Isabel Tan aka @Pretty Frowns on beauty, travel and the beaches of Samui

She’s pretty, and she rarely smiles in her photos. Maybe that’s why Isabel Tan goes by @PrettyFrowns. Well, we had a chat with Isabel during a recent trip to Koh Samui and tried to see if we could get her to crack a smile in a photo (we failed). Nevertheless, we learned all about how Isabel maintains that perfect hair, how she packs, and what she loved about the island.

We are obsessed with your sunkissed glow. How do you maintain it?

By making sure I visit my favourite tropical spots at least a few times a year. This way I don’t lose my tan. I also use lots of moisturiser!

What about your hair? It’s always flawless, even in the summer humidity.

Honestly, it’s so hard to maintain long hair in humid weather. I usually try to take my photos as soon as I get out of AC. Or you know you can always just put on some hair oil and embrace the “messy beach hair” look.

You recently visited Koh Samui – was it your first time there? 

Yes, it was my first time there! Bali has always been my favourite beach getaway spot, but I thought I would give Koh Samui a try since I’ve seen photos of amazing beaches there.

It was exactly what I was looking for! The food was amazing (you can never go wrong with Thai), the beaches were beautiful and not at all crowded, and the people are so friendly!

What was the highlight of your trip?

The Samui Elephant sanctuary I visited. I have always wanted to interact with elephants, but I’m also aware of how awful elephant tourism can be. When I found out that there was an elephant sanctuary, where retired elephants can enjoy life, I did some research and booked a tour!

Read also: World Elephant Day: 5 reasons to visit an ethical elephant sanctuary

Quick facts – Where Isabel Stayed

Baan Ban Buri

  • Baan Ban Buri is a contemporary four-bedroom, four-bathroom + powder room villa on the beach in Bophut, Koh Samui.
  • The villa is spread across six separate pavilions that are lined up on either side of a central path.
  • Floor-to-ceiling glass door panels make the most of the villa’s beach views, while the wide beachfront terrace and infinity pool promises many outdoor hours soaking up the sun.
  • Baan Ban Buri is one of the eight properties of a secured gated community, Dhevatara Residence. The estate has 31 bedrooms with room for 62 guests.

Baan Rattana Thep

  • Baan Rattana Thep is a beachfront, five-bedroom and five-bathroom villa in Lipa Noi, Koh Samui.
  • The villa takes inspiration from Thailand’s ancient Ayutthaya style and features expansive sunset views over the Gulf of Thailand.
  • High-end amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, alfresco dining area, and home theatre.
  • Enjoy meals prepared by an in-house Thai chef in the beachfront pavilion.
  • Baan Rattana Thep is part of the Dhevatara Cove complex, which is comprised of five beachfront residences and room for fifty.

What are some must-visit places in Samui that you recommend?

Fisherman’s Village was a little touristy, but I really enjoyed it. There are lots of great restaurants and bars. There are also amazing massages in the area for great prices.

Read also: Dine your way through Koh Samui’s Fisherman’s Village at these 12 Eateries

We loved all your looks during your trip! Do you usually pack light, or do you like to pack plenty of extra outfits?

I packed one outfit for every day. I find it easier to pre-plan my outfits before trips. And I brought some extra essentials like denim shorts and t-shirts. I always bring an extra dress just in case we end up doing something fancy!

What are your beach trip essentials?

A good beach bag that fits everything, SPF for body & face and a lot of bikinis!

Read also: Swim Fashion: Dervla Louli Musgrave on 2019 Swimwear & Wellness trends

What are your favourite swimwear brands?

Frankies Bikinis, Palm Swimwear, and Mai Mia.

Getting ready for some time next to the pool at Baan Ban Buri

Read also: 9 Sustainable Swimwear Brands so Luxurious You’ll Forget You’re Saving the World

How did you like Koh Samui’s different beaches? Was there anything different between Bophut and Lipa Noi?

Baan Rattana Thep‘s beach in Lipa Noi was more private, it felt like our own beach, and we could spot a few islands nearby. Our lovely villa manager drove us to another beach 5 mins away. There we got a small private boat to tour the islands nearby. I highly recommend doing that!

Baan Ban Buri‘s beach in Bophut was clear and blue. You can spot locals catching shellfish, and it was a little busier but still beautiful. There were plenty of options for lunch and dinner around.

How do you usually plan out where to take your photos? 

It really depends! For this trip, I just went with the flow, I find that the best photos come from an organic moment.

Read also: Everything you need to know before planning a holiday photoshoot

What did you love about the two villas?

Dhevatara Cove, where Baan Rattana Thep is, felt like a truly local experience – the Thai architecture was beautiful and luxurious. You really don’t feel like anyone is around you, the villa felt like our little secret getaway!

Baan Ban Buri in Dhevatara Residence was modern. There was an infinity pool facing the beach; the rooms were white and bright; it felt like paradise! Also, a 5 minute drive from the main city area to go out for dinner and drinks.

Isabel at Baan Rattana Thep

Where else are you going this year?

I just got back from London, and I’m going to Montreal for a job in a few weeks, I’ve never been so I’m really looking forward to it.

Where are you going?

Elisabeth Forsman

Our predictably unpredictable adventure nomad, Elisabeth is the yogi who wants it fast, the ultra-runner who prefers taking a hike, and the swimmer with a fear of lap pools. A consummate lover of all things outdoors, she’s on a perpetual quest to get those around her outside and moving.

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