When you’re planning a holiday it’s always nice to hear peoples recommendations of where to stay. Often great little finds don’t appear when you’re trawling through websites and you often discover things too late. I find researching where to stay a time consuming process. Everyone’s tastes are different and you’re not always going to agree with their recommendations, but it’s nice to have a starting point. So here are some recommendations from my time in Thailand.
We stayed at the Haad Tien Beach Resort and loved it. There are two accommodation options to suit different budgets both situated in Thian Og Bay otherwise known as Shark Bay. It has it’s own private beach which is cleaned daily by staff, two pools, plus a diving pool if you want to get your Padi’s licence, plus a spa. My friends stayed in the villas in Haad Tien, while I was perched up in The Beach Club. There are shuttle buses that run from the resort into Mae Haad or for an extra charge to Sairee Beach. If you miss the shuttle buses, taxi’s can easily be ordered.
Happy hour is daily if you’re lounging by the pool or beach and meals are an easy option if you don’t fancy leaving the resort. It’s about a 15 min walk (up and down a steep road) into Chalok where there are some shops, restaurants, and it’s where we had a couple of massages and did a yoga class. Wonder another 5 mins further and you arrive at Chalok Baan Kao Bay where we had a fun night out.
The only slightly negative aspect of Haad Tien, is being at the southern tip of the island it does experience sea breezes which can churn the sand making the water clarity not always clear. But it’s a small price to pay for a beautiful location and with the two pools you can easily cool down if you need to. Otherwise hire a long tail boat and head up to the top of the island where there are great swimming and snorkelling spots and crystal clear waters. My favourites spots were Jansom Bay and Aow Muang (Mango Bay).
I stayed at the Pariya Resort & Villas in Haad Yuan which is the only resort in the bay. I felt it was over priced and the property was tired, plus wifi and 3G connections were non existent. There are only two ways to get to Haad Yaun, by boat or 4WD. Both options are an adventure! I arrived by boat at dusk and the sea was choppy which made it an experience when you’re lugging your bags with you on your own while getting wet. I suggest allow plenty of time if you need to get anywhere, the boats won’t leave until there are enough people to take the journey and they won’t go in rough weather after this incident a few years ago.
Don’t let that put you off though! The beach was lovely and very chilled compared to being on Haad Rin. It was slightly disappointing to see alot of rubbish around and with boats coming in and out regularly I only went for one swim in the ocean as I was put off by the grime from the taxi boats in the water. If I wasn’t travelling for such a long time my pick to stay in the area would have been The Sanctuary in Haad Thian. A friend had just stayed there and loved it. It’s an easy walk to access from Haad Yuan and the beach was lovely. (Note if you’re looking for absolute tranquility and piece and quiet then you may like to opt to stay elsewhere on the island. Koh Phangan is a party island and on weekends they do have all night parties in the area which you can’t escape from the noise.)
I transferred from the Pariya Beach Resort to the Bhundari Spa Resort & Villas on Koh Samui for better wifi access. I liked the location as it was 10 mins away from the hustle and bustle of Chaweng Beach. It was close enough to access the restaurants and shops, but far enough away to have some piece and quiet. With two pools it was a nice spot to relax at for a few days.
Other Recommendations For Places To Stay
Sensi Paradise Koh Tao , Coco Hut Koh Phangan , Tamarind Springs Koh Samui Silavadee Pool Spa Resort Koh Samui , Anatara Bophut Koh Samui Resort & Spa, Siam @ Siam Design Hotel Bangkok , Hotel Muse Bangkok , Anatara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa
Bangkok Airways has a monopoly on flights getting to and from Koh Samui. The boat and bus trip from Bangkok is well organised and really affordable if you can spare a day travelling. My one tip would be if you suffer from sea sickness and are on a Lomprayah boat, sit up on the top decks as many people sitting in the lower cabin were suffering from sea sickness. I travelled on both Lomprayah and Seatran ferries and the Seatran was a lot smoother if you’re sitting down below.