1985 to the present day

David and John pose for a photo during construction of Poppies Samui

The Resort owes its existence to a chance meeting in 1985 between an Englishman and an Irishman. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but in this case the punch line is the beautiful resort we now know as Poppies Samui.

David, the Irishman, and his Thai wife owned the prime beach-front land, which in 1989 was still a plain, featureless rectangle sloping in part away from the beach. John, the Englishman, who together with his Balinese wife had created Poppies Bali, beginning in 1973, took on the challenge of working out the design concept for a luxurious hideaway on a very limited piece of land, the shortcomings of which were overcome with an elaborate plan to build 10 extra cottages and a garden above the lobby at the rear of the property.

A further challenge was to offer a sense of individual privacy in a lush tropical garden ambience. The landscaping was painstakingly planned and executed with this in mind.

The new partners set up a company to build and operate Poppies Samui, and after a lengthy design and construction period the hotel finally opened its doors in 1994.

The layout of the cottages and gardens and the design of the rock swimming pool are based to a great extent on those of Poppies Bali, though the actual building style is Thai. Much emphasis was placed on obtaining traditional Thai building materials such as teak and other hardwoods, unglazed roof tiles, hand made ceramics, and local fabrics.

The bathrooms have open-air gardens, as in Bali. The solid wood Restaurant Pavilion, with carved teak gables, was built in Ayuthaya, the old capital of Siam, and re-assembled in Samui.

To help maintain the overall tranquillity of the property a tunnel was constructed under the cottages which connects the loading bay in the forecourt to the kitchen. The tunnel is used as a walkway for staff and to deliver food and drink to kitchen and bar.

And why the name 'Poppies'? See the Bali site for more details.

Want to see pictures of the hotel today?
Visit our tour page for pictures and 360 degree views.