Where to stay in Koh Samui

Looking for the best place to stay in Koh Samui for your holiday in Thailand? This guide will help you choose.

Thailand is one of those destinations that sticks with you — don’t be surprised when you run into more tourists-turned-expat than almost anywhere else in the world. The calm and laid-back culture, friendly people, and world-famous beaches simply draw people in, and often fail to spit them back out. With the jungle region in the north, bustling Bangkok a bit farther down, and enough islands for a lifetime of exploring in the south, Thailand is the perfect place for your next holiday. This guide will help you choose where to stay in Koh Samui, one of this country’s most gorgeous islands.

Where To Stay In Koh Samui

Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s largest islands, as well as one of the few with international airports, making it an easy destination to reach from wherever you’re located. Because of Koh Samui’s size and infrastructure, it’s not the kind of island you’ll feel like a castaway on. Fortunately, that means — no matter what type of traveller you are — there’s lots to do and see, and tons of accommodation options.

Chaweng, Koh Samui

Chaweng is Koh Samui’s largest centre for all things sun, sand, and party-related. It has more restaurants and bars than you could ever make your way through, and the options for tours leaving from this part of the island are nearly endless. Often thought of as the ultimate party destination of Koh Samui, Chaweng is the place to be if you truly want to live it up on your holiday.

Why Stay In Chaweng

Chaweng is filled with big resorts, tons of restaurants, and a beach bar for everyone. There’s a good reason this part of Koh Samui has become such a destination, though: Its white sand and clear water. Both Chaweng Beach and neighbouring Chaweng Noi look like your average computer background (aka pristine and gorgeous). If you want to stay at a big hotel, watch fire shows on the beach at night, and do your fair share of partying, Chaweng is the spot for you.

Why Avoid Chaweng

The downside to Chaweng is its lack of local charm. You’ll still find hole-in-the-wall spots to grab authentic Thai food, but in Chaweng, those places are shadowed by restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe. Chaweng is great if you’re looking for a holiday where you can splurge and enjoy yourself on a gorgeous beach. You won’t experience local Thai life here, though.

First Residence Hotel
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

First Residence isn’t right on the beach, but it’s only about a 10-minute walk away. It has clean and modern rooms, plus a large outdoor pool when you need a quick break from the saltwater of the ocean. Each room comes with A/C, a minibar, hot water, a tub and shower, and a private balcony. Prices start at £20 per night.

Click here for prices and book First Residence Hotel

King’s Garden Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Villas at this resort are only a 2 minute walk from Chaweng Beach. There’s also an onsite bar and restaurant to enjoy. However, many other restaurants are located right outside the door, so you won’t be limited. Villas at King’s Garden are modern and have a white-painted interior, giving them a clean and updated feeling. Air conditioning, wifi, and mini-fridges are in all rooms. Prices start at £57 per night.

Click here for prices and book King’s Garden Resort

Sareeraya Villas & Suites
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Sareeraya Villas and Suites offers ultimate luxury, and with its location right on the beach, you might not want to leave the resort at all. Each room is spacious and sleek in appearance, and their spa and fitness center just top it all off. All rooms come with air conditioning and free wifi. If you want to go all out, book your stay in one of their pool villas. Prices start at £230 per night.

Click here for prices and book Sareeraya Villas & Suites

Bophut, Koh Samui

In the north of Koh Samui, Bophut has a calmer blend of nice beaches and things to do. The Fisherman’s Village and old-timey buildings add an authentic charm to the place you won’t find in either Chaweng or Lamai. Bophut still has things going on, though — you’ll find resorts and hotels here, too. That being said, there’s no doubt this part of the island has a more laid back, local feel to it.

Why Stay In Bophut

Bophut is great if you want a mix of “tourist” attractions and a local village feel. It’s not nearly as built up as other parts of Koh Samui but still won’t leave you feeling like you’ve been stranded on a deserted island. Bophut is great for families or travellers looking for things to do, but with a more laid-back vibe.

