Hotels in Koh Samui
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Koh Samui - Incredible Island Idyll
Rising dramatically from the blue-green, bathtub-warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is the country’s second largest island. Over a million travellers wash ashore here each year in search of everything from inexpensive fun in the sun to lavish luxury at an exclusive spa-resort. The rainforest-covered island plays host to a number of fascinating natural and man-made attractions—from wondrous waterfalls to mummified monks, lively beach resorts to tranquil fishing villages, sacred shrines to sultry sex shows—the variety of things to see and do here reflects the increasingly cosmopolitan crowds curious to sample this piece of paradise.
Bustling Beaches or Quiet Coves
The postcard-perfect beaches of Koh Samui are famed for their pure-white sands, crystal-clear waters and high-spirited soirees under the glow of the full moon. Featuring more hotels, bars and restaurants than anywhere else on the island, Chaweng Beach is a popular choice for younger travellers in search of sun, sand and notorious nightlife. Laid-back Lamai Beach is less chaotic but still offers an array of sleeping, eating and shopping options to suit all budgets. At the heart of tranquil Bophut Beach is the Fisherman’s Village, one of the island’s best-loved attractions and home to Chinese shophouses, cosy guesthouses, authentic eateries and bargain-filled boutiques. If resort-studded shores are your idea of hell and you desire to feel deserted, head to one of Koh Samui’s many hidden, off-the-beaten-track beaches where tropical tranquillity awaits. Maenam Beach on the island’s north coast is an idyllic plot of island that promises a Robinson-Crusoe-esque experience.
With looming limestone karsts, dense rainforest, mysterious mangroves, cascading waterfalls and secret lagoons, the 42 islands that make up nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park are a must-do day-trip. The inspiration behind the cult-classic ‘The Beach’, the protected area houses a staggering array of animals, birds and marine life, and allows for world-class snorkelling, diving and deep-sea fishing. One of the islands, Koh Wua Ta Lap, features simple beach-front bungalows and tents, affording travellers the chance to spend a night castaway under the stars. Brave the steep trek to the island’s highest point to enjoy a breath-taking panorama of the entire park—but be warned—the thunderous waves of monsoon season make this part of the world inaccessible for around a quarter of the year. To avoid disappointment (or severe seasickness), plan to hit Koh Samui between February and April, when the surrounding sea is at its stillest.
Beyond the Beaches
A fascinating abundance of attractions lays beyond the island’s breathtaking beaches, including sites of historic and religious significance and areas of intoxicating natural beauty. The island’s most photographed landmark is probably its 12-meter-tall Big Buddha Shrine. Shimmering brightly on the horizon, the giant golden statue is visible for miles around and an array of market stalls and food stands have sprung up around it to accommodate the influx of Instagrammers. Of the island’s plethora of wondrous waterfalls, those at Na Muang are perhaps its most picturesque. Follow a natural staircase of roots and rocks up to an inviting natural pool that provides some welcome respite from the relentless humidity. Why not rent a moped and explore some of the island’s more off-beat attractions, such as the mummified remains of a highly-revered monk, the nail-biting manoeuvres of a snake handler or the stunningly serene, Secret Buddha Gardens.
Island Shopping at its Finest
Like so many places in Thailand, Koh Samui is a shopaholic’s paradise, offering visitors everything from baht-busting bargains to credit-card-crunching purchases. Featuring an eclectic array of shopping options, from vibrant village markets and quirky boutiques to climate-controlled megamalls, there is almost nothing you can’t buy here. Set over three storeys, Central Festival Samui is the island’s largest shopping centre, offering mainly genuine products at fixed prices. While this might not be the place to pick up a great deal, the sheer relief of the powerful air conditioning might have you browsing for hours. To release the inner-haggler, head to Lamai Night Plaza where dubious copies of just about everything—from rings and watches to t-shirts and trainers—change hands for a knocked-down rate. Every Friday evening, the usually sleepy Fisherman’s Village becomes a vibrant walking street, brimming with colourful market stalls selling traditional handicrafts, antiques and jewellery for ludicrously low prices.
Where to Stay on Koh Samui
Whether you are looking for a romantic resort by the beach or a backpacker pad close to the best parties, the perfect hotel is not hard to find. The island’s most popular promenade, Chaweng, offers a wide range of activities and experiences; from neon-lit go-go bars and classy cocktail lounges to traditional cookery schools and extreme jungle adventures, meaning that hotels here are amongst Koh Samui’s most expensive. Neighbouring Lamai, while slightly smaller, offers a lot more by way of budget accommodation, including large bungalow resorts catering to backpackers and others who want little more than a mattress to doze on between parties. A cluster of boutique resorts colour the coast of Bophut, offering a little more sophistication, while in the island’s northeast corner, at Choeng Mon, a smattering of high-end hotels and upmarket resorts lie dotted around the otherwise mostly undeveloped coastline.
