Obviously, spoiler alert, my beloved Jennifer Coolidge as the deliciously deranged Tanya McQuoid won’t be able to make the trip (or will she? I’m hoping for a miracle ...) but at least Mike White’s work-of-art HBO series is returning. And we all know that the setting is as crucial as the characters. The first series was in Maui, in Hawaii, the second in Taormina in Sicily. And the exquisite highlands and islands of Thailand will be the new backdrop for the show’s biting social commentary on the corrupting power of wealth. In a generous act of public service, I scoped it out.
After flying to Bangkok I took a 45-minute connecting flight to Koh Samui and checked into the Six Senses. This dream world of 66 wooden villas with private pools is at the northern tip of the island. Deep in nature, yet expensively pared back, this is rustic luxe at its best. With plenty of emphasis on sustainability and getting in touch with nature, it is the land of the thoughtful billionaire tech bro, not brash showboat wannabes.
You could lose hours gazing out across the Gulf of Thailand, or draped over a lounger by the infinity pool, judiciously working through the cocktail menu. Pleasingly, all guests are allocated a “GEM” (Guest Experience Manager) who can book tables at the award-winning restaurant Dining on the Rocks or design excursions.
Like all Six Senses in Thailand, the hotel has an organic vegetable garden and farm where guests can pick up their own eggs for breakfast. Everything from napkins to towels is made from natural materials. The guilt-free good life.
Next, another internal flight to Phuket, and then a short boat ride to Six Senses Yao Noi (Thai for “little long island”). Set among the limestone of Phang Nga Bay, this resort, comprising 56 discreet villas, is arguably even more breathtaking, with views of neighbouring islands. Kit Harrington, Tilda Swinton and Cristiano Ronaldo have all stayed here.
The drinks party that greeted us on arrival, with expensively dressed guests, blue butterfly pea flower cocktails and Thai women performing traditional dances, could have been a scene from The White Lotus. I nearly looked over my shoulder for Coolidge and co.
Again, the hotel has a sustainability focus — including a mushroom hut where they grow all sorts of fungi for the restaurant — and it even has a water plant. Proving yet again that sustainability doesn’t mean compromising on luxury, guests are ferried around in electric buggies.
The resort — designed to look like the nest of the yellow-beaked hornbill — is dotted with incredible restaurants serving exquisite, mainly Thai food. Highly recommended is a longtail boat trip to a desert island where chefs will set a table on the sand and serve the most incredible barbecue supper. Another day you might take advantage of their professional Muay Thai boxer, on hand in case a guest fancies a round in the ring, or spend an hour in their yoga shala in the mangroves.
As the team waves goodbye from the hotel pier, it’s hard not to shed a tear — but a couple of nights in the chic Anantara Phuket should cheer you up. Don’t forget to visit the night market to stock up on “designer” bags. The UHNWIs at the hotel might not approve of the bling, but your LNWI friends back in London sure will.
Scott Dunn offers eight nights from £3,551 per person based on a family of two adults and two children. It includes three nights at Six Senses Samui, three nights at Six Senses Yao Noi and two nights at Anantara Mai Khao, as well as return flights from the UK and private transfers. scottdunn.com, 020 8682 5080.