Why Avoid Bophut

Bophut won’t give you those pristine, tropical beaches you think of when Thailand comes to mind. The long stretch of sand and ocean in Bophut are still beautiful, but the water isn’t as clear as other parts of the island. People come to Bophut for the surrounding village, and not just the beach.

Samui Beach Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Rooms are simple, spacious, clean, and just a short 1-2 minute walk to the beach. Their slightly more expensive bungalows offer a bit more privacy, plus a porch. Some come with a dining room table and direct beach access. Prices start at £22 per night.

Click here for prices and book Samui Beach Resort

Lamai Coconut Beach Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Koh Samui is often called the “Coconut Island” because of all the coconut trees. This beach resort plays to that theme and offers the ultimate tropical experience. The resort is laid back and unpresumptuous, with a pool and beach bar right by the ocean. Rooms are basic, but clean, and include free wifi. Prices start at £40 per night.

Click here for prices and book Lamai Coconut Beach Resort

Ammatara Pura Pool Villa
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Each villa at Ammatara Pura has dark, wooden Thai decor that gives rooms a classy feel. The entire resort is located on the beach, but villas are also a few minutes walk from Lamai restaurants and nightlife. Rooms are catered to for a more residential feel, with kitchens, computers, and spacious living areas. Prices start at £220 per night.

Click here for prices and book Ammatara Pura Pool Villa

Riviera Beach Hotel
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

While this hotel is smaller than the surrounding resorts, it still has its own slice of beach. Economy rooms are small and basic, but kept clean. Other rooms offer private balconies overlooking the ocean, along with free wifi. Prices start at £20 per night.

Click here for prices and book Riviera Beach Hotel

Mantra Samui Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Mantra Samui Resort is a 10 minute walk from the beach, but with that short distance, you gain some spectacular views. All ocean facing rooms look out from a lush mountainside toward the gorgeous blue water. The decor here is clean and comfortable with a boutique feel. Prices start at £74 per night.

Click here for prices and book Mantra Samui Resort

Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Set right on Bophut Beach, this resort is modern and tastefully designed. Rooms feel just as luxurious as the resort’s spa, pool, fitness facilities, and restaurants. This is a great resort to come for a relaxing vacation or a romantic getaway. Prices start at £167 per night.

Click here for prices and book Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort

Lamai, Koh Samui

Lamai is like Chaweng’s younger sibling — a little smaller and less crowded, but with the same gorgeous sand and water. You won’t find things like The Hard Rock Cafe in Lamai, nor will you find sprawling resorts. In fact, looking toward Lamai from the ocean, the backdrop of the beach looks overgrown and lush with palm trees. The hotels are unassumingly tucked back, giving this part of Koh Samui a wonderful tropical feel (but without being in the middle of nowhere).

Why Stay In Lamai

Because of its undeniable draw to expats, Lamai is dotted with French cafes and Italian restaurants. Since it’s less built-up than Chaweng, though, a 5-minute walk outside the main road will leave you feeling like you’re wandering through a local Thai neighbourhood… in fact, you are. Lamai is the perfect combination of good food, beaches, and nightlife, combined with an authentic Thai feel.

Why Avoid Lamai

If you’re looking for a quiet, tropical holiday where all you hear are the sounds of waves and palm trees swaying in the wind, you won’t find that here. While Lamai is certainly smaller than neighbouring Chaweng, the motorbikes and traffic are hard to miss. If you’re looking for seclusion, peace, and quiet, Lamai won’t fit the bill.

Maenam, Koh Samui

Maenam has become the unofficially designated “backpacker” area of Koh Samui. That means there are lots of budget options and an overall more relaxed vibe than you might find in other areas. That being said, you’ll also find a few mega-luxury resorts hidden away in Maenam. It’s a great place for a quiet getaway or family vacation.

Why Stay In Maenam

Maenam is a great option if you’re travelling to Koh Samui on a budget. You’ll find lots of cheap options here, along with decent prices at the few nearby restaurants. If you’re into outdoor activities that don’t involve large tour groups, you’ll have options like kite-surfing and other water-sport adventures.

