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About Ko Samui
Thailand’s islands and beaches are the stuff of many daydreams, and Ko Samui is one of the best known and loved beach-island-escape destinations. This island has become synonymous with enjoying oneself. The food is fantastic, there’s a huge choice of spas and wellness centres offering to pamper you to bits, there are great bars and every kind of beach idyll you might be dreaming of. Many of the best places to stay in Ko Samui offer all these things in the one place, but if you don’t quite have the budget for one of the more spectacular resort retreats there are still plenty of near perfect options.
What Not to Miss
- Most people are here for at least some beach-time. Ko Samui is quite a big island, with a coastline offering a beach for everyone, whether you’re looking for a party or a place to yourself. The busiest beaches are Chaweng and Lamai, and the quietest are probably those on the island’s northern coast. The water isn’t as clear as off Phuket, but the coconut palms are perfect and development is very limited now, so you’ll be really unlucky if your view is spoiled by building works.
- Ko Samui is within the Chumphon Archipelago, a group of 80, mostly uninhabited islands, of the Arg Thong National Marine Park, which is probably one of the world’s premier snorkelling destinations, and a fantastic place for divers and sea kayakers as well.
- If your time in the water has whetted your appetite for adventure the rainforest-skirted granite massif in the island’s centre is a fantastic place to explore.
- If you’re looking for a gentle activity you might want to visit the butterfly garden or Samui aquarium, with its amazing collection of tropical fish, colourful coral and graceful sea turtles.
- Or the mummified monk on display in What Khunaram, one of the island’s most popular temples...He was a very revered former abbot who was also a meditation master, and he’s presented sitting upright in a glass casket surrounded by flowers and incense…
- Or the snake farm
- Or the 15 metre Buddha statue at Bang Rak
- Or the Secret Buddha Garden, which was built by a 76 year old fruit farmer and offers some of the island’s best views
- There’s also an elephant camp.
- You might also want to visit some of the other islands of the archipelago.
- And you’ll definitely want to devote a fair amount of time to sampling the island’s cuisine in all its forms.
With so much to see and do, and all those beautiful beaches to enjoy it's not surprising that the best places to stay in Ko Samui are busy properties. So if you're planning to visit during peak season, do your homework and book well ahead.
The Best Places to Stay in Ko Samui
For Resort Perfection
- The Banyan Tree Ko Samui is a collection of stand-alone villas, separated by pockets of jungle, but all with sea views and access to a private beach. This is the kind of resort where nothing is too much fuss, and the added extras are impressive: we’re talking access to a complimentary private catamaran or a deep sea fishing trip.
- The Four Seasons Ko Samui is an almost impossibly romantic collection of villas - complete with plunge pools, breathtaking views and a luxuriant amount of space. There are 70 rooms and villas in all, with impressive facilities to go with them: a private beach with a beachside infinity pool, a wellness spa and a choice of places to eat and drink.
For The Beach
- The Vana Belle Resort sits just back from a stunning stretch of pristine beach, and its 80 rooms and suites offer views and peace. But, if you want it to be, this resort can be more than just a place to relax, it encourages guests to learn more about the local culture, and, as well as offering fitness classes, the resort also offers cultural activities.
For an Apartment or Private Villa
- If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.
- Samui Airport is technically an international airport, but unless you’re travelling from Singapore, Hong Kong or China you’ll probably be arriving via Bangkok. From the airport it might be most convenient for you to travel to your hotel by ferry - which is certainly charming and a great way to start your visit to the island.
- If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars have to offer.
