Famed for its stunning palm-fringed beaches and crystal-clear waters, Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. Beyond its dazzling shorelines, the island is home to some of South East Asia’s most spectacular viewpoints, waterfalls, and temples, as well as several world-class wellness spas.
Samui features all the ideal ingredients for a heavenly retreat, including exquisite dining, luxury pampering, and opportunities for unforgettable island-hopping excursions, among many more.
Its tourist scene is highly developed and therefore features The Gulf of Thailand’s most impressive and majestic accommodation options. From vibrant open-air boutiques to eclectic five-star resorts, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Koh Samui, Thailand (in no particular order)…
1. SocialTel Samui-Party Hotel – an Instagrammble, hip and fun hotel perfect for paryting Millennials and Gen Zs
Playful, fun, and charismatic. These three words reflect the atmosphere at SocialTel, an electric haven ready to turn your holiday into an extraordinary one. If you love partying at beach clubs, or indulging in fancy cocktails, then this is the choice for you. Just like its namesake, the hotel pushes boundaries of what a social holiday entails, and achieves this by providing the most exciting daytime and nightlife opportunities. The hybrid Bar/Ception even makes the check-in experience a memorable one! Whether you opt for a dorm bed or a private room, your stay will be graced with top-notch facilities and a vibrant atmosphere.
- To book, check price or availability for SocialTel Samui-Party Hotel
2. The Secret Pool Villas By The Library Koh Samui – SHA Extra Plus – a sleek, quiet and hip resort steps away from Chaweng Beach
Embodying the unique design crux of The Library’s special curation, The Secret Pool Villas are carefully crafted to exude a sense of unmitigated barefoot luxury, and are perfectly catered to discerning couples and honeymooners.
These sprawling havens are teeming with mysteries to uncover and ‘secrets’ waiting to be revealed. Inside, you can benefit from a dining area with pantry, a full-size fridge, a sound bar with outdoor speakers, an oversized Jacuzzi bathtub, and ‘his-and-hers’ walk-in closets, among many more amenities.
Adding an intimate and playful touch to the hospitality experience, these villas are characterized by a mood lighting system which enhances the sense of mystery.
- To book, check price or availability for The Secret Pool Villas By The Library Koh Samui – SHA Extra Plus
3. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Koh Samui – an upscale, chic and contemporary resort featuring a wellness center
Take a step into paradise at Nikki Beach, and surround yourself with almost 60 Gulf islands as you press pause and celebrate a coalescence of life and vitality.
This dazzling oasis blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings, and enhances its sleek look with modern elements and local aesthetics.
A unique fusion of traditional and contemporary, Nikki Beach offers a stunning pool dotted by private cabanas and sun loungers, as well as an indoor and outdoor restaurant.
Throughout the property, you are invited to immerse yourself in a cool and glamorous lifestyle experience, notably in the calming wellness centre which is situated mere steps from the ocean.
- To book, check prices or availability for Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Koh Samui
4. The Library – SHA Extra Plus – a unique, urban and elegant resort in close proximity to local popular attractions
Ready to embrace a calm slice of minimalism? The bustling pristine shores of Chaweng Beach plays host to this intimate hotel, housed in a leafy complex of smart rooms, an exquisite restaurant, and a unique bright-red swimming pool.
Clean lines, white-on-white spaces, and an assemblage of modernist sculptures set between coconut and frangipani trees set a bold artsy vibe, radiating into the guestrooms which are designed in a gallery-like style.
Functional, luxe, and beaming with eccentricity, these private havens invite you to sleep in splendour amid plush mattresses and lofty ceilings, while the downstairs rooms have garden terraces and whirlpool bathtubs.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Library – SHA Extra Plus
5. Samujana Villas – a trendy, Insta-worthy and sleek resort providing guests with a range of on-site activities and 5-star services
Nestled in a hillside garden overlooking Samui’s North East coast, a cool movie-star ambiance permeates the Samujana Villas.
