Where To Stay in Koh Samui: All You Need to Know About the Areas

Where To Stay in Koh Samui: All You Need to Know About the Areas

Everything you need to know about the best places to stay in Koh Samui with specific hotel recommendations
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Koh Samui is a very popular destination in Thailand – and for good reason!

Apart from having great weather and tons of activities, all kinds of travellers can find a place to stay within their budget here.

For an island in Southeast Asia, it’s quite developed and it’s relatively easy and cheap to get to and from Koh Samui.

You can also expect to fast wifi in most hotels and cafés.

When we visited in January 2019, it was actually our second time on the island together and Victoria’s third time.

But this time we stayed for a month and a half while working on our documentary film about coffee.

And during that time, we really got to explore the different areas and beaches on the island.

In this guide, you can read all about the best areas and the best places to stay in Koh Samui.

Where to stay in Koh Samui:

Search for the best value accommodation in Koh Samui here.

What to know before booking

Koh Samui orientation and map

Before deciding where to stay in Koh Samui, it might be helpful to understand the geography a little bit.

Koh Samui is quite big. In fact it’s the second largest island in Thailand.

Driving around the 50-kilometre long ring road of the island takes about 1.5 hours so it’s definitely possible to go on day trips to other parts of the island.

However, where you base yourself will have a huge impact on your vacation in Koh Samui.

That’s why we will cover the different areas and beaches in this guide.

Study the map here to get a better understanding of the island.

Click the icon in the top left corner of the map to find the beaches, activities, best restaurants etc.

How long to stay in Koh Samui

As mentioned, we made Koh Samui our work base for a month and a half, but for a vacation, we wouldn’t stay that long.

Depending on your travel mood, you can spend three to five days seeing the highlights or you can spend one or two weeks beach bumming, exploring the hidden coves and eating your way through all of the delicious food.

Many choose to combine Koh Samui with the neighbouring islands of Koh Phangan and/or Koh Tao if they have two or three weeks of vacation.

If you travel with your family or like to travel at a slow pace, you can easily spend all of your vacation time in Koh Samui.

It really is a matter of preference!

Na Mueang Waterfall 2 view
Koh Samui is full of adventures.

When to book in advance

Koh Samui is packed with accommodation options for all types and budgets and you can always find available hotels and rooms.

But, as it really is a popular destination, many of the best hotels and resorts get fully booked months ahead.

Be sure to book your accommodation well in advance if you’re travelling in the high season (July and August as well as from December to March).

Koh Samui popular night market
Koh Samui is most popular to visit around July, August and from December to March.

How to choose the best place to stay in Koh Samui

The beaches are plentiful and you can be sure that you will meet friendly people and have amazing Thai restaurants nearby everywhere in Koh Samui.

With that said, each area and beach has its own pros and cons.

Some are awesome if you want nightlife, some are more peaceful if you want a calm place to chill out.

Some are good for families and some are better for honeymooners.

There are so many choices!

Read along to find out where you should stay.

Sunset Lipa Noi in Koh Samui
We did our best to catch as many sunrises and sunsets as we could in Koh Samui.

Where to stay in Chaweng

Chaweng Beach on the east coast of the island is a very developed beach.

It has clear water, white sand and if you like watersports, you will not be bored.

It’s easily the most popular (and crowded) area on the island and the many accommodation choices reflect that.

Here you can find everything from cheap backpacker hostels to luxury beach resorts lining the beach avenue.

Both the beach and the area is filled with resorts, restaurants, snack bars, souvenir shops and all kinds of activities.

The nightlife is buzzing in northern Chaweng, so if you’re looking for a party, this is the place.

Moving from the north end to the south end, you’ll get fewer parties and more of a relaxed and quiet vibe.

South Chaweng is renowned for its nice sand and has great water for swimming and playing.

Be aware that rooms situated close to the road might pick up noise from nightlife and especially from the cars driving around blasting audio messages about Thai boxing matches and other activities.

Chaweng Beach sunrise
Sunrise from Chaweng Beach.

Who should stay in Chaweng?

Because of its many bars and nightclubs, Chaweng is where party animals should base themselves.

Chaweng Beach is also the obvious choice if you want a beautiful beach and lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance and don’t mind sharing them with other tourists.

Families can enjoy this area as well, but we will recommend that you choose one of the places in the south.

Search for the best value accommodation near Chaweng Beach here (adlink).

