Where to Stay in Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island and one of its most popular travel destinations. Once the preserve of backpackers, the island now offers accommodation options ranging from inexpensive guest houses to budget hotels, 5-star hotels, and all-villa resorts.

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The infinity swimming pool at the Anantara Bohput Resort overlooks the Gulf of Thailand. Photo Credit: Minor Hotels.

Amazing Thailand

Koh Samui has hundreds of accommodation options, from nondescript hostels to over-the-top all-villa resorts.

Here’s a short-list of 16 full-service hotels at price points ranging from under US$50 more more than US$750 a night.

Some of the hotels are located at the island’s most popular beaches. Others are decidedly off the beaten track.

What’s included: hotel quick reference guide with links as well as when to go and how to get there.

Koh Samui 101

Koh Samui used to be known as a backpacker’s paradise, but those days are gone with the wind.

With the construction of an airport, which opened in 1989, the once isolated island quickly became much more accessible than before.

Because the airport is privately owned, flights to Koh Samui tend to be pricey. As a result, Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s pricier travel destinations.

Room rates at Koh Samui hotels and resorts also tend to be a bit higher than at comparable hotels and resorts in other Thai travel destinations.

Most of the hotels in Koh Samui are concentrated along the shores of three beaches: Bophut Beach in the Northeast and Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach in the East.

There are also hotels in other parts of the island such as Maenam in the Northwest and Baan Taling Ngam Bay in the West. These hotels offer a greater sense of privacy and exclusivity.

A short list of some of best budget hotels and luxury hotels in Koh Samai follows, with room rates ranging from below US$50 to more than US$750 a night.

All of the hotels and resorts in this list are full-service properties. They have 24-hour front desks and accept major international credit cards.

All of the hotels and resorts have 24-hour front desks and accept major international credit cards. I have not included any hostels or guest houses in this list.

Pricing is for comparative purposes only and can vary substantially by season.

  • $ – under US$50
  • $$ – US$50 to US$99
  • $$$ – US$100 to US$124
  • $$$$ – US$125 to US$149
  • $$$$$ – US$150 to US$199
  • $$$$$$ – US$200 – US$499
  • $$$$$$$ – more than US$500

Northern Koh Samui – Bophut

Located on Koh Samui’s northeastern shore, Bophut Beach has calm waters and is therefore perfect for swimming.

Home to Fisherman’s Village, the area retains some of the island’s Sino-Thai cultural heritage.

Many of the old Chinese style shop houses have been converted into food and beverage outlets, day spas, and boutiques, and there is a lively night market on Friday night.

Hotels along Bophut Beach are roughly a 15 minutes’ drive from Samui Airport.

Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort

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Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort. Photo Credit: Minor Hotels.

Located directly on Bophut Beach, this elegant resort has 106 rooms, four food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, a fitness center, a children’s club, a cooking school, tennis courts – the list goes on.

ibis Samui Bophut

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ibis Samui Bophut. Photo Credit: AccorHotels Group.

A 3 star hotel with, the property the ibis Samui Bophut has 209 rooms including 59 family rooms, one restaurant, two bars, a swimming pool, and a playground for children. One pet of up to 10 kilograms is allowed per room. The hotel is a 15 minute walk from Fisherman’s Village.

Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana

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Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana. Photo Credit: AccorHotels Group.

This mid-range hotel has 85 guest rooms, one restaurant, two bars, and an outdoor swimming pool.

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui

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The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui. hoto Credit: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Situated in the township of Bophut, this luxury Koh Samui hotel has direct access to two beaches, and 175 suites and pool villas scattered amid 58 acres of tropically landscaped grounds.

There are six food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, an oceanfront swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness centre, two floodlit tennis courts, a kids club – the list goes on.

Northern Koh Samui – Maenam

Located to the West of Bophut, Maenan is significantly less developed, but it is also home to one of the island’s most exclusive resorts.

W Koh Samui

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W Koh Samui. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Located in the town of Maenan, the hotel has 74 private pool villas, six food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, a fitness centre, a tennis court.

Eastern Koh Samui – Chaweng Beach

Koh Samui’s most famous and popular beach, Chaweng Beach is where the action is.

A lively commercial strip is lined with hotels, food and beverage outlets, day spas, boutiques, and bazaars.

The area is about 10 to 15 minutes’ drive from Samui Airport.

Amari Koh Samui

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Amari Koh Samui. Photo Credit: Onyx Hospitality Group.

Located on a secluded stretch of Chaweng Beach, the 193 hotel rooms and suites, four food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, two free-form swimming pools, children’s pools, a kids club, and a fitness centre.

Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort

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Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort. Photo Credit: Minor Hotels.

Situated at the northern end of Chaweng Beach, the hotel has rooms, suites and villas.  There is a full-service spa, three food and beverage outlets, a cooking school, and a fitness centre.

The Library, Koh Samui, a Member of Design Hotels

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TheLibrary, Koh Samui, a Member of Design Hotels. Photo Credit: Design Hotels.

Located on Chaweng Beach, the hotel has a literary theme, with 46 studios, suites, and pool villas scattered about 12,800 square metres of Zen-like grounds. The hotel has a bright red swimming pool, a library, and a small fitness room.

Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng

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Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng. Photo Credit: AccorHotels Group.

Located at the northern end of Chaweng Beach, this hotel has four food and beverage outlets, an outdoor swimming pool, and direct access to the beach.

Ozo Chaweng Samui

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Ozo Chaweng Samui. Photo Credit: Onyx Hospitality Group.

Located in the heart of the action, this hotel has 208 rooms, three food and beverage outlets, and a grab and go counter.

