Ko Samui is a big island, with more than 1,000 places to stay spread around the island's coast and interior. We commence at the capital and main west coast port town of Nathon, then travel around in a clockwise direction, covering first primarily residential Bang Po, then Mae Nam and Bophut, which run across Samui's north coast and are popular with families. Next comes slightly more affordable Bang Rak, then onto a spur on the island's northeast corner, Thongson Bay and Choeng Mon.
After this we head south, along Samui's most popular beaches of Chaweng, Chaweng Noi, Thong Ta Kien and Lamai. These attract the bulk of the island's visitors, especially those looking for the party. For those wanting a quieter experience, the west coast beaches of Taling Ngam and Lipa Noi beckon. From the latter it's possible to walk to Nathon, bringing us back to where we started. One additional entry is the glistening island of Ko Taen, just off the south coast of Samui and attractive to wannabe time travellers.
Please see the areas guides such as Chaweng, Lamai and Mae Nam for individual accommodation reviews, while below you'll find more island-wide pieces.
Not everyone's dream holiday includes sorting through near neverending lists of places to stay, so we put together this collection of great budget places to stay on Ko Samui for you. These are spread around the island, from popular beaches like Chaweng and Lamai to lesser-known, laidback spots in the south. All of the following have some kind of offering for under 1,000 baht a night, with many... Read our full review of The best budget accommodation on Ko Samui.
When it comes to picking the right place for a family holiday on Ko Samui, it can be easy to get waylaid by the larger resorts with their wealth of facilities – and wallet-busting prices – but it need not be that way. Samui is no slouch when it comes to interesting, memorable and mid-priced options. Here are our top picks for family-friendly resorts and guesthouses on Ko Samui. A few points... Read our full review of Great family accommodation on Ko Samui.
Few choose to stay in Ko Samui's capital of Nathon, but it's home to decent stretches of beach -- though very shallow -- both to the north and south. West facing, the sunsets are comparable only to Lipa Noi and Taling Ngam to the south of here.
Ko Samui is a small enough island that there is really little reason to stay in the island's capital of Nathon, but if, for whatever reason, you do need to stay here, the Grand View Beach Resortel is a reasonable flashpacker option. Staff told us the hotel is the biggest in Nathon, and the location is great, at the southern extent of the Nathon loop road facing over a moderately sized... Read our full review of Grand Sea View Beach Resortel.
Covering much of the western half of Samui’s north coast, Haad Bang Po and its neighbour, Baan Tai, are favourites of long-termers, expats and retirees who often rent or buy the many condos and villas found in the area. Short-term travellers who like the quiet life can also choose from a handful of quality rooms sold by the night. This stretch hosts a bunch of good seafood restaurants and laid-back beach bars.
Easily overlooked online and while cruising Samui’s north coast, By Beach Resort is a small and charming spot with cheap bungalows and, you guessed it, a location fronting Bang Po Beach. Made of wood, brick and woven bamboo, two rows of acid-green or light-blue bungalows face either side of a banyan tree that reaches over a central lawn. The cheapest rooms come two to a building, each with... Read our full review of By Beach Resort.
One of the better north-coast options for families and couples in the midrange price bracket, Mimosa Resort is set towards the sleepy east end of Bang Po Beach and offers a free shuttle for when you tire of the solitude. Though quite large, the resort blends into the coconut trees by way of broad thatch roofs that top whitewashed walls. The least expensive rooms come in a two-storey building... Read our full review of Mimosa Resort.
Pirate flags and Rasta colours welcome you to King Busch Reggae Beach, one of the more laid-back bungalow operations on the island. Also running a popular restaurant and bar with bamboo tables set up on the sand, the chilled-out staff rents out bungalows made entirely of bamboo apart from thatch roofs and tile floors in the ensuite wet bathrooms with Western-style flush toilets and hot-water... Read our full review of King Busch Reggae Beach Resort.
