Hotel and Resort Press Releases

MICHELIN-listed Restaurant in Koh Samui appoints New Sous Chef

MICHELIN-listed Restaurant in Koh Samui appoints New Sous Chef

Kitja Muakin joins Saffron Restaurant, recently recognised in MICHELIN Guide.


KOH SAMUI, Thailand (Feb. 22, 2024) — Banyan Tree Samui has announced the appointment of a new sous chef, Mr Kitja Muakin, at its signature Thai restaurant, Saffron, a move complemented by the news that the fine-dining venue has been recognised in the 2024 MICHELIN Guide for Thailand.


Kitja, known affectionately as Chef Bobby, joins the team at Saffron, after working his way through the ranks at Banyan Tree, where he began his career in Phuket in 2012 after graduating in Kitchen and Restaurant Management at Dusit Thani College in Bangkok.


He worked as commis and demi-chef at Banyan Tree Bangkok and Banyan Tree Macau, respectively, before transferring his skills to Banyan Tree Krabi for the opening of its own Saffron restaurant in 2020.


“Khun Bobby is an exceptional chef who strives to deliver intricate innovations and unique tastes to our guests,” said Director of Food & Beverage and Cuisine Rainer Roersch “He has excelled at various Banyan Tree hotels in Asia, and brings a wealth of culinary flair to the kitchen.”


Saffron, which specialises in authentic Thai cuisine, is an elegant dining establishment, perched on a hillside above the lush Banyan Tree Samui resort, commanding spectacular sunset views across the sea.


Renowned for combinations of flavours through a delicate blending of Thai herbs and spices, this award-winning restaurant serves signature specialties such as Khong Wang Ruam, an appetiser for two featuring freshly prepared crisp rice noodle-wrapped prawn, grilled tender chicken breast satay, fried floppy seabass rice noodle rolls, and pomelo salad with tamarind sauce; as well as Pu Nim Thod Yum Lychee Nham Sawaros, a palate-tingling dish of crispy soft-shell crab, lychee salad, mint, lemongrass, and spicy passion fruit dressing.


Apart from recognition in the prestigious MICHELIN Guide, Saffron has received a Best Restaurant Award four times by Tatler Magazine, and was presented a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor on numerous occasions.


Opened in 2010, the 88-key Banyan Tree Samui is a luxury all-pool villa resort, with a pristine beach, blissful spa escapes, exquisite dining offerings, a personal Villa Host concierge, and unparalleled views of the Gulf of Thailand. The 38-acre property is rich in flora and plant life, and its private beach is flanked by coral reefs.


The resort hosts three restaurants, a spa with Banyan Tree’s signature Rainforest hydrotherapy facility, a fitness centre, a kids’ club, a meetings and events centre, and a library.


Villas at Banyan Tree Samui, each with a private infinity pool, start from US$585 per night.




Banyan Tree ( offers a Sanctuary to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul in awe-inspiring locations around the globe. Rediscover the romance of travel as you journey to iconic destinations where authentic, memorable experiences await. An all-villa concept often with private pools, Banyan Tree provides genuine, authentic service and a distinctive, premium retreat experience. 




Banyan Group (“Banyan Tree Holdings Limited” or the “Group” – SGX: B58) is an independent, global hospitality company with purpose. The Group prides itself on its pioneering spirit, design-led experiences and commitment to responsible stewardship. Its extensive portfolio spans over 70 hotels and resorts, over 60 spas and galleries, and 14 branded residences in over 20 countries. Comprising 12 global brands, including the flagship brand Banyan Tree, each distinct yet united under the experiential membership programme withBanyan. The founding ethos of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People” is embodied through the Banyan Global Foundation and Banyan Management Academy. Banyan Group is committed to remaining the leading advocate of sustainable travel, with a focus on regenerative tourism and innovative programmes that elevate the guest experience.