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Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

London, England...
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Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui


I am getting married in Jan 13 and my fiance & I have selected Koh Samui as our honeymoon destination. We're still undecided on the hotel though, so was hoping to get some advice on this forum.

Our requirements are mainly to be in a hotel which offers a lot of luxury, has nice beaches nearby but is secluded from the hustle and bustle. My budget is flexible, ranging from 8000 USD to 12000 USD for a total of 10 days, including food. I should add that we're both quite keen on a pool villa!

Also, since i've never been to Koh Samui, would appreciate some guidance on the beaches. We would like to be near a quiet beach, not too commercial / busy. I've heard the northern part of the island meets this criteria?

At the moment, we've shortlisted a few hotels:

Four Seasons


Sala Samui

Six senses Samui

Tongsai Bay

Pls feel free to add to the list!

Thanks in advance.

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1. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

Hi there

Congrats on your up coming wedding. January you're in the tails end of rainy season in the East / Gulf of Thailand( koh Samui and surrounding island) so the weather is going/ might be hits and miss. Having said that no one can tell what the weather is going to be like this year.

The time of your traveling the best weather would be in the West / Andaman coast. Perhaps have a look over that side of coast. The area you might considerate are koh Lanta, krabi, Khao lak.

you can fly from Bangkok direct to krabi then car / ferry ( if go to island) or fly down to Phuket ( more flight choices and time to choose) then car /ferry transfer.

Good luck

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2. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

Hi Tripit7.

For January, may I suggest Khao Lak... The weather should be lovely at this time of year, hot and sunny. It is 1 hour drive North of Phuket Airport and you can easily organize pickups from the airport to your hotel. In Khao Lak it is nice and quiet, ideal for a honeymoon getaway with some very nice hotels ( beachfront ). The beaches are very nice and extremely quieter than Koh Samui. You also have the very good options of Snorkelling at the Similan and Surin Islands which are both magnificent.

Something to ponder over I think. SAMUI MAY BE RAINING IN JANUARY.

Cheers Bob & Chris.

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3. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

In January I would go with Khao Lak or koh Lanta as it would be a better option than Samui weatherwise, however if you do still decide on Samui Tongsai Bay would be a good option.

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4. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

Maybe we were just lucky but we've been a few times at the end of Jan beginning of Feb and we had fantastic weather. Only 1 prolonged shower lasting for two hours and then sunshine for the rest of the 3 weeks. In fact we've had much better weather at that time of year than the last few times we've been to Samui in March/April.

If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle then your choice of hotels is ideal. Tongsai Bay and six senses are both very very relaxing places to stay (in neighbouring bays). Both would be ideal for a relaxing honeymoon. I'd stay in either but I always choose Tongsai because of its staff and service (exceptional service but done in such a relaxing laid back way). Both hotels have great food and good villas. The pool villas at tongsai are lovely and as big outside as in and the seafront ones provide uninterupted sea views across the bay and across the hotel grounds which are stunning.

Sala Samui is also a very good hotel but not in the same league as Tongsai and six senses. The villas aren't as big and they are surrounded by high concrete wall which guarantees total privacy but personally, I would want the views that the other two provide. they do have a more modern minimalist style though. The upside of Sala samui is that it has restaurants and bars within walking distance of the hotel and the beach is lovely (choeng Mon beach). You could however walk to Choeng Mon from Tongsai but not six senses.

I aya be wrong but I didn't think Hansar had pool villas. Hansar's very different to Tongsai and six senses. It'll be more modern in style and its very convenient for fisherman's village which has excellent restaurants and lower key bars than say Chaweng. However, it will be busier and not as tranquil as the North east corner of the island.

Four seasons hotels are always a good brand to bet on. I haven't stayed at the one in Samui. Its supposed to be very good but I had heard that the beach wasn't that great for swiming. I may be wrong but might be worth checking out with a few people who have stayed there.

Another one to consider might be the Bayan tree. Very very modern hotel and it does have a more concrete feel to it than others on your list. Its also more expensive than the other hotels and might be out of budget. Very good service but its more formal than six senses and Tongsai which I wouldn't want but others prefer.

One to avoid is the Conrad unless you like tightly packed concrete villas stacked row upon row up the hillside (basically clear fell everything that grew on the mountain). Miles from anywhere and the most expensive hotel on the island and doesn't have a beach to speak of, only a concrete pier to swim from. Interiors are supposed to be top spec though.

Edited: 6:31 am, October 02, 2012
Perth, Australia
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5. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

Brand new Starwood hotel called Vana Belle opening up in January. It's situated in Chaweng Noi which is a nice quiet beach not far from action in South Chaweng. Might be worth looking into?

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6. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

Thanks twiggyrex! that's great feedback, very comprehensive indeed!

