We were there in April 2012, there are our experiences.
About Varinda: Very nice resort, hotel´s owners love dogs - they have 3 of them, two cats are going there around; Varinda is touched directly by nature - we love trees, flowers. However the resort is getting "tired" - the furniture needs to be colored again.
Rooms: Simple, nature, clean. There is a kettlel, staff completed tea and coffee and bottels of water every day and also changed towels. There were beach/pool towels too. Damp towels and bad linen were the only minus thing.
Breakfast: Simply say = great!!! (bananas from varinda´s trees)
Location: 5 minutes by walk to the town and beach
Beach: We were completely frustrated from the Lamai beach - dogs were running on the beach and made a mess, the water was not blue and clear. We spoke with people from the town and they told us that the quality od the sea is different every day/week and sometimes the sea is nice and sometimes not. We rent a motorbike and went through the island - we found there many beautiful bays and beaches. For us the most favorite beach was closed to the Crystal Cove resort - just 5 minutes on motorbike from Lamai Beach. Nice sand, very nice water, calm, clean.
Town: Last year we visited Krabi - Ao Nang Beach. And this town was nice and I can´t say the same about Lamai Beach. Town was not that clean, bars and restaurants were almost empty, however there is street food court - cheap, delicious food. And I can also recommend Jasmine hotel - hotel´s restaurant is located directly on the beach and at the night you can enjoy your dinner sitting on the chair and touch sand and taste amazing food, listen to love song played by guitar player.
Our advice: To rent a motorbike (200 THB/ one day) and look around the island- there are many beautiful things to see and what to do. If you are going to Koh Samui by plane to Surat Thani and then on boat, please, take Seatran ferry to Nathon Pier. At the airport there is prepared bus to Seatran Ferry pier. One way costs 375 THB = 150 THB is for ferry. Then take a taxi to the hotel for 600 THB. On the way back at Don sak Pier there are companies which can organise transportation to the airport, we went by van with 8 more people, 250 THB/way. One way from Surat Thani airport to Nathon Pier in Koh Samui takes app. 3 hours.
Enjoy your holiday and relax! You are going to visit one of the most beautiful islands on the world :-)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.