Where to Stay in Koh Samui (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

Our EPIC guide features where to stay in Koh Samui for every type of budget! Includes top hotels, hostels, & things to do!

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Koh Samui is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand and popular for its beautiful beaches and the 12-meter tall gold Buddha at the Wat Phra Yi temple.

However, Koh Samui also gets very busy and figuring out where to stay in Koh Samui can be a difficult task.

This is exactly the reason why I have decided to create this guide on where to stay in Koh Samui. Planning your next holiday should be a fun thing to do!

After reading this guide, YOU will know everything about where to stay in Koh Samui and will know exactly which area to choose to fit your style and your budget.

Without further ado, let’s begin. Here my guide on where to stay in Koh Samui.

 

Quick Answers – Where To Stay In Koh Samui

  • Where to stay in Koh Samui your first time – Choeng Mon
  • Where to stay in Koh Samui on a budget – Lamai
  • Best area to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife – Chaweng
  • Coolest place to stay in Koh Samui – Mae Nam
  • Best neighbourhood to stay in Koh Samui for families – Bophut

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

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Choeng Mon
Choeng Mon is a stretch of beach located on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui. It is close enough to the airport to be convenient, but far enough from it to not be disturbed by the planes coming in and out.
Places to Visit:
  • Get some quiet time at the beach
  • Enjoy some fine Thai food with your feet in the sand
  • Watch a stunning sunset over the Gulf of Thailand

 

Where To Stay In Koh Samui

 

Best Hostel in Koh Samui – Chill Inn Beach Cafe and Hostel

The Chill Inn Beach Cafe and Hostel is located close to Lamai beach in Koh Samui. It boasts a friendly atmosphere while offering single bunk beds in mixed dormitory rooms. Each guest gets access to a private locker and a shared bathroom with hot showers. A free wifi connection is also available in the hostel.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Koh Samui!

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Best Budget Hotel in Koh Samui – Samui Zenity Hotel

The Samui Zenity Hotel is located close to Mae Nam beach, with a free shuttle available from the hotel to the beach. The hotel also offers scooter rentals for those who wish to be more independent. The rooms are spacious and have a terrace with access to the common swimming pool.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Koh Samui – Escape Beach Resort

The Escape Beach Resort is located right on the beachfront in Mae Nam, in Koh Samui. The resort has an outdoor swimming pool with a bar overlooking the sea, as well as a restaurant serving Thai and international dishes. The rooms are located both on the main building and in private bungalows and have a private bathroom and air conditioning.

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Koh Samui Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Koh Samui

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Choeng Mon

  • Choeng Mon is a stretch of beach located on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui. It is close enough to the airport to be convenient, but far enough from it to not be disturbed by the planes coming in and out.
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Lamai

  • Lamai is a neighbourhood of Koh Samui well-known for its nightlife and its laid back vibes. It is, however, smaller than its northernly neighbour Chaweng Beach and, as a consequence, cheaper. As such, it is the perfect place for backpackers to stay in Koh Samui!
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Chaweng

  • Chaweng is the most lively neighbourhood in Koh Samui and could be treated as a “capital” of the island. There, expect to find plenty of beach bars and nightclubs, making it the best area to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife.
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Mae Nam

  • Mae Nam is a place where people come to take it easy and to have a relaxing beach holiday in a paradisiac setting. Backpackers love the area as it has numerous cheap accommodation choices.
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Bophut

  • Bophut boasts a more traditional feel in Koh Samui. It used to be an old fisherman’s village, with traditional shops and houses. Today, however, the area has developed a much more touristy feel but still remains different from other beach towns in Koh Samui.
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Koh Samui is an island nested in the Gulf of Thailand and is a very popular beach getaway for visitors. Within the island, expect to find lush jungle and the famous 12-meter tall gold Buddha around Bophut.

The busiest area in Koh Samui is without a doubt Chaweng, a long stretch of sand located in the northeast of the island. If you are after vibrant nightlife, Chaweng is the place to be as it is filled with beach bars and clubs.

