Welcome to my Frequently Asked Questions about the best places to stay in Koh Samui, you can see more about where to stay in Koh Samui in this guide Best Areas to Stay in Koh Samui.
- Where Is Koh Samui?
- Where Is The Best Area To Stay In Koh Samui?
- Which Is The Best Beach In Koh Samui?
- Best Place To Stay In Koh Samui For Full Moon Party?
- How Many Days Do You Need In Koh Samui?
- Is Koh Samui Safe For Tourists?
- Is Koh Samui Or Phuket Better?
- Is Koh Samui Expensive?
- Best Place To Stay In Koh Samui For Singles?
- Best Place To Stay In Koh Samui For Backpackers?
Where Is Koh Samui?
Koh Samui is a large island in the Gulf of Thailand off Thailand’s Eastern Coast. It is about 35 kilometers offshore from Surat Thani town and is connected to the mainland by a car ferry. It takes around an hour and a half to get to Samui from the mainland by car ferry, or 45 minutes on the passenger-only high-speed catamaran.
Koh Samui, along with its neighboring islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, form the Koh Samui Archipelago, part of Thailand’s Southern Chumphon Province.
Koh Samui International Airport links the island to the outside world. The airport is owned by Bangkok Airways, and this airline and a few other licensed carriers are licensed to fly here.
Where Is The Best Area To Stay In Koh Samui?
Bophut Beach is the area of Samui that offers the best all-round holiday experience because it has something to suit travelers of all budgets and tastes.
Bophut is developed but not overdeveloped, so there are plenty of entertainment and activity options from restaurants and nightlife to trips and watersports. There is a great beach for sunbathing and chilling out and admiring some great ocean and island views. The famous Fisherman’s Village is a great place for shoppers and diners, and lovers of culture.
Which Is The Best Beach In Koh Samui?
There are so many beautiful beaches on Koh Samui, all with beautiful sands, crystal clear water, and tropical palms that it is tough to choose the best one. But, all things considered, I reckon that Mae Nam Beach is the best beach on Koh Samui.
Mae Nam is quieter than more established beach resorts like Chaweng and Lamai, so it has a relaxed ambiance, and you can enjoy the place without being surrounded by crowds. There are some superb resorts and villas here and plenty of places to eat and drink.
If you are looking for a beautiful unspoiled beach with just the right amount of development, Mae Nam is the place to be.
Best Place To Stay In Koh Samui For Full Moon Party?
Party central on Koh Samui is Chaweng Beach, and this is undoubtedly the best place on the island to experience the hedonism of a Thai full moon party and tick that off your bucket list.
Neighboring Koh Phangan has the wildest full moon celebrations and is still the backpacker’s choice of full-moon destination. But the beach bars and clubs of Chaweng also attract top international DJs who pump out house, trance, and techno until the small hours.
A Chaweng full-moon party is loud, brash, and uninhibited; everything that is should be really. So, grab a whistle, paint your face, and head on down.
How Many Days Do You Need In Koh Samui?
A Koh Samui holiday is all about the beach. Of course, there are all kinds of other things to do, like diving, watersports, boat trips, visiting temples, waterfalls, and exploring the hills and rocks of the island’s interior.
But the main reason you visit Samui is to unwind, relax, and bask in the splendor of the perfect beaches.
You should plan to stay on Koh Samui for at least a week. Seven days gives you enough time to see some sights and to get into the swing and unhurried pace of island life. After all, you are on holiday; there’s no need to rush!
Is Koh Samui Safe For Tourists?
Koh Samui is a perfectly safe place to visit for visitors as long as they take a few simple precautions. The death toll on the roads of Thailand is shocking. If you rent a motorbike, make sure you have an international driving license and wear a helmet. And even as a pedestrian have a special respect for the eccentricities of other road users.
It is hot here. Drink plenty of water and apply sun-cream, especially in the middle of the day. Also, use insect repellent, particularly around sunset, when mosquitoes are most hungry.
Solo travelers should avoid isolated and dark places and make sure someone knows where they are. Theft is rare but not unheard of. Keep an eye on personal items and don’t carry large quantities of cash.
Is Koh Samui Or Phuket Better?
Phuket is Thailand’s Largest island, and Koh Samui is the second-largest; Phuket is near twice the size of Samui. In terms of places to explore, Phuket has more simply because it is the bigger of the two.
But Phuket is connected to the mainland by a road bridge, so technically, you can consider it a part of the mainland. Phuket has much more traffic and many more domestic tourists than Samui.
Samui is the better place to visit if you want that unique Thai island experience. It has busy resorts and quiet corners and, overall, feels less packed and frantic than Phuket.
Is Koh Samui Expensive?
Islands are always more expensive than the mainland because almost everything must be shipped over by ferry, adding to costs. But Koh Samui has a good regular ferry link to Surat Thani, and the island factor doesn’t push up prices excessively.
Since Samui is an overwhelmingly touristy destination, prices are higher than the everyday Thai rates. But when you compare the prices of food, drink, and hotels with Western countries, you will still be pleasantly surprised.
Also, there is a lot of competition on Samui, and this drives prices down. Samui is no more expensive than most other Thai islands, and if you are on a budget, you can find economical eating, drinking, and accommodation to make your money go a long way.
