How to find Koh Samui’s best gyms
If a treadmill, some weights and your best playlist will get the job done – you’ve got dozens of options. Need a spin bike? Here’s where they’re hiding.
Where to work out on Koh Samui?
Never have I found such polarised opinions as to where hotel gyms are concerned. Of the same Koh Samui gym, one person describes “a sweatbox with dodgy equipment” while the next reviewer declares it “one of the best hotel gyms I've been in”. Similarly, another gym is written off as “cramped and tiny” while the next guest enjoyed its spaciousness. Short story? If you’re amongst the Equinox elite, you’ll be happy at perhaps two or three of the forty Samui gyms that follow. Everyone else? If a treadmill, some weights and your best Spotify playlist will get the job done – you’ve got dozens of options. Enjoy!
What to pack for working out in Thailand?
1) Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, 2) Electrolyte Drink Tablets, 3) Collapsible Water Bottle and 4) Cooling Towels
Four things I particularly recommend are mosquito-repellent bracelets (as you’ll sweat off any spray repellent), electrolyte drink tabs in a reusable water bottle and – best of all – a cooling towel. GENIUS.
Even with air-conditioning, it is SO UNBELIEVABLY HOT exercising in Thai heat. One of these around your neck is like bringing your own personal fridge with you.
Koh Samui struggles with rubbish and recycling – plastic bottles especially. Given the problems of plastic waste and ocean health, bringing your own bottle is an easy way to give this little island some enviro-help. (It's easy to buy large jugs from convenience stores or fill-up stations found at many resorts).
I'd also recommend bringing you own towel (either from your room or an easy-to-wash, quick-dry microfibre towel from home). Outside of the "best of the best" hotels, replenishment of gym towels can follow a curious schedule. Best to come prepared.
Tennis players – bring your own tennis balls.
Swimmers – don't forget your goggles and, if you're not used to swimming in strong sun, definitely pack a swim shirt or UPF rash guard.
What to wear to work out on Koh Samui?
1) SPF 50 Sweat Resistant Sunscreen, 2) UPF 50+ Sun Hat, 3) Ultra Light Wicking Socks and 4) Energy Bars
As always when you're dealing with high heat and humidity, it's all about your fabric choices (see what to wear in Thailand for normal clothes).
For exercise gear, avoid cotton and choose your thinnest, most wicking, most breathable workout tops (and socks). For women, choose bike shorts or running shorts over full-length leggings (you'll absolutely cook).
Finally, don't forget a wicking headband for indoor exercise and a sports hat (like a running hat or a UPF sun hat) and sweat-resistant sunscreen for anything outdoors, e.g. tennis or kayaking/paddle boarding.
Koh Samui’s best hotel gyms
Santiburi Koh Samui, Maenam, Koh Samui
A superb spot for sporty people – truly, the list is endless. If you can think of it, you can do it (or learn how). Starting at sea, Santiburi’s Water Sport Centre offers kayaks, windsurfing boards, Laser sailboats and Hobie-waves (nothing with a motor). Private lessons can be arranged for any of the above. As for swimming, there's a 50-metre pool – amongst the largest on Samui.
Golf access is another rare amenity; find Santiburi's own 18-hole Samui Country Club ten minutes away. The gym is new, air-conditioned, and open from 6am to 8pm (as promised, note those two spin bikes above).
Further options include tennis on flood-lit courts, a yoga studio, muay Thai lessons, football/soccer and a 1.2km jogging trail. Still not tired? Borrow a mountain bike.
Tip: In my opinion, W Koh Samui and Santiburi Koh Samui tie for first in terms of fitness facilities, classes and active options. Choose the latter as a couple and Santiburi Koh Samui with kids – its superb children's options include kids' bikes , beginner tennis lessons and daily staff vs guest football/soccer matches.