Why Avoid Maenam

While there are some high-end resorts in Maenam, the gap between budget and luxury is big. People coming to Maenam tend to sway toward either end of the spectrum. The water around Maenam is also more cloudy than other areas of Koh Samui. If you’re looking for a mid-budget option with pristine beaches, consider looking elsewhere. There’s also a lack of nightlife here.

Maenam Bay Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Rooms are small and basic, but come with good air conditioning, a separate bathroom, and wifi. This hotel is less than a 5 minute walk to the beach and has its own private pool for guests. Prices start at £11 per night.

Click here for prices and book Maenam Bay Resort

Pinnacle Samui Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Each room or bungalow in this resort has its own outdoor space with great views. The spa-like feel here is evident, and you’ll be able to enjoy all amenities — including the beach-side restaurant — in peace and quiet. There isn’t much around here besides a few good restaurants. Fortunately, rooms are comfortable and well-stocked. Free wifi is also available. Prices start at £53 per night.

Click here for prices and book Pinnacle Samui Resort

W Koh Samui
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

The W is one of the most luxurious properties on all of Koh Samui. Each villa has its own private pool, along with over-the-top touches throughout. The private beach, multiple restaurants and bars, and breathtaking views are all unforgettable. Each room comes with free wifi, plus all the essentials, like coffee makers, A/C, and more. Prices start at £472 per night.

Click here for prices and book W Koh Samui

Bang Rak, Koh Samui

Also known as “Big Buddha Beach,” Bang Rak Beach is another popular spot with backpackers travelling to Koh Samui. It boasts some of the cleanest, clearest water anywhere around the island. Because of its general quietness, it’s a great place to escape the crowds or bring your family. If you’re interested in taking the ferry to nearby islands like Koh Phangan, Bang Rak is also a great jumping point for overwater trips.

Why Stay In Bang Rak

Bang Rak particularly appeals to travellers looking for easy access to places like Chaweng, but with a much quieter atmosphere. Bang Rak is the best of both worlds. You can quickly get to other hot-spot beaches and villages on the island, but without having to listen to the crowds and parties into the night. This is a great spot if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway.

Why Avoid Bang Rak

While there certainly isn’t as much going on in Bang Rak as other parts of the island, the traffic on main roads can get loud and busy at certain parts of the day. If you’re interested in wandering around the area on foot, it might become a nuisance. Also, while the beach here is absolutely gorgeous, some areas have too many rocks to comfortably swim. If getting into the water is a must for you, make sure you check what the beach near your accommodation looks like before booking.

Samui Mermaid Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

This resort is a 1-minute walk to the beach and has 3 swimming pools, free wifi throughout the grounds, and a 24-hour restaurant on-site. The rooms are basic, but the amenities and location are the big draws here. The most budget-friendly rooms come with a fan instead of A/C. Prices start at £13.

Click here for prices and book Samui Mermaid Resort

Prana Resorts Samui
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

This resort is convenient to everything — Koh Samui’s Big Buddha statue, Chaweng Beach for some nightlife, and even the ferry to head over to Koh Phangan. Rooms are bright, new, and stylish. They include amenities like flat screen TVs, coffee makers, and free wifi. Prices start at £60 per night.

Click here for prices and book Prana Resorts Samui

The Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

The Privilege has incredibly affordable rooms if you’re on a budget. However, for some extra money, you can stay in complete luxury in one of their Beachfront Pool Villas, where you’ll have a private pool overlooking the ocean all to yourself. Prices start at £152 per night.

Click here for prices and book The Privilege Hotel Ezra Beach Club

Choeng Mon, Koh Samui

This string of coves along the northeast part of Koh Samui is home to classy resorts, a beautiful beach, and some really great sunsets. It’s less of a “budget” traveller destination than Bang Rak, although it still has low-cost options to choose from. Visitors to Choeng Mon are often honeymooners, families, and international expats (there’s a large German and French influence).