Buri Rasa Village Samui

We stayed at this 4-star luxury boutique resort for a couple of days and we loved it.

The beachfront hotel is on the more quiet side of Chaweng Beach, there’s a pool and the room we stayed in even had a private garden with a dip pool.

Buri Rasa truly has a village vibe and the wonderful staff treated every guest with attention and great care.

It’s one of the best places to stay in Chaweng Beach.

Check prices and availability at Buri Rasa Village Samui (adlink).

You might be interested in:Review of Buri Rasa Village in Koh Samui: Tropical luxury in the heart of Chaweng - We review our stay at Buri Rasa Village in Koh Samui
Buri Rasa Samui room
Staying at Buri Rasa Village Samui (adlink) was an exquisite experience that we can easily recommend.

The Library

If you want a different hotel experience while staying on Chaweng, The Library looks like an enticing option.

The hotel holds a near perfect score on most review aggregators, with people especially praising the personalized service and stylish design.

Check prices and availability at The Library (adlink).

The Library in Koh Samui
The Library; a literary-inspired 5-star hotel on Chaweng urging its guests to “read, roam and reflect”. ©The Library (adlink)

Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa

Located in the far south end of Chaweng, you’ll be far away from the action at Samui Paradise – but still have access to the beach.

With the hotel’s 4-stars, you get two outdoor pools, two restaurants, a front desk open 24/7, free parking as well as air conditioning and wifi in the villas.

Check prices and availability at Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa (adlink).

Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort in Koh Samui
Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa – great value accommodation on the quiet end of the beach. ©Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort & Spa (adlink)

Samui Green Hotel

If you don’t expect any kind of luxury, Samui Green Hotel might just be the place for you.

Samui Green Hotel’s rooms include the modern necessities of air conditioning, free wifi and a private bathroom at a very affordable price.

It’s located in the calmer part of Chaweng.

Check prices and availability at Samui Green Hotel (adlink).

Samui Green Hotel in Koh Samui
Stay at Samui Green Hotel if you just need a basic but comfortable room. ©Samui Green Hotel (adlink)

Where to stay in Lamai

Lamai Beach is the second most popular beach in Koh Samui.

It’s less crowded than Chaweng Beach but you can still find lots of hotels, restaurants and bars lined next to each other on the beach.

In other words; it’s a great option if you don’t need that many party and shopping options, but still prefer to have a wide variety of restaurants, massage parlours and big supermarkets to choose from.

The beach is lovely and long enough to never feel completely packed.

It can be a bit difficult to access the beach if you don’t stay at a beachside hotel though.

Staying near Lamai makes day trips to the waterfalls of the south a breeze and also offers you a quick getaway to the less developed parts of Koh Samui.

Lamai Beach in Koh Samui
Lamai Beach in Koh Samui.

Who should stay in Lamai?

Families looking for a beach holiday with many activities and food options nearby will love it here.

It’s also a great choice for couples and groups of friends who don’t necessarily come for the parties but still like some action.

Lamai is highlighted as a great place for honeymooners but as the beach isn’t that private, we guess it really depends on which resort you choose to stay at.

Search for the best value accommodation near Lamai Beach here (adlink).

The Lamai Samui

The Lamai Samui is situated in the northern end of the Lamai area, nestled between the mountains.

This means you’ll be about a 20-minute walk away from most of the tourist options, but if you’re staying at The Lamai Samui, they probably won’t be needed.

The private beachfront location has stunning ocean views and the resort offers great facilities, including a beautiful seaside pool, full-service spa and a gym.

If your budget allows it, the resort is amazing for a honeymoon or romantic vacation.

For visiting Koh Samui’s other beaches and towns, The Lamai Samui offers complimentary shuttle services.

Check prices and availability at The Lamai Samui (adlink).

The Lamai Samui in Koh Samui
Enjoy total peace at The Lamai Samui near Lamai Beach. ©The Lamai Samui (adlink)

Samui Jasmine Resort

Check out Samui Jasmine Resort if you’re looking for a good value 4-star hotel in Lamai.

Situated on the northern end of the beach’ action, you’ll have access to plenty of restaurant options while still being away from some of the noise.

Choose between garden view or sea view, and then hop between the pool and the beach.

Check prices and availability at Samui Jasmine Resort (adlink).

