Sunset-ready rooftop lounges, next-level spas and gigantic pools await at these, the best places to stay in Koh Samui.
Golden sands lapped by crystalline waters; atmospheric temples shimmering with gold; buzzy, diverse nightlife. Koh Samui has something to entice every kind of traveller to Thailand, whether you’re a family seeking an action-packed resort or a couple looking to splurge on something romantic, the island offers some spectacular hotels. Spend the day snorkelling, soaking in a spa or learning to make fragrant curry at an island cookery school, then head back to your hotel for sun, fun and total relaxation. Here are the best places to stay in Koh Samui.
Courtesy of Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort / Expedia
Hop from plane to beach in minutes when you stay at Anantara Lawana – a resort less than a 10-minute drive away from Koh Samui’s main airport. And yet it still feels like a proper tropical getaway; perched on the buzzing sands of Chaweng with a waterside infinity pool and greenery-coddled villas. With its kids’ club, babysitting service and onsite ‘treasure hunt’, it’s a natural pick for families, though a top-notch spa will keep couples happy, too.
Like the freedom to explore and dine wherever you choose? Set on Koh Samui’s north coast, on a long icing-sugar scatter of beach, the Anantara Bophut has restaurants and bars galore within walking distance. Yet it still channels a relaxed, tropical-isle feel – think garden-fringed rooms, dinners on the sand and muscle-melting massages in a rambling alfresco spa. Sign up for a cookery lesson, which includes a market and garden tour before an epic Thai lunch.
If you’re craving the privacy of a villa holiday – with all the perks of a swish hotel – then Samujana provides just the mix you’re looking for. Sleeping from just two in a one-bedroom villa, up to 16 in an eight-bedroom mansion, each stylish stay comes with ocean views, minimalist-chic living spaces and private pools. As for amenities? Whether you want to go diving, play a round of tennis or hire out a luxury catamaran, the expert staff will sort it.
Backed by greenery and framed by a pair of glassy pools, this small-scale, south coast resort has a more intimate vibe than many on Koh Samui. You’ll still get the benefits of a larger hotel, mind: atmospheric Thai-style rooms with flashes of red, purple and green, as well as multiple restaurants to choose from. Rocky’s prides itself on minimising its environmental footprint, recycling wastewater and rallying staff on beach cleans around the island.
One of the largest pools on Koh Samui is a definite highlight of any stay at Santiburi. Another is certainly the location, a plot coddled by lush trees, lotus ponds and a strip of gorgeous beach on the island’s north coast. Rooms, dressed in sea-foam tones and natural woods, have a relaxed feel that suits both families and couples alike, while a beachside restaurant serves up decadent surf ‘n’ turf.
Down at Koh Samui’s southwestern tip, Avani+ leaves traditional Thai design behind, opting instead for contemporary villas dressed in crisp whites and turquoise blues – just the thing for stylish couples. A lick of pool, lined in palms, overlooks a secluded beach and is the perfect setting for tropical cocktails (shaken up in a bar converted from a vintage campervan, no less). Sunset hour is best spent at the rooftop lounge, watching the sky blush pink over a hilltop lined in dense foliage.
Courtesy of Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort / Hotels.com
Nestled in a secluded corner of Hanuman Bay, this five-star resort excels in island-style luxury. Each of the 52 villas comes equipped with a private plunge pool and sun deck, with expansive interiors fitted with very stylish amenities made from natural materials. If you can resist the cool comfort of your room, enjoy a gorgeous infinity pool and swim-up bar overlooking the private beach. The popular on-site Navasana Spa delivers deep relaxation that justifies the price point, while the on-site Edgewater restaurant does a mean Wednesday menu based on the flavours and produce of Koh Samui. But what leaves the most lasting impression is the little touches: breakfast in the shade of a big, beautiful sea almond tree; welcome messages spelt out with flowers; and smiling staff who always remember that you like your coffee with lots of ice.
While many of Koh Samui’s crown jewels rely on the beauty of a shoreline location, Farmer’s Boutique Resort celebrates the island’s lush, quiet interior coloured by seemingly endless shades of green. Guests enjoy private bungalows within the gorgeous rice-paddy property, encased by the rolling hills that climb toward the island’s peaks. The resort is centred on a luxe infinity pool, with several villas equipped with their own private pools for the ultimate solitude.
This design hotel pays the strictest attention to every architectural detail, offering beautifully minimalist rooms that evoke the traditional teak style, splashed with white features and subtle pops of colour. Guests have the option of garden suites or luxury penthouses, all with access to the stunning, award-winning infinity pool that graces the property’s centre. The hotel has a number of on-site activities including free yoga classes, cooking classes and weekly events featuring incredible food and local music.
The Sarann’s breathtaking location on the edge of a rocky wall on the southern tip of Chaweng Beach makes for a spectacularly romantic setting. Although the villas and suites guarantee a Zen experience with harmonious, wooden furniture and a large Jacuzzi, the seafront pool villas are the shining stars of the resort. Their private infinity pools nestled just above the rocky beach offer unparalleled views over the Gulf of Thailand. The Sarann is a great spot for those seeking a luxurious getaway while enjoying convenient access to the restaurants, bars and shops of Chaweng Town, all located just a short drive away from the hotel.
Code’s stunning rooms exude a minimalist cool yet this remains the kind of place where every detail has been considered. All rooms have been designed with luxury and convenience in mind, equipped with extras like duck-down duvets, custom white leather sofas and Bluetooth docking stations. The on-site infinity pool gazes out towards the surrounding Gulf islands of Phangan and Tao, while the glass-encased fitness centre is shrouded in stunning sea views and includes a steam room, sauna, a lush outdoor Jacuzzi as well as a tennis court.
Right on the beach near Hin Ta and Hin Yai, this resort offers a variety of room options suited to different budgets and styles. From the standard room, complete with Sleep Number comfort mattress and beachside balconies, to a deluxe villa with a private pool, this place offers some serious variety. The property runs right up to the beachfront, with plenty of beach sun loungers and umbrellas available, alongside spa treatment rooms, fitness facilities and a common-area pool.
Located right on the beachfront at the edge of Fisherman’s Village, this resort has luxury in its DNA. Rooms come teak-style and dressed in local textiles, opening up to incredible sea- or garden-view private terraces with plush, oversize daybeds. The property revolves around its enormous saltwater pool, which nearly laps against the beach, just steps away from the beachfront bar and its award-winning H Bistro. Amazing sunsets are visible from almost everywhere on the property.
Set within lush jungle above an exclusive beachfront cove along Lamai Bay, each of this property’s spacious villas includes a private terrace and glass-encased private infinity pool as well as private sun loungers and daybeds, all featuring sapphire-drenched ocean views. The on-site hydrothermal wellness centre, The Rainforest, has won awards for its soothing, revitalising treatments and offers on-call private yoga instructors. With complimentary marine equipment like snorkelling gear and SUP board, you can also make use of a private speedboat to help build the island getaway of your dreams.
This secluded hideaway includes villas, suites and private pool residences along its sheltered white sand beach at the north tip of Koh Samui. Belmond Napasai is a complete dream for either the laid-back vacationer looking to lounge in its freshwater infinity pool or the active traveller keen to take advantage of on-site Thai boxing classes, two floodlit tennis courts, windsurfing, kayak and Hobie Cat rentals as well as scuba-diving and snorkelling excursions.