Price rangefrom €5to €8,958
Hotel Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa Lamai Beach
Right on Lamai Beach and engulfed by gorgeous grounds, Le Meridien Koh Smaui Resort & Spa offers a wide range of spa services as well as an outdoor beach-front pool. Coco Splash Waterpark is within a mile. The luxurious suites and villas are full of local fabrics and modern wood furnishings. All offer an open-air bathroom. Entertainment includes a DVD player and flat-screen television. At Le Meridien Koh Smaui Resort & Spa, guests are able to get a workout in the in-house fitness centre or shop in the business centre on site. The on-site restaurants offers a mix of Asian and international dishes. Cocktails and music are available after dinner at the bar. Escapology Koh Samui is only 200 metres away. A 20-minute drive from Samui Airport, the hotel is right in the middle of sparkling nightlife and endless shops. more
Hotel Rocky's Boutique Resort Lamai Beach
Offering accommodations with three private beaches, Rocky's Boutique Resort is a secluded escape on the island of Koh Samui. Stay in one of the hotel's 47 bungalows or three villas, all in close proximity to the beach. Rooms amenities include air-conditioning, electronic safes, ceiling fans, minibars, TV's, tea/coffee making facilities and Wi-Fi. The resort offers free shuttle services, a game room, two pools, ocean kayaks, complimentary weekly yoga classes, a complimentary weekly guest cocktail, spa and massage services, an on-site library and access to a nearby gym. Indulge in fine fare at the signature beachfront restaurant, The Dining Room, or keep it casual at The Bistro. Produce and herbs are grown in the resort's gardens. The resort also houses two bars and hosts a regular Sunday barbecue and Thai night on Tuesdays. Rocky's Boutique Resort is a short walk away from downtown Lamai, a five-minute drive away from Lamai Beach and a 15-minute drive from Chaweng Beach. more
Hotel Lamai Wanta Beach Lamai Beach
Koh Samui’s famous Lamai Beach is the location of the three-star Lamai Wanta Beach. This beachfront hotel offers guests complimentary Wi-Fi access and a pool with views of the ocean. Each of the en-suite rooms and villas at this hotel are air-conditioned and guests will find amenities such as a flat-screen TV, DVD player, and a hair dryer. Guests can borrow a DVD from the hotel library, or relax on sun loungers by the pool while other amenities include airport shuttle service, free parking, 24-hour security, and laundry service. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily in the hotel’s restaurant that features both international and local cuisine. Guests can relax at the beach bar which serves a wide range of drinks and snacks. Lamai Wanta Beach is a thirty-minute drive from Samui Airport and only twenty-seven minutes from Chaweng Beach. Big Buddha is a thirty-six-minute drive. more
Hotel Utopia Resort Lamai Beach
Overlooking the beach and surrounded by tall palm trees and manicured gardens with streams and ponds, Utopia Resort offers travellers a tranquil stay away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Thai-style cottages, each with their own private entrance, are tucked away in between exotic gardens and winding pathways. They feature fine Thai cotton fabrics, carved roof panels, and solid teak windows and floors. Guests looking to be pampered can make use of the massage services, or approach the front desk for trip and tour advice. Parking on site is free. Guests can enjoy dining under the stars, or indoors at Utopia Restaurant, where awe-inspiring views of the sea and an international menu make for a fine dining experience. There is also an extensive list of wines to accompany every meal. The Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks are just less than a ten-minute drive from Utopia Resort, while the Samui Aquarium is a little further along the coast, about seven kilometres away. more
Hotel Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa Lamai Beach
The Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa is located near the beach in Ko Samui and in close proximity to the Grandfather Rock. This 5 star hotel has over 75 rooms including deluxe rooms and villas with garden view or sea view. The hotel has a full-service spa, a health club, an outdoor pool, a spa tub and steam room. Business amenities at this property include meeting rooms for small groups, a technology helpdesk and a limousine or town car. This accommodation is near the beach were you have a restaurant, a bar / lounge and a poolside bar. Guests can make use of an airport shuttle and there is guest parking. Each room has a private balcony, television channels via satellite, a complimentary newspaper, in-room safes, coffee/tea making facilities with complimentary water and a mini bar and air conditioning. Bathrooms include handheld showers, a Jacuzzi, a telephone and bathrobes. The hotel at the Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa operates around the clock and can arrange 24 hour room service. more
Hotel Hotel Crystal Bay Beach Resort Lamai Beach
The 3-star Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort sits on a small but perfect beach on the Island of Koh Samui in Thailand. The calm warm crystal clear sea, powder soft white sand and beautiful tropical gardens make this location truly special. The resort consists of 43 bungalows all set in over 12,000 square meters of lush tropical gardens. Many species of birds and butterflies can be seen enjoying the natural surroundings. Facilities include: free WiFi in all rooms and public areas. Recently upgraded to be the fastest on the island with a dedicated 50MB connection! Beach restaurant; large swimming pool; kids play area; beach massage; trip and tour booking; free snorkeling equipment. The resort is extremely well located in between the busy and popular resorts of Chaweng and Lamai. They are well worth a visit, but at the end of the day you will be glad to return to the tranquil oasis of Crystal Bay Yacht Club. more
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