Hotels in Koh Samui
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Koh Samui - Incredible Island Idyll
Rising dramatically from the blue-green, bathtub-warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is the country’s second largest island. Over a million travellers wash ashore here each year in search of everything from inexpensive fun in the sun to lavish luxury at an exclusive spa-resort. The rainforest-covered island plays host to a number of fascinating natural and man-made attractions—from wondrous waterfalls to mummified monks, lively beach resorts to tranquil fishing villages, sacred shrines to sultry sex shows—the variety of things to see and do here reflects the increasingly cosmopolitan crowds curious to sample this piece of paradise.
Bustling Beaches or Quiet Coves
The postcard-perfect beaches of Koh Samui are famed for their pure-white sands, crystal-clear waters and high-spirited soirees under the glow of the full moon. Featuring more hotels, bars and restaurants than anywhere else on the island, Chaweng Beach is a popular choice for younger travellers in search of sun, sand and notorious nightlife. Laid-back Lamai Beach is less chaotic but still offers an array of sleeping, eating and shopping options to suit all budgets. At the heart of tranquil Bophut Beach is the Fisherman’s Village, one of the island’s best-loved attractions and home to Chinese shophouses, cosy guesthouses, authentic eateries and bargain-filled boutiques. If resort-studded shores are your idea of hell and you desire to feel deserted, head to one of Koh Samui’s many hidden, off-the-beaten-track beaches where tropical tranquillity awaits. Maenam Beach on the island’s north coast is an idyllic plot of island that promises a Robinson-Crusoe-esque experience.
With looming limestone karsts, dense rainforest, mysterious mangroves, cascading waterfalls and secret lagoons, the 42 islands that make up nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park are a must-do day-trip. The inspiration behind the cult-classic ‘The Beach’, the protected area houses a staggering array of animals, birds and marine life, and allows for world-class snorkelling, diving and deep-sea fishing. One of the islands, Koh Wua Ta Lap, features simple beach-front bungalows and tents, affording travellers the chance to spend a night castaway under the stars. Brave the steep trek to the island’s highest point to enjoy a breath-taking panorama of the entire park—but be warned—the thunderous waves of monsoon season make this part of the world inaccessible for around a quarter of the year. To avoid disappointment (or severe seasickness), plan to hit Koh Samui between February and April, when the surrounding sea is at its stillest.
Beyond the Beaches
A fascinating abundance of attractions lays beyond the island’s breathtaking beaches, including sites of historic and religious significance and areas of intoxicating natural beauty. The island’s most photographed landmark is probably its 12-meter-tall Big Buddha Shrine. Shimmering brightly on the horizon, the giant golden statue is visible for miles around and an array of market stalls and food stands have sprung up around it to accommodate the influx of Instagrammers. Of the island’s plethora of wondrous waterfalls, those at Na Muang are perhaps its most picturesque. Follow a natural staircase of roots and rocks up to an inviting natural pool that provides some welcome respite from the relentless humidity. Why not rent a moped and explore some of the island’s more off-beat attractions, such as the mummified remains of a highly-revered monk, the nail-biting manoeuvres of a snake handler or the stunningly serene, Secret Buddha Gardens.
Island Shopping at its Finest
Like so many places in Thailand, Koh Samui is a shopaholic’s paradise, offering visitors everything from baht-busting bargains to credit-card-crunching purchases. Featuring an eclectic array of shopping options, from vibrant village markets and quirky boutiques to climate-controlled megamalls, there is almost nothing you can’t buy here. Set over three storeys, Central Festival Samui is the island’s largest shopping centre, offering mainly genuine products at fixed prices. While this might not be the place to pick up a great deal, the sheer relief of the powerful air conditioning might have you browsing for hours. To release the inner-haggler, head to Lamai Night Plaza where dubious copies of just about everything—from rings and watches to t-shirts and trainers—change hands for a knocked-down rate. Every Friday evening, the usually sleepy Fisherman’s Village becomes a vibrant walking street, brimming with colourful market stalls selling traditional handicrafts, antiques and jewellery for ludicrously low prices.
Where to Stay on Koh Samui
Whether you are looking for a romantic resort by the beach or a backpacker pad close to the best parties, the perfect hotel is not hard to find. The island’s most popular promenade, Chaweng, offers a wide range of activities and experiences; from neon-lit go-go bars and classy cocktail lounges to traditional cookery schools and extreme jungle adventures, meaning that hotels here are amongst Koh Samui’s most expensive. Neighbouring Lamai, while slightly smaller, offers a lot more by way of budget accommodation, including large bungalow resorts catering to backpackers and others who want little more than a mattress to doze on between parties. A cluster of boutique resorts colour the coast of Bophut, offering a little more sophistication, while in the island’s northeast corner, at Choeng Mon, a smattering of high-end hotels and upmarket resorts lie dotted around the otherwise mostly undeveloped coastline.