Best Place To Stay In Koh Samui For Singles?
Lamai Beach is a good destination for single travelers, particularly single women travelers. Lamai is a busy beach, so a single traveler won’t ever feel isolated, but it lacks the sometimes crazy and over-the-top atmosphere of neighboring Chaweng.
Lamai has hostels and guesthouses that are good places to meet people in a safe and sociable environment, and its busy beach is a great place to throw down a beach towel and catch some rays.
Best Place To Stay In Koh Samui For Backpackers?
Bophut is still the most backpacker-friendly destination on Koh Samui. Even though the area is gradually drifting upmarket, there are still plenty of hostels and guesthouses and budget restaurants and bars that hark back to its roots as a backpacker’s beach retreat.
There is plenty for travelers to see and to in the Bophut area. Several local dive centers will be happy to arrange diving and snorkeling trips. And on the landward side, visitors can enjoy the charms of the nearby Fisherman’s Village and visit temples, view some nice rock formations and discover even quieter beaches nearby.
Best 5 Star Hotels In Koh Samui
So money is not too much of an object, and you have decided to treat yourselves one the very best hotels that Koh Samui has to offer. Congratulations, because you will find fabulous places to stay here with world-class facilities in picture-perfect locations.
Here are two of the very best 5-star hotels on Koh Samui.
Anantara Lawana in Chaweng Beach is one of the very best resorts on Koh Samui. It offers world-class facilities and service that is genuinely five-star. There are stunning views over the ocean from the infinity pool.
Guests rate the resort very highly for the attentiveness and attention to detail of the staff.
Facilities include a well-appointed spa, a library, a fitness center, and three restaurants. All kinds of trips and tours to explore Samui are also simple to arrange with hotel staff.
The hotel is just a few minutes away from the excitement of central Chaweng, so it offers guests the perfect blend of privacy and convenience.
The beautiful Four Seasons Resort has a commanding view over Laem Yai Bay in the Mae Nam area of the Northwest of Koh Samui. It is a five-star resort and offers superb facilities, including tennis courts, beach sports, and a fitness center. The resort also has its boat, “siamseas,” on hand to take guests exploring nearby sights.
This hotel has very high guest approval, and in particular, they are impressed by the beautiful beach and the high quality of the food and cocktails on offer.
This hotel would be a fabulous choice for travelers looking for privacy and service at the very top level.
Best 4 Star Hotels In Koh Samui
Koh Samui has an enormous choice of top-quality 4-star hotels. Perhaps the best way to pick one that stands out from the bunch is to look at places that are very highly praised by visitors.
The good news is that I’ve done this for you already, so take a look below to find two of the most popular upper-mid-range hotels on Koh Samui.
Baan Sawan Samui Resort is a small and private family-run resort that offers privacy and exclusivity without forgetting to provide four-star facilities and services. Pretty and popular Chaweng Noi Beach is just 300 meters away from the resort.
There are two swimming pools on-site, with spectacular evening lighting, and all of the hotel’s Thai-style rooms face onto a pool patio.
Guests comment on the friendliness and helpfulness of the owners, who are only too happy to assist with trips and tours and local recommendations. The food is also highly rated, with particular praise given to their delicious Pad Thai. Baan Sawan is a cozy hotel that spoils guests with privacy, convenience, and comfort.
The Pearl of Samui is one of Samui’s best four-star hotels. Situated in the most popular area of Lamai Beach, it is convenient for all local shops, restaurants, and activities.
The resort inhabits a tropical garden with a large outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers and cushions, all fronting onto the private beach area. It is a perfect place to relax and unwind.
Despite only having opened recently, this resort has already gained a loyal following of guests. Visitors particularly appreciate the breakfasts and the standard of food and service in general.
Best 3 Star Hotels In Koh Samui
You can find some fabulous 3-Star places to stay all over Koh Samui. There are many budget-friendly places all over the island. These places offer extremely good facilities at affordable rates.
If you are looking for better value accommodation, then it’s a good idea to consider choosing a location that is a little way back from the beach. This way, you can find a great hotel at a price that’s friendly to your pocket. Here are a couple of the most popular 3-star hotels on Koh Samui.
Chaweng’s Siam Sunrise Seaview is a mid-range hotel with great value-for-money facilities. The hotel perches on a hilltop, and there are superb views out over Chaweng Bay from the infinity pool.
The hotel is a family-run place establishment that offers an exceptional welcome, to the extent that guests comment that the Thai-Western owners treat all of their guests like family.
The excellent facilities include a strong WiFi connection throughout, and all rooms have flat-screen TVs and a private balcony. This hotel is ideally suited to travelers looking for a peaceful and friendly stay with stunning views that is a little more secluded and peaceful than some of the more centrally located places.
Samui Hills is a bold and strikingly designed modern boutique hotel located at Taling Ngam Beach. It features a two-story structure with all rooms facing the large swimming pool and garden.
This place is one of Koh Samui’s best-established and most highly rated budget hotels and receives universal praise from people who stay here.
The rooms are a good size and are well-equipped given the budget price, with good aircon, flatscreen TV and an a la carte breakfast is also available.
Motorbikes are available for hire to explore Samui and the friendly staff is also happy to give advice and arrange transport, trips, and tours.