Samui Jasmine Resort in Koh Samui
Sunset by the pool at Samui Jasmine Resort. ©Samui Jasmine Resort (adlink)

Samui Sense Beach Resort

For staying centrally in Lamai by the beach on a budget, Samui Sense Beach Resort is a great choice.

With free wifi, a private bathroom and air conditioning you have your bases covered.

Choose between lounging by the pool or on the beach – and then use the money you’ve saved on accommodation at Lamai’s many restaurants or by getting a relaxing massage.

Check prices and availability at Samui Sense Beach Resort (adlink).

Samui Sense Resort
A cheap, clean room is what you’ll get at Samui Sense Resort. ©Samui Sense Resort (adlink)

Where to stay at Silver Beach

Between the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai, you’ll find this little gem surrounded by large rocks.

Silver Beach, or Crystal Bay as it’s called as well, has pure white sand and clear water.

It probably had the prettiest, most saturated turquoise water of all the beaches we visited in Koh Samui. A real treat for beach lovers.

Here you can avoid most crowds while still being just a short drive away from the many options of Lamai or Chaweng.

Silver Beach
Silver Beach really impressed us!

Who should stay at Silver Beach?

Beach lovers who value privacy will love it here.

Families with small children wanting a quiet and peaceful vacation will find this beach great too.

Search for the best value accommodation near Silver Beach here (adlink).

Crystal Bay Yacht Club

Nestled behind the rocks on Silver Beach’ south end, Crystal Bay Yacht Club holds amazing views over the bay.

There’s a pool, the rooms look very nice and according to our research, this is the best value accommodation on Silver Beach.

Check prices and availability at Crystal Bay Yacht Club (adlink).

Crystal Bay Yacht Club in Koh Samui
What a pretty view from Crystal Bay Yacht Club on Silver Beach. ©Crystal Bay Yacht Club (adlink)

Where to stay in Bophut

Bophut town is a fishing village by the beach and it’s a bit more authentic than other towns in Koh Samui.

Fisherman’s Village is the historic area of Bophut and it’s home to a bunch of eateries, tourist shops, galleries and accommodation in rustic-style buildings.

On Friday evenings, there’s a huge night market called Elephant Walk on the walking street between the Fisherman’s Village and The Wharf Samui.

Bophut Beach is a quiet beach with a calm atmosphere, although it’s not one of the most isolated beaches.

The stretch of sand is wide and the western part is a good swimming beach with an up-market feeling.

In the east, the sand and water aren’t as good, but it’s a better option if you want to stay close to Fisherman’s Village.

Staying at an Airbnb near Bophut Beach

While staying in Koh Samui, we actually lived very close to Bophut area for some time and we really liked being close to Fisherman’s Village with its many dining options.

We found a lovely little house on Airbnb with our own kitchen and two small swimming pools shared with five other houses.

The western part of Bophut Beach
The western part of Bophut Beach.

Who should stay in Bophut?

Bophut is a perfect area for families.

The area is not too busy and noisy but definitely not boring or quiet either.

Children of all ages will probably enjoy playing on the beach, walking around Fisherman’s Village and exploring the weekly night market.

Couples searching for a calm place to stay with different food options in walking distance will like it here as well.

Search for the best value accommodation near Bophut here (adlink).

Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort

For a perfect holiday on Bophut, look no further than Anantara.

At an international 5-star standard, the resort caters to couples looking for privacy and romance with its boutique take on Thai decor.

The highest level of service and amazing facilities are guaranteed.

Anantara is in walking distance to the shops and restaurants of Fisherman’s Village but just west of the walking street.

Check prices and availability at Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort (adlink).

Anantara Bophut Samui
The pool area at Anantara Bophut Resort overlooking the beach. ©Anantara Bophut Resort (adlink)

Bandara Resort & Spa

Like most hotels and resorts in Thailand, you get a lot for your money’s worth at Bandara Resort & Spa.

Direct beach access, clean and spacious rooms, gym, spa, swimming pools (in plural) and a huge breakfast all make Bandara a 4-star resort worth considering if you want to stay comfortably in Bophut.

Check prices and availability at Bandara Resort & Spa (adlink).

Bandara Samui
Bandara Resort in Bophut in Koh Samui. ©Bandara Resort (adlink)

The White Cottage

Staying in one of The White Cottage’s 11 bungalows is a good budget option in Bophut.

