As its name suggests, the Scent Hotel takes its guests on a sensory journey through a world of fragrances. Frangipani trees blossom throughout its gardens, and oils and incense burn in reception and each of the quaint guest rooms.
The Scent hotel is located on a quiet stretch of beach in Bo Phut, looking out to the Gulf of Thailand. It maintains a tranquil, and remote tropical island atmosphere; a high achievement for Koh Samui, which has become so popular and built-up with the steady stream of tourists, that it has all but lost its island feel.
The front entrance to the Scent hotel is easy to miss, and as soon as you walk inside the gates you feel like you’ve stumbled across a well-kept secret.
The first thing we noticed as we stepped into reception from the street outside was the spicy, subtle fragrances that filled the room. We were brought scented face towels to cool down with, and a drink to enjoy while we were checked in.
There are only 14 suites available at the Scent Hotel – all of them located around the central point of the hotel’s swimming pool. 11 of the 14 suites are “Sea breeze suites”, and the remaining three “beach front suites” are located at the back of the hotel, looking directly onto the beach from their private balconies.
The rooms are styled with either European pale pastels and chic furnishings, or darker Asian colours and wooden furnishings.
As soon as we were taken to our room it became evident that care had been taken to address the tiniest of details.
We stayed in one of the first-floor sea-breeze suites, styled with Chinese antique wardrobe and cabinet, and four-poster wooden bed. The bed had been adorned with kissing towel elephants and scattered with frangipani flowers ready for our arrival.
In the bathroom, there was a vase with quaint white blossoms on the vanity and multiple lotions and gels were available to use; Each with its own unique fragrance. A large stand-alone tub was the pride of the bathroom, and vanity and bath fittings were a rustic brass.
The cabinet in the main room had three large glass jars of different spices, and a silver dish was waiting for us, with a decadently-creamed Victoria sponge cake provided with compliments.
The only issue we had with the accommodation was the bed. While comfortable, it would creak with the smallest of movements. Floor to ceiling windows looking out over the central pool area also meant that you needed to keep the curtains drawn to ensure privacy.
Pool and Spa
The pool is the focal point of the hotel and has flowering orchids and frangipani trees providing a floral canopy. As the weather was so hot during our time in Thailand, the pool water was not too cool, but this was consistent with everywhere we stayed and visited. It certainly didn’t stop us enjoying a lengthy and relaxing swim, and it was still more refreshing than the ocean’s warm water.
By the side of the pool are tables and loungers for guests to relax on. And there’s also the odd decorative birdcage or vintage bicycle. At the end of the pool is the dining area, leading down the steps to the beach, with sun loungers and umbrellas provided for guests. After a swim, we relaxed down on the loungers by the beach and ordered a couple of cocktails. They were cool and refreshing but were one of the only things during our stay that did not live up to our expectations.
While we didn’t have the chance to enjoy a treatment, we got to see the spa as we were offered to use the spa’s shower after we had checked out and returned from a snorkelling tour. A small spa, it has two treatment rooms and offers guests a range of treatments with different scented oils to choose from. The rooms are dimly lit and romantic. The shower room has the same lotions, shampoos and gels as the suites. If we were staying another day we definitely would have booked a massage.
Of an evening, the casual lunch area is transformed to a romantic beach-side dining experience. White table cloths don the tables, and candles are lit, creating a subtle glow as you look out to see and watch the sunset over the horizon.
The Scent hotel’s restaurant, Le Jaroen, offers guests a choice between Western dishes with French influence, and traditional Thai cuisine. We opted for the Thai degustation menu, and it was delicious. Dishes included roasted duck leg in red curry sauce and stir-fried greens. We enjoyed this with a glass of wine, and stayed well into the evening, after the sun had set.
Back in our room, we finished off the rest of the cake and enjoyed a fragrant bubble bath before heading to bed.
The next evening, we also enjoyed dinner at the hotel before heading to the airport for our flight back to Bangkok. We shared their signature burger, which was served with grilled onion, cornichon, Australian beef patty, melted cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, toasted sesame bun and chunky chips. We also shared the grilled aubergine (eggplant) and tofu dish. Both of them were cooked beautifully and were delicious.
The breakfast at the scent hotel is offered in the restaurant area, with a large selection of a la carte dishes. These include a selection of traditional Western breakfasts and French-inspired dishes, but also offer guests a selection of local dishes.
Each breakfast comes accompanied with tea or coffee, fresh juice, and a range of pastries. I opted for a waffle with chocolate sauce and fruits for breakfast, and Marcus decided on the breakfast granola with banana and yoghurt. As expected, both were delicious and were appreciated as an alternative to the Asian-style breakfasts that we still hadn’t quite got used to.
The Scent hotel offers incredible value for money. It is a stunning boutique hideaway, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular beaches of Koh Samui.
The food is delicious, and reasonably priced, and the pool, spa and direct beach access for long strolls make it a perfect couple’s retreat.