Resort

Thailand,
Koh Samui

Introduction

Once a sleepy stop on the backpacker trail, Koh Samui is fast becoming Thailand's glitziest island destination. Visitors are flocking to the new ultra-luxurious W Retreat and Banyan Tree, while Bangkok hipsters and expats are setting up boutiques and cafés. Escaping from it all isn't hard either, with lovely white-sand beaches and jungle retreats.

More from Koh Samui PDF Version

Essentials

  1. Explore the different beaches. Avoid the crowds at popular Chaweng and Lamai and head to Mae Nam and Taling Ngam.
  2. Detoxify, meditate, and practise yoga at one of the island’s acclaimed wellness retreats.
  3. Dress appropriately in restaurants and clubs. Leave those denim cut-offs and flip-flops behind.
  4. Go inland. Slip on some sturdy shoes and trek into the island’s jungled interiors for sights such as the Hin Lat waterfalls and the Emerald Sea.
  5. Take to the water. Besides snorkelling, steering your own sea kayak is a great way to explore the secret coves, caves and beaches that make up Angthong Marine Park.

Two-hour tour

  • Lipa Noi Beach — Spectacular sunset on a little-frequented beach.

  • Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary — Best massages on the island. Afterwards, stop in the steam room and then order a ginger/tamarind cooler.

    102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Road, Na-Muang

    +66 77 429 800

    Visit website
  • Hua Thanon — Traditional Muslim village with a colourful market and old teakwood houses - a glimpse into old Samui.

Hotels

  • Independent and easy

    The Scent Hotel

    58/1 Moo 4, Bangrak Beach

    +66 77 962 198

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  • Dependable chain

    Four Seasons Samui

    219 Moo 5, Angthong

    +66 77 243 000

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  • Premium

    YL Residence No.17

    117 Moo 2, Tambon Maret

    +66 80 519 2888

    Visit website

Dining

  • Fast breakfast

    Lolamui Cafe

    127/184 Moo 3, Lamai Maret

    +66 89 688 4818

  • Leisurely breakfast

    The Kitchen Table

    W Retreat Koh Samui, 4/1 Moo 1, Tambon Mae Nam

    +66 77 915 999

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  • Mid-morning coffee (or tea)

    Namcha Samui Tea House

    Fisherman's Village, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 427 115

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  • Lunch with sea views

    The Jungle Club

    Chaweng Noi Beach, Soi Panyadee

    +66 818 942 327

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  • Lunch on your own

    Karma Sutra

    25 Moo, 1 Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 425 198

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  • Lunch with friends

    Sa Bieng Lae

    438/82 Moo 1, Tambon Maret

    +66 77 233 082

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  • Intimate dinner

    Dining on the Rocks

    Six Senses Samui, 9/10 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 245 678

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  • Romantic dinner

    Zazen

    177 Moo 1, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 425 085

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  • Dinner with friends

    H Bistro

    Hansar Samui, 101/28 Moo 1, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 245 511

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  • Big group dinner

    9Gems

    141/190 Moo 6, Tambon Bophut

    +66 806 920 520

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  • Late drinks

    Q Bar

    47/57 Moo 2, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 962 420

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  • Late drinks

    Solo Bar

    166/5 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach Road

    +66 77 414 0125

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Reading

  • Bookshop

    Island Books

    173/28 Moo 4, Tapee Bungalows, Ban Lamai

    +66 77 961 769

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Shopping

  • Gifts

    Zer Studio

    215 Moo 1, Ban Hua Thanon

    +66 77 232 121

  • Lost luggage - where to buy shirts

    Iyara Shopping Plaza

    90/13-16 Chaweng Beach

    +66 77 231 631

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  • Something for someone you love

    Island Girl Boutique

    177/2 Moo 1, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 430 725

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  • Something for yourself

    Oriental Living

    9/18 Moo 1, Tambon Mae Nam

    +66 77 247 675

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Transport

  • Boat hire

    Oceans Elite Charters

    30/5 Moo 4, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 427 244

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  • Car Rental — Hiring a car or driver is affordable - and far safer than renting a scooter.

Limousine/car

  • Master Car Rental

    35/18 Moo 4, Tambon Bophut

    +66 77 245 999

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Fitness

  • Good gym

    Elements Boutique Resort

    53/5 Moo 4, Phang Ka, Tambon Taling Ngam

    +66 77 914 678

    Visit website
  • Yoga spot

    Trinity Yoga Samui

    Chaweng, Bo Phut

    +66 870 818 875

    Visit website

Monocle 24

× Culture

  • Monocle culture editor Robert Bound takes an international look at the latest in film, music and the arts. Plus – weekly Midori House music sessions.
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