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  • No Longer Entitled 122 posts

    Does anyone have any recommendations for nice Ko Samui hotels? We are a family of four so would likely need two rooms.

    This is the beach holiday part of a multi-stop summer SE trip so ideally we are looking for a place to relax in nice surrounds but not so remote that we are locked into eating every meal on-site. This would be a cash booking so I’m keen to experience life outside of our Hilton points balance. It needn’t be cheap per se, but value is key. Bang for buck is what I am chasing.

    Roberto 301 posts

    Stayed at Sareeraya Villas & Suites four years back it’s on Charweng Beach , booked via hotels.com for a lot less than I would have thought. Near enough to wander into town , nice beach – not too stuffy but well run and comfy with plenty of space.

    u07ch 77 posts

    Intercontinental and Conrad have distant locations but awesome cliff rooms with fantastic views. Conrad > IC; though I like the clifftop bar at the IC.

    Renting a car on KS is reasonable and the roads are fine/ traffic outside the airport area is mostly quiet – its not Bali. Driving for dinner isnt a difficult.

    If you want to go outside Hilton points. Six senses and Ritz Carlton are probably places to stay along with Conrad. You could mix a stay on east/ west coasts. If you want luxury and dining choices Ritz, Kimpton and six senses are all close to each other on east coast side; though six senses faces the right way for sunset.

    Gavin454 174 posts

    I stayed at the new IHG Holiday Inn Resort at Fisherman’s Village on Koh Samui in December. I thought it was great value. It’s not super luxury but it’s very new and clean, much better than I expected from a “Holiday Inn” branded hotel. There is a night market on the road next to it some nights each week (very foreign oriented – I don’t think any of the customers were locals! But it was cheap and mostly very tasty food). Plus other restaurants and bars etc nearby. The resort has a pretty big outdoor swimming pool, and the beach is only a few steps away outside the resort. There’s also a separate kids water park/play area. The resort is very family friendly, most people staying seemed to be families. It was cheaper to book by buying IHG points during the 100% sale at the time and then make a points booking.

    AJA 1,147 posts

    I stayed at the Hansar Samui Hotel on Bo Phut beach on the north of the island in 2019. It is far cheaper than the Anantara Hotel next door. Has a fantastic swimming pool and the beach is in front of the hotel across the public promenade which basically ends by the hotel and gives an easy walk to Fisherman’s Village so plenty of options for eating out. Has free car parking so good if you want to rent a car while there too (I didn’t). Great breakfast and ate dinner a couple of times too. Was very impressed. A Google search shows prices are currently £185 / night for a room ie for 2.

    No Longer Entitled 122 posts

    Some great recommendations, please keep them coming.

    Kids are 15 and 12 so whilst we would prefer connecting room, adjoining rooms are an acceptable compromise but detached villa type resorts such as Conrad are a step too far.

    yorkieflyer 259 posts

    In Koh Samui at Christmas stayed at the Intercontinental, lovely but isolated then the new Holiday inn resort at Bophut, nice new hotel but hotel very family orientated and not a great beach. We hired a car from Sixt and both drove, it was fine but watch the mopeds and dogs. I’d drive again there and I have driven in Bali and wouldn’t drive there again ever. I’d recommend Choeng Mon beach where the Meliá and Kimpton are plus other mid and lower independents. Great vibe off main road, great beach views and beach bars, Lost bar at one end fab

    Gary 298 posts

    Would recommend Sala Samui Chaweng- beautifully landscaped and great service. Nice it’s off the main bit of Chaweng but walkable to all the restaurants/markets/shopping malls if you want to venture out. They have family rooms.

    Go197 81 posts

    I live in Koh Samui.

    The Conrad and Intercontinental are too isolated for your needs. (I’m currently at Hilton Maldives Amingiri, which at 110k points per night is nowhere near as good as the Conrad Koh Samui at 95k)

    The Holiday Inn is exceptional value and great location for a first-time visit.

    Take a look at GHA Discovery – You can gain GHA Titanium by staying at 3 different brands, and on Samui there are 2 Anantara, 2 Avani, and a Nikki Beach (which is on the west coast so requires a car, and can be a bit party oriented). There is also a newly refurbished Outrigger near Lamai, which should be joining GHA. I don’t think it’s in yet, but when it is then any trip to Samui will be an easy GHA Titanium, which by the way is very much worth having.

