Beaches & Hotels
May 15, 2024

Where to stay on Koh Samui?

Every Samui beach has a character of its own. Which is best? Well, you get to decide. Learn the character of each beach (pros, cons, and more)...

This post may contain affiliate links, from which I receive a small commission on any resulting purchases at no cost to the customer. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It keeps The Koh Samui Guide ad-free, never sponsored and 100% independent. See privacy policy for more details.

Where to stay on Koh Samui?

With over 700 hotels and resorts, and hundreds more private villas and beach bungalows – Koh Samui’s 228.7 square kilometres are nothing but choices. Trying to choose a hotel out of thin air is a recipe for brain melt-down (not to mention browser crashes). Instead? Let's make this easy.

Start here: Beaches? Budget?

1. How to choose your beach?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui?
The Koh Samui Guide

Where to stay on Koh Samui? Every Samui beach has a character of its own. Which is best? Well, you get to decide. Learn the character of each beach (pros, cons, sand texture and suitability) in The Koh Samui Guide, and find out which is the best beach for you. You'll also find out what's walkable and when you'll need other forms of transport to get around, not to mention where to eat.

2. Decide where you want to be

Do you want to be on the beach, or near it? As a very hilly island, some of Koh Samui's best views are to be found off the beach. Do you prefer a pool and ocean-view combination to the sand itself? If so, many of Koh Samui's higher-end hillside properties near a beach might be just the ticket. Booking mid-range places, you're likely to enjoy savings if you're happy to walk, drive or scoot from your holiday home to the beach.

3. What's your budget?

Once you've chosen your perfect beach and your preferred location – it's simply a matter of deciding between a handful of great options in your desired price range. In the cheap-and-cheerful bracket, it’s just a bed, right? On Samui, 1- and 2-star hotels often come with tons of Thai charm and perfectly chilled Singha.

4. Get it booked

Imagine that – in no time at all, with absolutely no stress or "it all looks the same" confusion – you've narrowed your top choices for where to stay on Koh Samui from over 1,000 to just three or four. I said this would be painless. Once you've read the first chapter of The Koh Samui Guide and have a preferred beach or an area of Koh Samui in mind, use the following suggestions to whittle your top-notch short list and get your trip booked (whether you’re coming on honeymoon, with children or with just a wing and a prayer).

Where to stay in Choeng Mon?

My favourite: Choeng Mon Beach

Need 10 reasons to choose Choeng Mon Beach? Don't miss my updated beach guide with detailed hotel recommendations, packing tips and answers to all your FAQs. For a quick overview of favourite Choeng Mon hotels, see below.

1. SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort:
SALA Samui Choengmon Beach Resort, On Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: On Choeng Mon Beach
  • Rating: 9.2 out of 10

My top pick in Choeng Mon. SALA Samui means five-star everything, without a hint of pretension. Just. Utter. Magic. Rooms are private villas and many have their own plunge pools. A serene adults-only pool offers canopied day beds, while sofas surround the family pool. SALA is comfy. Breakfast is spectacular; sunset Happy Hour more so.

2. Melia Koh Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Melia Koh Samui:
Melia Koh Samui, On Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: On Choeng Mon
  • Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Choeng Mon with children? Look no further than Melia Koh Samui. Melia won #1 Luxury Beachfront Resort in the World at last year's World Luxury Hotel Awards, plus four Travelers’ Choice Awards. It's a relatively new option on Choeng Mon Beach, opening about five seconds before the pandemic (a total rebrand and renovation of the Imperial Boathouse).

Tip: If you're coming to Koh Samui as a family and need to be on, in, or near water at all times, Melia will delight you (and your kids particularly).

3. Melati Beach Resort & Spa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: 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

Stay at Melati for: A cast-away beach holiday, in beautiful surroundings. Melati is near, not on, Choeng Mon Beach but you definitely won't care. Pictured above is the main family pool, right on the beach, with a superb swim-up bar. Without children, don't miss the supremely-hidden-away quiet pool. Like SALA Samui Choeng Mon, mentioned above, it has a separate adults' only pool. Melati won #1 Luxury Boutique Resort in Thailand at last year's World Luxury Hotel Awards.

4. Garrya Tongsai Bay

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: The Tongsai Bay:
Garrya Tongsai Bay, Near Choeng Mon, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Choeng Mon area
  • Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Most romantic spot in Choeng Mon? Garrya Tongsai Bay is ideal for quiet, nature-loving couples. Tongsai has many aspects to its 'secret sauce' – but its serenity and seclusion are chief amongst them. For thirty-plus years, Tongsai has blended into natural surroundings in its own bay – a bay in which all motorised watersports are banned to ensure your total peace and quiet. Tongsai just was renovated for its big birthday and is beautiful, secluded, with great food and facilities.