2. W Koh Samui
W Koh Samui, Maenam, Koh Samui
Ready? There's a lot to choose from. Let's start at W Koh Samui's 24-hour gym, FIT. It's enormous: 210 square metres (2260 square feet) and has floor to ceiling windows with ocean views. In addition to cardio machines, there are free weights, yoga balls and speed ropes.
Classes include personal training, plus complimentary water polo, body combat, pilates, sunset yoga, tai chi and muay Thai.
Need more endorphins? Try the purple tennis court (named SWING) or visit the watersports centre to borrow paddle boards, kayaks and ridiculous giant water balls. Rather exercise your mind? Don't miss the giant outdoor chess board.
SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
SALA Samui Choeng Mon offers fitness opportunities both on land and in the water and I’d save the gym as a last resort. The facility is tucked away from busier guest areas and lacks the incredible views and ambience you’ll find elsewhere. It’s perfectly functional but equipment is quite tightly packed.
Other workouts? Swim in the oceanfront pool (the adults' only pool is 25 metres). Take a kayak or paddleboard out for a super arm and core workout (especially enjoyable at sunset).
A final option includes complimentary yoga classes – available in the resort’s beautiful yoga sala. Beginners' yoga is held every morning but book in advance as class size is limited to eight people. Gym hours are 7am to 9pm.
Melia Koh Samui, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
New equipment (installed 2020 ... untouched until 2022) and open 24 hours.
SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, Chaweng, Koh Samui
The best feature of this spacious gym? A dedicated reception area ... to keep out children. Open from 7am to 9pm. A garden lap pool is available for swimmers, plus kayaks and paddleboards at the beach. SALA Samui Chaweng opened in 2019, so the equipment is relatively new.
Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort , Chaweng, Koh Samui
As a newer property than its sister (Anantara Bophut), Anantara Lawana’s gym is a five-star space with a dedicated reception area and beautiful flooring.
This gym features more cardio equipment than is typical on Samui, including a rowing machine. As for the barre stars out there, a small stretching area includes a ballet barre with mirror – not found elsewhere.
Like Anantara Bophut, you have 24-hour access to the gym. Garden views include just enough tropical greenery to remind you where you are. As for classes, try yoga, Muay Thai and tai chi sessions or borrow a kayak or a paddle board to explore from the beach.
Banyan Tree Samui, Lamai, Koh Samui
In addition to Banyan Tree's (perhaps slightly outdated) gym, there's a 50 metre oceanfront pool and a dedicated yoga centre with complimentary classes for guests.
Bandara Resort & Spa, Bophut, Koh Samui
Daylight for days! As at Avani+, the walls of windows at Bandara Resort's gym give it a massive boast in the aesthetic stakes. Bandara's 168 rooms mean its two treadmills and one elliptical might need some sharing – however, the resort's four swimming pools keep most people happy elsewhere.
Royal Muang Samui Villas, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
A small, basic gym open from 8am to 8pm. Morning beach yoga classes are available for a fee.
10. Casa De Mar
Casa De Mar, Chaweng, Koh Samui
It's hard to tell in the photo, but Casa de Mar's third floor gym does offer an ocean view. Plan to take turns on the single treadmill. Reviews complain that it gets busy in the afternoon (it would also get the full strength of the sun) so schedule a quiet morning workout and win on both counts.
Centara Reserve Samui, Chaweng, Koh Samui
Spin bike. There's a spin bike. This beautiful gym is brand spanking new and has a superb range of both weights and cardio equipment. In addition to fitness, there's a PADI dive centre, a watersports centre with kayaks and canoes, a sauna and a steam room. Finally? So many swimming pools. So many.
12. Chura Samui
Chura Samui, Chaweng, Koh Samui
Small but should help you cover the basics or touch up your triceps. Gym hours are 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Peace Resort Samui, Bophut, Koh Samui
A beautiful gym with garden views. Yoga and muay Thai lessons are available for a fee.
14. Amari Koh Samui
Amari Koh Samui, Chaweng, Koh Samui
You’ve been warned: Amari Koh Samui’s FIT Centre sits right beside its Amaya Café – home to some of the best croissants and baked goods on the island.