- This might surprise you but Ko Saumi’s weather conditions are a little different to the rest of Thailand’s. Here the rainy season comes late, with the monsoon rains falling between about October and December (rather than between April and September). The post monsoon season is probably the most pleasant time to visit, from between January and March. The maximum daytime temperatures don’t change much throughout the year, ranging between about 30°C and 33°C.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Ko Samui
Rocky's Boutique Resort 47 rooms from £103Suratthani, Ko Samui
A tranquil and relaxed boutique resort set on a private beach with bungalows tumbling down the lush hill gardens. Rooms have a traditional feel with teak wood, local fabrics and rich hues. They also have lovely beach views from the expansive windows. A delightful spot for a romantic break.Total relaxation - Peace and harmony prevail around the pools, the music is subdued, and relaxing is the name of the dayRomantic Break - Couples will love this romantic chill-out getaway beach property, close to the nightlife in LamaiBeach Life - Set directly on a beautiful stretch of white sand beachSpa - Spa centre with massage, beauty and body treatments
Poppies Samui 24 rooms from £175Ko Samui
A warm and welcoming resort on the quieter end of Chaweng Beach. The private villas are charming and come with open air bathrooms and private terraces. Enjoy meals on the shore and drinks in the dappled shade by the pool. An intimate and familiar place that keeps drawing you back for more!Romantic Break - An intimate and romantic resort offering private villas, breathtaking views and stunning sandy beachesOther Activities - If you fancy an evening in, why not borrow one of the hotels DVDs and settle in with a bottle of wineGreat walks - Head out for an evening wander along Chaweng Beach and soak up the atmosphereHotel Entertainment - Head down to the spa and unwind with a soothing Thai massage
The Library 26 rooms from £209Koh Samui, Ko Samui
A remarkable architectural wonder on the shores of Chaweng beach. This eco-design hotel fits around its landscape rather than through it, so don't be surprised if a tree shoots through your room. Meticulously designed with elegant minimalist interiors and breathtaking architecture. Truly special.Other Activities - There is a kids pool and many beach based activites on offer for little ones, and those adults who stray from the loungerRomantic Break - Private pools, incredible interiors, excellent service and fantastic food all wrapped up in a styish beach side propertyHotel Entertainment - Enjoy the tranquility of the place and spend time on your private terrace or balcony reading one of the many booksWriting a novel - What better place to go and make your mark on the literary world than from this book themed luxury design hotel!Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
Anantara Lawana 122 rooms from £182Surat Thani, Ko Samui
A luxury resort in the north of Chaweng, close to the beach nightlife yet in a peaceful spot. Rooms mix contemporary styles with Sino-Thai design to great effect (the best have private plunge pools). With everything from direct beach access to a pampering spa this is a very restful stay.Romantic Break - Its Tree Tops restaurant is one of the island’s most romantic dining experiencesBack to Nature - Well-suited for couples and families looking for a chilled, tropical holidaySights nearby - Go on the beach temple tour which uncovers two of the island’s most amazing Buddhist templesLocal markets - If you’re in need of a retail fix, stroll into nearby Chaweng which has shops and marketsRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
The Tongsai Bay 83 rooms from £192Ko Samui
The villas tumble down a lush hillside, designed to be in harmony with their natural surroundings. Rooms are spacious and contemporary and all feature private terraces, the best of these have outdoor bathtubs. Boasting a private beach, spoiling spa and no less than three restaurants.Back to Nature - Hidden amongst 28 and a half acres of breathtaking natural beauty and wrapped around a private bayHideaway - Renowned for its privacy and tranquilitySights nearby - Just a 15-minute drive from popular Chaweng BeachViews - Stunning views over the gardens and ocean
Vana Belle Resort 80 rooms from £335Koh Samui, Ko Samui
Vana Belle Resort, which sits along a stunning stretch of beachfront, encourages guests to learn more about local culture without compromising on any comforts. Sign up for a cultural activity, join a fitness class, or simply sit by the beach and watch the waves roll in.Honeymoons - Private and romantic this is the ideal post-wedding escape.Beach Life - Unwind on the pristine sands of Chaweng Noi Beach.Sights nearby - Marvel at the imposing 12 meter tall golden statue, Big Buddha.Great walks - Take a jungle stroll to the beautiful Hin Lad Waterfall.
Sala Samui Chaweng Beach 52 rooms from £367Ko Samui District
A wonderfully upscale and minimalist resort on the peaceful Choeng Mon beach. Private beach villas with plunge pools, outdoor showers, greenery and clean cut white on white interiors. The open air beachfront restaurant, The Tent, offer Thai and international dishes of the highest standard. Superb.Families - With extra beds, babysitting services, an excellent kids pool and plenty of green space for little ones to run aroundHoneymoons - Indulge yourselves in a luxury beach front villa, and for added romance book private dining on the beachCooking classes - Book in for a traditional cooking class with the hotel chefs- walk away with an apron, some recipes and a full lunch for two!Secluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
Banyan Tree Koh Samui 88 rooms from £592Koh Samui, Ko Samui
Luxurious standalone villas, panoramic sea views and a private beach – the Banyan Tree’s sprawling grounds and prime location on Koh Samui provide an ideal blend of pampering and privacy.Sailing - Take an afternoon sail on one of the hotel's complimentary catamarans.Fishing - Deep sea fishing trips can be organised by the hotel.Romantic - Good for couples.Views - Great views from hotel
Four Seasons, Koh Samui 70 rooms from £737Ban Bang Po, Ko Samui
The impossibly romantic Four Seasons Koh Samui offers exquisite private villas complete with plunge pools, breathtaking views and luxuriant amounts of space. Facilities are equally impressive, with a beachside infinity pool, private beach, wellness spa and a number of drinking and dining options.Beach Life - Gorgeous beach front villas situated on a perfect white sandy beach.Romantic Break - Spoil a loved one with a 5* stayFishing - The hotel provides equipment and a boat for fishing excursions.Diving - Discover the vibrant coral gardens and expansive marine life.