The vast Mae Nam Beach stretches as a pleasant middle ground between the other north-coast beaches: busy Bophut and Bang Rak to the east and quieter Bang Po to the west. Buildings are tightly packed behind the centre of the beach in the heart of Mae Nam village, but the western and eastern stretches remain sleepy with a rural feel in places. With a sprinkling of good-value accommodation, it’s one of our favourites of Samui’s major beaches.
Family-run since the 1980s, Mae Nam Resort embodies the genuine friendliness that Samui was known for before it got a reputation for the scams and aggressive attitudes that follow mass tourism – from receptionist to restaurant servers and cleaning staff, every face that we passed here stopped to offer a smile. Photos of Thai kings and a Chinese shrine are placed above reception and close to... Read our full review of Mae Nam Resort.
After passing through a bamboo gate, we arrived at Moonhut to find a staffer chasing a beach dog and a giggling toddler beneath the venerable banyan tree that anchors the property. With a choice of fan or air-con, this is one of the last old-style beach bungalow spots left on Samui – and it’s a good one. Set in a semi-circle rimming a sandy and shaded central area, backpacker-style... Read our full review of Moonhut Bungalows.
The tried-and-true Paradise Beach Resort got its start in the 1990s when a Swiss traveller decided to stick around and build comfortable rooms aimed at German and other European tourists on the site of an old bungalow joint. After numerous expansions, the large resort is still a fabulous midrange choice on the quiet east end of Mae Nam Beach, with a notably good-natured staff. The resort... Read our full review of Paradise Beach Resort.
Overlooking the quiet west end of Mae Nam, the soothingly upscale, eco-friendly Saree Samui offers private villas, each with more than 90 square metres of space, reached by walkways opening to large fountains and lots of greenery. Designed specifically for couples, the villas have broad dark-wood doors and off-white concrete walls tall enough to keep anyone without a ladder from peering over the... Read our full review of Saree Samui Resort.
In 2015, the old Silent Beach Bungalows emerged after a major redesign under the new persona, the Treehouse Silent Beach. It offers excellent value as one of the few beachfront resorts on Samui that caters specifically to backpackers. Colourful banners and Northern Thai lanterns join Tibetan prayer flags and bits of Buddhist-inspired wisdom in the beachfront restaurant, where you can chill... Read our full review of Treehouse Silent Beach.
Thrifty travellers who don’t require a beachfront location and all of the services of a large resort should consider going with Daddy, where you can rent a multi-room villa with a full kitchen in the low-key western reaches of Mae Nam for just 1,000 baht a night – or less if you stay for a week or more. Two rows of three-room concrete villas – they’re basically small houses – are... Read our full review of Daddy Resort.
After coming this way to check out a trio of better-known midrange resorts, we bumped into Mae Nam Village and found that it offers equal or better accommodation for considerably less cash within steps of the beach and a good strip of restaurants. The gentle owner, Mickey, hails from Nan province in North Thailand and spent years living in France and the US. He’s a real pleasure to chat... Read our full review of Mae Nam Village Bungalows.
Anchored by the artistic Fisherman’s Village, Bophut is a long khaki-sand beach stretching just east of Mae Nam and west of Bang Rak. The nightlife is laid-back compared to Chaweng but you still get a clutch of lively bars and cafes in the village, which is worth a visit even if you don’t stay there. Accommodation comes in small village hotels and hostels along with several beach resorts, and the quality is quite good overall.
A stroll through Zazen Boutique Resort induces one “oooh” and “aaah” after the next, as an oversized cushioned swing in reception gives way to lotus ponds punctuated by graceful statuary. Set on the quieter west end of Bophut Beach, it’s a great option for honeymooners or anyone seeking top-notch service to go with a design that stays with you. Hints of Thai, Chinese and Moroccan... Read our full review of Zazen Boutique Resort.
