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1st Time in Samui: Where Should I Stay?

Where Should I Book My Hotel in Samui?

It can be daunting to plan your first trip to Koh Samui, with so much information to absorb before you can make an informed decision on where to stay. Get it right and you’ll find a beach which perfectly suits you, with everything you want right on your doorstep. Get it wrong and it could spell disaster for your hard-earned holiday. Just imagine coming to Koh Samui for the nightlife and finding that the only thing alive at night around your hotel is the wildlife!

Each of the beaches and towns of Koh Samui offer something different, whether it’s a hedonistic party atmosphere, peaceful isolation, plenty of activities, a traditional feel or just a big stretch of sand to relax on. This page is your gateway to all the detailed and up-to-date information you will need to narrow down your research to the area that’s right for you.

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Should I book my hotel in Chaweng?

How to decide

In the northeast corner of the island and close to the airport, Chaweng Beach is the biggest and most lively resort town on Koh Samui. Best known for its nightlife, it is the place to go to party, though it is also home to the island’s biggest shopping complex and a fantastic range of hotels, activities, attractions and restaurants. The beach itself is most people’s idea of paradise, with nodding palm trees surrounding the numerous resorts which are placed right by the sand while fine white sand leads into a beautifully clear sea.

Overview:
Beach:
 
Nightlife:
 
Thing to Do:
 
Calmness:
 
Who is it For:
  • People who love to party
  • People who like a busy and lively beach
  • People who want everything in one place
  • Couples and young travellers
 
What's Good:
  • Massive choice of nightlife, dining and shopping options
  • Wide range of hotel prices
  • Many hotels right on the beach
  • Convenient for the airport
What's not so good:
  • Gets crowded in high season
  • The centre of town is noisy well into the early hour of the morning

You like Chaweng? Now pick the right hotel!

  • Top 10 Chaweng Hotels

    10 Best Hotels in Chaweng

    Located on the eastern coast of the island, Chaweng hosts its longest beach, and just like Patong in Phuket, is the Read More»

  • 10 Best Beach Resorts in Chaweng

    This list of the 10 Best Beach Resorts in Chaweng will help you find the right place for your trip. Compiled from Read More»

  • Chaweng Beach Hotels

    All Chaweng Beach Hotels

    Accommodation ranges from bungalows to the five star opulence of Poppies Samui and the Centara Samui. Read More»

Executive Pool Villa by Baan Haad Ngam

With a stay at Executive Pool Villa by Baan Haad Ngam in Koh Samui, you'll be on the beach and minutes from Phetch Buncha Thai Read More...

Bhundhari Koh Samui

With a stay at Bhundhari Koh Samui in Koh Samui, you'll be near the beach and convenient to Samui Crocodile Farm and Big Buddha Read More...

Buri Rasa Village

Buri Rasa Village provides a stylish residential choice, right in the centre of the most popular and most frequented resort town Read More...

Should I book my hotel in Lamai?

How to decide

This eastern resort town, south of Chaweng Beach, has a similar sort of vibe to its northerly neighbour, but on a smaller scale. Like in Chaweng, nightlife is still a major attraction and there are plenty of great dining, entertainment and accommodation options. The older of Koh Samui’s more popular destinations, it has a cheap and cheerful atmosphere and some truly unique attractions. While much of the island is evolving to target high-end, big-spending tourists – and this process is no less evident in Lamai Beach, with the appearance of some great spas – Lamai’s age and popularity means that there are many bargains still to be found.

Overview:
Beach:
 
Nightlife:
 
Thing to Do:
 
Calmness:
 
Who is it For:
  • Budget-conscious holidaymakers
  • Families
  • People who like a good but not hectic nightlife
 
What's Good:
  • Plenty of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options
  • Good range of hotel prices
What's not so good:
  • Crowded with day trippers from 11:00 – 15:30
  • Not many traditional Thai touches
  • Access to the beach can be difficult if you do not stay in a beach hotel
  • Traffic is intense at rush hours

You like Lamai? Now pick the right hotel!

  • Top 10 Lamai Hotels

    10 Best Hotels in Lamai

    Lamai is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Koh Samui. Vibrant, yet less hectic than its northern neighbour Read More»

  • 10 Best Beach Resorts in Lamai

    This list of the 10 Best Beach Resorts in Lamai will help you find the right place for your trip. Compiled from Read More»

  • Lamai Beach Hotels

    Lamai is the second-most busy nightspot on Samui and is a fun place to be as it is slightly more laid back and chilled Read More»

Rocky's Boutique Resort

Rockys Boutique Resort is a secluded and private boutique resort offering bungalows and villas for accommodation.It is located at Read More...

Beluga Boutique Hotel

Located in Koh Samui, Beluga Boutique Hotel is on the Strip, minutes from Hin Ta and Hin Yai, and close to Wat Sila Ngu.Free self Read More...

Ammatara Pura Pool Villas

Ammatara Pura Pool Villas is set 20km south from Samui Airport right on the beautiful beach of Lamai, one of the most renowned Read More...

Should I book my hotel in Bophut?

How to decide

An interesting meeting point between old and new, the Fisherman’s Village of this north-coast resort destination proudly displays the heritage of Koh Samui. The old wooden Thai-Chinese shop-houses are intermingled with modern conveniences, such as several beautiful modern resorts right on the stunning two-kilometre-long beach, boutique shops, chic and retro restaurants, and a small selection of fun activities and attractions. As a counterpoint to the hedonistic nightlife of Chaweng Beach, there has been a very successful effort to keep Bophut more traditional, making it a much more family-friendly destination.

