Best Places To Stay in Koh Samui
Knowing where are the best places to stay in Koh Samui before organizing your vacation can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re a first-time visitor. Since Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, a circular trip along the coastal road could take more than two hours.
The island’s stunning beaches, abundant nature, rich history and culture are the main reasons for Koh Samui’s worldwide popularity. Chaweng and Lamai beaches are now thriving beach towns with fabulous beach resorts, internationally famous restaurants, and world-class nightclubs.
With easily more than 20,000 rooms, finding a place to stay in Koh Samui during the off-season should not be an issue. However, booking ahead of time is recommended during peak season (December to April) to get a better rate and prevent unavailability in your preferred hotels or resorts.
Let’s have a look at some of the best places/areas to stay in Koh Samui.
10 Best Places To Stay in Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach, the most popular beach and the heart of Koh Samui, is about 23 km from Nathon Pier (the main ferries terminal from mainland) and merely 3 km south of Samui Airport. Two decades ago, there were only a few wooden huts on this beach; now, it’s clogged with hotels, resorts, restaurants, pubs, and a bunch of go-go bars. Apart from the beaches, this is without a doubt the best place/area to stay in Koh Samui’s main island for nightlife.
The beach is approximately 6 km long, making it the longest on the east coast of Samui. It offers a diverse range of lodging alternatives to suit all budgets, with rates ranging from 400 baht per night for basic fan rooms with shared facilities to those of 20,000 baht per night for mid-range resorts and 70,000 baht or more per night for 5 star villas.
Where To Stay in Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui
02 Lamai Beach – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui with Kids
Lamai Beach, roughly 20 km south of Nathon Pier and 12 km south of Chaweng Beach, is Koh Samui’s second largest beach after Chaweng. Even though it is quieter than Chaweng, it has the most nearby eating and drinking options, including French, German, and Italian restaurants & bars, as well as a superb shopping location.
This beach has the widest strip of sand in Koh Samui, making it one of the best beaches for swimming, particularly for families with children. One of the closest attractions here is the well-known Hin Ta & Hin Yai.
While the expansion of Lamai Beach has increased the cost of many hotels, there are still some less priced options. Certain popular hotels may be fully booked during peak season; however, if you book online at least a week ahead of time, you may still be able to get a room.
Where To Stay in Lamai Beach, Koh Samui
03 Choeng Mon Beach – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui for Water Sports
Choeng Mon Beach is located on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui Island, about 6 km from Samui Airport. The white powdery sand and crystal clear sea water are the beach’s primary draws. The beach is small, only a few hundred metres long, yet it boasts a spectacular bay view and atmosphere.
Restaurants, cafés, laundries, banks, car rental shops, pharmacies, and other services are available throughout the village nearby. Even the beach, which is seldom busy, has many restaurants with a beautiful night view over the bay. The beach also offers a wide range of water sports activities like water skiing, kayaking, jet skiing, banana boat, diving & yachting.
The lodgings in this area are dominated by somewhat upscale beachside resorts with large rooms and most hotels have private pools. When compared to Chaweng Beach, there are fewer options for mid-range and budget hotels in this area.
Where To Stay in Choeng Mon Beach, Koh Samui
04 Bang Rak Beach – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui for Couples
Bang Rak Beach, popularly known as Big Buddha Beach, is only 4 km from Samui International Airport. It has the famed Big Buddha statue (Koh Samui landmark) as well as the main departure pier for Koh Pha Ngan.
Even though this isn’t the best beach on Samui for swimming or sunbathing, it does feature some of the most beautiful sunset views. Bang Rak Beach was chosen by most couples or honeymooners since it was less crowded and offered more seclusion for a relaxing holiday.
The 4-kilometer-long beach offers inexpensive hotels and resorts, as well as a wide range of budget hotels & low-cost homestay options. Along the beach, there are also numerous outstanding restaurants, cafes, bars, laundries, massage parlors, and dive shop, providing a convenient outreach for all tourists.
Where To Stay in Bang Rak Beach, Koh Samui
05 Bophut Beach – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui for Foodies
Bophut Beach is just within 4 km away from Bang Rak Beach. It’s one of the few areas on Koh Samui where you can still get a taste of the island’s original Thai-Chinese vibe. This 3 km beach, also known as Fisherman’s Village, has recently developed with new luxury hotels and guesthouses, as well as a plethora of food (European, BBQ, Indian, and seafood outlets predominate), drink, and water activity options. Bophut is also known for being one of the greatest foodie destinations on Koh Samui.
