Koh Samui Family Resorts

Updated: June 22, 2018

Koh Samui Hotels for Families – Tips and Recommendations

  • Booking.com – The best website for finding family hotels in Koh Samui.
  • The best time to visit Koh Samui is from mid-December until early September. The driest and sunniest weather is from January until March or April. October and November are the rainiest months on Koh Samui (though you will find some incredible hotel deals).
  • Best towns for families: Chaweng (great beach, lots of shopping, restaurants, nightlife) • Choeng Mon (quiet town with a handful of restaurants, great beach with shallow water) • Bophut (good beach, night market, hip shops, and restaurants).
  • Chaweng has the most nightclubs and beach bars but it never feels inappropriate for kids. The Ark Bar and neighboring clubs on the beach pound out the music until the early morning but that scene is easy to avoid and even that area is fairly kid-friendly through the day and early evening. Walk 5 minutes north or south from Ark Bar and Chaweng is very family-friendly.

Koh Samui with Children – Songkran Festival in Chaweng

The 6 Best Kid-Friendly Hotels on Koh Samui

1. Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort

Kids-friendly resort with superb facilities and sea views
Elegant, superb facilities, smaller than most and family-friendly. An extended laneway from the main road leads to a welcoming lobby of lotus ponds and traditional music. The rooms are similar, with only views of the sea (upper floors) and tropical gardens (ground level) differing. Most can squeeze in an extra single bed and a few have connecting doors. And the suites – many with divine sea views and direct beach access – can easily cater for a family of four. The Infinity pool is magical – lagoon-shaped and beachside, with ‘islands’ of palms – while the beach offers white sands and calm waters. The Baan Ling Noi (‘Little Monkey’) Children’s Club provides a better-than-average range of absorbing and educational activities, such as language, dancing and coconut bowling. Also impressive are the library, playground with a trampoline on the sand, games room, tennis court, movie room (when raining) and activities for the whole family, such as yoga and cooking. It’s midway along Bo Phut, a less developed region on the north coast, but with enough facilities within a short stroll and a few cafés along the beach.

2. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui

Big gardens and several activities for kids at Centara Grand Resort
Massive gardens, perfect for families, beachside yet downtown. With extensive grounds parallel to the beach, this is the only major resort in central Chaweng, the most developed part of the island. The landscaped gardens are immaculate and the lawns, with petanque, badminton nets and futsal goals, are immense. The lagoon-shaped pool is also idyllic, with ‘islands’ of palms and a kids’ splash area attached, while the beach is long and golden, with plenty of water-sports available (including noisy jet skis). Almost all rooms boast sea views, except those on the ground floor, which are compensated with a private plunge pool. All are elegantly furnished, although the bathroom is so big that the bedroom seems undersized. Family Suites can easily accommodate a family of 4, while most other rooms can slide in an extra single bed and/or have connecting doors. Activities for the family include yoga and aqua aerobics, while the library, games room and tennis courts are added attractions. The Camp Safari Kids’ Club is undersized but supervised, with heaps of fun games and a sizeable playground on the sand.

3. Peace Resort

Renovated and kids-friendly Peace Resort
Laidback, central, spacious and fun for families. One of the island’s very first backpacker lodges is now totally renovated but still maintains an easy-going charm and commitment to the local ecology. The pool villas are separated and hidden behind hedges, and others are split-level with 2 bedrooms. Many bungalows are dotted around the extensive gardens. With a 1970s-style rustic appeal, these are very comfortable with plenty of windows, a sizeable balcony and room for an extra single bed. The lagoon-shaped pool offers breezes and views, but minimal shade, while the beach is small and spotless. Also welcome are the quaint library, onsite dive centre and substantial building for cooking classes. The kids’ club is indoors and unsupervised but decent enough, and some activities are organised. The young ones would also enjoy the children’s pool, conveniently alongside the breakfast café and shady playground. In central Bo Phut, a less developed area along the north coast, there are plenty of facilities along the road and some cafés on the beach.