I especially love (the newly renamed) Garrya Tongsai Bay for its environmental aspects (and animal-loving ethos in particular). It's located a minute's drive to Choeng Mon, but you're unlikely to want to leave the resort. Stay here for: Fantastic staff, amazing wildlife, tennis and an enormous beach-front pool.

More Choeng Mon choices

My favourites

New on (and near) Choeng Mon

Budget options

Where to stay in Chaweng?

Most popular: Chaweng Beach

On Chaweng Beach you'll find a great range of options, including resorts with private pool villas, boutique choices and more. For details on enjoying Chaweng as an introvert, extrovert, parent or partier, don't miss the detailed beach guides and comparisons in The Koh Samui Guide.

1. Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort :
Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort , North of Chaweng, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: North of Chaweng
  • Rating: 9.2 out of 10

Incredible sunrises! Stay here for: Dipping your toe near, not quite in, Samui’s action. Tucked into its own bay towards the north of Chaweng. Anantara Lawana can offer you a very quiet experience either as a couple or as a family. Room options include pool villas (pictured above) and private plunge pools. If you’re an introvert who secretly kind of liked lockdown, this is the spot for you.

2. Casa De Mar

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Casa De Mar:
Casa De Mar, North Chaweng, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: North Chaweng
  • Rating: 8.6 out of 10

An absolute reader favourite. Casa de Mar is on the quieter north end of Chaweng Beach, with an infinity pool, good breakfast and a small gym.

3. OZO Chaweng Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: OZO Chaweng Samui:
OZO Chaweng Samui, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Chaweng Beach
  • Rating: 8.7 out of 10

A superb mid-range choice suiting young couples and families alike. (Picky eaters? There's a burger restaurant on site). Directly beachfront with an enormous zero-slope entry pool.

4. Centara Reserve Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Centara Reserve Samui:
Centara Reserve Samui, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Chaweng Beach
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Brand new! Centara Grand Beach Resort fully closed for major renovations in mid-2019 and has just opened its doors as the fully 'glown-up' Centara Reserve Samui. Get bored easily? Choose this enormous resort with endless choices for pools, dining and activities.

More Chaweng choices

My favourites

Boutique resorts in Chaweng

Mid-range and budget options

Where to stay in Bophut?

Bophut Beach and Fisherman’s Village

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. For a total beach-by-beach comparison, The Koh Samui Guide goes into great detail about every option you’ve got.

1. Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa:
Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui*
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Bophut Beach
  • Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Perhaps Koh Samui's most romantic hotel. A boutique resort on Bophut Beach, with incredible food. Zazen’s aesthetic ethos: there’s no flat surface on earth that couldn’t benefit from a thousand candles. You’ll find one of – if not the – biggest wine cellars on the island at Zazen and its French-influenced food is exceptional. Best of all? The spaaaaaaa.

*Reopening December, 2023

2. Bandara Resort & Spa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Bandara Resort & Spa:
Bandara Resort & Spa, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Bophut Beach
  • Rating: 8.8 out of 10

A superb Bophut Beach choice for families. Bandara has – I think – the best-designed family rooms on Koh Samui. Pool options include beachfront pools and a children’s pool.

3. Bo Phut Resort and Spa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Bo Phut Resort and Spa:
Bo Phut Resort and Spa, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Bophut Beach
  • Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Stay here for: The best of all worlds location, with a private pool to boot. Bo Phut Resort is indeed a triple threat: 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).

4. Cielo Boutique Hotel & Spa Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Cielo Boutique Hotel & Spa Samui:
Cielo Boutique Hotel & Spa Samui, Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Bophut Beach
  • Rating: 9.0 out of 10

A brand new boutique resort on Bophut Beach. Your options include both suites and private pool villas (including two- and three-bedroom villas for groups or families).

More Bophut choices

Budget and mid-range options

My favourites

Where to stay in Lamai?

Lamai Beach and area

Where to stay on Lamai Beach? Lamai Beach is a long and relatively straight stretch of beach with hotels, resorts and bungalows for all tastes. In the general Lamai vicinity, both your high- and low-end options are considerable. To go five-star, booking into a resort tucked into one of the area’s many little bays means greater privacy. To stretch your budget in the manner of a 1970s backpacker, just add a scooter or songthaew ride to your beach commute.

1. Banyan Tree Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Banyan Tree Samui:
Banyan Tree Samui, Near Lamai, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Near Lamai
  • Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Banyan Tree Samui won 10th best Southeast Asia Resort Hotel in last year's Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. Every Banyan Tree villa has a private pool. Many are infinity edge. Villas vary in their outlook (you might prefer being higher up for a better view, or closer to the beach, pool and restaurants) but all are 130m²/1399ft².