Overview:
Beach:
 
Nightlife:
 
Thing to Do:
 
Calmness:
 
Who is it For:
  • People who want a compromise between 'too busy' and 'too quiet
  • People looking for a village community feel
  • Families
  • Wealthy travellers looking for a sophisticated destination
 
What's Good:
  • Good choice of nightlife, dining and shopping options
  • Wide range of hotel prices
  • Plenty of dining choices overlooking the beach
What's not so good:
  • Pretty quiet at night
  • The water can be quite murky, particularly around December

You like Bophut? Now pick the right hotel!

  • Top 10 Bophut Hotels

    10 Best Hotels in Bophut

    From two-star small guesthouses to five-star luxurious resorts, there's something for everyone in Bophut. Please check Read More»

  • 10 Best Beach Resorts in Bophut

    This list of the 10 Best Beach Resorts in Bophut will help you find the right place for your trip. Compiled from Read More»

  • Bophut Beach Hotels

    Bophut Beach Hotels

    Accommodation is limited in Fisherman's Village itself. At the western end, beyond Fisherman's Village, the area is Read More»

Peace Resort

Peace Resort is a four-star resort located beachfront at Bophut Beach in the island of Ko Samui, Thailand.Bophut is a relaxed Read More...

Bandara Resort & Spa

Bandara Resort and Spa is a modern four-star accommodation located at Bophut, in Samui, Thailand.Strong with the island Read More...

ibis Samui Bophut

ibis Samui Bophut comes with ibis standards and is located in a peaceful location along Bophut beachfront with local modern Read More...

Should I book my hotel in Maenam?

How to decide

Looking out towards Koh Phangan, Maenam Beach is popular with backpackers and offers everything that you would expect of such a title – budget shopping, fun activities and its fair share of rough-and-ready restaurants, along with a good selection of low-cost accommodation right on the beach. However, the other end of the spectrum is also very well catered for, with high-quality and very private five-star resorts, fine dining options and a quiet, sophisticated nightlife. Either way, Maenam Beach is a great place to go to relax and take it easy on a pleasant beach.

Overview:
Beach:
 
Nightlife:
 
Thing to Do:
 
Calmness:
 
Who is it For:
  • Couples
  • People who want to get away from it all
  • Beach lovers
  • People who like staying in very exclusive resorts
 
What's Good:
  • A choice of budget and high-end hotels
  • A modest selection of fun activities (kite-surfing, football-golfing, and more)
What's not so good:
  • The water is not typically clear and there is a moderate drift
  • Very quiet after dark

You like Maenam? Now pick the right hotel!

  • Top 10 Maenam Hotels

    10 Best Hotels in Maenam

    Most of the best hotels in Maenam share an enviable location right on the 4.5km strip of sand facing Koh Phangan on the Read More»

  • 10 Best Beach Resorts in Maenam

    This list of the 10 Best Beach Resorts in Maenam will help you find the right place for your trip. Compiled from Read More»

  • Maenam Beach Hotels

    Samui’s last backpacker enclave, Maenam Beach offers affordable accommodation dotted along the beach with excellent Read More»

W Koh Samui

W Retreat Koh Samui enjoys a superb location right on the seafront between Maenam and Bophut beaches on Koh Samui north coast.The Read More...

Coco Palm Beach Resort

Cocopalm Beach Resort is at the western end of Maenam Beach (also known as the last predominantly backpacker beach of Samui), on Read More...

Escape Beach Resort

When you stay at Escape Beach Resort in Koh Samui, you'll be by the sea and close to Bo Phut Beach and Big Buddha Statue.Featured Read More...

Should I book my hotel in Big Buddha?

How to decide

This north-eastern beach has only recently gained popularity, with most of the clientele being budget travellers and backpackers. It is conveniently situated, being close both to the Koh Samui Airport and the ferry to Had Rin on Koh Phangan. It is also home to several cultural attractions, including the titular Big Buddha. The accommodation options are mostly in the budget to mid-range categories, which increasingly attract families and tour groups. It is a popular destination with people who want the option of enjoying the nightlife of Chaweng Beach or the unique shopping options of Fisherman’s Village, but want to stay somewhere quiet and relaxing.

Overview:
Beach:
 
Nightlife:
 
Thing to Do:
 
Calmness:
 
Who is it For:
  • Backpackers
  • Families
  • People who like a good but not hectic nightlife
  • People who want a compromise between 'too busy' and 'too quiet’
  • Budget-conscious travellers
 
What's Good:
  • The beach is very clean and the water is amongst the clearest in Samui
  • The nightlife is modest, but mostly wholesome and family-friendly
  • Convenient for the airport and for the ferry to Koh Phangan
What's not so good:
  • Some parts of the beach are not good for swimming due to rocks and corals
  • Traffic is intense at rush hour

You like Big Buddha? Now pick the right hotel!

  • Big Buddha Beach Hotels

    Big Buddha Beach Hotels

    Hotels and resorts at the best rates, from five-star resorts to budget accommodation like Ban Sabai Read More»

  • Big Buddha Beach

    Big Buddha Beach

    Big Buddha benefits from its proximity to the airport and Chaweng Beach. It's one of the most convenient Read More»

  • Hotels People Like Best in Big Buddha

    See the Hotels People Like Best in Big Buddha

    See the hotels people loved most in Big Buddha after their stay. We have arranged them by guest ratings, so you can see Read More»

Tango Luxe Beach Villa

Tango Luxe Beach Villa Samui is a modern collection of pool villas located at Samuis nort-east coast, Plai Laem, along Choeng Mon Read More...

The Nest Samui

The Nest Samui is a small inn that is capable of providing an incredibly luxurious stay in a very popular location.The Nest Samui, Read More...

Prana Resort Samui

Step into Prana Nandana Resort, and immediately the world melts away leaving only a deep sense of relaxation and ease.Here, our Read More...

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