08/01/2012 07:11 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The W Hotel Raises Its Game To Offer Luxury In Paradise (VIDEO)

The cookie cutter W hotel formula -- modern decor, house music and cheeky catch-phrases -- to hopefully draw a trendy crowd generates a love or hate feeling, just like peanut butter cookies or Key lime pie.

If you look at their reservation logs, clearly most people love to indulge in W scene, hence the rapid expansion. New locations have opened in Hollywood and Austin, while plans to launch 40 hotels across Asia and revamp 10 U.S. properties are in the works. What you might not realize is that they have applied the successful formula on the resort scale in their W Retreats collection and turned up the volume -- not on the music, but on the luxury!

Located in the most exotic locations, W Retreats feature the same modern decor and stylish ambiance but with exponentially higher quality of living, or should I say, relaxing. Their focus at these properties is R&R instead of T&A, with award-worthy cuisine and attentive service. They ditched the bubbly Bliss concept and instituted the soft and serene "AWAY" spa that offers inventive treatments from all over the world.

If you can't tell by now, I'm not a fan of the domestic W (or peanut butter cookies for that matter), so I was blown away by how much I enjoyed their Koh Samui property for a week. You heard me, a whole week of being totally disconnected and lounging in this paradise.

Watch the video to see the W Retreat Koh Samui property, get a tour of my Ocean Haven Suite and learn more about Koh Samui. The best months to visit are December through March. I absolutely recommend choosing Koh Samui over the party-hard Phuket (like I choose Playa del Carmen over Cancun).

Obviously it's not an easy destination to reach, so I advise you to consult Gary Leff at to help you save some serious cash on your tickets. On your way in or out, stop off in Bangkok with a Luxe Guide and get a big dose of Thai culture.

For more hotel reviews and travel tips you can always visit my blog MoreThanMary or tweet me @MaryRambin.