Each bungalow features a private bathroom, air conditioning and free wifi. The family bungalow sleeping up to four people looks like it’s outstanding value.

There’s a bit of a walk to the main action of Bophut, but this part of town also houses great local thai restaurants, the usual 7-Elevens and Family Marts, basic shops and massage places.

Check prices and availability at The White Cottage (adlink).

White Cottage pool in Koh Samui
The pool isn’t huge at The White Cottage, but you will only share it with up to 10 other bungalows. ©The White Cottage (adlink)

Where to stay at Maenam Beach

Maenam is a really long beach on the north side of Koh Samui.

Most of the development is on the eastern part. The western half is a lot more secluded and only features scattered resorts and restaurants.

For better or for worse, there isn’t much to do here.

Beach vendors are few and far between, just like other people in general, and compared to the rest of the beaches of Koh Samui, Maenam Beach is very quiet.

You won’t have any problems finding your own spot in the shade of the gently swaying palm trees.

The street leading down to the beach has charming wooden Chinese shop houses built side by side with lots of cafés, restaurants and shops.

Maenam Beach at dusk looking towards the east
Maenam Beach at dusk looking towards the east.

Who should stay at Maenam Beach?

Maenam has both budget and luxury accommodations.

Backpackers looking for cheap bungalows and eateries will like it here, and couples longing for a romantic place to listen to the sound of the waves will enjoy the high-end luxury resorts.

Several of the hotels on the beach are for adults only.

Search for the best value accommodation near Maenam Beach here (adlink).


For a luxurious stay right on Maenam Beach, Santiburi is sure to meet your vacation needs.

With a jogging track, tennis courts, soccer, Muay Thai lessons and more, you won’t get bored – and for relaxing, your biggest problem will be choosing between the pools or the beach.

Check prices and availability at Santiburi (adlink).

Santiburi drone in Koh Samui
The beach at Santiburi. Inviting, isn’t it? ©Santiburi (adlink)

Four Seasons Resort

The Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui isn’t technically on Maenam Beach but rather on their own private tip on the northwestern corner of the island.

It’s expensive, there’s no way around it, but if you want the top resort in Koh Samui, this is it.

Four Seasons Samui is about as good as a romantic getaway can get.

Check prices and availability at Four Seasons Resort (adlink).

Four Seasons Samui
The arresting view from Four Seasons Samui. ©Four Seasons Samui (adlink)

Sensimar Resort and Spa (adult only)

With most of the rooms featuring plunge poolsprivate balconies and/or jacuzzis, a splendid private experience is all but guaranteed at Sensimar.

The design is rather minimalistic and unobtrusive, making room for romance and relaxation.

Check prices and availability at Sensimar Resort and Spa (adlink).

Sensimar Samui
Enjoy chilling out at Sensimar Resort and Spa without any kids running around. ©Sensimar Resort and Spa (adlink)

Where to stay at Choeng Mon Beach

Choeng Mon Beach at the northeastern tip of Koh Samui feels like a secluded hideaway far from the hustle and bustle.

The public access to the beach is limited so it’s mainly frequented by holidaymakers staying at the resorts.

There are few restaurants at the beach but it’s only a 15-minute drive away to the many restaurants in Chaweng.

Choeng Mon Beach
Choeng Mon Beach in Koh Samui’s northeast.

Who should stay at Choeng Mon Beach?

The beach is popular with couples and families who like the undisturbed vibe.

The water is suitable for swimming and the sand is fine and white.

Both accommodation and dining options are more pricey here than on the rest of the island.

Search for the best value accommodation near Choeng Mon Beach here (adlink).

Cape Fahn Hotel Samui

Cape Fahn is simply too stunning to miss.

Situated on a private island (!) accessible from land at low tide from Choeng Mon, the 22 villas all have mesmerizing views over the ocean and a truly unique location in Koh Samui.

Check prices and availability at Cape Fahn Hotel Samui (adlink).

Cape Fahn in Koh Samui
The private island of Cape Fahn just outside Choeng Mon Beach. ©Cape Fahn Hotel Samui (adlink)

P.S. Thana Resort

At a fair price, you get a spacious villa at P.S. Thana Resort right on Choeng Mon beach with access to the pool area, lush surroundings and breakfast with sea views.

Each villa has a bathtub as well as free wifi and air conditioning.

Check prices and availability at P.S. Thana Resort (adlink).

