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 a breezy sea-view restaurant at the centre of the property. There’s little else in the way of decoration, and some will find the resort bland – look at the name, after all. In our minds, the humble Thai-style ambiance and genuine staff make Mae Nam Resort more inviting than most of Samui’s trendier options.
Very spacious and reasonably priced bungalows are made of coconut wood along with ceramic-tile roofs that hang low over tables and chairs set on large private porches. The rooms were built fairly close together in rows; expect most of your view to be of the bungalow in front unless you go for a beachfront room, which we suggest given that they’re only 200 to 400 baht more.
All rooms look about the same, excluding a two-bedroom family bungalow, with comfortable beds raised off dark-wood floors and large bathrooms with partitioned hot-water showers. A single photo of a mist-shrouded forest appeared in one room along with a safe, desk and fridge. We appreciate that TVs are not included, though WiFi is.
While no pool is on offer, the resort spans a 250-metre-long stretch of beachfront; they claim it’s the longest of any resort on Samui. Staff also offers Thai massage, tour bookings and car and motorbike rental. The location near the west end of Mae Nam means that quiet nights are assured, and there are some little shops and eateries clustered around the nearby Lomprayah Pier, where you can catch a boat to Ko Pha Ngan or Ko Tao.
At the time of writing, Mae Nam Resort could not be booked online via Agoda or Booking.com – so contact them direct and be wary of accidentally booking a similarly named property through online agents.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Bungalow air-con private bathroom, low season: 1,600 baht, high season 1,800 baht. Notes:
Room: Beachfront bungalow, low season: 2,000 baht, high season 2,200 baht. Notes:
Room: Family room, low season: 2,900 baht, high season 3,200 baht. Notes:
1/3 Moo 4, Mae Nam, Ko Samui
T: (077) 247 286-7
F: (077) 425 116
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B