Your total guide to Bophut beach
Get answers everything you're wondering about Bophut Beach. Ready? Here are your top Bophut questions – answered with nearly twenty years of Koh Samui expertise.
Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
Whether you're comparing Bophut to other Koh Samui beaches or are neck-deep in hotel selection, don’t worry: we've got this. Get answers everything you're wondering about Bophut Beach and a total end to your overwhelm.
Is Bophut a good beach for a honeymoon?
Yes, yes, yes. For the many reasons I outline in The Koh Samui Guide, Bophut offers you choices not found on other Samui beaches. Best of all? With so many walkable options for food and drink you’ll avoid any aggro if either of you is susceptible to outrageous hanger.
Is Bophut good for families?
Definitely. Bophut's quiet pace and range of restaurant options makes it ideal for families. A number of Bophut hotels offer kids clubs as well (see where to stay on Koh Samui with kids).
Two things to note about Bophut Beach with kids? First, the sand is soft-packed and ‘sinky’, so you’ll get nowhere with a stroller. Similarly, it’s not the best beach for sand castles (instead, try Choeng Mon).
Where to stay in Bophut
My pick: Bo Phut Resort and Spa
Stay here for: The best of all worlds location, with a private pool to boot. An ideal spot for couples and families with quiet-ish kids or teens. It's exceptionally relaxing – not a party spot, zero mayhem. Introverts (and Canadians) will love it. Bo Phut Resort is indeed a triple threat: you get total privacy in your private pool villa, enjoy walking distance to Fisherman’s Village and explore Bophut’s bay in the resort’s free kayaks. On land? Don’t miss the acres of beautiful gardens (and the spa, of course).
More hotel ideas
- Families: Anantara Bophut and Bandara Resort
- Couples: Cielo Boutique Hotel and Zazen Boutique Resort
- Mid-range: Smile House and Holiday Inn Resort Samui
- Readers' favourite: Peace Resort Samui
Are there good luxury hotels in Bophut?
Which hotels in Bophut have the best pools?
Hansar Samui's salt water pool
A few superlative choices for the best pools in Bophut:
- Most: Bandara Resort gives you four pools including a kids' pool
- Newest: Zazen Boutique Resort
- Biggest: Hansar Samui's pool is not only the longest – it's salt-water as well.
- Best access: Holiday Inn Resort Samui offers pool access rooms.
- Hardest: Celes Samui offers pool paddleboard yoga
Besides the certain cooling properties of Hansar's 28-metre (90-foot) saltwater infinity pool, every room has an ocean view and a large, comfy balcony (often shaded through the day). This means you’ll always have a comfortable place to cool off, without missing a minute of ocean (or … raise your hands … people-watching while pretending to read).
Are there any adults-only resorts in Bophut?
None on Bophut Beach itself, but don’t miss Zazen Boutique Resort if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and romantic. Many Bophut resorts are particular honeymoon favourites that tend to have a near-majority of adult guests. Zazen’s cave-sized wine cellar, an acclaimed spa, afternoon tea offerings and promises of ‘inner peace’ make it a safe bet for those avoiding Marco Polo (and my personal favourite: Zombie iPad Kids at dinner).
What are the best hotels in Bophut?
Peace Resort Samui is a reader favourite
‘Best’ as in best-reviewed?
Three beachfront Bophut resorts with consistent 9+/10 reviews are: Bo Phut Resort (9.3), Peace Resort Samui (9.1) and Anantara Bophut (9.0). The brand new Holiday Inn – just opened in October 2022 – has an impressive 9.4 rating.
‘Best’ as in most awards won?
While Choeng Mon resorts top the current list of award-winning Koh Samui hotels, Bo Phut Resort has won Travellers’ Choice Awards in the past (including #11 Top Hotel for Romance in Thailand and #13 Top Hotel in Thailand).
‘Best’ as in newest?
At the time of writing, the finishing touches are being made to an extensive renovation at Zazen Boutique Resort (including a brand new pool). As well, family-favourite Bandara Resort is newly renovated and Holiday Inn Resort is brand new as of October 2022.
‘Best’ as in most expensive?
Where's the best place in Bophut for kids?