Gym hours are 06:30 to 22:00 so those with tremendous discipline can fit in a workout before sitting down to a well-deserved, buttery breakfast.
Life Fitness cardio equipment includes two treadmills, an elliptical trainer and both a stationary and recumbent bike. There’s not much of a view but the equipment is relatively new and the space is well-maintained.
Silavadee Pool Spa Resort, Lamai, Koh Samui
Silavadee offers wellness packages, plus 25 or so daily activities including tai chi, pilates, muay Thai, stretching, yoga, meditation, circuit training and more. While the gym is small, its views are ... let's agree ... pretty special.
16. The Library
The Library, Chaweng, Koh Samui
The Library's determined to be minimalist and, as such, The Fit has one treadmill, one bike and one elliptical. Its poolside location offers great views but plan to exercise in the early morning or the evening due to strong sun. Outside, help yourself to the kayaks, windsurfs and paddleboards available to borrow.
Hansar Samui Resort & Spa, Bophut, Koh Samui
The gym, admittedly, is not beautiful. However, taking function over form, it doesn't attract many random passersby and doesn't heat up with strong sun coming through large windows. Open daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Prefer to swim? Fall in love with the 15 x 30 metre saltwater pool (yes, of course, it's oceanfront).
Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa, Lamai, Koh Samui
A 24-hour gym with complimentary fitness classes. On and in the water, there are kayaks for guest-use and a 50-metre lap pool.
19. Vana Belle
Vana Belle, Chaweng Noi , Koh Samui
A rare find – multiple treadmills and strong air-conditioning. Open 24 hours.
Royal Beach Boutique Resort & Spa, Lamai, Koh Samui
Beautiful ocean views – and strong heat. It gets hot in here, so plan an early morning workout. Kayaks are also available.
Chaweng Regent Beach Resort, Chaweng, Koh Samui
Free daily classes include yoga and abs workouts. The gym is admittedly "compact" but will get the job done. Outside, the Chaweng beach location means great morning walks and running. Two pools include a beach and garden pool. Gym hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
22. The Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
One of the most beautiful fitness spaces on the island. A newer gym with multiple treadmills and garden views. In addition, try muay Thai in the dedicated muay Thai gym (open from 6am to 10pm) or tennis on the floodlit court.
Celes Beachfront Resort Koh Samui, Bophut, Koh Samui
Second floor with perfect natural light (and secretive people-watching?) ... yes please. Yoga and muay Thai lessons are also available (weather dependent).
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Koh Samui, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui
Nikki Beach's small Tone Gym is open 24 hours daily, with a small range of cardio and weights equipment. Additionally, get outside and enjoy the 75 metre swimming pool, free use of bikes, kayaks, paddleboards and snorkelling gear.
25. Cape Fahn
Cape Fahn, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
With just 22 rooms, Cape Fahn offers you the best guest to equipment ratio on Koh Samui. Yoga and pilates classes are also available, as is the main salt-water pool for swimmers (5.50m x 19.50m). Gym hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Nora Buri Resort & Spa, Chaweng, Koh Samui
A particularly spacious and well-equipped gym with three – count 'em – three treadmills. Separate men's and women's change rooms are also available, with steam rooms and saunas. Open from 7am to 8pm.
Prana Resort Samui, Bang Rak, Koh Samui
A small gym with pool views. As with many Samui gyms, plan to bring your own workout entertainment.
Sheraton Samui Resort, Chaweng Noi , Koh Samui
Open 24 hours with garden views. A floodlit tennis court is also available.
Mantra Samui Resort, Maenam, Koh Samui
Incredible ocean views. This small gym has just a few pieces of cardio equipment but offers ocean views. Open from 6am to 10pm.