2. Crystal Bay Beach Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Crystal Bay Beach Resort:
Crystal Bay Beach Resort, Crystal Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 3 stars
  • Location: Crystal Beach
  • Rating: 8.3 out of 10

A superb mid-range option beloved for its Crystal Beach location. It isn't fussy, it's not pretentious and it's not walking distance to anything – except its own beach.

3. Villa Nalinnadda Petite Hotel & Spa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Villa Nalinnadda Petite Hotel & Spa:
Villa Nalinnadda Petite Hotel & Spa, Near Lamai, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Near Lamai
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Perhaps your sweetest boutique option in the Lamai area. (Don't let the bunny fool you, it's adults-only). Choose between ocean view and beachfront suites.

More Lamai choices

My favourites

Budget and mid-range options

Where to stay in Chaweng Noi?

1. Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort:
Vana Belle, A Luxury Collection Resort, Chaweng Noi Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Chaweng Noi Beach
  • Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Vana Belle won #1 Luxury Romantic Hotel in Asia at last year's World Luxury Hotel Awards, plus five Travelers’ Choice Awards and a World Luxury Spa Award. You, Happy Couple, won't believe its view. An on-site bakery, a beachfront pool and incredible boozy brunches provide every reason to stay put for your whole stay. Room choice? Don't miss the ocean view pool suites.

2. The Jungle Club

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: The Jungle Club:
The Jungle Club, way up in the hills above Chaweng Noi, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 3 stars
  • Location: Near Chaweng Noi
  • Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Jungle living, for “not jungle people”. If, notionally, you love the idea of nature but would never, ever camp: The Jungle Club might be your answer. Newly built and newly renovated options include jungle bungalows, jungle huts, jungle lodges, a jungle house and jungle villa. Choose a Jungle Lodge for the best views and most privacy

3. New Star Beach Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: New Star Beach Resort:
New Star Beach Resort, Chaweng Noi Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Chaweng Noi Beach
  • Rating: 8.3 out of 10

New Star is a wonderful four-star beach resort, suited to couples and families alike, with a double dose of ‘sanuk’ (Thai for anything fun, funny, cheeky or amusing).

Where to stay in Bang Rak?

1. B House Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: B House Samui:
B House Samui, Bang Rak Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Bang Rak Beach
  • Rating: 8.9 out of 10

New name, new ownership. If you visited Koh Samui pre-pandemic, you might have stayed at The Scent Hotel. Today it's B House Samui. If your ideal vacation means discreet and charming staff, superb food and total calm – hunt down the front door and enter another world.

2. Prana Resort Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Prana Resort Samui:
Prana Resort Samui, Bang Rak Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Bang Rak Beach
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10

A beach-front boutique resort in Bang Rak with an enormous pool. A reader favourite!

3. Tango Luxe Beach Villa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Tango Luxe Beach Villa:
Tango Luxe Beach Villa, Plai Laem Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Plai Laem Beach
  • Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Technically on Plai Laem Beach (just to the east of Bang Rak, with Big Buddha in between), my top choice in this area – for couples especially – is Tango Luxe. This fairly secret, perfect spot allows you to do all of the following, at once: lie in a hammock, drinking a mango daiquiri, eating bacon, watching planes land over Big Buddha ... while the sun sets. It's the mic drop of Koh Samui's boutique hotels.

Where to stay in Maenam?

Maenam

My empirical evidence suggests that Maenam has more square feet of sand available per person, compared to other large Samui beaches. It tends to be quiet, with fewer beach vendors and more room to find your spot and spread out. Use The Koh Samui Guide to simplify (or solidify) your choice and learn the pros and cons of every Samui beach.

1. Khwan Beach Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Khwan Beach Resort:
Khwan Beach Resort, Near Maenam Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Near Maenam Beach
  • Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Another unusual place to stay on Koh Samui. Khwan Beach Resort is adults-only and has both pool villas and glamping tents. Tents have air-conditioning, WiFi, smart TVs with a totally private garden area.

2. Santiburi Koh Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Santiburi Koh Samui:
Santiburi Koh Samui, Maenam Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Maenam Beach
  • Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Santiburi sits on a 300-foot frontage directly on Maenam Beach. It’s ideal for a family that needs to be busy, yet is just a short drive to neighbouring Bophut, Fisherman’s Village, as well as Santiburi’s 18-hole golf course in the hills nearby. Unlike many resorts in its class, it’s built on the flat – so you can walk (or bike) around with ease.

3. Napasai, A Belmond Hotel

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Napasai, A Belmond Hotel:
Napasai, A Belmond Hotel, Maenam Beach, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Maenam Beach
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Napasai is perfect for an 'escape from the real world' resort vacation. It offers villa accommodations, an enormous infinity pool (and pool-side pool table) and the chance to try everything from Muay Thai to lychee mojitos. Forgot a beach book? Paperbacks are tucked on driftwood shelves in the sand. Stay here for: Nonstop relaxation with a bit of quirk, plus lots to do.