Kids' water park at the new Holiday Inn Resort
While Bandara Resort has super (super) cool Family Rooms... it's now my very close runner-up to the brand new Holiday Inn Resort. The latter gives you tons of choices for room layout and what you want on your doorstep: pool, playground or balcony? Family Rooms offer 'Kids' Themed' options with double decker bus bunk beds and play spaces. Further, you can choose playground access and pool access rooms. For a little more space, choose a two-bedroom suite. Childless travellers – you've been warned! More recommended Bophut hotels with family rooms include:
Two- and Three- Bedroom Villas
A Family Room at Bandara Resort & Spa
Your Bophut Beach questions
Which is better – Bophut or Chaweng?
Let me artfully dodge this question with five of my own: Are you picky about beaches? Does a beach have to be white with sugary sand? Do you like a late night out? Should it include DJs and dancing? Hooters and Hard Rock – positive additions to the neighbourhood?Answered yes to all of the above? Chaweng is the beach for you.
Otherwise, whether with kids or as a couple, Bophut has an atmosphere that many (myself included) consider just right. While its price points are higher than average for Samui, Bophut's hotel and restaurant offerings are amongst my favourites on the island.
Tip: For a total beach-by-beach comparison, The Koh Samui Guide goes into great detail about every option you’ve got.
Do we need water-shoes for Bophut Beach?
Bophut Beach at Anantara Bophut
If you’re a wimp. If a beach is a beach and you’re an easygoing sort – barefoot will be fine. If you notice texture variations and like to be worst-case prepared, bring the water-shoes already sitting in your Amazon cart. If not on Bophut they’ll be useful on some of Samui’s grittier beaches.
Tip: It’s easier to walk barefoot than wear flip-flops as on Bophut as the sand is quite ‘sinky’ and you’ll feel as though your wading in sandals (surprise benefit – Bophut walks are great for toning your legs!). If you're lazy and abhor physical exertion of any kind, Chaweng and Choeng Mon are flatter, sturdier experiences.
Does Bophut have good nightlife?
Bophut Resort's Thai restaurant
If you ardently ‘love your local’, you’ll love Bophut’s nightlife – it will take just a few days’ dedicated drinking to get fully adopted by the bar staff of your choosing. Options include beach bars for a casual beer, and lots of choice for cocktails, too. If you want buckets and mayhem – look elsewhere. Bophut’s biggest nightlife destination (the only place Baby Boomers might possibly complain about the 'young people music') offers gourmet, wood-fired pizzas alongside its nightly fire-show.
Rather than rowdy, Bophut at night is beloved for its balmy evenings, mojito menus and quiz nights. The most regrettable action you’ll make at the end of the night is eating an entire portion of mango sticky rice.
Tip: Born after 1999? Want a noisy night out? I refer you to Chaweng. Indeed, if glow-sticks (or selfie-sticks) indicate good nightlife you might prefer Chaweng – try SEEN Beach Club at Avani Chaweng or parties at Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach and SocialTel Samui-Party Hotel.
Is there good Thai food in Bophut?
Smile House has a superb Thai restaurant
Yes! Quite literally from east to west your options for the best Thai food in Bophut go from street food to fine dining. Whether it’s mango sticky rice from a food cart, the sit-on-plastic-stools cheapy-cheapy Thai food of your dreams, or silk-clad hotel staff serving you king tiger prawns and fine wine – it's all here. All three options – and everything in between – are available in Bophut (see The Koh Samui Guide for my absolute favourites).
Where can we have a private pool on Bophut Beach?
Champagne tastes? Bophut’s the beach for you. If you can find available dates (and seven willing friends), Villa M is just plain good sense. Its pool is directly beachfront and it’s all yours. If you’d prefer a hotel, the following offer rooms and villas with private pools:
- Bo Phut Resort: Garden Villa with Plunge Pool and Garden Pool Villa
- Anantara Bophut: Garden Pool Suite
- Cielo Boutique Hotel: Deluxe Suite, Duplex Suite and Villas
- Peace Resort Samui: Two-Bedroom Sea Breeze Pool Villa
- Bandara Resort & Spa: Plunge Pool Villa and Pool Villa Suite
- Karma Resort: Deluxe King Room and Superior King Room
- Hacienda Fisherman's Village: Exclusive Beachfront Suite with Terrace (rooftop pool)
- Maya Resort: Villa with Private Pool
Which is better – Bophut or Lamai?
