Accommodation on Samui has something to offer all travelers, from 500 baht backpacker bungalows, to luxurious 5-star resorts and hotels. But what stands out the most about Samui’s hotels, resorts and other types of accommodation is that it is possible to stay right on the seafront – with no road separating the resorts from the beach. This means that one does not have to leave the hotel to enjoy the beach, and sun-loungers serviced by attentive staff are put out at the water’s edge. No lugging heavy beach umbrellas and towels around, just move straight from the breakfast room to the pool, which is usually located alongside the beach. Little ones can enjoy the pool and beach, and mom and dad can watch from the beach bar.
Leaving your own hotel, most resorts welcome outside visitors to their pool and beachfront sun-loungers, as long as you order something to drink or eat – fair enough, considering the convenience. This is welcome news for those not staying on the sea, making off-beach (often cheaper) resorts an attractive option, as easy access to facilities can be enjoyed at other resorts.Years ago, Samui was considered a backpackers’ haven. Nowadays, most of these simple wooden beach bungalows have been bought up by resorts catering to the flashpacker, midrange and upmarket clientèle. That’s not to say the budget traveler’s vacation has been forgotten, and many a beach bungalow can still be found for around the 500 baht mark, albeit without air-con.
Those in need of a little rest and recuperation, will enjoy Samui’s many retreats that offer detox packages, and health and holistic holidays have become popular on the island. Several of the Muay Thai training centres on Samui specialise in all-inclusive packages, offering bootcamp-style fitness training, accommodation and nutrition.When choosing accommodation on Samui online, familiarise yourself with the surrounding area too. Do you want to be in the swing of things? Then the busier northern and eastern shores would be best. Would you prefer to be away from the crowds? Select a resort along the quiet, less-developed southern and western shores known as the ‘Virgin Coast’. If you plan on getting your own transport during your vacation on Samui, then the quiet coast is an option. Those that rely on public transport, would do better to stay in the busy areas, as taxis can be expensive on Samui.
The majority of Samui’s resorts are still bungalow or villa style, rather than large hotel blocks, although a few of these do exist. What will hopefully keep Samui unique, is a rather quaint building regulation. This law states that ‘No building may be taller than the closest coconut palm.’ Now while a coconut palm can get pretty tall, they are still a far cry from the skyscrapers that line the shores of Phuket’s busiest beaches.