As far as islands in Thailand go, Koh Samui has finally hit the big-time.

Until now, it's one of the few popular beach destinations in the country that lacked a genuine hotel, something visitors have been wanting for years.

Now it's finally happened with the establishment of Cape Fahn Hotel, conveniently located less than a thousand feet from the shoreline of Choeng Mon Beach.

Luxury Resort

Calling itself a luxury resort, Cape Fahn Hotel consists of 22 villas, each equipped with its own pool for those wanting a break from the sand. It also boasts a first-rate restaurant, Long Dtai, run by Australian chef David Thompson, who has a Michelin Guide star in his lengthy list of culinary credentials. And despite his Aussie roots, he knows Thai cuisine inside and out, creating a menu that's much closer to traditional fare than the big-box offerings from other restaurants in the country.

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Besides entrees from an award-winning culinary master, Cape Fahn also has beachside outdoor movie screenings, a common salt-water pond for guests, access to kayaks and paddleboards and a workout room that includes a boxing ring.

Completely Unique

Executives from the Cape and Kantary Hotels chain picked the location and designed Cape Fahn in a way that it's both distant from the hustle and bustle in the rest of Thailand, yet in some way is still part of it.

"It is something completely unique, it's something completely new," said Olivier Schneider, Cape Fahn's resident manager, to CNN.

"We are very close to the mainland, yet we are so far. You can go back for shopping or sightseeing but return to this luxurious resort and enjoy all the benefits."

Focus on Sustainability

Travel from the mainland to Koh Samui has been made much easier since 1989, when an airport was built on the island. Before that, it would take hours to get to the island's picturesque beaches by boat, something that only the hardiest of backpackers would undertake.

That level of access back then has helped keep the island largely unspoiled, a consideration the hotel would like to continue with its focus on sustainability. Bug sprays and chemical fertilizers are forbidden on the premises as well as single-use eating and drinking utensils and containers.

"When we built Cape Fahn, we tried to take as much care as possible to protect the environment, the surroundings and the local culture," added Schneider.