Luxury without costing an arm & a leg
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 villas tumbling down to the beach front.
We were unable to see the villas, but the hotel-style rooms are smart affairs and enjoy better views than most of the villas as you're elevated and can see straight out to sea and the Five Islands over the resort. The "Sunset Jacuzzi" room we were shown had, you guessed it, a Jacuzzi, set immediately behind the bed – and actually in the bedroom, so bear that in mind if you're travelling, well, with someone you wouldn't take a bath in front of.
There is also a bathroom with a shower and so on, though in some rooms the basin is still in the bedroom rather than the bathroom – unusual at this pricepoint. Rooms are otherwise typically contemporary Thai style, with decorative pillows, a sash over the bed and unobtrusive art. Bedlamps, air-con and free WiFi are all standard across the board. Deck settings are wooden table settings.
From the hotel-style rooms the resort runs down to the decent-sized trapezoidal pool (with wet bar) with deckchairs and umbrellas. From here you continue down between the walled-in villas to the beach proper, which is excellent, with good swimming offshore and terrific views out to the Five Islands (and, to the south, the Intercon pier... ). We found the staff to be courteous and very helpful in showing us around (and extremely apologetic to not be able to show us a villa).
The advantage of staying here is you're getting close to similar views and beach access as the Intercon at a fraction of the price and in a more intimately sized resort. If a bit too spendy, consider Am Samui (from 1,700/2,000 baht in low/high season), which sits on the far southern side of the Intercon, while budgeteers will be well served at almost next door i-Talay.
Overall, this is a solid midrange option in a bit of a hidden away location on Samui. Having your own transport would be a good idea if you plan to explore the island from here.
Address: 126/9 Moo 3, Taling Ngam
T: (081)180 3390; F: (077) 428 200
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º56'2.05" E, 9º27'49.79" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 4,000B to 8,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Deluxe double room|
Sunset Jacuzzi ++
|3,200 baht||4,500 baht|
Garden Villa ++
|5,300 baht||6,600 baht|
Beachfront Villa ++
|7,300 baht||8,800 baht|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Samui