Thailand is brimming with breathtaking beach towns and luxurious resorts. The only problem is that many of them have become so overrun with tourist locales that it crushes a bit of the charm–case and point, Phuket. Yikes, you might as well be in Florida. We found Koh Samui to be the ideal mix of romance and luxury minus the tourists. The resorts were so luxurious and gave you the feeling of complete seclusion. Koh Samui has been developed enough that you have every amenity you could think of, while preserving the natural beauty. After checking out many hotels and resorts during my visit, here are what I consider the best places to stay in Koh Samui are:
1. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
This stunning property offers one-bedroom villas or private residences, each of which includes its own private pool, complete with a picturesque view of the Gulf of Siam. The entire property is wrapped in lush greenery among the hills. If you can tear yourself away from your private pool, you can enjoy complimentary water sports and treats at the resort’s private bay. The spa, nestled in the forest here is also a standout.
2. Banyan Tree Samui
This property marries the finest elements of a tropical getaway with plenty of activities for those who are interested (including a kids club). The decor here brings in traditional Thai elements like brightly colored silks and bamboo furniture to give an authentic feel. Each private retreat also has its own pool, which are among the largest I’ve seen.
3. Anantara Bo Phut Resort and Spa
Set in the Gulf of Thailand, this tranquil getaway offers sailing, diving, waterskiing, kayaking, windsurfing and other water sports, with expert instruction. Nearby golf courses also offer prestigious courses if that’s your thing. After a long day, enjoy a cocktail at the famous swim-up bar (one of four bars at this hotel) or cool off with a Thai massage.
4. The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Its name means, “home on a beautiful cliff” and that’s exactly how you’ll feel here. With seven impressive swimming pools and a private beech, you’ll feel like you’re in another world. You simply must have a drink at its famous, AirBar, my personal favorite spot on the island for a cocktail.
Overlooking Ban Tai beach, this idyllic resort sits in the hillside and offers sick Thai-style cottages along the cliffs. Its freshwater pool merges with the horizon and appears to run right into the sea. The property is covered in gardens that showcase local fruits like coconut palms, jackfruit and mango.
Where is your favorite resort in Koh Samui, Thailand? Let us know in the comments! We love finding out about new places to try!