Beaches & Hotels
February 5, 2024

5 Koh Samui resorts with swim-up bars

Looking for a beachfront resort with a swim-up pool bar? Choose from these top choices and paddle to a new happy hour every day.

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Koh Samui's 5 best swim-up pool bars

If there’s ever a time to ditch your fitness tracker, it’s when you finally arrive on Koh Samui. To fully augment your lazy-days-in-paradise situation (and ensure you accrue zero-point-zero steps), might I suggest a beachfront resort with a swim-up pool bar? With five top choices on all the island’s best corners, you can take a week to paddle to a new happy hour every day – and return to your favourites for the weekend.

1. Melati Beach Resort & Spa

Koh Samui Resorts with Swim-up Bars: Melati Beach Resort & Spa
Melati Beach Resort & Spa, near Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Choeng Mon area
  • Rating: 8.7 out of 10

Quick mention? Melati won #1 Luxury Boutique Resort in Thailand at last year's World Luxury Hotel Awards. Indeed, beyond the bar, Melati has a staff so sweet you’ll want to make some serious substitutions in your family dinner roster. If you’re lucky, you’ll grab a front row seat swim-up bar stool to their regular staff show – a frankly terrible and thus all-the-more-endearing dance/lip-sync/‘Thailand’s Got Talent’ delight.

At other times of day, do your parents proud by taking full advantage of generous happy-hour promos (or find your hands full with a legitimate weight-lifting alternative to water aerobics).

Tip: Melati is the sister resort to Chaweng Regent, discussed below – tough choices.

2. Sea Dance Resort

Koh Samui Resorts with Swim-up Bars: Sea Dance Resort
Sea Dance Resort, near Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Choeng Mon area
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10

A third stop on our Koh Samui swim-up bar crawl and it's time for? Entire. Mojito. Menu. I’ve written an earlier gushy post on the hundred or so reasons you’ll love Sea Dance. Its swim-up bar was a mere afterthought to this magic little spot ready to treat you to the best of Thailand’s service (and its spring rolls).

3. Anantara Bophut

Koh Samui Resorts with Swim-up Bars: Anantara Bophut
Anantara Bophut, Bophut, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Bophut
  • Rating: 9.1 out of 10

It’s possible I saved the best for last. Why so? (Besides the fact that there are actual coconut trees growing from the middle of your pool?) Anantara’s swim-up pool bar is tucked underneath Full Moon Restaurant, and as such offers valuable shade when you want to stare out to sea as you cool colada off. Of your options, Anantara's swim-up bar ambience is extra special – hanging aerial roots and a fully stocked rum shelf make it the quintessential "I earned this" experience.

Tip: Anantara has a fantastic, very walkable location (see the many reasons I recommend it for a family vacation).

4. Centara Reserve Samui

Koh Samui Resorts with Swim-up Bars: Centara Reserve Samui
Centara Reserve Samui, Chaweng, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Chaweng
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Ding-ding! You’ve found another Koh Samui swim-up bar with a sea view. Newly opened Centara Reserve has a universe of swimming pool options (spot the beachfront swim-up bar in the freeform pool above). Not thirsty? Try the infinity pool or, with a family, the kids' wet playground. Lazy? Order a drink from another point in the pool and it will get to you. (I don't want to spoil the surprise of quite how ... but you'll like it). Were you to set off paddling, you could take hours to circuit these meandering pools (with a cocktail detour, perhaps).

If you really love the water, Centara Reserve offers pool access rooms as well as private pool villas. The bar offers two sides (a swim-up pool bar and beach bar seating opposite), so you can follow the sun round until your toes land in the sand.

5. Chaweng Regent Beach Resort

Koh Samui Resorts with Swim-up Bars: Chaweng Regent Beach Resort
Chaweng Regent Beach Resort, Chaweng, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Chaweng
  • Rating: 8.5 out of 10

A perennial reader favourite; you’re in triple-threat territory here. Chaweng Regent has a beach to brag about, an easy-to-walk location close to everything in Chaweng, and a totally Thai environment with bungalow suites in gorgeous gardens. As for the swim-up bar, you’ll find it in the second of the resort’s two fresh-water pools, set in the showpiece of Chaweng Regent’s tropical garden. Back at the beach, regular beach dinners offer free-flow drinks packages and special cocktails.

Koh Samui resorts with swim-up bars

Want more choices and total Samui expertise? The Koh Samui Guide answers everything you’re worried or wondering about (... not to mention recommends superb bars back on dry land, too). Enjoy!

P.S. You can find every tip for Koh Samui's best beaches and hotels in the archive, or subscribe by email and get all the details straight to your inbox. Enjoy!