Baan Bophut is a classy three-storey hotel with sea-view rooms, a swimming pool and beach bar located at the quieter east end of the seafront lane through Fisherman’s Village. A polite and patient receptionist showed us a couple of rooms, one on the ground floor and another on an upper floor reached by stairs. Both are spacious and spotless, with a modern design incorporating tile floors,... Read our full review of Baan Bophut Beach Hotel.
For those who don’t require a sea view, Castaway Guesthouse is a solid option for a budget room in the centre of Fisherman’s Village. Run by Westerners with decades of experience on Samui along a cool guitar-strumming Thai bartender, Castaway is hidden at the end of a side lane (look for The Shack Restaurant at the corner) off the main lane running through the village. Rooms are located on... Read our full review of Castaway Guest House.
Eden Beach Bungalows hits with the beats of downtempo in a swirl of blue and white around the centre of Bophut Beach and within a 10-minute walk of Fisherman’s Village. The flashpacker-style resort, which we’re pretty sure is French-managed, has two rows of white concrete bungalows with high thatch roofs and wood chairs on private terraces set beneath the trees. Cheaper bungalows are... Read our full review of Eden Beach Bungalows.
A good flashpacker option overlooking the beach in Fisherman’s Village, Enjoy Beach Hotel serves up huge and well-equipped rooms with sea views located above the restaurant of the same name. Narrow stairs lead up to six rooms spread over the upper three floors of a modern concrete building. They all boast shiny tile floors and floor-to-ceiling windows with broad views of the sea and Ko Pha... Read our full review of Enjoy Beach Hotel.
Don’t judge Smile House by a name that makes it sound like a cosy guesthouse. The large resort offers dozens and dozens of comfortable rooms, including a bunch of family options, along with two swimming pools and a good location off the seaside lane through Fisherman’s Village. Smile House has direct beach access via the large restaurant specialising in seafood barbecue, with all of the... Read our full review of Smile House.
The staff at Us Hostel seemed to take a lot of pride in their shiny property crafted out of shipping containers and wood footbridges before opening in 2016. Given the swimming pool, chill-out decks and ultra-modern dorms and private rooms, they’re off to a great start. All rooms come in renovated shipping containers, situated on either side of a central lawn and deck and supported by... Read our full review of Us Hostel.
Chalee Villa harks back to the days when accommodation on Samui usually came in basic bungalows made of natural materials and rented out to backpackers by local families. This frozen-in-time setting exists at the far west corner of Bophut beach, next to a narrow canal where boats bob in tangles of nets and ropes. We arrived in the morning and couldn’t stop taking photos of fishers carrying... Read our full review of Chalee Villa.
The bungalows at Free House are some of the cheapest options around if you’re looking for a resort with direct access to Bophut Beach. A black sheep among the mostly large and expensive resorts found on this stretch of Bophut, Free House enjoys an excellent location around the centre of the beach and about a 10-minute walk west of Fisherman’s Village. A large restaurant serves quality... Read our full review of Free House Bungalows.
Situated right below the big “Fisherman’s Village” signs as you enter the village from the ring road, The Pier Hostel is a reliable choice particularly for backpackers travelling with a buddy. A line of several dark but cool rooms with cinderblock walls painted white run along the side of the small building. Thick mattresses are placed on bunks, with the upper bunks accessed by wood... Read our full review of The Pier Hostel.
Mostly north-facing Bang Rak Beach, also commonly known as Big Buddha Beach, is the closest to Ko Samui's international airport and has a number of piers at its centre and out to the east. At the eastern extreme sits Wat Phra Yai, or the Big Buddha temple, and after that, low-key Plai Laem. Over the rise to the west lies Bophut. Lodgings are mostly flashpacker to midrange with the highest concentration of places set near the piers. Accommodation towards the eastern part of the beach will catch aircraft noise.
We stopped at Dream Field for a bite to eat, not realising they had rooms -- and it was a pleasant surprise to find them. Dream Field Resort -- though you'll see them referred to as Dream Field Cottage some places online -- is set back off Bang Rak's beach road behind Green Leaf restaurant, with their unusual rooms scattered around lawn garden grounds. The centrepiece is a slightly raised... Read our full review of Dream Field Resort.