30. Lanna Samui
Lanna Samui, Bophut, Koh Samui
Open daily from 7am to 9pm. As at Code, above, the gym includes a range of cardio machines, cross trainers and resistance training. Guests also have access to sunrise yoga classes at Chi Beach Club (a short drive away) and the use of Lanna's OM Yoga Studio. Determined to get very, very sweaty? Borrow mountain bikes and learn how hilly Samui can be.
Code, Maenam, Koh Samui
A 24-hour gym with a superb ocean view. Equipment includes cardio machines, cross trainers, resistance training plus free weights and yoga mats. Afterwards, a steam and sauna room are options (or just cool down in the infinity pool). Unique amenity? A flood-lit tennis court (lessons available on request). Tennis balls and racquets are available to borrow but keen players should bring their own (new) balls. Don't forget the mosquito repellent if playing tennis at night.
Muang Samui Spa Resort, Chaweng, Koh Samui
Indeed, this is a small gym so plan to catch it when it's empty and enjoy a workout all to yourself. This hotel at the northern edge of Chaweng beach has 53 rooms ... so beat 52 of them out of bed and you're golden.
Absolute Sanctuary, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
Absolute Sanctuary is a self-described “fitness wellness resort” and, though the majority of participants are in-house retreat guests, it welcomes non-guests to join yoga and pilates classes on a drop-in basis (see Koh Samui yoga for details).
Retreats vary in length and focus – you can choose your own ‘Be Fit’ adventure – but options include aqua power training, beach boot-camps, kick-boxing and, slightly less intense, sunrise walks and tai chi.
Rare for Samui, Absolute also offers rhythm cycling classes and – if you’re feeling particularly acrobatic – core suspend classes. All group classes are complimentary for retreat guests, with personal training available at a further cost.
When things start to get sore, try the herbal steam room or infrared sauna. The Moroccan-style property has two large yoga studios, an ocean-view gym and an enormous 20 x 10m infinity pool.
Samujana, Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
Depending which villa you choose, you might have you own gym. (Villa 12, for example, has its own gym, basketball court and saltwater pool for laps). Private yoga and muay Thai lessons can be arranged for all guests (including kids' yoga), plus personal training, Pilates, boot camps and more.
Kanda Pool Villas, Choeng Mon, Koh SamuiWant to kayak or need a personal trainer? Both are easily arranged. Kanda's small gym is open 24 hours (but you'll need to request to be let in outside of the spa's hours).
Avani Plus Samui Resort, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
AVANIFit at Avani+ Samui Resort has two enormous walls of windows and, for those of us who don’t like making new friends at the gym, tons of space between each piece of equipment.
This 24-hour gym is particularly well-equipped with a TRX set-up amongst traditional weight machines. Other fitness activities are offered daily and include poolside yoga, anti-gravity yoga and Muay Thai. Or, borrow a paddleboard for a sunset session – especially gorgeous on this side of the island. AvaniFit memberships are available for non-guests.
Nora Beach Resort & Spa, Chaweng, Koh Samui
My favourite complaint of any gym review I read while researching: "There's no lift/elevator to the gym, which means walking up 3 levels everyday". Priceless. Once you've scaled the proverbial staircase mountain, find a small range of weights and cardio equipment. Kayaks are available to hire. The gym is open from 6am to 7pm daily.
Pause on Samui Residences, Bophut, Koh Samui
A decent-sized gym with a rare rowing machine. Outside, there's a tennis court and a basketball court. (And a snooker room if we'd like to call that a sport).
The Sunset Beach Resort, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
As the name suggests, this gym offers superb views. Bikes, kayaks and paddleboards are also available, as is a large swimming pool for laps.
ShaSa Resort & Residences, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
Gym entertainment at ShaSa? Watch the shoreline for black reeftip sharks (really!). The small gym has both pool and ocean views, and a sauna room. Kayaks and fishing are available, as are three large pools.