4. Santiburi Samui Beach Resort

Extremely family-friendly, quiet and opulent resort
Opulent, vast, quiet and superb for families. Set in colossal grounds where guests need buggies and staff ride bicycles, villas directly face the sea or overlook the gardens, and many feature a private pool. All are modern, luxurious and spacious enough for at least one extra single bed, while some villas and suites have two bedrooms. About 300m long, the beach is studded with palms and particularly serene. Far less inviting, however, is the main pool, which is oval-shaped and far too big. The range of attractions for the family is truly impressive: free water-sports and bicycle hire; a floodlit tennis court; futsal ground; and an extensive ‘sports centre’ with ping pong, badminton, yoga and snooker. Adults may also enjoy the related golf course (only 3km away), while the younger ones would relish the playground, movie room and children’s pool. The excellent Kids Activity Centre offers plenty of activities, such as Thai cooking and boxing, as well as a trampoline. Quietly set 200m from the main road, it’s at the western end of low-key Mae Nam, but with enough facilities nearby.

5. Sheraton Samui Resort

Lagoon-style pool with artificial and real beaches
Luxurious, extensive, perfect beach and ideal for families. With sprawling grounds squeezed between the road and beach, the Sheraton offers a range of rooms and suites with a whitewood décor. The Superior Rooms and Studios are similar inside, but the latter has more space, a Jacuzzi on the balcony and sea views (palms permitting). Most can squeeze in another single bed, many have connecting doors, and the two-bedroom suites can accommodate a family of 6. The lagoon-style pool is large enough to feature sandy ‘beaches’, while the real thing is wide and spotless. The whole family would enjoy the tennis court, games room and activities, such as yoga and Thai boxing, while the younger ones would relish the special café menu and children’s pool close to the breakfast area. And the Starkids’ kids club is one of the very best in Thailand: gated and supervised, it features a huge indoor area; a playground, jungle gym and treehouse on the beach; and a fascinating array of daily activities. The resort is in Chaweng Noi, just south of Chaweng, which is the island’s main tourist region and only a few minutes by songthaew taxi truck or hotel shuttle bus.

6. Vana Belle

Large infinity pool at family-friendly resort
Chic, serene, sumptuous and increasingly popular for families. Meaning ‘beautiful forest’ in two languages, it only offers secluded suites and villas, each with a private Infinity-edged pool and outstanding sea views. The Tropical Pool Villas are truly massive, with full-length windows on three sides, a refined Thai décor and open-plan bathroom. A personal butler is also included. All villas and suites can easily fit in at least one extra single bed. The sands below are bleached-white and immaculately raked, while the main Infinity pool facing the sea is very stylish and surprisingly substantial considering all guests have a private pool. Families will enjoy the array of activities, such as Thai cooking and language lessons, as well as ‘coconut petanque’. Or perhaps, something more physical like Pilates and beach soccer? The entrance is 300m from the main road in Chaweng Noi. This is smaller and to the south of Chaweng, the island’s most popular tourist region, which is easily accessible by songthaew taxi truck. Some low-key cafés are also dotted along the road nearby.

More Hotels with Large Family Rooms

  • Hansar Samui Resort & Spa – Bophut
    My favorite hotel on beautiful Bophut beach. Awesome restaurant and close to Fisherman’s Village. Plenty of families stay here but the vibe is more trendy than kid-friendly.
  • Smile House Resort Koh Samui – Bophut
    2-bedroom family bungalows. Right in the heart of Fisherman’s Village. 2 great pools.
  • Amari Koh Samui – Chaweng
    Just completely rebuilt and refurbished and everything looks amazing. Great location for families.
  • Poppies Samui – Chaweng
    Great beach and location. Stand alone cottages feel luxurious and charming.
  • Coco Palm Beach Resort – Mae Nam
    Large family Bungalows with private pool. Cheap for what you get. A few restaurants within walking distance but otherwise a little isolated.
  • The Privilege Hotel Ezra Royal Beach – Lamai
    Great value for what you get. Wonderful villas with private pool are awesome for families. Only downside: They’re in Lamai (not my favorite place).

Family Villas and Apartments in Koh Samui

Apartment villa with kitchen for families in Koh Samui.

The 3-bedroom villa with private pool at Amera Villas in Koh Samui.


Recommended apartment rentals for families in Koh Samui. All units have kitchens and swimming pools. Most have washer/dryer and free-wifi.