There is a free-form outdoor swimming pool for adults and a splash pool for the kids, a fitness room, and direct access to the beach.

Best of all, the hotel is across the street from a 24-hour mini-mart.

Sheraton Samui Resort

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Sheraton Samui Resort. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Situated on Chaweng Noi Beach, the hotel has four food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, a fitness centre, and  two swimming pools, including a free-form swimming pool right on the beach.

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Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Located on Chaweng Noi Beach, the hotel has 80 rooms, including 73 pool suites, four food and beverage outlets, a full service spa, an infinity swimming pool, a library, and a fitness centre.

Eastern Kok Samui – Lamai Beach

Located in the township of Maret, Lamai Beach is a bit more laid back than Chaweng.

Hotels along Lamai Beach are approximately a 20 to 30 minutes’ drive to Samui Airport.

Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort and Spa

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Le Meridient Koh Samui Resort and Spa. Photo Credit: AccorHotels Group.

Located on Lamai Beach, the hotel has 77 rooms including 16 plunge pool suites, 21 pool access suites, seven pavilion pool villas, and seven ocean front pool villas. There are four food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, a fitness centre, two outdoor swimming pools, a water sports desk – the list goes on.

Mercure Koh Samui Beach Resort

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Mercure Koh Samui Beach Resort. Photo Credit: AccorHotels Group.

A mid-range hotel with 52 rooms and eight villas, a restaurant, a bar next to the beach, and a free-form swimming pool.

Renaissance Koh Samui Resort and Spa

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Renaissance Koh Samui Resort and Spa. Photo Credit: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Located on Lamai Beach, the hotel has 78 rooms, suites, and villas, including seven beachfront pool villas and a two-bedroom villa. There are four food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, two swimming pools, and a fitness centre.

Western Koh Samui – Baan Taling Ngam Bay

Located on Koh Samui’s southwest coast, Baan Taling Ngam Bay is relatively quiet, offering some of the island’s best sunsets as the sun sets slowly into the Gulf of Thailand and the Five Islands.

InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort

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InterContinental Samui Baan Taling ZNgam Resort. Photo Credit: InterContinental Hotels Group.

Located on the shores of Baan Taling Ngam Bay on Koh Samui’s west coast, the hotel has rooms, suites, and villas. There are seven swimming pools scattered about the property, including an infinity pool with an adjoining bar.  There is a full-service spa, a water sports centre, a dive centre, a fitness centre – the list goes on.

Best Time to Book Koh Samui Hotel Rooms

When is the best time to visit Koh Samui? It depends on a variety of factors, and weather and your budget are two of your most important considerations.

Late December, January, July, and August offer Koh Samui’s the best weather, with mostly sunny skies and warm but not excessively hot temperatures.

Because of this, travelers to Koh Samui tend to book hotel rooms early during this period so try to book your room as soon as possible, especially if you plan to visit over Christmas and/or New Year’s.

February and March are the sunniest and driest months of the year in Koh Samui, making them another great time to visit.

The number of tourists visiting the island also drops off during this period so hotels sometimes offer discounted rates to fill their rooms.

April, May, and June are the hottest and most humid months of the year in Koh Samui, and many people avoid visiting the island during this peiord.

Because these months are not especially popular with touirsts, Koh Samui hotels and resorts frequently offer discounted room rates during this period.

October and November are the two rainiest months of the year in Koh Samui, and travelers tend to give the island a wide berth at this time.

For this reason, hotels tend to drop room rates during this period to fill their rooms so chances are good that you can strike a bargain on your hotel room.

And while rain is more common in these two months than in other months, it doesn’t mean it will rain every day during your visit.

The average number of rainy days during these two months is 16 as opposed to four rainy days each in February and March, the two driest months of the year in Koh Samui.

Chinese New Year Advisory

And don’t forget Chinese New Year, which can fall any time between 21 January and 28 February.

While an excellent time to visit Koh Samui in terms of weather, if you plan to visit during this period, make sure to book your hotel room as early as possible – and don’t expect any steep discounts.

Many Koh Samui hotels and resorts will be fully booked during this very popular travel period.

How to Get to Koh Samui

If you are traveling from Bangkok to Koh Samui, the easiest and most convenient way is to fly from one of Bangkok’s two airports to Samui Airport.

If you are traveling from another part of Thailand, it will depend. There are flights from a few other Thai airports to Samui Airport.

If you are traveling from Southern Thailand, however, it might be easier to go to Koh Samui by ferry.

If you are traveling from overseas, you can either change planes in Bangkok or fly direct to Koh Samui.

There are direct flights from a limited number of overseas travel destinations to Koh Samui.

Click on the following link for more information …

How to Get from Koh Samui Airport to Your Hotel

Samui Airport is located in Northern Koh Samui, and most Koh Samui hotels are within a 15 or 20 minute drive of the airport.

Transport options include taxi, private limousine, bus, and rental car. Many of the hotels have their own limousines and shuttles.

There is a taxi stand directly outside the arrivals terminal. You are advised to negotiate a fare before getting in.

Buses operates 24 hours a day, greeting all incoming flights. The busstop is located directly in front of the arrivals lounge.

It is not necessary to book tickets for arriving flights, but reservations for departing flights should be made 24 hours in advance.

How to Get from the Pier to Your Hotel

Passenger and vehicular ferries operate between Surat Thani on the Thai mainland and Koh Samui, with several voyages per day. The travel time is about one hour.

The only way to get from the pier to your hotel, however, is by private car or taxi. Always negotiate fares before getting into a taxi.

This post contains affiliate links.

Where to Stay in Koh Samui, Thailand, is the third in a series of guides to hotels and resorts in popular Thai travel destinations.

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