexpected. 


“For over thirty years, the Vinexpo brand has raised the profile of the wine and spirits sector," said Vinexpo president Christophe Navarre. 

"It’s the start of a new era for Vinexpo, and I’m convinced that the strategic decisions being made today will fly the flag for the industry.” 

Bordeaux is the birthplace of the Vinexpo brand and, as one of the most famous wine-growing regions in the world, it remains a unique meeting place for wine and spirits professionals. 

The 2019 event has been brought forward and is scheduled to take place May 13-16 at the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre, which is gradually being renovated. This is to avoid June heatwaves. 

The first Paris exhibition will take place January 13-15, 2020, at the Paris Convention Centre (Porte de Versailles). 

Vinexpo officials say there are major advantages to holding an international wine and spirits exhibition in the French capital: its attractivity, its accessibility and its impartiality.

Running the show in January also means Vinexpo Paris will be the very first event of the year and will optimise sales potential. 

“An exhibition at the start of the year means professionals can plan ahead and schedule purchasing,” said Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo CEO. “This event will strengthen our brand as a strategic partner in the wine and spirits sector.”

After its success in Asia and the launch of Vinexpo New York, scheduled for March, 2018, Vinexpo Paris will target buyers from across the world and especially Europe, which still consumes over 60% of the world’s wine. The event also aims to become an active platform to the spirits industry.


A whole new outlook for the Royal Mail at Dunkeld

The team at renowned Victorian gastronomic destination The Royal Mail in Dunkeld have unveiled a new eatery: Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel. 

The new restaurant has been built in a separate location and features unobstructed views of Mt Sturgeon and Mt Abrupt. 

It has been built to create an even stronger connection between the land and the dining table - and the menu designed to be illustrative of the seasonal expression of the Grampians. 

A winding bush trail connects the hotel and the new restaurant. 


The new restaurant’s namesake, executive chef Robin Wickens, has worked closely on the project; involving himself in the design of the kitchen, that he says “will provide greater culinary scope of the five- and eight-course menus Royal Mail Hotel is celebrated for.” 

The Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel signature dining experience is an eight-course Chef’s Tasting Menu ($185.00) with matched wines ($145.00). A five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu ($165.00) with matched wines ($115.00) and vegetarian Chef’s Tasting Menu are also available, as is a Chef’s Table in the kitchen for up to four guests.  



The menus, whilst changing frequently subject to the produce that is abundant in the garden, will always include herbs, greens, petals, roots, something from the ocean, poultry, a red meat protein (sheep and cows bred on-site for specific use in the dining room), dairy from local farmers and fruits.  

Wickens says diners can expect to see “culinary textures that emulate the garden with mulched greens, soils, foams, purées, petals, micro herbs, dried and crisp leaves, jus, juice and brews, such as vegetable infusions and teas.”

Much of the produce is sourced from the 1.2 hectare kitchen garden - the largest working restaurant kitchen garden in Australia - which grows more than 400 edible species per year. 

Dunkeld Pastoral Company rears herds of beef and lamb specifically for Wickens, this allows the kitchen team to manage the entire process from breed selection, grazing, slaughter age and butchery.


Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel is open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday and for lunch on weekends. The dining room seats up to 60 people, the Private Dining Room can seat up to 14 and the Chef’s Table can seat up to four guests.

The Royal Mail Hotel also provides a range of accommodation options for up to 120 guests starting from $245.00 per night. 

Restaurant reservations can be made on the Royal Mail Hotel website www.royalmail.com.au/eat-and-drink, or by calling +61 3 5577 2241.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

A little taste of home in a luxury Thai resort

It hits me somewhere between and seven and 10 days into any trip to Thailand. 

I love Thai food across the spectrum, stir-fries, curries, noodles; a bit of fire on my plate. Delicious.

Then, suddenly, I need a hamburger, or a roast. Something familiar and comforting. 

The Mövenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya, where I stayed last year, has the answer for long-term guests or local expats after launching a new weekly Friday Night Carvery Roast & Buffet in its Twist restaurant. 



The highlight of the evenings is a live carving station featuring roasted prime pork rib, leg of lamb, locally farmed chicken, seabass in salt crust and Cantonese duck. Roast potatoes and all the trimmings. 

There are other choices, ranging from a pasta station to local favourites like chicken red curry with roasted pineapple, but the roasts loom as the major attraction. 

I am no great fans of Pattaya as a destination, but this family-friendly hotel at Na Jomtien, around 20 minutes south of the Pattaya hustle and bustle, is a lovely destination, right on the beach. 

