With its lush tropical gardens, uniformed staff and relaxing atmosphere, Samed Villa is like the responsible adult of the bay, staring down disapprovingly at the juvenile beach bars.
Located at the quieter southern end of the bay and extending for quite a distance over the rocks, the resort maintains an air of quietude that's hard to find on Ao Phai.
The elegant resort has a selection of smart and well-kept villas placed close together among reaching palms, flowers, fountains and footpaths. Many rooms have sitting areas with tile floors, TVs and tall-screened windows along with expected mod cons, abstract art, black-stone bathrooms and decks with Thai cushions that get partial privacy thanks to the greenery. The value is excellent for such a well-put-together resort. A wide range of family rooms make this a great choice if you’ve brought the little ones along.
An included buffet breakfast is served on a romantic restaurant terrace with a bar, while open-air Thai massage salas extend straight to the rocks at Ao Phai's southern end. Take a stroll under the trees before grabbing a seat to watch the waves roll in. Receptionists have always received us with helpful attitudes and a professional demeanor.
Though it's older and less expensive than its so-called luxury Ao Phai competitor, Samed Pavilion Resort, Samed Villa is the better choice unless the addition of a swimming pool seems worth paying twice as much. Good family resorts with pools in this price range include Mooban Talay on Ao Noi Na and Samed Cabana on Ao Wong Duean. Just don’t confuse Ao Phai’s Samed Villa Resort with Ao Wai’s Samet Ville Resort when you’re talking to the songthaew drivers.
Note that all rates drop by 200 to 400 baht during shoulder months and jump by the same amounts at peak times of year.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Standard double room, low season: 1,200 baht, high season 1,700 baht. Notes:
Room: Superior double room, low season: 1,700 baht, high season 2,100 baht. Notes: Up to 2,300/3,100 for sea view.
Room: Family room, low season: 2,500 baht, high season 3,100 baht. Notes: Several other family rooms are available with rates up to 3,500/4,100 baht.
Southern end of Ao Phai, Ko Samet
T: (038) 644 094
(038) 644 161
F: (038) 644 093
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B