  • Amera Villas
    3-bedroom villa sleeps 8, 2 double beds, 2 single beds, and a sofa bed. Quiet location good for sunsets and ferry but a good drive from shopping and nightlife.
  • Rockwater Residences
    2/3/4/5-bedroom villas sleep from 4 to 10. Short drive from lively Chaweng Beach.
  • Baan Napoli Luxury Villa
    Huge 6-bedroom villa (all bedrooms with bathroom) is big enough for just about any family
  • Kanda Residences Pool Villa
    2-bedroom villas sleep family of four, 3-bedroom sleep family of six. 10 minute drive from both Chaweng and Bophut.
  • Infinity Residences & Resort
    A variety of beautiful apartments sleep families of 4 to 12. Quiet location a bit of a drive from main beaches.
  • Ammatara Pura Pool Villa
    Beachfront villa sleeps family of 4. Short walk from Lamai.

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76 Questions and Comments

  1. Koh Samui Place to Stay for Group of 5

    Hi Dave,

    I am going to Koh Samui this June 2018 with my family with total 5 adults.
    We plan to stay in Chaweng. Looking for hotel / resort room with private pool and a room with 5 guests.
    Any recommendation?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      These places might work but they are not in Chaweng:
      Paradise Island Estate (3-bedroom Villa with Private Pool)
      Belmond Napasai (3-bedroom Oceanfront Pool Residence)
      Kirikayan Luxury Pool Villas & Spa (3-bedroom Pool Villa)

      Few resorts, hotels, or villa complexes will allow five adults to share one room, so you have three other options:

      1) book three rooms – two double rooms and a single room, although almost every hotel will charge the same for a single room as a double.
      2) book two rooms and arrange with the hotel to include an extra single bed into one of the double rooms. This is possible at most resorts, but you will be charged extra for an adult; possibly not for a child
      3) book a villa/suite

      As you may know, Chaweng is the most developed tourist region on the island, with the best range of facilities. The area is built up, however, so very few resorts would be large enough to offer any room, suite or villa with a private pool. The largest resorts are further away in areas like Bo Phut. Otherwise, some resorts in Chaweng offer rooms that face a pool, with direct access by steps from the patio.

      In Chaweng,

      1) the Centara Grand Beach Resort is the only large resort in downtown Chaweng, and has one-bedroom Pool Suites
      2) the Sheraton Samui Resort & the associated Vana Belle are in Chaweng Noi, an adjoining beach, and offer two-bedroom suites but with no private pool

      Bo Phut is a more relaxed beach area, with enough cafés and shops to satisfy, and easily accessible by transport to Chaweng. The Santiburi is a massive resort that offers a Deluxe Pool Villa with two bedrooms. Elsewhere in Bo Phut, try:

      1) Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort – traditionally-designed, with a superb pool, lovely beach and two-bedroom Family Suites but without a private pool
      2) Bandara Resort – lovely gardens, in a nice part of Bo Phut, with secluded one-bedroom pool villas (renovations should be finished by mid-2018)
      3) Peace Resort – with some old-fashioned charm and one-bedroom Seaview Pool Villas

      Up the scale in cost are small private villa complexes (ie not resorts), with two- and three-bedroom villas sharing one pool, but these can be remote. Lotus Samui is in Ma Nam, not too far from Bo Phut, but Idyllic Samu is in the far northern tip and very isolated.

  2. Koh Samui Place To Stay for Family of 6

    Hi
    Wow! I’m so relieved to have found your page – extremely helpful! I have a question – we are a family of 6 (myself and husband, 2x 16 yr old sons, 8 yr old daughter and 3 yr old son). I am struggling to find accomodation that will appropriately fit us all!
    I like the idea of Bophut and would prefer a beachfront property which although being family friendly and having a kids club type arrangement, isn’t too big and tacky. We would prefer having the whole family together but if necessary would look at the little kids sharing a 2 bedroom type suite (or a connecting room) with us and the older boys having a twin room nearby. Our travel agent seems to think we will have to focus on a 2 bedroom villa option as connecting rooms are hard to guarantee. Given our large family it might be that we have to look further afield and consider another beach so to this extent we are open to suggestions. We plan on travelling in July sometime. I would really appreciate your thoughts and comments.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Options for families:
      1) renting three rooms with connecting doors. This is not hard to organize, but book directly with the hotel/resort (rather than through an online booking agency), and get a guarantee of connecting rooms in writing.
      2) renting two large rooms. Almost all hotels would allow your 3 year old to share your double room for little or no extra charge, and it shouldn’t be hard to organize (again directly through the hotel) a second room with three single beds.
      3) squeezing into a two-bedroom villa, but always make sure that the resort allows an extra single bed in each room. A villa offers more space, seclusion and privacy, and, often, kitchen/cooking facilities; sometimes, even a private pool. And this can usually be cheaper than booking two rooms.
      4) renting a three-bedroom villa, but these are rare and expensive

      The two main tourist regions on Koh Samui are Chaweng and Lamai, but Bo Phut, along the north coast, also offers enough shops, cafes and bars to satisfy. The lovely beaches are sandy and the waters calm, while the main road is also connected to most of the island by public transport.