The Twist Friday Night Carvery runs from 6-10.30pm and costs just THB 850++ (around $33) per person. There is also a Saturday night seafood buffet. 



Mövenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya has 260 rooms, suites and private pool villas. The hotel’s five-star accommodation options are complemented by a comprehensive range of facilities including four food and beverage outlets, a state-of-the-art spa, lagoon swimming pool and fitness centre. 

The resort is just one hour from Suvarnabhumi International Airport and just steps away from the Ocean Marina Yacht Club. 

To find out more about Mövenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya, or to make a reservation, call +66 33 078 888 or email hotel.pattaya@movenpick.com

New map highlights over 100 Australian/NZ gin producers


Artisan gins are all the rage right now in Australia and Martin von Wyss and his team, who have worked on several iconic wine maps, have just released the first Gin & Botanicals Map of Australia & New Zealand.
Not sure where Sud Polaire is based? Unsure of where to find Hippocampus? The map will tell you and also features text written by drinks expert David Box, author of the upcoming
reference book Antipodean Gin. 

It shows the locations of 101 gin brands, distillers and producers, discusses 10 indigenous botanicals found in gins from Australia and New Zealand, their qualities described in words and with their geographical distributions mapped. 


There are also drawings of native botanical plants by illustrator Liene Drulle.


The price of the map is $14.95 plus the cost of postage and packaging. Flat maps are posted in a tube, folded maps are folded and posted in an envelope. 


The perfect Christmas present for any spirits lover?  


For details and orders see www.australianwinemaps.com.au  

Friday, 27 October 2017

Cider award sends a contradictory message

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. 

For several years now Australian's artisan cider producers have been hammering home a message about quality, regionality and the use of traditional cider apples. 

They formed an organisation, Cider Australia, and inaugurated some awards. 
But when the winner of the Cider Australia Awards for the best cider of the year was unveiled last night, it turned out to be a sweetish cider from an industrial producer in Ireland that uses table apples and apple concentrate and is designed to be enjoyed over ice. 

There have been some several controversial wine show results recently but nothing to leave an industry as red-faced as this. Two cider industry insiders I spoke to this morning were almost apoplectic. 

For the record, the winner of the 2017 Australian Cider Awards was Magners Original Apple cider, owned by global giant Bulmers. 

It is a perfectly good commercial cider, crisp and refreshing, but tastes nothing like what the Australian industry has been trying to promote. 

Magners Original Apple was awarded the top prize because "it displayed a perfect balance of sugar, tannin and overall complexity combined with toasty, savoury, creamy notes – the ‘wow’ factor that helped this product rise to the top," according to the press release. 

If so, that's a kick in the face to all the artisan Australian producers who have been trying to raise awareness of traditional cider. Maybe the judges didn't get the message about craft cider; or maybe they just like commercial ciders. 

Other gold medals were awarded in the competition to St Ronan's Cider from Victoria, The Barossa Cider Co,, along with new entrant The Sparkke Change Beverage Company from South Australia and Westons Cider from England. 

Unfortunately, Cider Australia also forgot to put the results up on its own Twitter feed and website. Which is downright weird.  

Head to Tasmania for a series of vineyard summer feasts

Moores Hill is one the finest wine producers in Tasmania with a gorgeous cellar door on the Tamar Valley Wine Route. 

On the fourth Sunday of each month throughout summer, Moores Hill will be teaming with Charlotte Brown and Don Monk of the very mobile Vineyard Seafood Restaurant for a series of Tasmanian seafood feasts. You may remember their pop-ups at Spring Vale.


The menu will vary depending on seasonal availability of produce but the two teams plan to showcase the best Tassie seafood available, matched with delicious Moores Hill wines (the riesling is always a standout).

Expect char-grilled octopus, wood-fired baked salmon, crayfish, smoked mussel paté, grilled scallops and oysters to be on the menu. 


There will be options for non-seafood lovers too! Plus a cheese platter or something sweet to round things off. 

The Moores Hill and Native Point sparkling wines will be flowing along with crisp whites - riesling, pinot gris and chardonnay. But if you want reds, pinot noir and cabernet merlot will be at the ready. 

The dates are: November 26, December 24, January 28, February 25, March 25 and April 29.  Bookings are encouraged on (03) 6394 7649. 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The perfect Thai escape for a pre-Christmas detox


Chiva-Som, the renowned ultra-luxe Thai wellness retreat at Hua Hin, has announced details of a Thai Pavilion tranquillity offer for guests staying between November 1 and December 19. 

Priced from $3531 per person twin share for three nights, the deal represents a saving of $883 per person on standard rates. Just tell 'em I sent you.   

