An island guide to cannabis and wellness: my review of The Beach Samui

The Beach Samui

Wouldn’t you like to get away? I mean, like, really get away. Somewhere where you can relax, where the hustle and bustle of daily life and worries are not so much but a distant thought. What if cannabis could be part of the journey for you, complete with wellness activities to center your mind, body, and soul? That’s what brought me to The Beach Samui, a luxury beachfront hotel and herbal dispensary on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand.

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Disclaimer: This was not sponsored, and I purchased all accommodations, dining, and experiences by myself. No prior knowledge of my intention to write a review was given. This way, I could be as honest as possible and give a real review of the experience I had.

How to get there: By Train, Bus, and Ferry or Fly

Okay, so you have made the trip to Thailand. It was probably an exhausting flight, and unless you came from some select countries in Asia, you probably did not get a direct flight to Koh Samui. That’s OK! Rest up for a day or so to make the most of your time on the island, or if you’re planning your trip, just understand you may need some time before continuing on your journey.

Flights are only through Bangkok Airways as they built the airport on the island, so depending on if you planned ahead, the prices may be very inexpensive. However, if you’re flying in the next few days, those prices can jump considerably with no other options for flights, so plan accordingly.

Depending on your trip and if you have a long enough stay, you could also do transit via train, bus, and ferry to Koh Samui, with an average trip taking at least fourteen hours from Bangkok, but more than likely longer with transit changes and waiting for rides to be available. Comparing this to the one-hour flight time from Bangkok, you can understand why I chose to fly.

samui airport
The Samui airport is a one-hour trip from Bangkok Photo: Josh Freeman

The Grande Suite with Seaview

When you walk into your room, if you’re like me, you will be floored by what you see. All white everything, with touches of silver and wood to adorn the bed or end table. Chandeliers are hanging overhead to show you’re not just in a regular setting; this is high-society in more than one way for sure. If you are tall, however, do be aware some of these furnishings hang low, and I bumped my head often but without issue. 

These rooms are large, even by Western standards, and enormous compared to other Thai options. Even the shower was oversized and included two shower heads at each end so a couple could shower together. With a huge balcony outside and an unobstructed view of the ocean with waves rolling in what seemed like right beneath you, it’s easy to see why this place is called “The Beach,” as no matter where you are, you feel like you’re right on the water.

On the balcony is one of the best features of this room, and that’s the tub. Sitting outside on the balcony is an oversized stone tub that wistfully looks out over the ocean. While I will admit the tub takes a while to fill, and with the water conservation signs everywhere, you feel a bit gluttonous taking an extremely large bath—but don’t let that stop you. 

the beach samui bedroom
The rooms at The Beach Samui are impressive, and include a soaking tub on the balcony Photo: Josh Freeman

Downstairs in the lobby, you can buy bubble bath and bath salts to add to the tub. One day, I would like to see Kush Queen bath products available for purchase here as I think that brand partnership would be amazing for this location, something I discussed with the owner, Bryan.

When I wasn’t soaking in the tub, eating delicious food prepared by the chefs, or strolling the beach, I found myself just sitting on the balcony, watching the view and enjoying the serene beauty and quiet sounds of nature and Thailand in a way that seems lost in most other locations. The view was also maybe the best spot to sit back and roll up a nice joint to enjoy right then or to take with you on your evening travels, so why not take the time, enjoy the view, and roll up a few? It’s not called vacation for nothing.

A location like no other: Taling Ngam

When you think of Koh Samui, your mind may initially think of Chaweng Beach and the more commercial daytime activities, like going to the mall or shopping, or the nightlife spots that are packed together in this beach area. But what if I told you there was another Samui, one that is calm and quiet, filled with fishermen and locals? Taling Ngam, where The Beach is located, is that location, and like a step back in time, you have found the real Thailand unobstructed. For those looking to have a truly peaceful getaway, this is the location for you.

Waking up at The Beach was nothing short of spectacular. Complete blackout curtains curtail the sun’s advances until you’re ready for them, and breakfast arrives at your leisure or pre-planned timing. With a multitude of options on the menu, I went for the Wake and Bake option, which included breads and jams along with tea and coffee and an included joint of your choosing to start off your day on a high note.

breakfast at the beach samui
Wake ‘n Bake breakfast at The Beach Samui is served with a joint. Photo: Josh Freeman

Across the street from The Beach sits a handful of villas and the restaurant. Speaking with the owner, there are plans to convert the building where the restaurant is currently into the new location of The Herbalist Dispensary. The plan is to also convert the villas into additional guest accommodations, which would allow for larger groups to make use of the space. Something I know will become more valuable as the news of this unique destination travels.