More Maenam choices

My favourites

Budget and mid-range options

Where to stay in Bang Po and Lipa Noi?

Bang Po and Lipa Noi

Compared to Koh Samui's other beaches, this is a quiet part of the island – which has its pros and cons. If you’d like to set down and stay put, it’s a great choice. Minimal development means few high-end resorts, though many private villas are tucked away, both on the beach and up in the hills. In the cheap and cheerful bracket, you're encouraged to ditch your iPhone and time-travel to a simpler age....

1. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui:
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Bang Po, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Bang Po
  • Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Widely considered the best hotel on Koh Samui, naming Four Seasons Resort as my top pick is truly stating the obvious. Time at Four Seasons Koh Samui is – officially – as good as life gets. But you don't need telling that. Stay here for: The very best, of the best, of the best – staff, service, kiddie care. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui won two Travelers’ Choice Awards in 2022: Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Thailand (#20) and Top 25 Hotels in Thailand (#21)

2. The Mud

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: The Mud:
The Mud, Bang Po, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 2 stars
  • Location: Bang Po
  • Rating: 8.9 out of 10

One of Koh Samui's most unusual places to stay. The Mud’s aesthetic is ‘The Flintstones’ beach bungalow’ – with extra doses of bamboo. Enjoy incredible sunsets from the small resort pool. Daily batik painting is offered for kids and families, with lots of live music. The latest addition: A completely circular bamboo house with sunset views.

3. Sea Valley Hotel & Spa

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Sea Valley Hotel & Spa:
Sea Valley Hotel & Spa, Lipa Noi, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Lipa Noi
  • Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Are the best sunset views are a top priority? First, consider staying in Lipa Noi which faces due west. For a superb independent spot, Sea Valley is utterly charming (in a very sleepy part of the island).

Where to stay in Taling Ngam, Laem Sor and Laem Set?

Taling Ngam, Laem Sor and Laem Set

Taling Ngam is a large area of southwest Samui and the beach is divided in places by rocks, headlands and other topographical barriers. Taling Ngam faces west, so sunsets are the area’s biggest lure. As such, you’ll find the glitziest of branded resorts here.

As for Samui's south coast? Aside from the small fishing village of Hua Thanon, the areas of Hua Thanon and Na Muang are more administrative regions than specific beach destinations. Consider them broad areas, with the small bays and beaches of Bang Kao and Laem Set within them (to add to the confusion, they're also spelled Ban Kao and Leam Set). Once off the few main roads, this part of Koh Samui gets very rural, very quickly. If you fancy life as a coconut farmer or a total castaway, this is your chance to try out total peace and quiet.

1. Conrad Koh Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Conrad Koh Samui:
Conrad Koh Samui, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Taling Ngam
  • Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Stay here for: Lazy days. Pull up the drawbridge for a private paradise break – with sunsets! Conrad Koh Samui won #1 Luxury Honeymoon Hotel in South East Asia at last year's World Luxury Hotel Awards and a World Luxury Spa Award.

2. InterContinental Koh Samui Resort

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: InterContinental Koh Samui Resort:
InterContinental Koh Samui Resort, Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 5 stars
  • Location: Taling Ngam
  • Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Taling Ngam with children? Choose InterCon. Stay here for: Sunsets and near-total seclusion. A certain highlight is the big wood ‘rope’ bridge connecting hillside villas to the main hotel building/restaurants – truly a Tarzan experience for little kids (see more family-friendly details).

3. Samahita Retreat

Where to Stay on Koh Samui: Samahita Retreat:
Samahita Retreat, Laem Sor, Koh Samui
  • Stars: 4 stars
  • Location: Laem Sor
  • Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Not a resort, per se, but a retreat with yoga, fitness and various wellness programmes. Your booking options include private queen rooms, two-bedroom lofts or a shared loft, with yoga, self-care or brain-health programmes.

Private Villas

Six-bedroom villas

Five-bedroom villas

Four-bedroom villas

Three-bedroom villas

Your questions

How do the star ratings compare to Western or brand name resorts?

I've used the star-ratings supplied by the hotel to Booking.com. Aside from ace-across-the-board five-star Samui resorts, double check what's included in terms of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-star services and amenities. In smaller resorts, you're better off comparing location/age/size as well as photos, as star ratings tend to have less standardisation than in western tourist spots.

Where to stay on Koh Samui?

More questions? Variety is a wonderful thing, but I understand how stressful choosing where to stay can be. Find detailed beach information, plus accommodation advice (and nearly twenty years of island expertise) in The Koh Samui Guide.

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!"