Best Area to Stay in Koh Samui ✔️ Beach – Nightlife – Tranquility

Want to know what is the best area to stay in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui is the biggest and most popular out of the 3 islands in East Thailand which include Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Correctly choosing where to stay in Koh Samui is an important decision because every location and neighborhood around the island offers a different atmosphere.

From the popular Chaweng beach, the more laid back atmosphere in Lamai beach or the fancy neighborhood in Bophut fisherman’s village, the areas and places to stay in Koh Samui offer a broad appeal and cater to many tastes.

While Koh Samui is quite big and can often take over 1 hour to get from 1 side to another, it still remains very compact. And also very easy to navigate thanks to a ring road that wraps around the entire. The public transport pick-up vans are an option to get around or taxis, but most tourists often prefer a rental car.

Coral cove beach Koh Samui. Aerial view of tropical beach with turquoise waters
Aerial view of the gorgeous Coral Cove beach in Koh Samui. Best nearby hotel → Coral Cliff Beach Resort
#Top 7 Hotels
An infinity pool with palms at sunset. One of the best areas to stay in Koh Samui

Koh Samui

Best place to stay for any Budget in Koh Samui ⤵

AboutHotelPrice
Budget in LamaiLamai Bayview Boutique Resort$38
Wow!! in ChawengThe Jungle Clubprivate pool $120
LamaiBeluga Boutique Hotel$120
QuietTropical Season Villa Resort$130
ParadiseVilla Mandi$140
Raw LuxuryThe Flow Samui Beach Resort$130
NightlifeBanana Fan Sea Resort$220
Getting There

From Phuket: There are 2 options either by →air from Phuket airport or an affordable option is via →bus+ferry combo ticket.

From Bangkok: There’s daily →direct flights and will get you there in 1 hour. An affordable option is the →all-inclusive bus+ferry option.

Best Area to Stay in Koh Samui

Koh Samui Area to Stay Map

A map of Koh Samui with different tourist areas to stay in
This Koh Samui Map gives an overview for tourist areas around the island.

How to choose where to stay in Koh Samui

Before choosing or booking a Koh Samui accommodation, you should always have an idea of your travel itinerary and budget. This will force you to lean towards those area that are in line with your style, and your budget will further narrow down the list of places to stay.

The list below covers the main areas in Koh Samui. There is a description for each popular area to stay in Koh Samui which will give you an idea of what to expect. Knowing this information, combined with your travel plan and budget will help you decide which part of Koh Samui is most suited for you.

1. Chaweng

About: Gorgeous beach – Beachfront resorts – Restaurants – Airport – Nightlife

Chaweng beach in Koh Samui. Tourists walking on tropical white sand beach.

Located on Koh Samui’s North East Coast, Chaweng is the most developed and popular area in Koh Samui. The 7 km beach is arguably the most beautiful beach on Koh Samui with crystal clear and calm waters thanks to a reef just off the coast. Mid range to luxury resorts are dotted along the beach and occupy with sun loungers which make it quite busy. Should you be on a budget, you can find cheaper accommodation along the side streets leading off Chaweng beach road.

RELATED → 15 Best Beachfront Resorts in Chaweng

Chaweng is also where you’ll find the largest concentration of dining options. From cheaper local eateries to fast food chains, western restaurants and fine dining restaurants. Chaweng is renowned for its lively nightlife, featuring a plethora of bars, nightclubs, and beachfront parties. The area comes to life after sunset, offering a range of entertainment options for visitors looking to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Below is a list of the best accommodation in Chaweng and all are in a convenient location – restaurants, nightlife and the beach are no more than 10 minutes walk.

Budget Options
A fully functional apartment in Koh Samui. A bed next to a sofa and table
Chaweng Apartment

Nora LakeView
Bhundhari Chaweng Beach Resort
Chaweng Apartment

Mid Range Options
Lounge bag on the beach in Chaweng with palm trees in the background
The stay Chaweng Beach Resort

Ark Bar Beach Club
The Stay Chaweng Beach Resort
Ozo Chaweng Samui

Luxury Options
Bungalows tucked away in lush jungle landscape in Koh Samui
Anantara Lawana

Elephant Beach Club & Resort $
Buri Rasa Village Samui
$$
Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort
$$$

The hills above Chaweng Beach

Chaweng is a large area in Koh Samui that extends beyond just the beach and goes all the way up into the mountains. This is where you’ll find some of Koh Samui’s most exclusive properties. Expect unbeatable views, over the top luxury with infinity pool and all nestled in lush tropical landscape. For example this unbelievable →private villa with infinity pool. Or for something more affordable check out →The Jungle Club. Or this reasonably →priced private villa.

2. Lamai

About: Gorgeous beach – Beachfront resorts – Restaurants – Airport – Nightlife – Quiet

A white sandy beach with emerald water and rock formations

A 20 minute ride south from Chaweng there is Lamai. It’s a beautiful beachside town with an equally stunning beach and lots of tourist amenities including restaurants, hotels, resorts and a decent nightlife scene. Lamai is probably one of the best areas to stay in Koh Samui if you want everything nearby but want a more peaceful and laid back atmosphere.

Besides being an ideal alternative to the often busier and more overcrowded Chaweng, Lamai also offers really good deals on beachfront and luxury accommodation. It’s not uncommon to discover accommodations and resorts that offer comparable luxury, all while being priced at a fraction of what you’d find in Chaweng.

Below is a list of the best accommodation in Lamai and all are in a convenient location – restaurants, nightlife and the beach are no more than 10 minutes walk.

Budget Options
A wooden bungalow surrounded in palm trees
Utopia Resort

Utopia Resort
Chill Inn Lamai Hostel & Beach Cafe
Crystal Lamai Hotel

Mid Range Options
A sun lounger on a sandy beach shaded by waving palm trees
Outrigger Beach Resort

Amity Beach Resort
Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
Samui Seabreeze Place

Luxury Options
A white villa by the beach with pool and surrounded in lush greenery on Koh Samui island Thailand
Villa Nalinnadda

Rocky’s Boutique Resort $$
Villa Nalinnadda Petite Hotel & Spa, Adults Only
$$
Villa Calicia (Private Villa)
$$$

Since you’re going to Koh Samui ⤵

3. Choeng Mon

About: Gorgeous beach – Beachfront resorts – Restaurants – Perfect for families

Choeng Mon beach in north east Koh Samui is an idyllic beach with fine sand and upscale properties

Choeng Mon, nestled on the northeastern tip of Koh Samui is an understated beach destination combined with traditional Thai charm. Known for it’s soft white sand, calm shallow waters and a beautiful beach shaded by trees, Choeng Mon delivers a serene and peaceful atmosphere away from the often overcrowded Chaweng area which is just 15 minutes drive down the road.

Beyond its natural beauty, Choeng Mon also offers a range of beachfront resorts and boutique hotels. Cheaper accommodation can also be found in the village area which is still within walking distance to the beach. While there is no nightlife in Choeng Mon, you’ll have a number of great restaurants all nearby to enjoy a relaxing evening meal.

Below is a list of the best accommodation in Choeng Mon and all are in a convenient location near restaurants and the beach are no more than 10 minutes walk.

Budget Options
A pool with a hostel lounge area and beanbags in the background
Chill Inn Samui Hostel

Chill Inn Samui Hostel
Kirati Beach Resort
Choengmon Residence

Mid Range Options
An aerial view of a hotel with big pool in the middle
PS Thana Resort

Kaya Mani Thai Villa resort
Chor Chang Villa Resort
PS Thana Resort

Luxury Options
A luxurious room with bed and mosquito net over bed
Royal Muang Samui Villas

Royal Muang Samui Villas $$
Samui Blu, villa with private pool
$$
Sala Samui Choengmon Beach Resort
$$$

4. BoPhut – Fishermans Village

About: Traditional – Boutique Hotels – Restaurants – Perfect for families

Bophut beach in Koh Samui. A beach with sand spilling into crystal clear water

Bo-Phut is the most populated area on Koh Samui’s Northern coast. Consequently it’s also a popular area for tourists to stay when visiting Koh Samui. Staying in BoPhut offers a unique experience because there is a blend of tourist amenities mixed in with local Thai culture.

The main tourist area is BoPhut fisherman’s village. It’s a gorgeous seaside village dotted with old traditional houses turned into boutique hotels along with waters-edge restaurants. While BoPhut does offer all the tourist amenities including stunning hotels to stay in, and great dining options, Thai culture is still very much present. Fishermen and their families still live here and every evening you can take a stroll though the local market that sets up at 6 pm.

Note: if you want a unique experience definitely stay in BoPhut. While the beach isn’t really that great for swimming, Chaweng is just a 15 minute drive away.