Formerly Punnpreeda Hip Resort, this has been a wise rebranding as there is nothing hip about the Punnpreeda; that's not to say however that it isn't a well priced and comfortable place to stay, overlooking a good bit of beach in the middle of Bang Rak. Lodgings here come in two main flavours: freestanding villas down towards the water and hotel-style rooms at the rear of the resort backing... Read our full review of Punnpreeda Beach Resort.
If you're on a budget and happy with dorm accommodation, Samui Backpacker Hotel is absolutely the first place you should head to in Bang Rak. It delivers on excellent and extremely clean dorms and solid private rooms in a fun and sociable setting. You'll find Samui Backpackers Hotel set a short walk back off the main road through Bang Rak. Signposted from the main road, follow the pathway... Read our full review of Samui Backpacker Hotel.
Secret Garden has for decades been a mainstay of Bang Rak's accommodation and entertainment scene. Following a change in ownership and a complete redevelopment, they now offer excellent beachside accommodation at a midrange pricepoint. Very smart modern rooms come in two primary flavours, freestanding cottages towards the beach and by the small swimming pool, and more hotel-style rooms at the... Read our full review of Secret Garden Beach Resort.
Set towards the eastern end of Bang Rak proper, Villa Tanamera offers well-appointed, family-orientated suites in a lovely shady strip running down to the beach. Just a little to the east of the far grander (and walled in) Saboey, with especially friendly staff, Villa Tanamera leaves you feeling more like you're staying at a friend's retreat than a modern hotel and we liked it immediately.... Read our full review of Villa Tanamera.
Bangrak Beach Club is the best of a clutch of more traditional beach bungalow set-ups, intermingled with private villa rentals, towards the western reaches of Bang Rak and will appeal to those looking for a beachside chalet that doesn't cost the earth. Managed by a friendly and very chatty Thai man, who seemed to be one of the few on site with English skills, Bangrak Beach Club has a clutch... Read our full review of Bangrak Beach Club.
They weren't kidding when they called this a design hotel and we warrant you won't find another place quite like this on Samui – and we're not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Filling a narrow block running back from the main drag through Bang Rak on the off-beach side of the road, P10 Samui Design Hotel is comprised of two two-storey glass-fronted buildings facing one another across an... Read our full review of P10 Samui Design.
Samui Pier Resort is located in the heart of Bang Rak beside the Petcherat Pier, and offers a variety of rooms from budgetish to more comfortable in a beachside lawn setting. They have a lot of things going on here: travel agent, hotel, restaurant and motorcycle hire business. They make an effort to attract passing foot traffic in to spend some time relaxing in their well-appointed... Read our full review of Samui Pier Beach Resort.
Thongson Bay sits towards the northern top of the peninsula between Bang Rak and Plai Laem and Chaweng, and is one of the few bays in the area that has relatively easy public access. Just two places to stay face directly onto the sand here, though there are plenty of private residences and rentals on the western headland. If you're after a slightly busier spot, consider Bang Rak or Choeng Mon.
While Thongson Bay is dominated by the upscale Melati, private residences and rentals that are slowly concrete carpeting the western headland, tucked away on the eastern end of the bay sits the more budget orientated, old school Thongson Bay Bungalows. It would be fair to describe the bungalows here as classic island huts that have been perched on the rocks and hillside here for quite a... Read our full review of Thongson Bay Bungalows.
By Samui's standards, Choeng Mon is a small beach, mostly north facing on the eastern flank of the peninsula that juts north, separating Bang Rak from Chaweng. This is just one of a number of bays and beaches that dot the peninsula, but many of the others are given over to fancypants resorts, which block access to what should be public beaches. The accommodation here is mostly midrange to top end, with many of the most affordable rooms clustered to the eastern end of the beach in a series of three properties owned by different members of the one extended family.
