Koh Samui Guest Friendly Hotels – travelallasia.com recommendations
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This is a guide designed to help ‘Travel All Asia’ Subscribers when booking hotels in Koh Samui, Thailand. There are no cookies in the links below, so if you do choose a hotel from this list then please consider clicking from the link below and booking straight through. This will be at no extra cost to you, any commission will go straight back into improving Travel All Asia YouTube videos and maintaining this website. Thank you for your support and I hope that this information will be of use to you.
I stayed in many different places when I visited Koh Samui all the way from cheap bungalows on the beach to upscale hotel resorts with all the bells and whistles.
If you are visiting Koh Samui for the nightlife, then I highly recommend staying in Chaweng. It has the best nightlife options, has a nice beach and has plenty of restaurants and shopping too. Lamai is another option but that is more laid back and quiet. From Chaweng you can visit Lamai as it only takes 20 minutes by taxi (400 baht each way) or Songtheaw (200 baht each way).
All travelallasia.com recommended hotels are in convenient locations for the beach, the bars and restaurants. This is because location is the number one priority that I consider when booking a hotel. I never want to be wasting time walking unnecessary distances in the sun, or taking needless taxis or mototaxis. I’ve stayed at most of the places in this list so have personal experience of being a normal guest at these places.
All the hotels below are ‘guest friendly’ meaning there are no girl joiner fees if you stay alone. Make sure you check 2 in the people staying in the room when booking just to be 100% sure.
NB: Travel All Asia is independent and none of the info here is from paid reviews. The room costs all came out of my own pocket and am free to say whatever I want.
Chaweng hotels at a glance:
Marine Chaweng Beach Resort from $15.50
Evergreen Resort from $31
Ark Bar Beach Resort from $48 [wild card 1 – party hotel]
Montien House hotel from $50
Pleasure Harbour Boutique hotel from $50 [wild card 2 – sex swings in the room]
Al’s Resort from $53
Chaweng Garden Beach Resort from $73
Getting there from Bangkok: You can fly direct from Suvarnabhumi airport with Bangkok Airways, but be aware flights are relatively expensive due to limited availability and usually cost around 5000 baht ($155) each way. You can also fly to Surat Thani from Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport, and then take a ferry to Koh Samui if you want to keep costs down (or if you aren’t limited for time take the overnight train). The fly and ferry usually costs around 3000 baht ($94) all in, but the journey takes around 8 hours and can be a bit sketchy with the ferry if a big storm blows in.
High/Low Season in Koh Samui? In general the high season is from November to April, and the low season is from May to October. Room rates can be significantly higher in the high season especially if a hotel is near full occupancy.
Weather: The driest months are February and March, and the wettest are October and November. The weather can be hit or miss pretty much any time of the year as is true of staying anywhere in the South of Thailand.
Transport: Koh Samui is unique in that it is an island where generally only affluent visitors visit (apart from backpackers on a shoestring). As a result hotel and transport costs are much higher than the rest of Thailand. Taxi prices are a blatant rip off and they never use the meter, expect 300-500 baht for very short journeys. Even the communal ‘songttheaw’ vans charge relatively high fares in increments of 50 baht. Consequently, not many cheap charlie’s roll through here apart from backpackers on their way to the nearby islands of Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngam.
The main 2 girlie bar areas in Chaweng are Soi Green Mango and Soi Reggae, but the reality is Soi Reggae is very quiet (as of 2018) and requires transport (songtheaw / mototaxi / taxi) to get there from around the Ark bar area of Chaweng.
Soi Reggae had at least a dozen beer bars with ladies in when I visited, along with a Muay Thai boxing stadium and a big reggae themed nightclub. I only ventured over there once as it was all a bit tired and worn out and Soi Green Mango is party central now.
Extra tips for the resorts: Most of the beach resort hotels have tiered pricing levels for their rooms, with the most expensive rooms being right on the beach. So if you book the cheapest room you will naturally be the furthest away from the ocean. But the kicker is many of the higher priced rooms can be empty, so if you book the cheapest room and complain about some room defect straight away you might be surprised with a room upgrade to a vastly more expensive room (this is what happened to me at Al’s Resort).
travelallasia.com recommended hotels full info:
Marine Chaweng Beach Resort (full video review coming soon)
A 3-star, guest friendly resort with 40 rooms.
Room rates start from around $15.50.
A nice beach fronted resort that’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for budget rooms. All the rooms here are bungalows, they are clean but perhaps a little dated and have a ‘guesthouse feel.’ There is a bar and restaurant at the front, along with cheap massage place. No swimming pool or fitness centre here but i.
Overall: I had a good stay at Marine Chaweng Beach Resort. In the high season I paid just over 1000 baht for a standard room through agoda when the walk in rate was 1200 baht. It was very quiet and all the rooms were within a minute’s walk of the beach. The main drag of Chaweng restaurants and bars were a 5-10 minute walk away so there was no need for using taxis.
