Peering over a long stretch of snow-white sand and turquoise ocean stretching across to Angthong National Park, Samui’s 20-year-old Baan Taling Ngam resort has long claimed near-legendary status. Now, after a US$30 million dollar refurbishment by InterContinental, it’s more appealing than ever. There are jaw-dropping views from every one of 76 spacious rooms scattered across nine hectares of lush headland, each with wooden decks and access to one of the resort’s seven swimming pools. The best views are reserved for the neon-lit Air Bar, where daybeds are positioned to make the most of the vistas. Order a negroni and watch the sun set before heading down to Brisbane-born, French-trained Luke MacLeod’s breezy beachside restaurant Flames. Stepping away from the modernist cooking styles currently dominating Samui’s restaurant scene, MacLeod sources local ingredients to produce simple soul-food dishes like red snapper rubbed with Thai spices and rustic fresh-from-the-oven bread with brie and pot of mango chutney.

295 Moo 3, Taling Ngam; 66-77/429-100; samui.intercontinental.com; doubles from US$234.

This article appeared in the October/ November 2012 issue of DestinAsian Magazine.