Price rangefrom £5to £7,674
Hotel Mercure Koh Samui Beach Resort Lamai Beach
With panoramic views of Gulf of Thailand, Mercure Koh Samui Beach Resort is located along Lamai Beach. Offering stylish yet comfortable accommodation with world-class amenities such as free Wi-Fi and parking, a stay at this 4-star property isn’t meant to be missed. Decorated contemporarily, the guest rooms have satellite TV, minibar, tea/coffee maker, in-room safe, plush bedding and en suite bathroom with rainfall showerhead. Mercure Koh Samui Beach Resort boasts of meeting and banqueting facility for corporate and social gatherings. The resort also features outdoor pool with sun terrace, fitness centre, water sports facility and private beach. Set on an elevated outdoor platform, Nest Restaurant and Beach Bar serves an extensive range of Thai and International delicacies to treat the taste buds of guests. The resort operates a complimentary shuttle service to Lamai Centre. Wat Lamai temple and Samui Aquarium & Tiger Zoo are easily accessible from the property. more
Hotel Hotel Crystal Bay Beach Resort Lamai Beach
The 3-star Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort sits on a small but perfect beach on the Island of Koh Samui in Thailand. The calm warm crystal clear sea, powder soft white sand and beautiful tropical gardens make this location truly special. The resort consists of 43 bungalows all set in over 12,000 square meters of lush tropical gardens. Many species of birds and butterflies can be seen enjoying the natural surroundings. Facilities include: free WiFi in all rooms and public areas. Recently upgraded to be the fastest on the island with a dedicated 50MB connection! Beach restaurant; large swimming pool; kids play area; beach massage; trip and tour booking; free snorkeling equipment. The resort is extremely well located in between the busy and popular resorts of Chaweng and Lamai. They are well worth a visit, but at the end of the day you will be glad to return to the tranquil oasis of Crystal Bay Yacht Club. more
Hotel Hotel Manathai Koh Samui Lamai Beach
Offering stunning sea views and modern interiors, Hotel Manathai Koh Samui is just nine kilometres from Samui Airport. Free parking is available on-site. A private bathroom with bathrobes and a hair dryer are included in each room, while guests can enjoy the view from their own balcony. Other amenities include a flat screen TV and writing desk. A range of useful facilities are available at Hotel Manathai Koh Samui, including a shuttle service, business centre and concierge service. Leisure facilities include an outdoor pool and garden, a children's play area and billiards. Breakfast is served each morning on-site, while the restaurant offers Thai cuisine throughout the day. Drinks can be enjoyed at the bar or on the beach. This hotel can be found only five minutes away from the beach by foot, while Elephant Trekking is located 7.5 km away. Guests can also visit Grandfather and Grandmother stone, situated just three kilometres away. more
Hotel Hotel The Privilege Ezra Royal Beach Lamai Beach
The Hotel The Privilege Ezra Royal Beach is a four-star hotel with 12 elegant villas that have direct access to the beach. It is a 20 minutes’ drive from the Koh Samui International Airport. All the villas have gardens and a private decking area around. They are provided with flat screen televisions with satellite channels, minibars, sofas, tea/coffee making facilities, air conditioners and DVD players. There are plunge pools, and an outdoor swimming pool with a bar and sun loungers that are overlooking the beach. Wi-Fi and public parking nearby is free. Guests can avail the facilities of laundry service, babysitting and airport transportation. A traditional Thai massage can be enjoyed by the guests. American breakfast is served here. There are many beachside restaurants that serve Thai cuisine. The Hotel The Privilege Ezra Royal Beach is close to the beaches of Bo Phut and Choeng Mon. more
Hotel Rich Resort Beachside Hotel Lamai Beach
Rich Resort Beachside Hotel is located on Lamai beach, arguably Koh Samui's most beautiful beach! Our motto is "affordable beachside accommodation" and we take pride in being able to offer just that. Only a few metres from the beach, all our guests are welcome to make use of our free services including; free WiFi, swimming pool, beach towels and free use of sun beds on the beach. Rich Resort is in a quiet area however central enough for guests to be within short walking distance of Lamai's many amenities including bars, restaurants, shows and attractions! We are able to organise tours around the islands for those who'd prefer to do a bit of exploring and transfers to all the surrounding islands and even as far as Cambodia can be organised for you directly from our reception desk. Our aim is to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, we treat our guests as family and enjoy seeing them return year after year. Welcome to Koh Samui, welcome to Rich Resort! more
Hotel Utopia Resort Lamai Beach
Overlooking the beach and surrounded by tall palm trees and manicured gardens with streams and ponds, Utopia Resort offers travellers a tranquil stay away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Thai-style cottages, each with their own private entrance, are tucked away in between exotic gardens and winding pathways. They feature fine Thai cotton fabrics, carved roof panels, and solid teak windows and floors. Guests looking to be pampered can make use of the massage services, or approach the front desk for trip and tour advice. Parking on site is free. Guests can enjoy dining under the stars, or indoors at Utopia Restaurant, where awe-inspiring views of the sea and an international menu make for a fine dining experience. There is also an extensive list of wines to accompany every meal. The Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks are just less than a ten-minute drive from Utopia Resort, while the Samui Aquarium is a little further along the coast, about seven kilometres away. more
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