Here, large terraces, infinity pools, and a dedicated butler service create memorable moments, while sunken seating areas and expansive terrace dining tables enhance a sense of luxury.
The villas, which lie widely spaced in a neatly manicured garden, blend the essences of traditional and contemporary, and are all brightly furnished with brash modern paintings.
Every unit comes with a fully equipped kitchen, and lunch and dinner can be ordered on-site. A private spa features in each villa, while others boast a gym and a private cinema.
- To book, check price or availability for Samujana Villas
Situated in the heart of Maenam, this elegant resort is the perfect choice for families and couples, owing to its romantic atmosphere set by a vibrant lighting system and lavish oriental lampshades. Positioned in the backdrop of a gorgeous beach, you can take advantage of cosy lounging areas where the refreshing ocean rhythms are sure to soothe the soul. The guestrooms are located around a graceful outdoor pool which receives the sun for the vast majority of the day, while a handful of private-pool villas are also offered. The hotel is adorned with traditional artwork sharing a nod to the local culture, blended beautifully with modern décor and opulent tapestries.
- To book, check price or availability for The Flow Samui Beach Resort
7. Conrad Koh Samui Residences – an award-winning, trendy and lavish resort surrounded by 25 acres of lush green jungle overlooking the gulf of Thailand
Boasting some of Samui’s most iridescent sunset views, The Conrad clings onto a steep, forested slope on the South West coast, and offers three restaurants, a large pool and spa, and a private strip of beach.
This 25-acre resort is designed in a contemporary Thai style, with brown colours and soothing beige interspersed with framed tapestries and Buddhism-inspired statuary.
This elegant aesthetic complements the stunning backdrop, with craggy island rocks and shimmering horizons as far as the eye can see.
Dotted around this steep hillside haven are 66 one-bedroom villas which feature white walls clad with dark wood and beautiful Thai décor, offering couples the most tranquil hideaway.
- To book, check prices or availability for Conrad Koh Samui Residences
8. W Koh Samui- a stylish, vibrant and 5-star resort located on one of the most pristine beaches in Thailand
A strong pop identity is at work at W Samui, a bold and stylish resort along a fine white stretch of sand. An Instagrammable setting beckons energetic travellers to an environment filled with dance music, where a large infinity pool and a great Japanese restaurant provide plenty of selfie spots and draw in a young crowd.
The pop art aesthetics captivate you immediately upon arrival, snapping you straight into holiday mode. The pool is complete with sunken seating cocoons with 270-degree views across the Gulf of Thailand, and the trendy Woo Bar is one of the island’s most popular hangouts.
- To book, check price or availability for W Koh Samui
9. Code – one of Koh Samui’s best design hotels offering guests a beautiful, award-winning and chic stay
Architecturally driven and simply gorgeous, Code is one of the favoured gems on the island’s tropical palm-fringed coast. This bright design condotel welcomes style savvy guests in pursuit of exceptional service in a chilled-out atmosphere, and invites you to wake each morning with direct access to a glistening infinity pool. A spacious private terrace with an oversized daybed graces each unit, while Egyptian cottons and LCD TV’s guarantee the comforts of home. A beautiful living area in each suite boasts a frosted glass partition allowing you to switch off with ease, with custom-made white leather sofas set in the backdrop of the crystal blue waters.
- To book, check price or availability for Code
10. Kimpton Kitalay Samui, an IHG Hotel – a contemporary, new and upscale boutique hotel within walking distance of Art-samui and Choeng Mon Beach
Think sparkling sea views, tropical island charm, and a communal spirit inspired by the sea. Kimpton Kitalay is the perfect spot to feel energized, with five bold and inventive restaurants and bars, a Thai wellness spa with a modern twist, and relaxed, palm-shaded pools.