If you're looking for pampered luxury but your budget doesn't quite stretch to the salubrious digs hidden away on Laem Samrong, Sala Samui smack bang in the centre of Choeng Mon beach may be the antidote to your woes. A sprawling five-star resort, the gracious staff were very accommodating when it came to walking us through, despite them being run off their feet. They were just as we remember... Read our full review of Sala Samui.
Samui Honey Cottages sits towards the eastern end of Choeng Mon, just before the spit of sand juts out towards the blip of Ko Fan Noi, and offers reasonable flashpacker to midrange lodgings. It's set between Island View to the west and Kirati to the east (though it has additional rooms on the far side of Kirati) and, while it is arguably the best of the three, none of these are outstanding.... Read our full review of Samui Honey Cottages.
Sirin Samui had only been open a few months when we breezed through in mid-2016 and while the whole shebang felt like it has been dropped into its location by an alien spacecraft, at least the aliens did a good job. Despite having a heap of dorms and three private rooms, there wasn't a single guest staying at Sirin Samui when we visited, which is a shame, as despite the off-the-beach location... Read our full review of Sirin Samui.
If you're looking for a Thai-themed property with big rooms and friendly staff, you could do much worse than at the White House – plus the beach is great out front. Staff at White House told us that theirs was the first hotel on Choeng Mon, and while we're not sure if that was really the case, it does go a long way toward explaining their terrific gardens. Hung with lanterns, they tower... Read our full review of White House Beach Resort.
Chaweng is a brash and tightly packed nightlife centre built along a blinding white sand beach that’s the busiest on Samui. Trashy nightclubs, fast food joints, tailor shops and quite a few seedy bars line the heavily developed main drag, which goes for more than four kilometres and is not our idea of paradise -- look to the south and north ends for more relaxing vibes. Expect to hear jets rumble overhead a few times per day, as along with Bang Rak to the north, the north central stretch of Chaweng is right under the flight path.
Samui’s cramped spaces and aggressive touts are quickly forgotten at Banyan House Bed & Breakfast, located off the beach between Choeng Mon and the north end of Chaweng. It’s a reasonably priced option for travellers who plan to rent a vehicle to explore before returning to a relaxing estate that’s like no other place to stay on the island. The B&B takes its name from a huge, century-old... Read our full review of Banyan House Bed & Breakfast.
Much has changed in Chaweng since Poppies opened in 1994, but the small beachfront resort remains an excellent choice both for its elegant Thai-style cottages and fine-dining restaurant. Guests first pass a small museum filled with antiques behind reception: check out the stunning old quilt that resembles Thai temple mural work. Then comes a teak footbridge spanning a waterfall and fishpond... Read our full review of Poppies Samui.
A few little dogs scampered up to meet us at Lucky Mother, where a cat lounged on the reception desk and repeat customers chatted with the family staffers. Two rows of white concrete rooms with metal roofs face one another across a narrow lane shrouded in flowering bushes, each with a couple of chairs on the tile porches. The room that we checked was clean and comfortable, even it’s nothing... Read our full review of Lucky Mother Bungalow.
Run by laid-back and artistic Chinese guys who welcome everyone to join the mostly younger Chinese guests for a cross-cultural experience, Pepper Guest House turns the stereotype of Chinese travellers on its head. Also known as Pepper Inn & Cafe, the little establishment occupies a narrow shophouse that stands out among neighbours – such as Samui Hostel and DD Guesthouse – thanks to a... Read our full review of Pepper Guest House.
Looking sharp among a cluster of mostly cheaper guesthouses and hostels on an inland lane in Chaweng’s southern reaches, Ploen has a cool flashpacker style to go with cushy rooms featuring a few extras that we wouldn’t expect for the price. A professional receptionist explained the room options in excellent English before tapping a keycard to lead us upstairs in the small lift to check out... Read our full review of Ploen Chaweng.
