One of Samui's more unique places to stay
Fishermans Village, Bophut, Ko Samui (From the main entrance to the village, turn left at the pier, and Samui-Ley is about 300 metres further on the right) T: (077) 245 647, (089) 056 5378
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At first glance, it’s hard to figure out what Samui-Ley is. Is it an art gallery? Is it a clothing and knick-knack store? Is it a coffee shop? Is it a guesthouse? Well, all of the above, actually. Located right in the centre of Bophut’s happening Fisherman’s Village, and looking out over the bay towards Ko Pha Ngan, one couldn’t ask for a better location.
This five-room hotel has a downstairs cafe that also serves as an internet station and displays original local artwork for sale. One couldn’t be blamed for feeling as though one was lost in a fabric catalogue from the 1970s, with patterns galore across all of the surfaces.
The restaurant serves breakfasts, light meals and fantastic coffee. The menu could do with some more substantial choices, but this is not a deterring factor, as the choice of eateries within a few steps is solid. The coffee shop extends to a verandah overlooking Bophut beach, sailboats and a rickety wooden pier, and has a quirky seaside theme with a twist. Local fish species are painted on the patio walls, fish nets and oil lanterns hang from the ceiling and old white-washed school desks serve as tables.
The hotel’s quirkiness extends upstairs where the rooms epitomise the shabby chic look. The five rooms — two standard, two superior and one family suite — all either have beach access or overlook the sea. Each has been uniquely furnished with a creative flair and attention to detail. Again, stripes are mixed with florals and pillow cases are mismatched. Rooms appear to have been thrown together with hand-me-downs and flea market bargains; toss in crocheted mats, retro sputnik-style TVs standing atop acid green cabinets, an assortment of art and every possible pattern of wallpaper imaginable — somehow it all works. Private balconies with patio furniture take advantage of the views.
From a practical point, all rooms have both fans and air-con as well as cable TV, safes, fridges and WiFi.
Rates are reasonable for this mid-range option considering the location and facilities, with the standard rooms ranging from 1700 baht to 2000 baht per night. Although the hotel doesn’t have a pool, the beach in front is suitable for swimming. Those that cannot do without a pool but want to be in Fisherman’s Village may want to try Smile House or Eden Bungalows, both about 100 metres away, although the rooms at these establishments are not seafront.
Samui-Ley is recommended for travellers not wanting cookie-cutter type hotels with identical rooms and boring finishes — the kind that blur into distant memories. Decor, views and location should make this hotel stand out a little longer in the memory bank.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.