    In Bonvoy, the Vana Belle is superb, the Sheraton is pants. The W is very nice but again perhaps a bit isolated (honestly most of the top-end hotels are away in corners of the island where you need a car to do anything else.)

    The Hyatt Regency is nice, but pricy and points value is out of whack – if you bought points in the latest promo you’d be paying an extra 60GBP for the base room compared to cash.

    For a bit more luxury without breaking the bank there are two great options at Melia and Kimpton Kitalay. Both are excellent rooms, excellent pools, excellent facilities, good beaches.

    Melia is walkable to some really great restaurants including “Mother”, which is superb, and the brand new Jumping Bean BBQ which is where I gained 10kg of weight in one afternoon…

    Kimpton Kitalay is a bit less walkable. It’s nice, but I probably wouldn’t recommend with kids that age.

    Regarding transport – Sixt, Avis and Budget are at the airport and have good rates around 20GBP per day if booked ahead. Do book ahead if you are traveling at peak period. Right now for example, with a peak of tourists and a massive influx of Russians, cars and scooters are like unicorns, and those that are available have doubled in price. (Same goes for housing by the way – what was mindblowingly cheap during covid is now breathtakingly expensive.

    Driving is relatively easy once you learn to go with the flow and understand that people only care what’s in front of them and do not ever look behind.

    If you get a car, as well as the Chaweng / Fisherman’s village areas (which are the priorities) spend some time in Bangrak (north coast where you’ll find the expats like me playing pool in the bars, and there are some lovely restaurants and cafes) and consider spending a night or two down south in Lamai.

    I know nothing about hotels in Lamai other than the new Outrigger which looks great (I haven’t stayed), but Lamai is a lovely place, more grown-up and relaxed than Chaweng, and nicely walkable.

    Bring a rain coat, and take cash if you don’t want to pay 250 baht (5GBP) each time at the ATMs.

    BJ 655 posts

    Does anyone have any recommendations for nice Ko Samui hotels? We are a family of four so would likely need two rooms.

    This is the beach holiday part of a multi-stop summer SE trip so ideally we are looking for a place to relax in nice surrounds but not so remote that we are locked into eating every meal on-site. This would be a cash booking so I’m keen to experience life outside of our Hilton points balance. It needn’t be cheap per se, but value is key. Bang for buck is what I am chasing.

    I don’t recomnend any hotel on Samui, I recommend going somewhere else!

    AJA 1,147 posts

    Does anyone have any recommendations for nice Ko Samui hotels? We are a family of four so would likely need two rooms.

    This is the beach holiday part of a multi-stop summer SE trip so ideally we are looking for a place to relax in nice surrounds but not so remote that we are locked into eating every meal on-site. This would be a cash booking so I’m keen to experience life outside of our Hilton points balance. It needn’t be cheap per se, but value is key. Bang for buck is what I am chasing.

    I don’t recomnend any hotel on Samui, I recommend going somewhere else!


    @BJ
    I’m interested to know where else you recommend in Thailand for a beach holiday.

    No Longer Entitled 122 posts

    Thanks again all.

    BJ 655 posts

    @AJA: Phuket for tourists who want to be around other tourists with a lot going on day and night. You can stay in the thick of it but get away from it all easily enoughowhen you want. For those who want to escape tourism and development Thailand still has thousands of km of undeveloped coastline to explore so it’s easy to hire a car and enjoy. I like Songkhla partly because it’s my partner’s family home but also because it is near a huge wetland called Thale Noi which is very peaceful abd stunning when flowers are in full bloom. For something in-between I recommend Krabi which is much quieter than Phuket but still has tourist vibe and stuff going on. Coastline and beaches are fantastic, and non touristy Thailand from towns, to coast, to forest and mountain are just a stones throw away.

    For clarity on Samui, I know many people love it and OP may have a great time there. I just don’t and don’t recommend it simply because there are IMO so many other options I think are much better and easier to get to/from. My partner love’s Samui and he’s Thai so despite my misgivings I am sometimes to be found there. On hotels on Samui and elsewhere in Thailand, I think many people on here are missing a trick when opting for chains. There are so many fantastic small guesthouses and resorts privately owned by both local families and expats. They can be very high quality, very clean and with a much nicer vibe than the generally much more expensive chain hotels and resorts. So my other recommendation is to save the chain points for more expensive countries with lower quality accommodations, and take the opportunity to spend cash and stay private, stay local in Thailand.

