The FUEL Weekend at the luxury island resort of W Koh Samui is your ideal fitness escape with a fun twist. By Sushmita Srivastav
Downing another sip of my delicious Thai Dragon cocktail, I pick a cosy spot on a sunken couch floating on a pond. There’s a DJ playing some crazy funk mixes. A few people are chatting and laughing at the bar while they wait for their tipple, while others are starting to groove to the beats, and chefs are busy serving hot plates of beef sliders, crudités, and fried prawns to the revellers—I wonder if the night can get any better. Just then, a series of fireworks light up the sky. The night does get better.
Though I am having a ball at the welcome cocktail party at W Koh Samui, located on
a 78-square-kilometre tropical island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand where I am
to spend a weekend, this beach vacation will go beyond just drinking margaritas and parties that blend into dawn. The brand is hosting its much celebrated FUEL Weekend for the first time at its breathtaking address on the island of Koh Samui. The four-day-long boot camp for a fitness-focussed crowd, however, is a spin on the usual wellness retreat, and runs on the motto of ‘DETOX. RETOX. REPEAT.’
Before the night of abundant cocktails, groovy tracks, and vibrant fireworks, there was a power-packed day of ‘detox’ that had started with a 50-minute-long heart-pumping session with Bec Donlan. The Australian lifestyle fitness coach used booty band cardio workout in low-impact HIIT style during her ‘Sweat with Bec’ session to help us all burn fat. This was followed by an F45 session (‘F’ for Functional and ‘45’ for the number of minutes it lasted) of fast and fun high-intensity group workout. Hence, the cocktail party comes as a much-needed ‘retox’ break from the exhausting workout sessions.
I come back to my Ocean Front Haven—one of the swanky villas with a glass door that leads one directly to the private pool, a personal patio decked with daybeds and loungers, and a manicured lawn that leads to the beach. There’s W MixBar for all my late-night hunger pangs, and a restroom with an oversized bathtub just a sliding door away from the pool, Bliss Spa bath amenities by the sink, a huge LCD to keep me entertained as I dip into
the tub, and a private rainforest shower outside. All of the 74 villas (including the ones that are categorised under Jungle Oasis, Ocean Haven, Tropical Oasis, and Seascape Haven) are done up with a similar sensibility. Slipping under the goose-down comforter on my king-size bed, I fall into a deep slumber in no time.
The next morning, it is time to sweat it out again, and though I usually find myself struggling to get out of bed on a weekend, I find myself at the W Lounge on time, gearing up for a thrilling session of Thai boxing. With some old-school warm-up exercises, brief sessions of kicks and punches, and ever shorter time breaks, I learn why Muay Thai is called ‘the art of eight limbs’. The ClimbFlow Fit-Yoga by Tiffany Soi isn’t a cakewalk either, but I am game, for I know this is what the FUEL Weekend is all about—working out hard, and then partying harder. The dynamic yoga and functional fitness fusion pushes you to stretch yourself to your limits, and then, stretch some more. While Soi makes us push ourselves on the deck, there are plenty of other things going on in other parts of of the resort. While AFAA-certified fitness trainer Ervin Cody is running a Boxing Boot Camp high on punches in the W Tennis Court, holistic fitness trainer Rosie Hope is helping others attain body alignment through a core Pilates session on the W Lawn.
But I decide to take a break and join the folks on the beach for the Island Picnic. From temporary glistening body tattoos to cocktail-making sessions (I make myself a delightfully tropical drink called Pineapple Heaven), to champagne pouring down throats from a giant bottle, to impromptu Zumba and much more—this beach bash takes ‘retoxing’ to a whole new level.
When I wake up the next day, I am greeted by a ‘floating breakfast’ in my private pool. If you think breakfast in bed was a great start to the day, trust me when I say that this floating tray of assorted breads, cheese, exotic fruits, juices, and sparkling wine, among other things, is sure to sweep you off your feet! After starting my day on such a sweet idyllic note, I decide to skip high-intensity workout routines on the last day. I make my way to the lawn for a session of Relax & Restore Stretch, where Rosie Hope leads us through release movements, breath works, and mindfulness practices to the rhythm of the soft waves kissing the shore and some healing music. As I lie back, I feel an overwhelming sense of comfort enveloping me. Retox goes beyond relaxation of the body.
In a Thai cooking class at EWOW Ocean Haven, I try my hand at making the perfect Thai salad rolls with rice paper, fresh ingredients, and sauces. I fail spectacularly. Post the hearty yet light meal, I opt for the quintessential wellness experience of the place—a traditional massage. Perusing a long spa menu full of body massages, wraps, facials, and makeovers, I pick a full-body deep tissue massage with the resort’s ‘WonderLust’ oil. The hour-long therapeutic and efficent kneading rids me off all the exhaustion.
Soon, it is time for another memorable night. The FUEL Weekend at W Koh Samui wraps up with the glitzy W Beach Party, where cocktails pour out again, the music booms, people groove, and scrumptious Thai food is served in a breathtaking beach setting. The fireworks have left the skies and found a place in the performances of the local men, who spin their sparkling torches to reverberant applause. Once again, I wonder if a night can get any better. I must return on another whimsical weekend to ‘repeat’, and find out for myself.
Bangkok Airways operates daily connecting flights to Koh Samui from Delhi and Mumbai with a stopover at Bangkok airport.
You must go for a snorkelling or scuba diving session in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Attend a Full Moon Party to dance away the night. In case you’re looking for something offbeat, book yourself a seat at a ladyboy cabaret show.