Napasai, Orient-Express’ stylish and secluded beach resort and residences on Koh Samui, which already has the longest private sandy beach on the island, is set to become a swimmer’s paradise in a latest project to create a 28,000m² crystal clear lagoon and underwater nature reserve. Napasai will close for one month from 15th May 2011. When it reopens on 16th June, there will be even more powdery soft white sand and crystal clear water for guests to dip their toes into. During the closure, underwater rocks and dead coral will be removed to create a fine sand lagoon in front of the hotel. The project is being carried out under the supervision of the local marine authority with the aim of encouraging marine life back to the coral reef approximately 180m offshore, parts of which have died over an extended period of time due to fluctuating water temperatures. The coral reef itself will not be touched. Experts predict that as a result of this clearance, natural pools will be created in the middle of the lagoon by the ocean current, encouraging new marine life. Guests will be able to swim, or even walk at low tide, out to the reef and snorkel in the pools. Those that are inspired to explore further can take a PADI dive course during their stay. This project is the latest phase in Orient-Express’ investment in Napasai, a secluded hideaway set in tropical gardens overlooking the Gulf of Thailand on Koh Samui’s fashionable north coast. In January 2010, the private beach was expanded by 1,800m², complemented by a new barbecue restaurant, serving fresh local seafood and grilled dishes in two alfresco wooden salas from talented Chef, Gilles Galli, who was previously at Napasai’s sister property, La Résidence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, Laos. Napasai’s 14 private pool residences, some of which are ocean front, and 39 cottages were renovated in the same project, making them some of the most stylish and comfortable properties on the island. Napasai offers a spectacular range of accommodation including 34 Sea View Cottages, 11 Beachfront Cottages (see image above), eight Garden Cottage Suites, two exclusive Beachfront Cottage Suites with direct access to the beach and 14 private pool residences, all decorated in contemporary Thai design with WIFI access, iPod docks and Jim Thompson silk and cotton fabrics. The much talked about residences, which are fully equipped and serviced, are popular with groups of friends and families looking for luxury villa living with full privacy and access to hotel facilities. About Orient-Express Orient-Express, (NYSE: OEH, www.orient-express.com) the name behind an elite collection of travel experiences, first came into being in 1883 as one of the world’s most exciting and indulgent train journeys. Today that evocative name also embraces hotels, cruises and other luxury rail adventures in 24 countries, across five continents. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it first purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly afterwards, recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today, the company owns or part-owns and manages 50 businesses, 41 of which are highly acclaimed hotels, each unique in style, from the Mount Nelson in Cape Town and Rio’s Copacabana Palace, to the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg and Maroma Resort & Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. There are six luxury tourist trains, two river cruise operations and ‘21’, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants.
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