Although the scale of things is a bit smaller, the area around Lamai beach is also great if you are looking for good nightlife and a nice beach to laze around during the day. Lamai also tends to be a bit cheaper than Chaweng and is, therefore, a great choice for budget travellers.

Bophut, in the northeast of the island, offers a more relaxed and authentic place to stay in, and is our top choice for families in Koh Samui. It is less crowded than Chaweng and Lamai and has a great night market where you can get traditional items to bring back home. Bophut is also where the big gold Buddha is located. Make sure not to miss it!

Great beaches can be found in Choeng Mon, which is also located quite close to the airport. There, expect to find pristine beaches and turquoise waters, in other words, the perfect Thai island postcard!

At this point, you may still wonder where to stay in Koh Samui. Do not panic and check out our detailed breakdown below!

 

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5 Best Neighbourhoods To Stay In Koh Samui

Let’s take a more detailed look at the 5 best neighbourhoods to stay in Koh Samui. There is something for every taste and budget!

 

#1 Choeng Mon – Where to stay in Koh Samui your first time

Choeng Mon is a stretch of beach located on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui. It is close enough to the airport to be convenient, but far enough from it to not be disturbed by the planes coming in and out.

Choeng Mon is more secluded and quiet than other beaches can be in Koh Samui, and is as such perfect for couples who are looking for a relaxing time, or people who do not want music blasting around all night.

In Choeng Mon, you will enjoy spending your days lazing in the sun, with the occasional splash in the pristine water to refresh yourself. When the time comes for food, indulge in some fresh seafood directly from the fishermen around, or choose some fine Thai dining you can enjoy with your feet directly in the sand.

Choeng Mon is also a great place to catch the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand, the perfect romantic view for couples coming around there!

Choeng Mon, Koh Samui

 

Things to see and do in Choeng Mon

 – Get some quiet time at the beach

 – Enjoy some fine Thai food with your feet in the sand

 – Watch a stunning sunset over the Gulf of Thailand

 

Best Hostel in Choeng Mon – Samui Backpacker Hotel

The Samui Backpacker Hotel is located very close to Choeng Mon, in Bangrak. It offers twin private rooms with an ensuite bathroom, as well as bunk beds in mixed dormitory rooms. All rooms are air conditioned and guests have access to showers with hot water. An outdoor swimming pool is also available.

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Best Budget Hotel in Choeng Mon – Samui Makkala Resort

The Samui Makkala Resort is located a 5-minute walk away from the main beach in Choeng Mon. It offers nice and spacious rooms with wooden floors, air conditioning, a private bathroom with a bathtub and a flat screen TV with international channels. The resort boasts an outdoor pool and a restaurant serving Thai and Western food.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Choeng Mon – PS Thana Resort

The PS Thana Resort is located right on Choeng Mon beach and surrounded by lush gardens. It boasts an outdoor pool and a restaurant serving Thai and international dishes. The rooms are located in individual villas and are fitted with air conditioning, an ensuite bathroom with a bathtub and a coffee machine.

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#2 Lamai – Where to stay in Koh Samui on a budget

Lamai is a neighbourhood of Koh Samui well-known for its nightlife and its laid back vibes. It is, however, smaller than its northernly neighbour Chaweng Beach and, as a consequence, cheaper. As such, it is the perfect place for backpackers to stay in Koh Samui!

The nightlife around Lamai is lively, lovely but not too hectic. Beach bars light up at night but are not as noisy as the ones in Chaweng, making Lamai a better place for those who like a good time out without going all out.

For early risers, the morning time offers a stunning sunrise that can be watched from Lamai Beach. Trust me when I say it is worth sleeping a little bit less to see it!

At night, make sure not to miss the walking street market, where you will find all sorts of delicious local food for a bargain.