Gym tips for Thailand
Fellow cult members. I don't know of any Pelotons on Koh Samui (if they're out there, let me know) and spin bikes are a rare find. Hawk-eyes will spot one at the new Centara Reserve Samui and two at Santiburi Koh Samui and Royal Beach Boutique Resort (pictured at the top of the post). Conrad Samui has one – also with an ocean view – and Samahita Retreat offers spin classes to guests. Elsewhere? Time to try Cody Rigby's dance cardio, I guess. If you do attempt a spin ride, respect the heat and double your electrolytes.
Muay Thai and martial arts
Quick tip! Make sure to check your travel insurance coverage before doing any active or adventurous activities while you’re away. Using World Nomads’ activities list as an example, a standard insurance package would cover you for fitness/weight training, kayaking or paddle boarding (and playing dodge ball) but would not cover you for some martial arts (including kickboxing or Muay Thai) or power lifting. Double-check your travel insurance coverage for its activity list and, if necessary, purchase extended coverage ... you really don't want to pay out-of-pocket for any medical expenses in Thailand.
Koh Samui’s hotel gyms
In the list above, you’ll notice that most Koh Samui hotel gyms are fairly basic – usually a small room with few cardio machines – almost always Life Fitness – which include one to two treadmills, a stationary bike, an elliptical trainer and selection of weights (both weight machines and free weights). Some spots offer additional fitness classes including yoga and pilates.
Other fitness options
If you don’t see your ideal way to work out, you might prefer to bring own yoga mat and some resistance bands from home, and enjoy a YouTube or fitness app workout in the privacy of your own room or villa. If you've got a particularly special view, or private oasis, this can be preferable to a small gym with sweaty strangers. My motivation for this variety of exercise? I can control the air-conditioning, avoid all mystery children and sing along to 90s music as needed.
When to work out on Koh Samui?
Even with the best intentions, most people don’t work out on vacation. Though most of Samui's hotel gyms are small, you’ll often find them empty (especially early in the morning when most guests are at breakfast). North American fitness fanatics have a further advantage: your jet lag will mean you wake at the crack of dawn – get in a workout before sunrise and tuck into your breakfast buffet with extra fervour.
Early also means cooler – I can't emphasise the heat enough. In my experience, hotel gyms tend to be busier in the afternoon as people look for ways to avoid Thailand's strong sun. (And that extra-annoying species: I've never used a gym in my life, but I'm going to use the exact machine you want, and do it wrong). If your gym has large windows expect it to be even more hot in the afternoon. See the packing suggestions above for tips to stay cool.
Tip: If you're hoping to workout pre-dawn (when North Americans with jetlag will wake up anyway), consider packing some protein bars or other snacks as you'll be awake long before breakfast is available.
TVs, WiFi and entertainment
Note that Koh Samui gyms tend to lack TVs (especially in older hotels where it's more or less a room shoved in the back). If you get bored easily, download something to watch or listen to on your phone while you exercise (perhaps an audiobook set in Thailand?). If the gym is tucked away, assume that the WiFi won't be tremendous and come prepared with a completed download and your own headphones.
With few exceptions, the following gyms are available for guest use only. This policy can change (quietly) for long-stay visitors who'd like a monthly pass – always worth asking.
And the requisite "Covid may have changed things" note
While things should (should) be back to normal now, hotels might have Covid policies in place that affect use of the gym (e.g. outside/non-guest use, timing, equipment availability, staffing or provision of towels/etc). Nothing we're not used to – no problem – but double-check before setting your heart on something.
Koh Samui’s best places to workout
Need something more than a spin bike to make your vacation dreams come true? Look no further – enjoy!
- Koh Samui: The Koh Samui Guide
- Award-Winners: 9 Award-Winning Hotels on Koh Samui
- Couples: Koh Samui’s Most Romantic Hotels
- Families: Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids?
- One-Offs: 13 Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
- New: 6 New Koh Samui Hotels to Try
- Sunsets: The Best Places for Sunsets on Koh Samui
- My favourite: Your Total Guide to Choeng Mon Beach
- Best bars: 5 Koh Samui Resorts with Swim-up Pool Bars