A few things I forgot to mention for Koh Samui.
1) A big shout out to Twisted Thai (http://www.imperialhotels.com/imperialsamui/twisted-thai-,dining_viewItem_58-en.html) for one of the most creative meals we had on the island. It’s New Thai food. Old dishes served in creative and fun ways, that make you really stop and think. They deconstruct the basics of a dish, and then put it back together so the tastes are there, but in ways you might expect. Green curry risotto, beef curry in the form of a burger, satay peanut sauce as ice cream, all crafted and served on a great setting with the ocean waves lapping in the distance.
2) Should you need a ride one your visit (you are coming out to visit right?) call Ms. Norree at 081-3063200 for car service and island transport. She was very helpful, spoke good English, and her rates were excellent. We had two different drivers and both were quite nice and friendly.
3) Best dinner for comfort (Thai) food was at Beyond the Sea (http://www.shasahotels.com/dining-en.html). Traditional, but very fresh and rich tasting Thai, in a great setting with landscaping and the ocean in the distance. Just super tasty all the way around and a great drink menu. It hard to say if this was better that Twisted Thai because both offered completely different experiences and both were superb.
4) We visited a rum factory (http://www.rhumdistillerie.com/en/historique.html) run by a nice couple who retired and moved to the island from France. It was an interesting and short tour to learn about the process and try some rum. Also we bought a bottle to bring home 🙂