Lamai, Koh Samui

 

Things to see and do in Lamai

 – Get up early in the morning to watch the sunrise

 – Relax on the beach and enjoy the pristine waters of Lamai Beach

 – Get some local street food in the walking street market

 – Take the kids for a fun day out at Coco Splash

 

Best Hostel in Lamai – Chill Inn Beach Cafe and Hostel

The Chill Inn Beach Cafe and Hostel is located close to Lamai beach in Koh Samui. It boasts a friendly atmosphere while offering single bunk beds in mixed dormitory rooms. Each guest gets access to a private locker and a shared bathroom with hot showers. A free wifi connection is also available in the hostel.

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Best Budget Hotel in Lamai – Weekender Bungalow

Weekender Bungalow offers simple rooms in the main building as well as private bungalows in the garden. Each room features air conditioning, a garden view and a private bathroom. A free Wifi connection is provided for free all around the property and the Lamai night market is located within walking distance from the hotel.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Lamai – Am Samui Palace

Am Samui Palace is a resort located a mere 2-minute walk away from Lamai beach. It boasts a large outdoor swimming pool with a centre island, hot tubs and a children’s pool. The rooms are furnished in a modern Thai style and fitted with air conditioning, a patio, an ensuite bathroom and a flat screen TV with international channels.

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#3 Chaweng – Best area to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife

Chaweng is the most lively neighbourhood in Koh Samui and could be treated as a “capital” of the island. There, expect to find plenty of beach bars and nightclubs, making it the best area to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife. Some stay open until late every day of the week, and cheap drinks can always be found. As a consequence though, the area tends to be a bit noisier than other parts of the island.

During the day, plenty of beach activities are available. Of course, you can decide to spend the day just lying in the sun and get a decent tan before heading back home. If you are feeling more adventurous, try out some snorkelling in the clear tropical waters where lots of different fish, stingrays and even turtles can be seen.

For a bit more thrill, you can rent a jet ski or indulge in new activities such as flyboarding, which will propel you high up in the air above the water.

Chaweng, Koh Samui

 

Things to see and do in Chaweng

 – Go snorkelling in the clear blue waters

 – Rent a jet ski and go on a thrilling ride

 – Party the night away in one of the numerous beach clubs

 

Best Hostel in Chaweng – Liquid Lounge Hostel

The Liquid Lounge Hostel is one of the best rated in Koh Samui. It offers bunk beds in mixed dormitory bedrooms. All beds are fitted with a personal reading light, power socket, and guests each get access to a personal locker. Hot showers are shared between guests, and the bathrooms are clean.

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Best Budget Hotel in Chaweng – Timeless Guesthouse

Timeless Guesthouse offers simple but comfortable rooms in Chaweng. Each room is fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, a patio, and a tea and coffee maker. Guests can relax in the lush garden and enjoy Thai and Italian dishes from the in-house restaurant. Room service is also available.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Chaweng – Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort

The Samui Paradise Chaweng Beach Resort is located very close to the centre of Chaweng and all the action, but in a quiet side street that will allow you to have an actual restful sleep! The rooms are spacious and modern and fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, a patio and a flat screen TV.

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#4 Mae Nam – Coolest place to stay in Koh Samui

Mae Nam is a place where people come to take it easy and to have a relaxing beach holiday in a paradisiac setting. Backpackers love the area as it has numerous cheap accommodation choices. At the same time, wealthier beachgoers also flock to Mae Nam and its resorts tucked away from sight like nowhere else on the island.

Apart from the beach, plenty of activities are available in Mae Nam. Nature lovers can head to Canopy Adventures, where they will find adventure courses on top of the trees and plenty of zip lining fun to get back down to the ground.

Golfing courses are also located in the Mae Nam area. You can of course indulge into some regular golfing with awesome views over the jungle and the sea at the Santiburi Samui Country Club – which has been recognised as one of the best in Thailand -, but also try out disc golfing. The rules are similar to golf, except for the fact that you have to throw a frisbee at a target!