The hotel is located at the centre of all of Samui’s social happenings, surrounded by vibrant modernity and lush greenery. This village-like island enclave boasts 138 guestrooms, suites, and villas, where the gorgeous landscape unfurls into understated beauty, and a serene blend of sensory contrasts including contemporary design and traditional accents.
The resort is nestled beside an unspoilt beach which can be relished from almost every angle of the property.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kimpton Kitalay Samui, an IHG Hotel
11. The Sea Koh Samui Resort and Residences by Tolani – SHA Extra Plus – a peaceful, unique and upscale resort designed with a home-away-from-home feel
Relax to the sound of the waves crashing into shore at this gorgeous boutique property, set against the pristine sands and clear ocean azures of Koh Samui. ‘The Sea’ Resort is a tropical escape hidden between swaying palms, featuring a scenic garden of flowers that cast sweet scents along the sea breeze. This serene gulf haven is ideal for families, groups of friends, or couples in pursuit of a beautiful space to unwind and soak up a peaceful island charm. Bridging the gap between elegance and affordability, comfort and convenience, the resort offers villas set in the backdrop of the verdant mountains, where the ultimate ‘cocooning’ experience awaits.
- To book, check price or availability for The Sea Koh Samui Resort and Residences by Tolani – SHA Extra Plus
12. Explorar Koh Samui – Adults Only Resort and Spa – a peaceful, stylish and vibrant resort where guests can enjoy a beachfront location
Home to Samui’s famed Fisherman’s Village, the surrounding locale of Bo Phut offers a vibrant area in which to dive into Thai culture.
Explorar offers a peaceful escape in an Adults Only environment, topped with breathtaking views, stylish suites and villas, tranquil sunset poolside experiences, and delicious regional and local cuisine.
Vivid colours and state-of-the-art amenities ornate the 125 rooms, suites and villas, while the all-day dining restaurant is the idyllic spot to unwind in authentic Thai style after a beautiful day out on the island.
The resort also offers bountiful cultural activities to keep you entertained without the need to leave, from cooking classes to yoga sessions, to couples’ spa treatments.
- To book, check price or availability for Explorar Koh Samui – Adults Only Resort and Spa
13. The Mud – SHA Plus Certified – a quirky, unique and cool resort where guests can hire canoes and bike to explore around the island on
Enjoying a prime location in the vicinity of Laem Yai Beach, The Mud boasts 23 thatched-roofed villas boasting electric kettles, coffee/tea makers, and refrigerators. A graceful pool area is separated from the white sand beach by a thin stretch of soaring palms, and a gorgeous tree-lined pathway guides you through the resort’s lush, manicured grounds. The on-site restaurant offers a delicious buffet breakfast, while the bar features a spacious terrace and lounge and is a melting pot of backpackers and holidaymakers. Canoeing and cycling trips can be arranged by the hotel, as well as vehicle hire, allowing you to explore the island with ease.
- To book, check price or availability for The Mud – SHA Plus Certified
14. Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach – SHA Extra Plus – a newly renovated, fun and vibrant hotel perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
Inviting you to step out of the ordinary in extraordinary ways, Lub d is your destination for incredible experiences amid a social atmosphere. A variety of food and drink choices is brought to you, whether you prefer to lounge on the beach or relax around the pool. Catering to a cool, trendy and youthful crowd, the social spaces provide a refreshing hub to mingle with like-minded travellers. If you’re a budget-conscious traveller, you can choose to stay in a cosy, well-appointed dorm room, however if you’re in search of more privacy you can choose either a deluxe room or a family room. All are topped with private en-suites and are enhanced with a first-rate service.