      Those with children should stay at a family-friendly resort offering dedicated family rooms/villas/suites, special activities for the young ones, and/or amenities for the whole family (eg a tennis court and games room), as well as a children’s pool, playground and kids’ club.

      Good beachfront hotels for families:
      1) Anantara (Bo Phut) – smaller than others, with a traditional design, library and movie room
      2) Centara Grand (Chaweng) – vast and quiet, but in downtown Chaweng, with extensive gardens and sea views from most rooms
      3) Santiburi (Mae Nam, next to Bo Phut) – with colossal grounds, a movie room and sports centre

      The pick of the bunch would be the Sheraton in Chaweng Noi, along a quiet private beach five minutes by taxi/bus from downtown Chaweng. It also offers a tennis court, games room and sprawling grounds, as well as one of Thailand’s best kids’ clubs and two-bedroom suites especially designed for a family of six.

  3. W Hotel in Koh Samui for Families

    What are your thoughts on location and kid friendliness of the W hotel? Great blog.

    Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Among a vast chain of very luxurious resorts across the world, the W Koh Samui is one of the largest and most opulent on the island. Perched on a sandy headland, it boasts extraordinary views to the east and west, and extensive white beaches. It is located where Bo Phut meets Mae Nam, along the north coast. While the busier tourist regions of Chaweng and Lamai offer a wider selection of facilities, there are enough shops, bars, and cafés along the nearby beach or main road in Bo Phut (although the resort is about 1km from the main road). And most of the island is easily accessible from Bo Phut by public transport.

      Only offering private-pool villas, the high rates, contemporary bistros and trendy designs of the W are not ostensibly intended for families. Most villas strictly cater for only two adults, and while a few do accommodate four or eight people, these are primarily designed for groups of adults, not for families. And with no kids’ club or special activities, families are not actively encouraged or well catered for. Families are probably better off at a resort that offers rooms with connecting doors and can slot in one single bed (or maybe even two); a children’s pool; playground; amenities, like a tennis court; and special activities for the young ones and the whole family.

      In Bo Phut, these family-friendly resorts provide kids’ clubs and family suites/villas:

      1) Anantara Bophut – with a traditional design, it also features a library, tennis court and games room
      2) Peace Resort – smaller, laidback and more affordable, it has extensive gardens, a dive centre and library
      3) Santiburi (in neighboring Mae Nam) – this colossal place also has a sports centre and tennis court

      Also offering amazing facilities, family suites and 5-star luxury elsewhere on Koh Samui are the Sheraton, along the quieter Chaweng Noi beach; the adjacent and associated Vana Belle; and the vast, serene and convenient Centara Grand in downtown Chaweng.

  4. Non-Touristy Place to Stay in Thailand

    Hi

    I am very impressed with your blog – so useful and nicely written, thank you!
    We are looking at Koh Samui for August and have 7 and 9 year old; my husband and I have both been to Thailand before, staying in little huts on the beach when we were younger, and clearly we can’t go too basic with two children, but whats the best hotel/bungalows/resort that has that independent, more traditional feel, rather than a big global sparkly hotel? Or is that difficult to find with air con too?!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Almost all tropical islands around Thailand are now developed for mass tourism so finding a beach with huts on the sand is increasingly hard to find, especially on Koh Samui. But this island is not all massive charmless resorts – lovely hotels with gorgeous pools, a perfect beach and great facilities for children are easy to find. Two recommended hotels that fit your needs are in Bo Phut, a relaxed beach area on the north coast away from the bustle of touristy Chaweng and Lamai. There are plenty of shops and cafes in Bo Phut and it’s easily connected to the rest of the island by public transport. The Anantara is a resort but smaller and more personable than most. It also boasts a genuine traditional design and fantastic facilities, especially for the younger ones – eg, a kids’ club with engaging activities, trampoline, library, movie room and tennis court, as well as yoga classes and Thai cooking lessons. Also in Bo Phut is the wonderful Peace Resort, one of the first backpacker lodges on the island. Although thoroughly modernised it still retains a laidback 1970’s vibe. The bungalows are new, comfortable and separated, although a bit close together. The facilities are aso excellent for children, eg a kids’ club with plenty of activities, playground, children’s pool and huge room dedicated to Thai cooking classes. And don’t forget that August is the peak season for European travellers, so book ahead and be prepared for high rates and big crowds.