    BJ 655 posts

    Does anyone have any recommendations for nice Ko Samui hotels? We are a family of four so would likely need two rooms.

    This is the beach holiday part of a multi-stop summer SE trip so ideally we are looking for a place to relax in nice surrounds but not so remote that we are locked into eating every meal on-site. This would be a cash booking so I’m keen to experience life outside of our Hilton points balance. It needn’t be cheap per se, but value is key. Bang for buck is what I am chasing.

    I don’t recomnend any hotel on Samui, I recommend going somewhere else!



    @BJ
    I’m interested to know where else you recommend in Thailand for a beach holiday.

    Phuket for tourists who want to be around other tourists with a lot going on day and night. You can stay in the thick of it but get away from it all easily enoughowhen you want. For those who want to escape tourism and development Thailand still has thousands of km of undeveloped coastline to explore so it’s easy to hire a car and enjoy. I like Songkhla partly because it’s my partner’s family home but also because it is near a huge wetland called Thale Noi which is very peaceful abd stunning when flowers are in full bloom. For something in-between I recommend Krabi which is much quieter than Phuket but still has tourist vibe and stuff going on. Coastline and beaches are fantastic, and non touristy Thailand from towns, to coast, to forest and mountain are just a stones throw away.

    For clarity on Samui, I know many people love it and OP may have a great time there. I just don’t and don’t recommend it simply because there are IMO so many other options I think are much better and easier to get to/from. My partner love’s Samui and he’s Thai so despite my misgivings I am sometimes to be found there. On hotels on Samui and elsewhere in Thailand, I think many people on here are missing a trick when opting for chains. There are so many fantastic small guesthouses and resorts privately owned by both local families and expats. They can be very high quality, very clean and with a much nicer vibe than the generally much more expensive chain hotels and resorts. So my other recommendation is to save the chain points for more expensive countries with lower quality accommodations, and take the opportunity to spend cash and stay private, stay local in Thailand.

    yorkieflyer 259 posts

    Mmm Phuket is in my view dreadful, pricey and downmarket at the same time, partly as a result of the international airport and package tourists. Sadly, in my view Ao Nang (Krabi) which I first visited in 1997 is well on the way to ruination by uncontrolled mass tourism, an international airport again.
    Koh Samui on the other hand seems to have managed the tourist influx better than many destinations and whilst very touristy still has a nice vibe for holidaymakers if not travellers.
    An island like Phu Quoc is on the other hand a textbook example of how to destroy the very idyll that’s been advertised.
    I do agree about staying local where possible, done this many times Thailand and elsewhere.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    Mmm Phuket is in my view dreadful, pricey and downmarket at the same time, partly as a result of the international airport and package tourists. Sadly, in my view Ao Nang (Krabi) which I first visited in 1997 is well on the way to ruination by uncontrolled mass tourism, an international airport again.
    Koh Samui on the other hand seems to have managed the tourist influx better than many destinations and whilst very touristy still has a nice vibe for holidaymakers if not travellers.
    An island like Phu Quoc is on the other hand a textbook example of how to destroy the very idyll that’s been advertised.
    I do agree about staying local where possible, done this many times Thailand and elsewhere.

    Phuket and Krabi were middle class options and now are mass market with increasing affordability. The main beaches will be dreadful as you say, but you are missing BJ’s point that there are places to go around using them as a base.
    Koh Samui was once called the upper class equivalent of Maldives for the Asians due to the high cost and exclusivity. It hardly had any reasonable direct flights and this was not part of design – deliberately done by the monopolist airline / airport. No wonder it has managed influx better.

    Before covid, I visited Phi Phi and was shocked at the level of rubbish everywhere. I could hardly see the sand on Maya beach. Hope its better now.

    BJ 655 posts

    Mmm Phuket is in my view dreadful, pricey and downmarket at the same time, partly as a result of the international airport and package tourists. Sadly, in my view Ao Nang (Krabi) which I first visited in 1997 is well on the way to ruination by uncontrolled mass tourism, an international airport again.
    Koh Samui on the other hand seems to have managed the tourist influx better than many destinations and whilst very touristy still has a nice vibe for holidaymakers if not travellers.
    An island like Phu Quoc is on the other hand a textbook example of how to destroy the very idyll that’s been advertised.
    I do agree about staying local where possible, done this many times Thailand and elsewhere.