To make a decision you’re confident with, I refer you again to the comprehensive beach and hotel coverage in The Koh Samui Guide.
As a brief comparison, you’re likelier to find more budget options in Lamai. If Zazen Boutique Resort has your attention on Bophut Beach, Rocky's Boutique Resort is roughly its Lamai equivalent (though its location is not as walkable).
Does Bophut have good sunsets?
If there’s a sunset to be had, you’ll find yourself sitting pretty on Bophut Beach. Although you won’t see the sun sinking to the horizon, you’ll enjoy any correlated cotton candy skies – and the accompanying cocktails. It’s boozy, it’s beautiful – highly recommended.
How far is it between Bophut and Chaweng?
From Hansar Samui or Smile House (both fairly central Bophut right on the edge of Fisherman’s Village) it’s about a fifteen-minute drive to central Chaweng by car. It takes between twenty or twenty-five minutes in rush hour or if the traffic lights aren’t in your favour, and longer still in bad weather. By songthaew? Anywhere in the 15- to 25-minute ballpark, depending on the number of stops.
Can you snorkel on Bophut?
You snorkel your little heart out on any beach you like. The less-good news? You won’t see much. Koh Samui isn’t known for its snorkelling (and doesn’t sell itself as such). Its dumbed-down geology is “palm trees on top of sloping sandbar” so snorkelling conditions tend to be murkier than you’d like for good Fish Vision. While some island beaches are better than others, Bophut excels at ‘above-the-water’ activities: stand-up paddling and inflatables are popular.
Tip: Use The Koh Samui Guide to plan all your day-trips and activities, on and off the water.
Any feedback for Celes Samui?
At the quieter western edge of Bophut (away from Fisherman’s Village), Celes Samui has maintained an impressive rating since opening. Is it the glass-walled gym, the in-room espresso or the California King-sized beds? My guess is its 'quiet end of Bophut' beachfront with a majority of private pool villas.
Though the room inventory at Celes is comparable to Hansar Samui’s (sixty-eight and seventy-four rooms respectively), it has a smaller, more tucked-away feel than other Bophut resorts at the same price point. Of the seven room categories, six offer you a private pool – this tends to keep people occupied in their own kingdoms, making for a very quiet hotel. The Celes magic kicks in on Bophut Beach itself – in their super-special Beachfront Pool Villas.
How far is it from Koh Samui Airport to Bophut?
Not far at all. Note that Bophut is a fairly wide area so hotels on the eastern edge of Fisherman’s Village can be as fast as zippy ten-minute drive from Koh Samui Airport, whereas the western edge of Bophut Beach (Zazen Boutique Resort and vicinity) will take about fifteen to twenty minutes. Not much in it – but definitely not a distance you’d want to walk.
How to get from Bophut to Koh Phangan?
Very easily. The ferry journey itself (from Bang Rak) is about thirty minutes from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan (slightly less in good weather and a good boat). Door to door with an all-inclusive ferry and hotel transfer ticket will take two-three hours. Your best options are:
- Lomprayah catamaran booking from Maenam (8 am and 12:30 pm departures)
- Seatran ferry booking from Bang Rak (8 am, 1 pm and 4:30 pm departures)
You can choose to book just the ferry itself (and get to the pier yourself by taxi or songthaew) or book an inclusive Koh Samui hotel transfer and ferry ticket. See timetables and booking options for your dates.
Prices are typically ≤US$10 for a ferry ticket and ≤US$14 for a combined ferry ticket with Koh Samui hotel transfer (including all taxes and fees). Easy!
Tip: Check your preferred dates against Full Moon Party dates. If either your outbound or return journey (or both) is around a Full Moon Party, you’ll definitely want to pre-book your ferry ticket.
Feel like your backpacking days are behind you?
To get a taste of both islands – in the comfort to which you are rightfully accustomed – look at staying at Anantara Bophut on Koh Samui and then Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan. A hotel shuttle (air-conditioned to perfection) delivers you at the Bang Rak pier, where you wait for your fancy-pants boat in a private beachfront waiting lounge. Buri Rasa Koh Phangan also offers similar services. Full Moon Party this is not (and this ‘elder Millennial’ is just fine with that).