The deal includes accommodation in a Thai Pavilion, individual health and wellness consultations, three wellness cuisine meals, optional skin consultation, optional physical analysis, daily fitness and leisure activities (eight classes daily), unlimited use of Water Therapy Suites (steam, sauna, Jacuzzi) and one daily treatment per night from a choice of Thai massage, foot massage, Oriental scalp massage and other options.

The Speciality Retreats vary in the minimum of nights required and are tailored to address guests’ goals and objectives, state of health and ability to achieve those goals.


The Chiva-Som advisor will assist guests in achieving the most out of their stay by devising a personal program of treatments and services. 

Chiva-Som, the ‘Haven of Life’, accommodates guests in 54 stylish rooms with Thai Pavilions exuding traditional charm and newly renovated Ocean rooms and suites providing spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand.


The resort features 70 treatment rooms at Niranlada Medi-Spa, a kinesis studio, gym, watsu pool, flotation pool, large outdoor swimming pool, bathing pavilion with Kneipp bath (I have no idea what one of them is but it sounds dangerous), sauna, steam, Jacuzzi and indoor swimming pool. 

Spa cuisine features organically-grown fruits and vegetables from the Chiva-Som garden and guests can enjoy the elegance of fine dining in the Emerald Room or relax outdoors at the Taste of Siam restaurant by the sea.

For bookings of the Chiva-Som Thai Pavilion Tranquility Offer contact your travel agent or a Chiva-Som Specialist on 1300 857 437.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Meet the most powerful passport in the world


Which passport will get you to the most countries around the globe without needing pesky visas?

The result may come as a surprise but Passport Index has named a Singapore passport as the most powerful - with a visa-free score of 159 nations.

The Top 10 most powerful passports in the world have historically been European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years.

While Singapore has quietly climbed the ranks, most recently reaching agreement with Paraguay, US passports have fallen since Donald Trump took office as president. Most recently, Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders. 

Other Asian passports in the Top 20 include those of South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

The Passport Index is the world's reference on everything passports. Developed by Arton Capital, a leading global advisory for residence and citizenship solutions, the Passport Index has become the most popular interactive online tool to display, sort and rank the world's passports.

The Index ranks national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigning a "visa-free score" according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

New Top 10 Passport Power Ranking:
159 - Singapore
158 - Germany
157 - Sweden, South Korea
156 - Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom
155 - Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal
154 - Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, United States of America
153 - Austria, Greece, New Zealand
152 - Malta, Czech Republic, Iceland
150 - Hungary
149 - Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Launceston's new luxury hotel bang on target

Launceston may have fallen behind Hobart when it comes to new hotel openings in Tasmania - but the exciting new Peppers Silo Hotel is on target to open in April next year. 

To be managed by Mantra Group, the 108-room property is a $25 million redevelopment of the landmark Kings Wharf grain silos. 


The 10-storey hotel will include 52 rooms in the barrels of the former silo and overlooks the nearby tourist drawcards of Seaport, Royal Park, the Tamar River Basin and Cataract Gorge. 

Four large apartments will occupy the top floor, while a restaurant, cocktail bar and large meeting room will be located on the first floor.
Peppers Silo Hotel is the third management agreement signed between Mantra Group and developer Stewart, Morris & MacLagen Group, joining Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston and Peppers York Cove, Tamar Valley.
Mantra Group chief executive officer Bob East says the group is thrilled to expand its presence in a key Australian tourist destination with established demand drivers.

"The consistently high-performing hotel market in Launceston, combined with the ideal location of Peppers Silo Hotel and its unique market drivers, presented us with an exceptional opportunity to add to our existing portfolio in the city," he says.
“This acquisition comes at an opportune time in the Tasmania tourism market, with the state currently enjoying record domestic and international visitation.
“And, based on supply and demand forecasts, this strong performance is set to continue with further uplift projected."

Peppers Silo Hotel will be the first hotel development to open in Launceston since Mantra Charles Hotel was developed in 2010.

Mantra Group is the leading Australian-based hotel and resort operator. Mantra Group's portfolio consists of 129 properties with more than 22,000 rooms in properties under management, across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. 

Free-pour Bordeaux wine. They won't be trying this is in Australia.

Imagine telling Australians that they can drink their fill; as much Bordeaux as they want to consume over the duration of a long restaurant lunch.


It would be a recipe for ructions; a prescription for pandemonium; a magnet for mayhem. Australians are often prodigious drinkers and are keen on value for money.