The recommended options below are all conveniently located within a short walk from restaurants, the beach and all amenities in Bo-Phut.

Budget Options
Best place to stay for first time in Koh Samui. A hostel with pool
Us hostel Samui

ZAYN Samui Hotel
Us hostel Samui
Enjoy Beach

Mid Range Options
A room with beach views from the front balcony
Riviera Beach Hotel

Maya Resort Samui
The Villager Fishermans Village
Riviera Beach Hotel

Luxury Options
Ko Samui hotels. A hotel on the beach surrounded by tropical landscape.
Secret Garden Beach Resort

Prana Resort Nandana $$
Secret Garden Beach Resort
$$
Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa
$$$

5. Maenam

About: Local Feel – Perfect for families – Budget accommodation

Maenam beach in Koh Samui

Maenam is a local seaside village nestled on Koh Samui’s northern coast. The main draw is the beautiful Maenam beach. While the beach is serene, perfect for swimming and very enjoyable as it rarely gets busy, it may not be the best place if you have small kids. It’s a beach with sand that quickly slopes down and consequently the water gets deep rather quickly.

Despite not being really targeted to foreign tourism and the lack of dining options and nightlife, Maenam remains a popular area with many tourists. Accommodation options in Maenam are significantly cheaper and wellness resorts offering holistic treatments and yoga sessions attract those seeking relaxation in a tranquil part of Koh Samui. There’s a number of local restaurants where you can indulge in famous Thai dishes. Overall, Maenam is great area to stay in Koh Samui if you don’t mind being away from the bustling tourist hotspots.

Note: Maenam is a 15 minute drive from BoPhut and 30 minute drive to Chaweng.

Below is a list of the best accommodation in Maenam and all are in a convenient location with the beach within 10 minutes walk.

Budget Options
Neighborhoods to stay in Koh Samui. A pool lined with bright colorful lounge chairs
Samui Zenity

Samui Zenity20 min walk to beach
Moonhut Bungalows
Harry’s Bungalows

Mid Range Options
best neighborhoods in Ko Samui. Aerial shot of a villa on the beach surrounded in palm trees
Shangrilah Bungalow

Baanfah Resort Samui
Ampha Place Hotel
Shangrilah Bungalow

Luxury Options
Best places to stay in Ko Samui. A beachfront luxury lounge facing the ocean.
The Flow Samui Beach Resort

The Cosy Maenam Beach Resort $$
Paradise Beach Resort $$
The Flow Samui Beach Resort
$$$

6. Lipa Noi

About: Local Feel – Near Port – Not touristic – incredible sunsets

Lipa Noi beach lined with coconut trees

Lipa Noi is located on the west coast of Koh Samui. This is the main point of entry for certain ferries arriving in Koh Samui. While Lipa Noi does not get much attention as it’s quite a ride from any tourist area and doesn’t have many tourist amenities, it still gets attention especially by travelers searching for off the beaten path destination.

The town itself really delivers that authentic Asian experience. It’s a sparsely populated town so you will really need your own transport to get around as local transport isn’t easily found. But if you do decide to stay here, there is some really great beachfront resorts along Lipa Noi beach. The beach itself may not be as nice as Chaweng or Choeng Mon however you will be treated to some spectacular sunsets thanks to the west facing location.

Final notes

This article covered the best places and areas to stay in Koh Samui along with the best hotels in each area. To recap, ir you want the best and most popular area on the island that is lively, has loads of restaurants, bars, a gorgeous beach and night time fun, then stay in Chaweng.

Consider Lamai if you want all the above but an atmosphere that is more laid back. Bophut Fisherman’s village and Choeng Mon are equally great areas for families and couples as the atmosphere is quieter and amenities are fancier.

Maenam is also a great place that caters to various tastes and is also relatively close to Bophut fisherman’s village.

Quick questions ⤵

Best place to stay in Koh Samui for nightlife? The nightlife scene in Chaweng is lively and energetic. With famous clubs like the Green Mango and Ark Bar, you’re sure to have a blast!!

Where to stay in Koh Samui for couples? Bophut fisherman’s village and Choeng Mon are both perfect for couples.

Should I stay in Chaweng or Lamai? Chaweng caters to many tastes and budgets and is often busy and noisy. Lamai also has loads of places to eat, drink and entertain but is quieter.

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HEY, just so you know…

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