Do any hotels in Bophut have outdoor baths?
Yes! Pack your waterproof Kindle and plan to take the best bath of your life at Bo Phut Resort. It offers 'Spa Bath' rooms with giant soaker tubs set into your outdoor terrace. Personally, I think it would be way too hot to want to take a bath in Samui (I prefer a cold shower thrice daily), but you do you.
No such thing as too hot? Is your ideal body temperature “hot car left in the sun”? At Panu Luxury Apartment you pair your ocean view with an outdoor hot tub – one of very few I’ve ever seen on Samui.
Should we choose Anantara Bophut or Anantara Lawana?
For its location – you can walk along a paved road into Fisherman’s Village in about three minutes – Anantara Bophut is my pick. Anantara Lawana, on the northern edge of Chaweng, isn't quite so walkable (but offers beautiful sunrises and wonderful facilities for families). Between the two, it depends how much you want to walk and how much you want to see other people. Zero to both? Choose Anantara Lawana.
What are the best places to stay in Bophut during bad weather?
Hansar Samui's ocean view balconies
In Koh Samui’s rainy season, given the probability of rain, I suggest basing yourself on the eastern side of Bophut Beach in easy walking proximity to Fisherman's Village. This way, even if – worst case – it's absolutely tipping down – you can still do all sorts of stuff: eat pretty much every food on earth, hang-out in a dozen or more cafés and coffee shops, enjoy drop-in yoga, window-shop and more.
In rainy season, my top recommendation in Bophut is Hansar Samui because (1) it's a minute’s walk to Fisherman’s Village on paved road, (2) every room has a large covered balcony with an ocean view to enjoy when you need shade or shelter and (3) Hansar’s enormous pool is salt water – so no chemicals.
Hansar is quite modern and minimalist-y in design, so, if that’s not your thing, consider its next-door neighbours Anantara Bophut. Here, swap minimalism for lush, tropical gardens but enjoy a similarly quick walk into Fisherman’s Village, about a minute or two. With kids, consider the brand new Holiday Inn Resort – it’s even closer to Fisherman’s Village.
Should we choose Anantara Bophut or Hansar Samui?
Choose Hansar Samui if:
- You’ll appreciate having your own covered, ocean-view balcony (Anantara also has beautiful balconies but many are garden view).
- You love to swim – and would love to do so in a salt-water pool.
- You love to be in the sun. Of the two, Hansar is more exposed to the sun through the day and you have either pool umbrellas or your room’s covered balcony to seek shade. Anantara, however, owing to its leafy gardens has a variety of lounging options in the shade.
Choose Anantara Bophut if:
- You love plants and will appreciate the jungle-y, tropical paradise they offer.
- You’d prefer the pool to be directly beachfront (Hansar has a quiet road between the pool and the beach, though it’s below the pool’s infinity edge and is not visible from the pool beds).
- You want a swim-up pool bar. (Hansar’s pool bar is first-rate but you’ll drink your drinks on dry land).
- You want a direct beachfront room or villa. Amongst its rooms offerings are a few Beach Front Pool Suite with private plunge pools, your own sundeck and a small garden area.
Still can’t decide? Choose the one with a better deal? Or the higher rating? At time of writing, Anantara Bophut’s nightly rates for a standard room are fractionally higher than Hansar Samui’s. Similarly, its rating has a slight edge: 8.9 to Hansar’s 8.8.
My suggestion – they’re both superb. Easiest way to make a decision? Skim through the photos and make a gut decision on which better suits your aesthetic. Like red and clean lines? It’s Hansar. Prefer blue and green? Anantara for you. If you love plants, choose Anantara. Its gardens are glorious.
Ready to start planning?
Ready to start planning the Thailand trip of your dreams? Assuming you're as click-happy as me, you might have as many as 2,984 browser tabs open.
Better plan: start with The Koh Samui Guide. It's packed with every scrap of expertise I've gathered in my nearly twenty years of Samui exploration – and a nice place to sleep in Bophut is just the start. From adapters and airlines to yoga and zip-lining, it's your total guide to Koh Samui – in one easy download.
- Koh Samui: The Koh Samui Guide
- Couples: Koh Samui’s Most Romantic Hotels
- Families: Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids?