Where to stay on Koh Samui

All of Thailand’s beautiful islands have something different to offer, whether it’s the party atmosphere of Koh Phangan or the laid-back hippy vibes of Koh Tao, but if you’re not planning on heading to a Full Moon Party or experimenting with dreadlocks, we think Koh Samui is the perfect island for an idyllic Thailand holiday.

Lying in the Gulf of Thailand, Samui offers some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and pristine beaches. One of the largest islands, there’s plenty to explore here including temples such as the famous Big Buddha, waterfalls and bustling markets. What’s more, Koh Sam boasts a great range of fantastic hotels and resorts to choose from. Personal travel expert, Iain visited Koh Samui with Kuoni last year to give you the lowdown on the best places to stay on this paradise island.

Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort

With a great location at the end of Chaweng Beach, this lovely and peaceful hotel is still just a five-minute taxi ride or fifteen-minute walk from the resort centre, where there’s a wide choice of shops and restaurants. The main infinity pool overlooks the hotel’s great beach, where you can relax on a sun lounger or take one of the hotel’s kayaks or paddleboards out for a spin in the water! Iain loved taking part in the hotel’s cookery class, where the group cooked their own three-course dinner. If you don’t fancy making your own tea on holiday, make sure you book in at the Treetops restaurant at least once during your stay for à la carte dining and wine pairing seated among the treetops! To really nurture your inner child, opt for a deluxe plunge pool room and take full advantage of the swing that hangs over your private pool.

The Tongsai Bay

This intimate property is comprised of cottages and suites built into the hillside above a beautiful beach. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, opt for the McGuigan Cottage (named after former guests who used to stay for months at a time) which has a large deck and infinity pool overlooking the beach – no wonder the McGuigans didn’t want to leave! For health-conscious travellers, there are free-to-use tennis courts on resort and a yoga studio offering complimentary classes twice weekly. Those trying to reduce their environmental impact will like the hotel’s policy on single plastics, Iain was particularly impressed by the straws made from lemon grass. For a fun activity try the hotel’s fruit carving lesson, you see these beautiful fruit carvings everywhere in Thailand and Iain thoroughly enjoyed having a go himself during his visit.

Cape Fanh Hotel

If you’re really pushing the boat out for a honeymoon, landmark birthday or special anniversary, this resort could well be the choice for you. A member of the Exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, Cape Fanh is located on a small private island, which can be reached by a small boat when the tide is high. Pool villas decked out in varying degrees of luxury are dotted around the island and the hotel’s main restaurant is located at the highest point of the island (with a buggy to take you there!) boasting incredible views out over the ocean. Excellent food is also served at the poolside restaurant and the island even has its own library for unimpeded peace and quiet! Don’t worry about getting cabin fever on the island, a transfer service to the main island operates 24-seven.

Rocky’s Boutique Resort

This friendly resort is incredibly popular with guests, with many returning here for a second holiday. Exclusive to Kuoni in the UK, it has a real authentic charm with rooms spaced out around the gardens and decorated in a traditional Thai style. The resort benefits from three or four small beaches (depending on the tide) plus two spacious pools, each with a bar, and you can choose between fine dining and great show cooking at the hotel’s two restaurants. Make sure you don’t miss the complimentary cocktail party hosted by the hotel every Wednesday evening, and if you’re looking for a romantic treat, you can book the hotel’s boat for a private sunset cruise! Iain said he would happily come back to Rocky’s for his own holiday.

Iain’s Koh Samui Hot Tip

Make sure you check out the Fisherman’s Village, particularly on a Friday evening when it hosts a fantastic night market. Iain highly recommends finishing up your night with a drink on the beachfront at Con Tams bar, where you can listen to great music while watching a fire show on the beach.

To find out more about any of the properties Iain visited, give him a call on 0191 285 9321 or send an email to

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