P.S. Thana Resort's pool area in Koh Samui
P.S. Thana Resort’s pool area. ©P.S. Thana Resort (adlink)

The Tongsai Bay

Long standing champ of green accommodation in Koh Samui, The Tongsai Bay is renowned for its eco-friendliness and relaxing environment.

Where to start… Leftover food is donated to an animal shelter, pesticide use is non-existent, there’s a ton of wildlife on the premises, no trees have been cut building the resort, there’s an organic garden…

All in all, The Tongsai Bay is a great choice if you want to minimize your planetary footprint while visiting Koh Samui.

And of course actually staying here looks wonderful. The rooms are beautiful, as are the pool and beach, and there’s a huge array of great activities for enjoying your holidays (guilt-free!)

The Tongsai Bay is located just north of Choeng Mon Beach.

Check prices and availability at The Tongsai Bay (adlink).

Tongsai Bay in Koh Samui
The Tongsai Bay is equal parts gorgeous and eco-friendly. ©The Tongsai Bay (adlink)

Where to stay at Lipa Noi Beach

On the west coast of the island, you can find a quiet place to stay on Lipa Noi Beach.

It’s definitely one of the island’s less visited beaches and here you’ll probably meet more dogs and local people than tourists.

The sunsets are amazing here.

Lipa Lodge's private beach
Lipa Lodge’s private beach.

Who should stay at Lipa Noi Beach?

Couples or families wanting to have their own quiet slice of paradise.

Restaurants and activities in the area are limited, but so are the number of people.

Search for the best value accommodation near Lipa Noi Beach here (adlink).

Lipa Lodge Beach Resort

We stayed at Lipa Lodge and thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful garden and private beach.

From the beautiful beachfront room, we could admire the ocean from sunrise to sunset and fall asleep to the sound of the calming waves.

You can see lots of pictures and read more about Lipa Lodge Beach Resort in our review or you can check prices and availability here (adlink).

A room with a spectacular view at Lipa Lodge in Koh Samui
A room with a spectacular view at Lipa Lodge (adlink).

Where to stay in Taling Ngam

Escape the clubs and bars by staying in the unspoilt southwest coast near Taling Ngam Beach.

The area is about as remote as you can get in Koh Samui.

The beach is pretty but rather narrow and it’s not the best place to swim as the water is quite shallow with rocks at the bottom.

Taling Ngam Beach
Jump in and enjoy the refreshingly clear waters at Taling Ngam Beach.

Who should stay at Taling Ngam?

Couples and families looking for a tranquil atmosphere without the need for a good swimming beach.

Search for the best value accommodation near Taling Ngam Beach here (adlink).

InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort

This 5-star luxury resort is built on a mountain overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Ocean vistas, none other than 7 swimming pools and romantic sunsets are just some of the many advantages of staying here.

The resort even has a 5-star kids’ club offering InterContinental’s signature blend of fun and games with traditional Thai culture for a unique experience.

It’s relatively close to the Elephant Gate, Wat Kiri Wong Karam and the most delicious smoothie bowls at the vegan café Futurehippie, but you’ll most likely have a difficult time pulling yourself away from the enchanting resort.

Check prices and availability at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort (adlink).

Intercontinental Resort in Koh Samui
Few places in Koh Samui are prettier to view the sunset from than Intercontinental Resort. ©Intercontinental Resort (adlink)

Yoga retreats in Koh Samui

Though nearby Koh Phangan’s fame is more exclusively attained from its huge array of yoga schools, Koh Samui also offers enough options of detoxing and stretching for a lifetime.

Though it is, of course, possible to sign up for single yoga classes or weekly memberships, the best value will usually be attending a dedicated yoga retreat or buying a package including accommodation.

For two good options, check out Vikasa between Chaweng and Lamai as well as Futurehippie in Taling Ngam.

Koh Samui palm trees
We hope you’ll enjoy your time in Koh Samui!
Thanks for reading

We hope you have an idea of where to stay in Koh Samui now and what will be the best place for you.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us anything. We’re glad to help.

Everything you need to know about the best places to stay on Koh Samui with specific recommendations + tips for a wonderful holiday.
Everything you need to know about the best places to stay on Koh Samui with specific recommendations + tips for a wonderful holiday.
Everything you need to know about the best places to stay on Koh Samui with specific recommendations + tips for a wonderful holiday.

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