Another thing that was discussed was the potential for group sessions, cannabis learning and experiences, and including marijuana plants at each villa. What was touted as potentially the Garden of Weeden on Samui, I can honestly say the future plans of this location are so exciting. With all the cannabis tourism in Thailand, I am betting these plans will grow, prosper, and bloom just like our favorite flower.

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The Herbalist: The Beach’s Dispensary on Wheels

Off to the side of check-in is a cart where you will find the Herbalist, at least currently. With flower options in a multitude of strains including pre-rolls of various sizes, topicals, some glass, and actual decently dosed edibles in 20 mg+ in gummies, drinks, popcorn, and baked goods. It looks like this is a revolving rotation, so your options may be different, but I can say you will definitely find some goodies for medicating at this wellness retreat. 

While waiting for my room to be ready as I flew in very early from Bangkok, I also happened to be in the lobby when one supplier, Graham of Vinzan/VZ Wholesale, a Canadian now living in Koh Samui, was making their drop of fresh flower and edibles to The Beach. After discussing their business and how it intertwined with the 580-plus shops they supply, mainly on the genetics and growing medium side of things, I also got the scoop on some of the best flower to buy or see on Samui, including some of the Haze Berry he had brought with him.

cannabis at the beach samui
The Herbalist dispensary at The Beach Samui offers a wide selection. Photo: Josh Freeman

The budtenders are actually more healer-focused, with degrees in Thai Medicine, and are both honest and hilarious to discuss cannabis with. While the woman I spoke with did not smoke cannabis herself, she was able to guide me to the proper pre-roll, which came in a glass sleeve which I used frequently on the rest of my trip for my own personal rolls. Is this the best weed on Samui? Well, maybe not the best, although very serviceable and the proximity to your room cannot be beaten. I will be excited to see when The Herbalist is able to move into its own space and what opportunities this allows for The Beach in the long term.

Experiencing The Beach: Herbal Baths, Sound Healing, and Cannabis Infused Cooking

One of the more exciting things about The Beach was the experiences you have available to you on your trip. These can be booked when selecting your room during your reservation or can be added during your stay. Just check with the front desk to see about availability. Here are a few of the ones I did while on my trip.

Herbal Milk Bath

This experience was a no-brainer since I already had the room with the amazing tub and view, so let’s step it up a notch. Working with the front desk, I scheduled this near sunset so it could be combined with my Sound Healing for the ultimate in relaxation and comfort. As someone who is not ashamed to say they love a good bath, I was definitely excited to see what this bath would be like.

When the time came, a member of the hotel staff came holding a basket of all the magical goodies that would go into my bath, including lavender milk for softening and herbs and flowers to soak into the water. Feel free to take the time, as I did, to roll up something nice to enjoy while having your bath for those wanting the ultimate in relaxation. After I got the green light that the bath was ready, I made my way over and practically dove in. It was so deep. The bath both smelled and felt amazing. With the sun setting in the distance, it was truly a relaxing experience.

milk bath
The milk bath at The Beach Samui is highly recommended. Photo: Josh Freeman

Sound Healing

Next on the list of experiences was Sound Healing, and I am going to be upfront here: I am not one of those people who generally do these types of things. It’s not that I don’t believe in alternative medicine. I mean, I love cannabis and have preached about it for decades. But, when you tell me Sound Healing, with no prior knowledge of all of its ancient practices and centuries of use, I completely blew it off as pretty much woo-woo stuff that I would probably not enjoy. I was wrong.

The Sound Healing offered here was something I could not have imagined, and it’s a must-do if you have the opportunity. When Svetlana arrived, I did not know what I was in store for, but as they explained each bowl or item as it was laid out in front of me and told me about the ancient rituals and their own personal history with the craft, I became much more open to the idea. 