In London, apparently, diners can be trusted to pay £15 per head and enjoy unlimited refills of Bordeaux when they order Sunday roast at one of a number of top-end eateries. And still behave themselves. That's around 25 bucks in Aussie dollars. 

Restaurant group D&D London has partnered with Vins de Bordeaux UK to launch “Red Roasts”, a "bottomless drinks" deal for October.  

Butler’s Wharf, by Tower Bridge, New Street Grill near Liverpool Street station (above), Southbank’s Skylon and Paternoster Chop House near St Paul’s are all taking part in the Red Roasts promotion.
D&D will also serve sharing roasts alongside the bottomless Bordeaux deal, which will include pressed Waveney Valley pork belly, roast Aberdeen cross sirloin, half-spit-roast corn-fed chicken, braised autumn lamb shoulder with a selection of sides served with bottomless gravy for £22.50 per head.

It all sounds deliciously decadent. Just don't let them know in Earl's Court.  

Monday, 23 October 2017

The secrets of airline seat whisperers

A friend wrote on Twitter the other day how she saw a fellow passenger boarding with a box of tissues in her hand and silently prayed she did not find herself sitting next to the woman, whether she was grieving or suffering from a severe cold.


I say the same silent prayer every time I am on board, comfortably seated with an empty space next to me. 

Other than praying for a seat with extra legroom, perhaps a bulkhead seat, exit row or row three on Virgin Australia domestic, seat whisperers also look for the best result - an empty seat next door, or, even better, an empty row. A look at the Seat Guru website can be a big help. 

The most successful seat whisperers are nearly always frequent flyers. Airlines look after their regular customers and give them the aisle seats they want (or sometimes window seats) but never the dreaded middle seats. 

Regular flyers are often given an empty seat next door if the flight is not a full one. 

That doesn't mean, however, that even seat whisperers don't have five or 10 minutes of anguish before the last doors are closed. 

That grossly obese person. Are they headed for seat 3B or E? That mother with the screaming banshee over her shoulder? The massive guy with biker gang colours? 

You never know until boarding is complete; there can always be last-minute changes, but every successful seat whisperer knows to choose their favoured seat at the time of booking, to be nice to the agent when checking in, and be polite to the airline crew when boarding. 

The days of free upgrades may have almost faded into the mists of time, but finding yourself in an empty row on a long haul flight is almost as good. 
    

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The perfect wine for Halloween - with a skull label that glows in the dark

It has been a recent phenomenon but Australians appear to have adopted the very American festivities of Halloween with great gusto.

Trick or treating sounds downright unAustralian to me; since when did Aussie kids harass the neighbours in search of free sweets? - which is essentially what "trick or treating" comes down to. 

Nor have we traditionally carved pumpkins into lanterns designed to scare off evil spirits. 

And certainly not Trumpkins, pumpkins carved into Donald Trump likenesses to scare the whole darn neighbourhood to death. 

But Halloween has caught on like wildfire, spreading from its Irish/Scottish origins to the US, and now Down Under, where parents are apparently quite happy for pre-teens to knock on the doors of the very strangers they tell them to stay away from on every other day of the year.

Where there's a party there's a buck to be made, however, there is a buck to be made, so it comes as no surprise that Halloween now has its own wine. 
And it's being marketed under the slogan: "You've probably got your costume sorted, but what about the wine for Halloween?" 

My costume? 

Anyway, the people at Bare//Bones Wines, say they want to make sure adults can have their own Halloween treat on October 31 - one that is not potentially lethal given its sugar levels - and does not involve replicas of body parts. 

Bare//Bones Cabernet Sauvignon comes with a "scary" skull design label that, you've guessed it, glows in the dark. Impressively so. 

So if you are looking for a Coonawarra cabernet for $18.99 as a special Halloween treat, pop into your local Dan Murphy's store.

The wine is perfectly serviceable, decent value for sub-$20 without scaring a soul.   

# There is another Bare Bones wine range in the US - but it doesn't look anywhere near as scary. 

  






Somewhere unique to stay just down the road from Daylesford


Daylesford and neighbouring Hepburn Springs are fast emerging as the hottest of weekend hotspots in rural Victoria. 



With dozens of restaurants, cafés and wine bars, spa facilities and a growing number of accommodation options, there are few better spots to indulge in a day or two of gourmet exploration just a short drive from Melbourne Airport. 

Among the newest - and certainly most innovative places to stay - is family-owned and -operated Clifftop at Hepburn, which was voted No.1 in Australia of over 40,000 holiday homes in the Stayz program and has also been named as one of Australia's most romantic getaways.