Why Stay In Choeng Mon

If you’re looking for a luxury resort, Choeng Mon has more than a few. However, they’re not party-pumping like the ones you tend to find in Chaweng. Choeng Mon is laid back but has a heavy international influence. You’ll feel less of the traditional Thai vibe here, but it also lacks the loud music and bars. Choeng Mon is a great place to vacation when you want to spend time a resort on a beautiful beach, and don’t mind the lack of nightlife outside what your hotel offers.

Why Avoid Choeng Mon

If you’re looking to live like a local or party it up on holiday, Choeng Mon might not be the best choice. Resorts are a big draw in this area, and most of the entertainment happens within them, rather than during a pub crawl or night out.

PS Thana Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

The budget options in Choeng Mon are a bit more limited than neighboring beaches, but PS Thana Resort is a great option. While the rooms and villas are a bit dated, they’re quite large and have great access to the beach. There are mini fridges, flat screen TVs, and safes in each room. Prices start at £30 per night.

Click here for prices and book PS Thana Resort

Samui Blue Orchid
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

This is an adults-only resort, where each villa comes with its own private pool. The beach, as well as Choeng Mon Village, are both just a few minutes away. The beds are incredibly comfortable, and the views are even better. Prices start at £78 per night.

Click here for prices and book Samui Blue Orchid

Six Senses Samui
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

With a spa, infinity pool, and even outdoor movies (with the ocean as the backdrop), Six Senses offers an ultimate luxurious stay in Choeng Mon. Villas are spacious, with tasteful wood decor. They offer wifi throughout, and some have private pools. Prices start at £365 per night.

Click here for prices and book Six Senses Samui

Bang Po Beach, Koh Samui

Heading away from Samui’s eastern beaches, you’ll eventually reach Bang Po, a quiet, long stretch of sand with only a few resorts to be found. While Bang Po isn’t the most attractive beach on the island, it still puts many other beaches in the world to shame. Bang Po is the kind of place you come to truly leave it all behind. Expect quiet, uncrowded beaches.

Why Stay In Bang Po

If you don’t want anything to do with the shopping, nightlife, and restaurants that fuel Koh Samui’s tourism industry, Bang Po is likely for you. Come here to escape into a tropical paradise, enjoy delicious seafood, and experience a completely different side of Koh Samui.

Why Avoid Bang Po

You won’t find the same crystal clear water in Bang Po as you will in other parts of Samui. Add to that a rocky ocean floor, and leisurely swims in the ocean can become a bit difficult. The tradeoff is the lack of crowds, but if you’re looking for a nightlife scene, that will be a drawback for you — there aren’t late night bars and parties in Bang Po.

By Beach Resort
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Bungalows here are very basic, and the cheapest rooms come with fans instead of A/C. That being said, with the beach right next door, you likely won’t be spending much time in your room. If you’re looking to save money in Bang Po, rooms here will give you privacy, free wifi, and parking. Prices start at £15 per night.

Click here for prices and book By Beach Resort

Mai Samui Beach Resort & Spa
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Rooms are clean, fresh, and just a couple minutes walk to the beach. The resort has great spa and fitness facilities, as well as 3 on-site restaurants. Free wifi and basic amenities are available in each room. Prices start at £90 per night.

Click here for prices and book Mai Samui Beach Resort & Spa

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
Mid-range Hotel 8.8

Private pools, al fresco bathrooms, and a secluded beach are all in store for you at the Four Seasons Resort. Rooms are anything but cheap, but the views, in-room bar, infinity plunge pool, and luxurious decor are all sure to make an impression. Prices start at £626 per night.

Click here for prices and book Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Koh Samui truly has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re looking for nightlife, pristine sand, or hideaway beaches, this island encompasses a little bit of everything. To top it off, regardless of where you head, you’ll be able to find a place to stay in Koh Samui within your budget.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


One response to “Where to stay in Koh Samui”

  1. John Avatar

    Exactly what I was looking for, thank you

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