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You’ve probably seen it on Instagram, a bikini-clad woman standing navel deep in an infinity pool with a turquoise ocean in the background next to a floating spread of your favorite breakfast foods.
The origins of these beautiful breakfasts can likely be traced back to Bali, seen at the AYANA Resort and Spa ten years ago, although it’s unclear who created it and when. But the Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali has been serving over the top breakfasts in private villa pools with ocean backdrops since September 2017. The trend has also spread to their sister properties including the luxe Banyan Tree Koh Samui and Banyan Tree Bintan.
My boyfriend and I went to the Banyan Tree Koh Samui to see what the craze was all about. Our spacious villa was perched high up on the hill with unobstructed, unbelievable views of the Gulf of Thailand and the resort, perfect for those coveted Instagram shots.
The night before, I filled out our order form for the floating breakfast and handed it off to our villa host, Julie. I circled an ungodly amount of food: scrambled eggs, french toast, tropical fruit plates and four different types of fruit juice. In hindsight, it could have fed a family of four (don’t worry, we ate it all).
The next morning, at our lazy, mid-morning requested time, staff carefully prepared each dish on a giant circular floating basket with raised edges. We ordered half the menu, so it wouldn’t all fit, but the most important foods, like the bacon, made it on while they placed the other dishes on our outdoor table. They very carefully set it down on the corner of the pool and the hot tub and gently set it afloat into the water. My heart raced as it careened towards the edge of the infinity pool but it was intelligently designed to stop itself.
It may seem obvious, but getting into the pool very slowly is key to avoiding a potential disaster. After my boyfriend agreed to do an obligatory photoshoot for my Instagram, we spent the next hour floating in our private pool stuffing ourselves with perfectly poached eggs, chicken sausage, smoked salmon, exotic fruits and next-level waffles.
Surprisingly, cutting and reaching over the edge of the wooden basket wasn’t awkward like I’d expected it to be. It was better than any breakfast in bed we’d ever had, and the quality of the food plus the views from Banyan Tree Koh Samui made it an ideal way to spend the morning. Best of all, it only costs $15 to set up; the breakfast was already included in our stay.
Resorts are finding this meal option to be surprisingly popular, particularly among couples. “We have had many guests order it since we started offering it last month,” said Rainer Roerschm, Director of Food, Beverage & Cuisine at Banyan Tree Koh Samui. “We have a lot of honeymooners coming here, and they enjoy it as a couple.”
Banyan Tree is not the first, and it definitely won’t be the last to offer this unique dining trend. Other notable hotels with floating breakfast include the ultra-romantic Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru and Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. Their menu includes fresh squeezed orange juice, mimosas, a mixed bakery basket, a tropical fruit plate, coffee or tea and of course anything else off the in-villa dining menu.
You may want to do it for ‘the Gram’ or surprise your partner with a romantic breakfast. Either way, it’s a delicious way to start a day in paradise.