After carrying out some research, i was under the impression that Koh Samui would be great in January. I will look into the other destinations suggested by sweetpea and portcbob, but am tempted on Koh Samui!

Your feedback on hotels has helped me narrow down the search a bit. Tongsai and Six senses were always high up on the list. I think i will drop Sala for now. I dont mind a modern feel to a hotel as long as it is done in a stylish and chic way. Agree that Hansar does not seem to have pool villas. However TripAdvisor seems to rank it pretty high on the list of romantic hotels. From all the reviews i've read, Tongsai score's high. A couple of friends who have been to Six senses for their honeymoon also rate it very highly. Which one between the two would you prefer location wise? I dont want to sound too greedy, but having a nice beach and bars/restaurants a short walk away would be ideal.

Also, how reliable are the ranking of hotels on TripAdvisor generally? There are a few boutique hotels (for example Code Boutique Hotel and Rocky's boutique hotel) which rank high. Was wondering if its worth looking at these options too?

Many thanks in advance.

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7. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

Just because a hotel ranks high on TA doesn't mean its the best on the island. Its means people think it offers a great holiday + excellent accomodation and service relative to the price they paid. Sadly some people think top rating = conrad and BT type accomodation, despite paying a fraction of the cost of those hotels. Then they're dissapointed when the hotel they've picked doesn't deliver what they're unrealistically hoping for. I think Rockys is a very good 4+ star hotel and attracts good reviews because it provides very, very good accomodation relative to the prices it charges. They have villas so might be worth considering.

As for TA reviews usually they're pretty accurate if you look at the last 50 or so reviews. You'll always get someone who gives a 1 star rating when everyone else gives a 5 (usualy because they're hoping for conrad level accomodation but paying 20% of the price or they've not considered whether the style of accomodation suits their personal tastes). I always go with the majority so long as the accomodation is my style of accomodation and the reviewers pictures will give a good idea if it will suit your taste.

However, TA ratings can be manipulated. Personally I'm very suspicious of the earlier reviews of the Code hotel as they all seem to have been written within days of each other all by first time posters from (primarily) Singapore and Bangkok and all are worded very similarly. Did the trick though as it pushed them from nowhere to top 6 on TA practically overnight. I may be doing them a diservice but I'm very suspicous by nature and I'd want to wait a few months to see a few more posts from a wider range of people before making up my mind about staying there. Also, the accomodation seems to be in a low level concrete block, and doesn't seem to be villa based so not sure its for you.

In terms of having a nice beach and bars/restaurants within a short walk of a top end hotel, that's going to be difficult. All of the islands top hotels are located out of the busier areas and all would require a short taxi ride to Chaweng or Bhoput (usually not more than 10-15 minues though). If being able to walk to some bars and restaurants is important, Sala Samui is probably the only one that's got restaurants and bars within 2-3 minutes of the hotel. Tongsai is 15-20 minutes walk from Choeng mon (the same beach Sala Samui is on) but Six Senses is too far along the coast to walk to Choeng Mon. A cab from either Six senses or Sals to Choeng Mon would take less than 5 minutes. Although modern in style Sala samui is tastefully done but as I said before the only reason we haven't stayed there is that the villas are smaller then Six Senses and Tongsai and I just couldn't get past the concrete walls and lack of views from the villas. Stunning views from the rooms is a deal breaker for me but if it isn't for you I wouldn't discount it.

Have you had a look at the Anatara Bhoput. Its located near fishermans village and has beachside villas. They won't offer much in the way of privacy as its a public beach and passers by can look into you patio/pool area. However, it does meet your criteria of being near to bars/restaurants. Also, I'm sure many people will tell you that the beach isn't as nice as Chaweng or Choeng Mon because the sand isn't talcum power in texture. Its never been an issue for me but then I'm a pool rather than beach person.

Edited: 5:01 am, October 03, 2012
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8. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

I have lived for 10 years on Koh Samui and I'm not sure where other people are getting their information, but the weather in January is usually very good.

If you want luxury and out of the way with a beautiful beach then Four Seasons is your best choice, but be aware it is very out of the way. That means if you want to see other places on the island, like the fantastic Fishermans Village and all the great restaurants there, you will have a fair bit of travelling.

W Resort is also a great resort and is alot closer to many other things to do on the island.

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9. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

keep your private villa thoughts going and look in the northern tip of samui close to six sensesare many great villas within your budget

no screaming kids around the pool

i live here myself so know the area well close to the best beachs avaliable

secluded beachs with out too many tourists include tongson bay[not tongsai]

samrong bay [beside sixsenses]

if you still want the hotel experiance

then try

tongsai [private beach]

melati resort [tongson bay]

or the new no kids hotel akaryn [just out of choengmon]

hope this helps

and congratulations

10. Re: Selecting a hotel in Koh Samui

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