Mae Nam, Koh Samui

image source: Flickr

 

Things to see and do in Mae Nam

 – Try your hand at disc golf at the Samui Frisbee Golf

 – Zip line in the canopy of the lush rainforest at Canopy Adventures

 – Take a kitesurfing lesson

 

Best Hostel in Mae Nam – The Mud

The Mud is a recent hostel where rooms are located in several round shaped villas. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, a terrace and a bar. The hostel offers private rooms with an ensuite bathroom, as well as single beds in mixed dormitory rooms. Each dorm has its own bathroom and air conditioning.

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Best Budget Hotel in Mae Nam – Samui Zenity Hotel

The Samui Zenity Hotel is located close to Mae Nam beach, with a free shuttle available from the hotel to the beach. The hotel also offers scooter rentals for those who wish to be more independent. The rooms are spacious and have a terrace with access to the common swimming pool.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Mae Nam – Escape Beach Resort

The Escape Beach Resort is located right on the beachfront in Mae Nam, in Koh Samui. The resort has an outdoor swimming pool with a bar overlooking the sea, as well as a restaurant serving Thai and international dishes. The rooms are located both on the main building and in private bungalows and have a private bathroom and air conditioning.

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#5 Bophut – Best neighbourhood to stay in Koh Samui for families

Bophut boasts a more traditional feel in Koh Samui. It used to be an old fisherman’s village, with traditional shops and houses. Today, however, the area has developed a much more touristy feel but still remains different from other beach towns in Koh Samui.

Fisherman Village is now a bustling night market, where you will love trying out some local street food, buy cheap clothing and get souvenirs for the whole family.

The Big Buddha is also located in the Bophut area. It is a 12-meter tall statue of Buddha made of gold, surrounded by a traditional temple built in the 1970s. The temple itself is actually located on a tiny island off the coast of the main Samui island.

In Bophut, take the kids for a fun day out at Samui Go-Kart, where the whole family can enjoy driving and speeding up along the track. For those who are a bit scared to go alone, double karts are also available.

Bophut, Koh Samui

 

Things to see and do in Bophut

 – Explore the night market in Fisherman Village

 – Visit the Samui Big Buddha, a 12-meter tall gold statue of Buddha

 – Take the kids go-karting at Samui Go-Kart

 

Best Hostel in Bophut – Samui Backpacker Hotel

The Samui Backpacker Hotel is located very close to Bophut, in Bangrak. It offers twin private rooms with an ensuite bathroom, as well as bunk beds in mixed dormitory rooms. All rooms are air conditioned and guests have access to showers with hot water. An outdoor swimming pool is also available.

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Best Budget Hotel in Bophut – Samui Family

Samui Family offers nice rooms with a pool or garden view close to Fisherman’s Village in Bophut. Each room features air conditioning and a private bathroom, and the hotel offers a free Wifi connection. Guests can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and a sun terrace. Room service is also available on request.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Bophut – Smile House Bophut

Smile House Bophut is a nice beachfront resort in Fisherman’s Village in Bophut. The hotel offers rooms in the main building as well as individual villas nestled in the lush garden. Each room is fitted with air conditioning and a private bathroom, and some rooms also have a balcony or a patio.

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Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Koh Samui…

Koh Samui truly is the perfect beach getaway in Thailand and caters to all sorts of crowds, from backpackers to families to those looking for luxurious resorts.

As a budget traveller, my favourite neighbourhood to stay in Koh Samui is Lamai, as it provides nice cheap hotel options while being a lively area. Still, it is not too noisy and you can get some actual sleep at night!

My top hotel recommendation in Koh Samui is Escape Beach Resort. Located in Mae Nam, it offers comfy rooms right on the beach, with great amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool.

For backpackers, I can recommend the Chill Inn Beach Cafe and Hostel in Lamai. It offers clean and comfortable beds and rooms for a dirt cheap price!

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments!

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