Pott Guesthouse serves up well-equipped rooms that are comparable to those found at several nearby guesthouses, but cheaper. Budget travellers who like Chaweng and aren’t concerned with ambiance or a beachfront location will probably be happy here. Set off the main drag down a stubby lane with laundry, a coffee stand, Thai massage and a tattoo parlour (everything you need!), the... Read our full review of Pott Guesthouse.
A great choice for a beachfront stay that won’t break the bank, Sans Souci is one of the last resorts that you pass in the far southern corner of Chaweng before the beach road curves inland on the way down to Chaweng Noi and Lamai. It’s quiet down here and the beach is lovely. Brushing up against palms and flowers, most rooms are set in attached white concrete buildings with the front of... Read our full review of Sans Souci Samui.
A well-oiled party machine in the heart of Chaweng, Ark Bar is known for its bikini-clad bashes and stacks of midrange accommodation. The place has evolved over the years, finally fusing the old Ark Bar Garden Beach Resort and Ark Bar Beach Hotel into one massive resort under a single name. The resort’s layout could be mistaken for the floor plan of an urban housing project, with two-storey... Read our full review of Ark Bar Beach Resort.
Chalala’s melodic name fits the small and quirky resort with a swimming pool, beach access and rooms that look like they were created in Candyland. Set in light-green concrete bungalows on either side of a walkway with plenty of palms, the clean and spacious rooms are designed with firm beds on lofts and red-cushion day beds set in living areas a few steps below. Stone walls and log... Read our full review of Chalala Samui Resort.
Owned by an islander family that looks down over their property from a huge Thai-style villa at the centre, Chaweng Garden Beach is a large and long-running resort that adds some class to Central Chaweng. The cheapest standard rooms are set in long two-storey concrete buildings that face one another across courtyards with broad palms for a bit of privacy. They’re spacious and comfortable,... Read our full review of Chaweng Garden Beach Resort.
Samui Hostel draws mostly young Western travellers who look past the uninspired name to find good-value mixed dorms and a large common room in a large four-storey building just off the main drag. Dorms come in a few different rooms, all of them mixed, starting with a dim six-bed room in which bunks are set on black frames over grey floors. The slightly pricier dorms come with the same... Read our full review of Samui Hostel.
Stretching to the south of Chaweng proper, Chaweng Noi is a gorgeous strip of soft white sand that’s dominated by huge and expensive resorts including Fair House, New Star, Impiana and Sheraton Samui. While none of these are likely to be a major disappointment if you’re into the large, enclosed resort experience, we prefer some of the smaller options found off the beach.
Spread over a one-time coconut grove atop a mountain conquered by steep sealed lanes, The Jungle Club boasts soothing fan-cooled accommodation to go with some of the finest views on the island. The star of this show is a breathtaking view spanning all of Chaweng Beach and beyond, and the resort takes full advantage of it. A slick bar and restaurant with orange bean bag chairs and regular... Read our full review of The Jungle Club.
Built over the headland that towers above the south end of Chaweng Noi Beach, The Kala features great views and an interesting network of common decks and walkways placed over rocks beside the sea. The cheapest rooms are set in a three-story polished concrete building over a steep incline -- construction must have been no small feet of engineering -- while the higher-end rooms come in... Read our full review of The Kala Samui.
We found that Chaweng Noi Resort packs a good punch into an affordable package after nearly giving up on finding decent budget accommodation within walking distance of Chaweng Noi Beach. Located down a side lane that begins on the inland side of the ring road, across from the massive Fair House Resort, the little resort greets you with a plunge pool located next to an open-sided bar,... Read our full review of Chaweng Noi Resort.
A beautiful but small bay, Thong Ta Kien sits just to the north of Lamai on the road to Chaweng and has a handful of midrange places to choose from. It offers a good, relatively quiet beach, still within easy scooter distance of Lamai for eating out.