It was more of a family run place, so don’t expect first class service and attentive staff but this added to the chilled out vibe. I recommend Marine Chaweng Beach Resort for seasoned budget travellers only, and for people who don’t mind staying somewhere a bit rough around the edges. If you really want to save money, go for a fan room which is unreal value for a resort right on Chaweng beach!
A 3-star, guest friendly hotel with 32 rooms.
Room rates start from around $31.
Great central location in Chaweng, good reviews and a decent onsite swimming pool. Evergreen Resort is a smaller sized hotel and not directly on the beach but a short distance away.
Overall: Evergreen Resort is a highly regarded place with many repeat visitors. I didn’t know about the Evergreen Resort until I met a regular Koh Samui visitor in the bars, he told me he always stayed here but told me they were fully booked on this visit. This hotel has relatively cheap room rates for the location and is a 1 minute stroll down a pathway to the beachfront area.
Tips: For the best rates book through this link on agoda, a superior room was available for just 975 baht ($31) in June 2018 which is excellent value for money.
Pleasure Harbour Boutique hotel (Adult themed hotel – video review coming soon!)
A 3-star, guest friendly hotel with around 100 rooms.
Room rates start from around $50.
A very unique hotel in a central location. All rooms come with sex swings, whips, blindfolds and handcuffs. Very kinky. The rooms are very spacious, have very comfortable beds (so comfy) and excellent aircon. They have a relatively late checkout time of 2pm which is good for party animals.
When I stayed the room was very clean, but looking a bit tired in places (eg. bathroom tiles had seen better days). No TVs in any of the the rooms, but that was actually a good thing for me as nobody goes to Koh Samui to watch TV 🙂
Overall: Pleasure Harbour Boutique is a good hotel an excellent location, it’s right in the center of town and only a 2 minute walk to the Ark bar beachfront. All the best bars and restaurants are just a short stroll away. The staff were great here too, very smily and helpful with questions about local transport prices etc.
It’s not all good though as some rooms at Pleasure Harbour Boutique hotel are affected by Soi Green Mango bar noise from around 8pm-3am. When I checked in I was told there would be no refunds for noise complaints. It was fine for me as I knew I’d be out every night at those times, but definitely don’t stay here if you are going to be making any early morning day trips 🙂
There’s no swimming pool or fitness center too, but that’s kind of standard for Koh Samui. It’s not really an issue as the Chaweng beachfront hotel bars are just 2 minutes away, simply buy a drink or some food and use their facilities (that’s what I did anyway). It’s strictly no children allowed to stay here but that’s standard stuff for an adult themed hotel.
Pleasure Harbour Boutique hotel is not the best hotel in Koh Samui, but it’s great if you just want to book in for a handful of days to try it out. Make sure to stick some bargirls or freelancers on the sex swing, it will certainly make your trip memorable 🙂
Tips: Pleasure Harbour Boutique hotel room rates are normally around $50 a night, but they sometimes drop their prices significantly based on room occupancy rates so it’s an a great place to check at the last minute.
It’s better to book the Deluxe balcony rooms as they are affected less by the nearby bar noise.
To get the best prices reserve a room directly through this Booking .com link, or try this agoda link too for last minute room rate deals (but don’t tell anyone I told you – I’d rather keep it a secret!).
Montien House hotel (Agoda travellers choice award winner for 2017)
A 3-star, guest friendly hotel with 72 rooms.
Room rates start from around $50.
Montien House hotel is a very highly rated hotel in Chaweng. It’s in a great central location but far enough away from the main bars so you won’t hear any noise at night. The Swimming pool right on the beachfront is a great touch. Rooms are clean, well appointed and well maintained. The beach restaurant in the evenings is very highly rated for the seafood dishes.
Overall: I tried to book a room here when I visited Koh Samui but they were sold out weeks in advance, which often speaks volumes. Online reviews have titles such as ‘Great Stay Again!’ & ‘Excellent Place to Stay.’ Basically if you are booking a beach resort in a central Chaweng location you could do a lot worse than Montien House hotel for the same money.
Tips: Book through this agoda link for the best prices. I was quoted 1599 baht ($50) for a superior room in June 2018 which was excellent value for money for what you’re getting.
Al’s Resort (full video review coming soon)
A 3-star, guest friendly beach resort with 93 rooms.
Room rates start from around $53.
Al’s Resort is a popular beach resort in a great location in the heart of Chaweng, it’s right by Central Festival Mall which is so convenient for the shops and restaurants. Al’s Resort has 2 onsite swimming pools (one right on the beachfront) and a bar and restaurant right on the beach. Rooms are big and functional, but are looking a bit tired in places.
Overall: I stayed at Al’s Resort and it was a mixed bag overall. The quiet, clean beachfront area really was amazing and was probably my favourite of all the beaches of the resorts. Both swimming pools were nice and it’s always good to have a choice of pool.
When I stayed I have booked the cheapest ‘Courtyard Deluxe’ room and the noisy air-conditioning unit wasn’t working so well, eventually just stopped. I phoned the reception and after complaining they upgraded me straight away to a ‘Villa Deluxe’ room with a partial sea view which was a nice touch.
