While the island of Koh Phi Phi off the Andaman coast grabs a lot of the headlines for Thailand, the Gulf side isn’t exactly lacking when it comes to gorgeous islands. One of the jewels of this part of Thailand is the island of Koh Samui. With a Central shopping centre and an airport, it’s far from an unsettled, undiscovered island. But it still retains its stunning natural beauty, both in terms of beaches and green spaces. Planning a trip? Here are the best backpacker hostels on the island.
Behind The Scene Hotel Club @ Samui
A hostel located in the well sought-after Chaweng part of the island, Behind The Scenes’ bright colour scheme and quirky furniture perfectly capture the fun vibe that Chaweng offers its visitors. With large dorm rooms for both mixed and female guests, smaller twin-bunked dorms for friends, and more hotel-esque private rooms available, there’s something here for guests of all shapes, sizes, and budgets. The comfy living area is a great place to meet fellow travellers, and the hostel is at a good location as well. Although you may want to start in the hostel’s own nightclub and rooftop terrace first.
At Hostel Samui
Located in the bustling Chaweng area of Koh Samui and close to Central, At Samui Hostel is ideally placed for those who want to see the livelier side of the island. Location is the key selling point of this hostel, but its decor isn’t far behind. It features a crisp, cool, and minimalist white decor that’s reassuringly modern and provides a sense of calm and tranquility that’s often hard to come by in Chaweng. It boasts large dormitories – both mixed and female – that can easily accommodate groups of friends, as well as a small outdoor pool next to the on-site bar.
Despite its simple, arguably unimaginative name, the Samui hostel has some of the most well-thought-out decor among its peers. While private and guest rooms are simple and basic, communal areas are decorated with a distinctly Thai flair, with wall-hangings and ornaments that provide an air of authenticity in a part of the island where such a quality has all but died. The superior dorm rooms offer a change from the simple, metallic-framed bunk beds as well, and resemble something of a boat cabin instead. With its cool decor, Chaweng location, and cheap price, this is a great option for backpackers who are looking for a place to crash in the livelier part of town.
Sirinsamui Boutique Hostel
Located close to the idyllic, white-sanded Choeng Mon beach and a stone’s throw away from the night market of the same name, you’ll be far from bored when staying at this hostel. Both dorm rooms and private rooms are available depending on your preference. The white colour scheme won’t leave you worrying about the cleanliness of the place. With a restaurant on-site, communal areas with a pool table, and a private pool, it offers more than some hostels on the island – at just a fraction of the cost. This is a perfect option if you’re looking to explore the island after a full night of sleep, away from the noisy nightlife.
Dream Cat-Cher Hostel
The Dream Cat-Cher Hostel might be a little bit too far away from the action for most people, but for those who want a relaxing stay on Koh Samui near the beach, it’s the perfect option. It’s a beachside hostel that’s close to the ferry port in Nathon, making it a convenient choice for those who don’t wish to pay for an expensive taxi on top of their ferry costs. It even has friendly owners who’ll go out of their way to make your trip worthwhile. The dorms are basic, but perfectly fine for a few nights – it is a hostel after all. Air-conditioning makes the stay comfortable, and the cats that live on the property provide a homey feel.
Casa Luna Hostel
For something a little different from the usual hostels on the island, Casa Luna is a great option. It holds a distinctly Bohemian, almost North African-cum-Mediterranean feel with its decor. It has inviting communal areas to lounge beside the beach and comfortable dormitory beds. There’s a bar-and-tapas restaurant attached to the hostel, meaning you won’t have to worry about being without great food nor good cocktails during your stay. With its location next to the famous Big Buddha statue on the northern edge of island, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-placed hostel. Add its friendly staff and owners into the mix and you have the recipe for a perfect backpacker hostel.
Although clean, white and modern, what really makes the P168 hostel stand out is its rooms. Rather than being a conventional, bunk-bed hostel, it’s a capsule hostel – meaning guests can enjoy a little more space and a little more privacy. Each capsule comes with a television for those who need to catch up on all the latest Thai soap operas. If capsules don’t appeal to you, there’s also a number of private, conventionally-styled rooms. With a restaurant on-site and staff on-hand to help you book tickets and tours, it’s definitely a great place to stay on Koh Samui – for a great price as well.
Us Hostel boasts an ideal location near both the gorgeous Bophut Beach and the Big Buddha statue. With its shipping-container rooms that have it feeling more like Shoreditch than Samui, Us Hostel has everything that an island hostel needs and then some. Both humble mixed dorms and private rooms are available, and guests can look forward to an on-site restaurant and and a refreshing swimming pool. There’s a strong social aspect to this hostel as well, fostered by the inviting communal spaces and laid-back atmosphere that surrounds the place and typifies the island itself. Comfortable and modern, it set the standard for other hotels on the island to follow.