I was told that after the milk bath and the sound healing, I would have some of the best sleep of my life and that often, people would fall asleep almost immediately when the sound healing session began. Shrugging off the idea I would immediately fall asleep, I laid down, and they began the session with slow hums around the body, and then going inwards as they changed bowls and patterns. I would like to say I was the standout, the one who stayed awake, and give you more details on the rest of the experience, but well, just as they had predicted, once the hum centered over me, I was out like a light and only remember waking up extremely rested and thankful for experience and enlightenment.

sound healing
The sound healing experience was incredibly relaxing. Photo: Josh Freeman

Medicated Thai Cooking Class 

The last on my list of experiences was the one I was most excited about. As someone who loves to cook and a culinary school graduate, I love taking cooking classes and learning the local cuisine wherever I am traveling. Previously, I had done cooking classes in Bangkok, but when I saw The Beach offered medicated Thai cooking classes, I was all in.

Scheduling the class with the front desk was easy, and I was offered two different course selections. I selected the one with Pad Krapow or Holy Basil Stir-Fry, which, in my opinion, is more the national dish of Thailand than Pad Thai, but that’s a different conversation. I was the only guest in that day’s class, which made things a bit more intimate between the chef and me. When I arrived, everything was already laid out for us to begin, but I had to select which medicated oil would be used in the day’s cooking.

You could select between two different CBD+CBN oils, and I went with The Best Relax and Recovery option. After that, it was immediately on to cooking as the chef wasted no time giving directions and helping you to ensure that everything was being done right. You can feel the years of experience backing you up, and there is never a worry about making a mistake that cannot be fixed. Even someone who has a large amount of experience behind the stove has many things to learn, so this is a great experience for cooks at all levels, from beginner to experienced.

cannabis tinctures
The infused Thai cooking class allows you to dose your dinner with cannabis tinctures. Photo: Josh Freeman

After preparing the starting course of Tom Kha Gai, or Thai coconut chicken soup, I sat down to enjoy my fine dish, which had been generously dosed with 3-4 drops of oil. Delicious and refreshing, the soup really hit the spot, even though it was almost one hundred degrees out and I was cooking outside. After making a serious dent in the soup, we continued making the next dish, the Pad Krapow, or Stir Fried Holy Basil. While I chose chicken, I think other options are available as well, and commonly served with beef or pork and then medicated with a good amount of drops from the tincture chosen.

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With the heat elevating outside, I chose to have the Pad Krapow held and served in my suite so I could enjoy it better. I then moved on to the last dish of the class, the Massaman curry. The chef explained that while we would start this dish together, because of its lengthy time behind the stove of a couple of hours, I could just choose a time later and have the dish brought to me in the suite as well.

After adding the last finishing touches to the Massaman, I made my farewell to the kitchen but not before receiving an achievement certificate for having completed the class, and was able to keep the apron I had been given at the start of the course to wear. Sweet mementos, for sure! 

Back in the suite, I eagerly crushed both the Pad Krapow and Massaman curry, and while I had wanted to feel medicated from the experience, I think my tolerance might just be too high for this to have had any substantial effect. In the future, I would really like to see the classes involve THC oils and other methods of infusing cannabis directly into Thai foods, as well as the CBD and CBN they are currently using for more of an entourage effect.

tom kha
Homemade infused Tom Kha soup made alongside a Thai chef. Photo: Josh Freeman

Farewell but not goodbye

This was one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating trips of my life, and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to stay here. Right from the start, the hospitality was amazing, the views spectacular, and the ambiance unreal. If you want to get away from it all and relax, want to experience a wellness retreat at the highest levels, or are suffering from an ailment cannabis could help with, I know Bryan and the team are definitely here to take care of you, whatever your island dream is. I can confirm I will definitely be coming back to The Beach Samui every time I am in Thailand.

As the laws in Thailand are currently being reviewed and modified concerning cannabis it’s always best to stay up to date on the news locally. From what I observed, cannabis is here to stay. But stay tuned for a more in-depth article regarding regulation and the changes anticipated from my talks with owners, growers, and activists in the Thai cannabis space coming soon.

This article was submitted by a guest contributor to GreenState. The author is solely responsible for the content.

Josh Freeman Josh Freeman is a seasoned professional in the world of cannabis, bringing a unique blend of financial acumen and a passion for exploration to the forefront of cannabis journalism. Based in San Diego, CA his day to day is working as a Senior Financial Analyst at a prominent Multi-State Operator (MSO), but his true love lies in discovering and sharing the incredible experiences that the cannabis plant offers. Join him on his quest to uncover the hidden gems and vibrant stories that lie within the world of cannabis, and let his passion for exploration ignite your own journey of discovery.