I found the rooms at Al’s Resort to be a bit dated and even lacked basic maintenance in parts which was disappointing (many online reviews have similar views and one even compared it to Faulty Towers). The reception staff and service staff at Al’s Resort were good, but they had some weird random rules in the hotel eg. you couldn’t sign for a pool towel after 5pm even though the pool closes at 8pm which was just nonsensical. The room service menu was relatively expensive.
I’d recommend to only stay here if you’re going to be using the beachfront area a lot, it really was my favourite beach area of all the hotels in Chaweng. If they improve certain aspects of the hotel it could be one of the best resorts in Chaweng, so maybe skim through the latest online reviews before booking a room here.
Tips: For the best room rates use this link on booking .com. I was quoted 1689 baht ($53) for a room in June 2018 which is competitive for the area.
Ark Bar Beach Resort [wild card 2 – World Famous Party hotel]
A 3-star, guest friendly beach resort with a massive 328 rooms.
Room rates start from around $48
Ark Bar Beach Resort is a massive sprawling complex with 3 swimming pools and 4 bars/restaurants located on 100 meters of beach front. The main Ark Bar pool bar is a focal point of the daytime and nighttime party scene in Koh Samui and is world famous.
They have 3 classes of rooms: Superior, Deluxe and Premier Deluxe and they are all furnished and maintained to a very high standard. There are plenty of service staff everywhere you look dressed in ‘Ark Bar’ t-shirts which is helpful if you need anything.
Ark Bar Beach Resort is so big it even has 3 separate entrances from Chaweng road, and 3 receptions it’s so big.
Overall: I didn’t know what to expect when I booked a room at Ark Bar Beach Resort, and to be honest I didn’t have my hopes up. To my complete surprise my Premier Deluxe room was big, clean and extremely well appointed. I couldn’t find any fault with the room. Check in was a breeze and I was given the option of a quieter room or one towards the beach and pools.
All Ark Bar Beach Resort guests are granted free access to the main daytime party pool area (300 baht entry for non-guests) which is a big bonus if you are planning on doing some daytime drinking beside the pool. It really is an experience lounging around the pool while being surrounded by dozens of scantily clad girls showing off the latest in bikini fashion. Definitely wear some sunglasses and then you can perv away to your heart’s content 😉
Tips: They play loud dance music at the main beach bar from 2pm-2am, and the bass echoes through most of the resort. If you want a quieter room then request this when you make your online booking and request again when checking in and you will be given one towards Chaweng road end.
As it is a party resort they don’t put up with any shenanigans as they’ve seen and heard it all before. Consequently, there are a plethora of strict rules at Ark Bar Beach Resort. Familiarise yourself with these or you could find yourself out of pocket by a few hundred or thousand baht for breaking them.
The walkways to the Ark Bar beach go past the resort rooms, so you will definitely have literally 100s of people passing your room day and night if your on the ground floor. If you leave the curtains open then you will be in full view of the people passing by. If you want more privacy then definitely request a 1st floor room (which is what I did).
I didn’t think the premier deluxe room I stayed in was worth the extra money I paid so (unless you need a lot of extra space) book a cheaper room is my advice and spend the difference on booze when you arrive.
For the best room rates book through this agoda link. I was quoted 1548 baht ($48) for a Superior room in June 2018 which is great value for what you get.
A 3-star, guest friendly hotel with 162 rooms.
Room rates start from around $73 (inc. breakfast for 2).
Chaweng Garden Beach Resort is a large and well established hotel in Chaweng. It is located directly opposite the Hooters bar / Hard Rock and is only 1 minute walk to Soi Green Mango. Central Festival Mall is just a 2 minute walk away. The rooms are to be very clean, spacious and well appointed. There is a nice swimming pool and the restaurant food here is among the best you will find in the area.
Overall: Chaweng Garden Beach Resort is a very safe and solid choice of hotel in Chaweng. The rooms are a bit more expensive than average for central Chaweng, but if you stay here you will know where that extra money went. Reviews are pretty much glowing across the board for this place, it’s a great place to book if you just want peace of mind ahead of your trip that you’ll be staying in a good hotel.
The complimentary breakfast is also reported to be very good, with a lot of choice on offer and it does make a difference starting the day with a ton of high quality buffet food in your belly.
Tips: For the best rates reserve a room through this agoda link, I was quoted 2340 baht ($73) for a room in July 2018.
Thank you for reading this article, hopefully the info here will help travelallasia.com subscribers when choosing their hotels in Koh Samui. I would appreciate your comments or feedback and I plan to revise and improve this list to keep it as up to date as possible.
Once again if you are considering booking a hotel anywhere in the world through booking.com or agoda then consider using the links above (at no extra cost to yourself) as it would really help the YouTube channel and the running of this website. Thanks once again and I hope you have a great trip to Koh Samui.
Minh Huong – Blogger Travel Thailand