Although new construction has taken away some of the beach road’s attractiveness, it still retains much of it. The short street is densely packed with old Chinese shop-houses, many of which have been sympathetically converted to modern usage as restaurants, cafés, and small trendy shops.
The beach itself stretches for 2 kilometres along a white sand beach flanked by coconut palms, and the bay’s tranquil waters make it a popular site for playing and relaxing rather than swimming, as the water is typically murky.
Where To Stay in Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
06 Mae Nam Beach – Best Place To Stay in Koh Samui for Family
Mae Nam Beach is just next to Bophut Beach, which is roughly 11 km from Samui Airport. It’s famous for its 6 km stretch of silky white sand beach, which is flanked by coconut trees and has a chilled-out atmosphere. The beach is quiet and peaceful, making it ideal for a family vacation. Swimming, however, may not be the best option when compared to Lamai Beach, especially for children, because to the mild drift.
The neighborhood is normally tranquil, with a mature setting that includes a variety of lodging, hotels, resorts, restaurants, as well as various dive shops and water sports equipment stores. There are numerous affordable bungalows strewn along the beach, and several restaurants continue to serve authentic Thai cuisine at reasonable prices.
Where To Stay in Mae Nam Beach, Koh Samui
07 Laem Yai Beach – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui for Honeymooners
Laem Yai Beach is located about 5 kilometres from Nathon Pier on the most northwestern shore of a cape, and is surrounded by coconut palm trees. This is a truly remote beach that most tourists would miss, and few people are aware of its existence. The beautiful isles of Ang Thong National Marine Park can be seen from here.
The beach is shallow with a small strip of pale, creamy sand which is not appropriate for swimming that stretches out into the sea for about half a kilometer during low tide. Due to the lack of activities & lodgings on this quiet beach, it appears that not many tourists want to visit Laem Yai. It caters mostly to sunset enthusiasts and honeymooners seeking more privacy & intimacy.
Where To Stay in Laem Yai Beach, Koh Samui
08 Nathon – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui for Backpackers
Nathon, on Samui’s west coast is the primary ferry terminal for mainland Thailand and Ko Tao. It also serves as the island’s administrative and business hub. Similarly to Laem Yai, the beach at Nathon is not a major tourist attraction because it is shallow and muddy during low tide. Even at high tide, the swimming conditions are poor.
Nathon Beach is actually known for its spectacular sunsets. The majority of visitors come for the beautiful views of the pier, as well as the quaint Chinese stores and restaurants that line along the road rather than the beach. Apart from that, Nathon Town is merely a stopover for tourists on their way to other destinations such as Krabi and Phuket.
As a result, Nathon’s lodging options are limited, with no high-end resort or mid-range hotel, and just a few budget motels or homestays available. If you’re on a budget, this might be the best place to stay in Koh Samui.
Where To Stay in Nathon, Koh Samui
09 Lipa Noi Beach – Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui for Beach Lovers
Lipa Noi Beach is located on the west coast of Samui Island, about 5 kilometres south of Nathon Pier. This 3-kilometres seashore features some of the best white sand on the beach, with nearly no rock or dead coral. This beach is ideal for swimming, even for children, due to its crystal clear water and shallow water around 100 metres from the shore.
It gets quite crowded on weekends, as most of the locals come to see the gorgeous sunset with their families. The biggest disadvantage is that there are less activities available at night. Lipa Noi has a diverse selection of lodgings, including villas, bungalows, mid-range resorts with restaurants, and even some budget hotels.
Where To Stay in Lipa Noi Beach, Koh Samui
10 Taling Ngam Beach – The Most Picturesque Place to Stay in Koh Samui
Taling Ngam Beach, roughly 10 kilometres from Nathon Pier, is Koh Samui’s third longest (5 kilometres) beach. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches and the best spot for watching the sunset. This tiny coastline beach is bordered by a lush jungle and overlooks the Ang Thong National Marine Park’s “Five Islands,” making it one of Samui’s most scenic locations.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many accommodation options along the beach, with only a few modest bungalows and some of the island’s most exclusive hotels. On this end of the island, you’ll find some of Koh Samui’s best seafood restaurants.