Crystal Bay Beach Resort sits at the northern end of Thong Ta Kien, perched up on the rocky headland, wedged between the quite busy road and the beautiful waters of the bay. This location has definite pros and cons. The views from some of the rooms are among the best on the bay, as you're elevated above the sand and so can enjoy a terrific outlook, however the location also backs right onto... Read our full review of Crystal Bay Beach Resort.
Slightly difficult to pronounce, Promtsuk Buri faces straight onto a good stretch of rock-free Thong Ta Tien beach, offering well-priced rooms (for the area) running back from the beach. The slightly unusually shaped chalets here are dated but spacious, with open-to-the-sky bathrooms, large decks and a lawn garden outlook. They're in two rows running down to the beach, and while the large,... Read our full review of Promtsuk Buri.
Long viewed as Chaweng's little sister, Lamai offers a beautiful beach backing onto a very mixed bag of accommodation. The centre of Lamai village is quite sleazy with plenty of sketchy bars, but you won't notice that while basking on the sands. Much of the accommodation towards the southern reaches of the beach is, with a couple of exceptions, particularly poor.
The Samui Jasmine is a classic case of a place not looking like much from the outside but turning out to be a real class act on the inside; we liked it here a lot. This is a small hotel which we'd say has actually earned its boutique label, with excellent and very comfortable chalet-style rooms organised in a rambling and lush garden running down to the ocean. ###4861 We were shown a... Read our full review of Samui Jasmine.
We stumbled upon Varinda by accident on our last day in Samui while looking for a viewpoint. We saw the brightly coloured signs, kept following them out of curiosity and then, luckily, found it – and we just loved this place. More than 30 years old, family-run Varinda Resort sits atop the hill at the southern end of Lamai Beach, offering impressive views across the entirety of Lamai and out... Read our full review of Varinda Resort.
While Amarina Residence is set just off Lamai beach, the sand is just a minute away on foot, which makes the smart and very well kept rooms here great value for money for those who want some creature comforts without spending the earth. Blink and you'll miss it walking by the street frontage on Lamai Beach Road, but inside Amarina reveals three floors of rooms, with the higher floors offering... Read our full review of Amarina Residence.
Set right beside a busy throughfare, Chill Inn Beach doesn't look like much from the road, but it tumbles down towards the beach to reveal a cool cafe, social area, a couple of clusters of dorms and a terrific beach outlook. The Chill Inn isn't on Lamai Beach, but rather on a smaller bay a couple of kilometres to the south. Regardless of location, it is an excellent option for travellers... Read our full review of Chill Inn Beach.
Yes i-Samui Lamai is in the middle of nowhere and off the beach, but the rooms are really smart, spotless and there's even a small pool to cool off in, so if you've got your own wheels and don't mind being off the beach, this is well worth a look. Rooms are a good size and are housed in a modern two-storey building. Facilities include hot-water bathrooms, flatscreen TVs, minibar, good WiFi, a... Read our full review of i-Samui Lamai.
Like the nearby Lamai Wanta, Lamai Inn 99 Bungalows' primary selling point is its location, smack bang on a great and central stretch of Lamai Beach. This is a large property with a veritable suburb of bungalows running back from the the off-beach side of a small lane which runs parallel to the beach. Aside from anything else, what this means is that the vast majority of bungalows have no sea... Read our full review of Lamai Inn 99 Bungalows.
Overlooking an excellent stretch of beach, long-running Lamai Wanta remains one of our favourites for central Lamai, with smart hotel-style rooms towards the rear of the resort and excellent value family chalets scattered through the garden. The resort has a rectangular infinity pool right at the beachfront that looks out over the sand and the ocean – it's a bit small for a property with... Read our full review of Lamai Wanta.
Despite the name, New Hut has been around forever and a day, and set more or less in the middle of Lamai Beach, still sets the benchmark for uber basic, absolute beachfront backpacker shacks. Brightly coloured, we think it had just had a fresh coat of primary colours applied as the huts were positively luminescent, which helps to convey a fun, beachside feel – but there is no hiding the... Read our full review of New Hut.