- To book, check price or availability for Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach – SHA Extra Plus
15. Nirvana Villa & Boutique Hôtel – a charming and fancy hotel offering guests a buffet or continental breakfast
A spiritual tone is set at this breath-taking hilltop boutique, graced by scintillating views of the many small islands that dot Samui’s crystal-clear waters. Perched at the end of a sparkling horizon pool, a peaceful Buddha statue is one of the property’s standout features. A blissfully manicured garden reflects the charm of the surrounding landscape, while the on-site restaurant and vibrant bar offer social hubs where you can tuck into delicious, locally inspired cuisine. A blend of traditional furniture and modern fixings contributes to a soothing boutique welcome at Nirvana Villas. Each unit is uniquely appointed with a vivid colour pattern, while trendsetting amenities and plush linens promote the comforts of home.
- To book, check price or availability for Nirvana Villa & Boutique Hôtel
This brand new 2020 establishment welcomes you to a contemporary, opulent setting within a tropical environment at the foot of the Khao Phra Village hill. Here, you will hear the trumpeting sound of Elephants from the Samui Elephant Haven sanctuary, located just a few steps from the hotel. A handful of communal nooks invite you to indulge in a relaxed atmosphere, but by far one of the most elegant spaces is the open-air pool area, which embraces its tropical surrounds and provides spots for sunbathing or shaded relaxation. The guestrooms are thoroughly design driven, and enhance your stay with plush touches, modern amenities, and options for a delicious in-room breakfast.
- To book, check price or availability for LeelaWadee Samui
17. B House Samui – an Asian-inspired, elegant boutique accommodation where guests can experience the tastes of French and Siamese cuisine
A colonial twist on mid-century Asian design greets guests with a unique welcome at B House, an accommodation option rooted in architectural elegance and traditional trappings. The suites evoke a sense of lean luxury, and include a large terrace overlooking the dazzling beachfront. As you return to this island oasis, you can sink into a tub full of bubbles in the backdrop of the sea, and indulge in high-end amenities designed to soothe the soul. Guests at B House can enjoy an open-air dining experience in one of 2 restaurants, offering both local and Western dishes alongside a variety of crafted beverages.
- To book, check price or availability for B House Samui
Harmoniously blending into the lush natural landscape, Magic Suites is an ultra-modern option which grabs attraction through its unrivalled aesthetic design, brimming with majesty and sophistication.
The 3-storey villas offer spectacular sunrise views, comfortable sitting areas, 2 Jacuzzis, and a top floor pool, offering both an outdoor living experience and a lavish indoor spot of respite.
Thoughtfully selected colours complement this architectural masterpiece, as do the exceptional services on offer.
Guests can take advantage of motorbike or car rental, a stunning breakfast in the intimacy of their own paradise, a laundry service, and an airport pick-up and drop-off service.
- To book, check price or availability for Magic Suites
19. The Humble Villas – a relaxing, quiet boutique accommodation perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
Set in the dazzling backdrop of Bang Makham Beach, The Humble Villas is the perfect destination for sunset chasers, ocean lovers, and tropical enthusiasts. The 10 units open up to private turquoise plunge pools, as well as secluded balconies offering a spectacular hangout space overlooking the stunning coastline. The property also provides a sun terrace and a cocktail bar, where modern furnishings and an open-air ambiance set the tone for a memorable Samui stay. Each villa is embellished with soft woods and modern hues pointing to a sense of understated luxury, and elegant bathrooms adorned with a touch of local flair.
- To book, check price or availability for The Humble Villas
20. P10 Samui – a modern and Thai-inspired accommodation surrounded by an array of bars, restaurants and nightlife
With a fresh new vibe, P10 is a chic addition to the Samui hotel scene, and is located on the beautiful white sands of Bangrak Beach. Surrounded by local villages and a range of fun nightlife venues, the hotel caters to the cool crowd, while promoting interaction with local neighbours. Along with its premium location, high-quality facilities and modern Thai décor combine to create an enchanting island experience. The 18 custom-made duplex guestrooms rest along the central pool, and are tastefully decorated with a soft natural colour palette. A unique feature of P10 is its in-house tech-savvy application, which offers direct interaction with reception, services, and information on tours directly from your smartphone or tablet.
- To book, check price or availability for P10 Samui
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.