Chaweng or Lamai? Often the first question asked by visitors to Koh Samui, but one only personal preference can answer. If you prefer something just that little more moderate than pulsating Chaweng, but without being deprived of nightlife, shopping and dining venues, Lamai Beach is the ideal in-between place to stay. The questions is where along the beach exactly. To help answer this question we offer a list of what believe to be the 11 best resorts in the area.
Flat, wide and shelving slowly area is safe for swimming and great for evening strolls. It stretches 4 km from north to south and the further north you go the more quiet it becomes. Great places to stay toward the quieter north include high-end resorts such as the romantic Le Meridien, Silavadee, and the ultra luxurious Banyan Tree which is located in its own exclusive cove. Although it needs to be said you are never more than a few minutes from entertainment.
If you prefer staying even closer to entertainment and nightlife venues you should head for the southern half of the beach where the hotels we prefer to recommend include places like Rocky's Boutique Resort with charming private coves and the affordable Thai Ayodhaya Villas. In the centre of Lamai resorts like Samui Sense, and Mercure Samui are hidden from crowds and noise, yet offer easy access to entertainment and quick escape to the tranquility of the north.
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Banyan Tree allows you to be unashamedly selfish. It is located within an intimate cove with a beach hotel guests need not share with any else. Its pool villas are secluded sanctuaries, most with peerless ocean views and some are even equipped with private spa facilities.
Situated in a quiet corner 3 km from the town centre, this award winning retreat is an independent fun zone. It has the coolest beach club with DJ's on the decks, seaside lounge areas, a pool next to the lapping waves, and hands down the swankiest accommodation.
Combining affordable accommodation with a central location near shops and entertainment, Lamai Wanta features open-air dining complimented with sea views, and a fabulous infinity edge oceanfront pool. Its rooms open to a furnished balcony fringed by tropical greenery.
With sea breezes wafting through ambient villas with four poster beds opening to an intimate inner courtyard complete with a spa pool, dinners on a lantern lit jetty and and spa suites facing a rock waterfall Le Meridien has our vote for the best resort for a peerless couples getaway.
Clean cut and stylish Mercure Beach Resort is 3 minutes from Lamai town centre with the resort's shuttle service. It has a decadent beachfront pool area, you can enjoy seaside massages under a pagoda and its minimalist rooms feature futon beds, en-suite bathrooms.
Right where this 4 km swath of sand end against a rocky headland Renaissance Samui settles in a quiet corner. In its sea view rooms you can enjoy affordable luxury, or choose to stay in a villa with vaulted ceilings, cotton draped king size beds, and a pool in a walled courtyard.
Rocky's is central to entertainment and offers its guests three intimate bays for their exclusive use. The boutique property features seafront suites with Thai inspired interiors, restaurant tables set among smooth boulders, and massages in draped salas right on the beach.
Samui Sense proves that even on a budget you can live the high-life. Centrally located with a relaxed atmosphere guests enjoy balmy evenings dining on the seafront. With traditionally Thai inspired decor its rooms have expansive garden terraces equipped with day beds.
With a star twinkled ocean curiously peaking through the window of your villa, your own pool secretively positioned just above the rocks, a Jacuzzi on the patio for intimate evenings under a Koh Samui Sky, and private sliver of sand to sun bath, Silavadee is a luxury couples escape.
As close at it gets to a high concentration restaurants and party spots Thai Ayodhaya offers value for money accommodation in rooms with balconies overlooking a landscaped garden, and northern Thai styled villa with outdoor terraces situated around an ocean-font pool.
With highly affordable standard and superior rooms, classy premier penthouse suites with spa baths and views to make you salivate, as well as charming villas with a plunge pool Weekender caters to budget and higher-end travelers. It has a lovely pool and seaside bar, al fresco restaurant and spa complete with honey and milk baths.