Lamai Coconut sits at the centre of Lamai Beach, with the option of traditional Thai bungalows or rooms in a modern hotel-style building – we recommend the latter. The traditional bungalows are in a walled-in enclosure towards the beach and are typical Ko Samui fare, but are quite dated and the room we were shown was noticeably stuffy. Bungalows are dark wood throughout but you'll see signs... Read our full review of Lamai Coconut Beach Resort.
Set right on Lamai Beach Road, Lamoon Lamai has smart modern rooms across two floors in a streetside building along with some cheaper fan-cooled and air-con bungalows around the back. The main advantages of staying here are that the location is very central (so expect some racket in the evenings), the price is fair for the standard and as a guest here you're permitted to walk through the... Read our full review of Lamoon Lamai.
Commencing just to the south of the bay that holds the Raja Ferry pier, Taling Ngam goes on and on and on, stretching down the southwest coast of Ko Samui. Dominated by the Intercontinental, there are some more reasonably priced places to stay and the sunsets, out over Samui's Five Islands, are just magnificent. As with Lipa Noi just to the north, this is a very sleepy, laidback part of Samui and the beach is lovely.
Cute little i-Talay shares the same owner as container hotel Think Retro Cafe over on Lipa Noi and walking into the restaurant here you'll be greeted by the same fun and welcoming vibe as over in Think. The cute little (we'll emphasise the word little here) white with blue details bungalows here were so new when we had a look in mid-2016 that the grass turf was still being laid around their... Read our full review of i-Talay.
The Sunset Beach Resort sits immediately to the north of the Intercon Samui on Taling Ngam Beach and offers solid midrange value at a fraction of that of its far grander neighbour. We thought it was an offshoot, perhaps a spa, of the Intercon when we first rode past, but it is actually a pretty solid midrange option with a mix of good value hotel-style rooms and progressively more expensive... Read our full review of The Sunset Beach Resort.
Save a retaining wall at high tide, you can walk all the way from north of Nathon to the small naval base at the southern tip of Lipa Noi – a lovely beach, with good swimming and a relaxed laidback vibe that harks back to Samui a couple of decades ago. It also has some solid midrange spots to stay.
Staff at Lipa Lodge told us they were the first resort to be built on Lipa Noi and you know what, they're still arguably the best place to stay – we liked it here a lot. Set at the end of a trail at the northern end of Lipa Noi village, this large, absolute beachfront property boasts a lawn garden strung with lanterns and dotted with palm trees, plus a couple of right-by-the-sand salas,... Read our full review of Lipa Lodge.
Sleeping in a shipping container by the sea might not sound that appealing, but Think has done it right. Once you've got the air-con pumping, these are some solid, if unusual, beachside lodgings. The brightly coloured (we had red) containers are in two clutches, one lot behind the restaurant and bar (garden view) and the other facing directly onto the beach (beachview). The beachview ones... Read our full review of Think Retro Cafe.
If you're after a small friendly resort, Lipa Bay Resort, roughly at the centre of Lipa Noi beach, with a small though tempting beachfront horizon pool backing onto some spacious wooden chalets and a two-storey hotel building, is worth a look. Two types of accommodation are available here. Down towards the water are two rows of tightly packed wooden chalets, then at the rear of the resort,... Read our full review of Lipa Bay Resort.
Set off the south coast of Ko Samui, just a 30-minute longtail ride from the fishing village of Thong Krut, Ko Taen makes a good attempt to answer the question, "What was Ko Samui like 30 years ago?"
If you want to drop off the map for a few days, Koh Tan Village Bungalows at the northern end of the primary beach on Ko Taen, is close to the ideal spot – we liked it here a lot. In business for more than 30 years and run by amiable Meesak, a third generation native of Ko Taen, the fan-cooled bungalows are smart and modern and set along a shady beachfront. The polished concrete bungalows,... Read our full review of Koh Tan Village Bungalows.