    The way you describe Phuket is the way I see Samui, only worse. At least in Phuket if you’re staying in Patong and want to get away from it you can, there are still some great beaches on Phuket that are largely empty most of the time, and you can get to the mainland too. On Samui though you are stuck, whole place is going same way. Sadly this is true of most popular islands, Lipe was an absolute gem but tourism ruined it too. There has been some environmental recovery around the popular places during the pandemic but no doubt this will be reversed as the crowds head back. The masses are going to continue to go the places where the infrastructure to support tourism is and this includes Samui. However for those who value a better experience best advice I can offer is hire a car and get away from the crowds on the mainland.

    memesweeper 1,321 posts

    I’d recommend Koh Jum, and in particular Koh Jum Beach Villas. Easily the best beachfront experience I’ve had in Thailand, or anywhere else in S E Asia.

    I was in Samui three decades ago, and I imagine I’d cry if I went back. But it’s probably delightful for a first time visitor.

    captaindave 113 posts

    I’d recommend Koh Jum, and in particular Koh Jum Beach Villas. Easily the best beachfront experience I’ve had in Thailand, or anywhere else in S E Asia.

    I was in Samui three decades ago, and I imagine I’d cry if I went back. But it’s probably delightful for a first time visitor.

    My boy lives and works in Bangkok, and he raves about koh Jum !

    I went to Samui back in 2016 and stayed at Centara Villas on the south coast, we liked it a lot and got a really good upgrade for some reason, but it is pretty isolated, although they did free buses to Chaweng & Lamai.

    Last time in Thailand, had a few nights on Koh Chang, mainly stayed local to our resort though so didnt see a fat lot of the island..

    BJ 655 posts

    Thanks @memesweeper for posting, looks good so may give it a try during next Xmas trip.

    Michael C 730 posts

    Koh Jum Beach Villas

    Remember the old airport that just sort of had outdoor seating with an awning over it?!

    Have to support @Bj in the island debate; despite having a nice time there, always felt
    that Samui had less to offer, whereas on Phuket, you can choose the experience.

    Also agree that there are some fabulous areas around Krabi.

    Had some nice times on Ko Samet way back when!

    AJA 1,147 posts

    Thanks @BJ. I did consider Phuket but disregarded it for the reasons listed by @yorkieflyer.

    BJ 655 posts

    @Michael, yeah way back then Samet Island was the place to go if you were in the know. Last few times I passed the pier the place was overflowing with cars and vans so I can only imagine how it is now. Not sure where your friends are but if you continue along the coast past Rayong there are sone fantastic beach restaurants. Usually vet quiet during tge week but a lot if Thais head down there on weekends.


    @AJA
    , much the same issues except Samui decidedly worse in these respects than Phuket IMO.

    Gary 298 posts

    Would appreciate some feedback on Melia Samui’s soft product. Particularly interested in its F&B offering including breakfast, service, and overall experience.

    Recently had 2-week stay at Kimpton Samui and everyone enjoyed themselves. Nice room, good facilities inc kids club (gym a bit small), grounds beautifully maintained, and service good but sporadic (means well type of service which we don’t mind); although the F&B could be better.

    Did make the Melia booking to try something different, but can change to Kimpton instead as very happy to return.

    Ps Whilst checking for videos of the Melia suite to get a feel, the only available was Katie Price doing a room tour when she stayed which was slightly unsettling.

    Gary 298 posts

    Would appreciate some feedback on Melia Samui’s soft product. Particularly interested in its F&B offering including breakfast, service, and overall experience.

    Recently had a stay at Kimpton Samui and everyone enjoyed themselves. Nice room, good facilities inc kids club (gym a bit small), grounds beautifully maintained, and service good but sporadic (means well type of service which we don’t mind); although the F&B could be better.

    Did make the Melia booking to try something different, but can change to Kimpton instead as very happy to return.

    Ps Whilst checking for videos of the Melia suite to get a feel, the only available was Katie Price doing a room tour when she stayed which was slightly unsettling.

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