Think magnificent views, super-comfortable beds and luxe furnishings and a range of gourmet treats; including local chocolates. You can book your package, adding perhaps a cheese platter, or bottle of Passing Clouds wine, when you book online.



Imagine having your own full-sized pinball machine, a two-person day bed that doubles as a swing, or an in-house Spotify system. The owners here have thought of the lot.


And just across the road is the Old Hepburn Hotel (out of sound range, thankfully), which often features live music. 

The three villas at Clifftop - Evoke, Serenity and Tranquility - can best be described as eclectic. They are a marriage of street art and modern design with life's little comforts: top-notch kitchens, wood fires, comfortable beds, free and fast internet, hammocks with a view. 


Coming soon: some innovative luxury villas constructed from shipping containers and sharing the same magnificent views. Paris, Rome, Vienna and Venice are scheduled to open in mid-2018. 



My only complaint about this spectacular destination: the website is striking in design but difficult to navigate. As you will no doubt find out if you go to book at:  



Saturday, 21 October 2017

The tastiest university of all - Sushi University

Have you ever wanted to know more about the many different types of sushi? 

Ever visited Japan and felt intimidated by the myriad choices? 

Help is at hand through Tetsuya Hanada and his English-speaking colleagues at the Sushi University in Tokyo, who can who can school guests on the dos and don'ts of omakase dining. 



The team offers the chance taste authentic edomae sushi (fresh raw fish, and cooked rice which is seasoned with vinegar) while having an informative conversation with the sushi chef over the counter. 

The Sushi University provides an escorting-interpreter service so that guests can get acquainted with the culture and history of sushi, learn stories about fresh ingredients and also a chef’s technique and style. 

There are several different courses/feasts available, all conducted in real restaurants, starting from Y10,000 per person (around $Aus112). 



The interpreter accompanying you means you are able to ask serious questions to the chef. 

There are three courses: basic, intermediate and advanced. In a basic course, the lectures will be conducted at a sushi bar where office workers might want to drop by to grab a sushi dinner after work. 

In the intermediate course, the lectures will be at a mid-range sushi restaurant, while the advanced course features a high-quality sushi establishment. 

Lectures and tastings are all held at counter seats, not tables. In sushi restaurants, counter seats are the best place to sit since visitors are able to see close-up a chef’s knife skills and hand-rolling technique. 

Since there is a limited number of seats at a counter, the participants are limited to a party of seven (minimum students/gournets two). 

Sushi University experts can meet visitors at their hotel, and choose a selected sushi restaurant within 30 minutes. 

Perhaps start with a chef-recommended Japanese sake before sampling the various dishes. 

For full details visit https://sushiuniversity.jp/ 

# Tetsuya Hanada contacted me with this info. I hope to graduate next time I am in Tokyo.   

Friday, 20 October 2017

Special deals on luxury new Koh Samui pool villas

A grand a night isn't cheap, let's face it. But when that grand a night is being spent on one of the most dramatic resorts in Thailand it may be worth dusting off the Platinum Amex. 


In celebration of the start of the unveiling in November of the new Secret Pool Villas at The Library in Koh Samui, an introductory rate of THB27,064 per night for two people, including breakfast, is available for bookings made from now until November 30 for stays in a one-bedroom Secret Villa from November 1 to December 20, and from 6 January to 30 April 2018.

I've poked my head in at The Library and its a pretty special spot. I was supposed to stay there last month but the trip fell through (don't all cry for me at once).

Collectively known as Secret Chapters, new exclusive one- and two-bedroom Secret Pool Villas will "exude a sense of unmitigated luxury and freedom". I'm told they are perfect for discerning couples and honeymooners. They come with huge open spaces, private Jacuzzis and swimming pools (like below). 



Guests staying a minimum three nights in a Secret Pool Villa over the same period at this popular resort, set against the backdrop of Chaweng Beach, will also receive a complimentary 3-course dinner for two people and round-trip Samui airport transfers.

The Library will introduce the one-bedroom and two-bedroom Secret Pool Villas in November with special villas, The Editor and The Writer, due to be open by early 2018.

The floor area of the one-bedroom Secret Villas will be 220 square metres with a custom-made 3-metre-wide bed. Key features include a dedicated entertainment space, full dining area with pantry, spacious Jacuzzi bathtub, 8-metre long saltwater swimming pool, oversized tandem rain shower and his and hers walk-in closets.

A member of Design Hotels, The Library is a relaxed design-centric hotel with just 26 studios and suites. It has been described as Koh Samui’s top boutique accommodation.

I'll report back when I get there next year. For details in the meantime: 

www.thelibrarysamui.com