  5. Is the Imperial Boat House Open?

    Hi – do you know if the Imperial Boat House Beach Resort will be closed in July 2018? Their website shows all summer dates as sold out. I read somewhere that they may be doing renovations?

    Thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Imperial Boat House will be closed for renovations from May 1st 2018 until beginning of April 30, 2019.

  6. Best Family Resort in Koh Samui

    Hello.
    We are 2 adults and 2 children, ages 8 and 10 years old.
    I am looking at Centara (your favourite?), New Star Beach resort or The Sarann. We would like a nice beace nearby (I know we have to walk a few meters to the closest Beach at the Sarann), not a party place but some restaurants and shops are fine. Which of the hotels do you recommend?
    Great blog, by the way!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Would go with the Centara if you want to be walking distance to shops and restaurants. New Star is good choice if you want to hang by the pool and beach all day. Sarann is very nice too but do note it doesn’t sit directly on the beach (though it’s just a short walk away).

  7. Koh Samui Melati Resort with Kids

    Hello. What are your thoughts on the Melati Beach Resort and Spa in Koh Samui. Traveling with teenagers and younger kids. Want lovely beach and peace. Thanks, Sandrine Ghosh.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you want peace and quiet this is a great choice. Semi-private beach on a small cove. Nice sand (with just a few rocks here and there but still very nice). Beautiful beach-front pool. Only drawback (or maybe it’s a plus) is there’s very little within walking distance. If you want to shop or a choice of places to eat you’ll be taking a 15 minute drive to Bophut or Chaweng.

  8. Best Koh Samui Town for Apartment Stay

    Hi David,

    Greatly appreciate your insightful blog.

    We are a family of four (kids are 2 and 9). We will be in Koh Samui for around 10 days from the 17th of August. My son has special dietary needs which mean’s a standard hotel is out for us. We need a place with a kitchen that would allow us to cook his foods so we seek an apartment or serviced apartments etc. we are aware of Airbnb but are there other options to finding apartments. For us, we would like to be someplace within walking distance of a nice beach, restaurants, and shopping (if possible). Could you recommend which location on the island would best meet our needs, thanks!

    Cheers,
    Ed

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Any of the main towns would be good – Mae Nam and Bophut, probably the best.

  9. Centara Grand vs Intercontinental for Family

    We are heading to Koh Samui for 5 nights in middle September with two children 5&6. I was looking at the Centara Grand as you said it was good but Tripadvisor says it’s dated. Would you still recommend it. We have also seen a good deal for the Intercontinental. We are looking for a family hotel minimum 4 star or 5 star but not at the Four Seasons price range. Emma

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I agree the Centara has faded a little but it still has a great spot on a lovely beach, nice pool, and a family-friendly vibe. I would not recommend the Intercontinental as it’s located on the west coast of the island and a 40-plus minute drive to the major towns (unless quiet and secluded is what you’re looking for). It’s nice but isolated and the beaches aren’t great on that side of the island.

  10. Koh Samui with 5 Year Old

    Hi we will be in Chaweng, Koh Samui in about a week with a 5 yr old. Any good tips on what to see and do?
    Many thanks. We are staying at the Ozo Hotel. Christina

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There is an aqua park (floating inflatables) off the beach not far from Ozo Hotel in Chaweng. It’s fun but can be tricky for anyone not a decent swimmer. There’s also a small water park in Lamai that’s perfect for young kids: Coco Water Park.

  11. Kanda Residences vs Royal Muang Samui with Kids

    We are going to Koh Samui for six days in April with two young kids (aged 5 and 2). We are considering staying at Kanda Residences, but the reviews online make the beach sound terrible for kids. Our alternative choice is Royal Muang Samui. We are hoping to find something close to the action so that we can explore, but that still gives us privacy when we need to retreat. Thanks so much! Your blog is great. Camilla

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, Kanda has a lousy beach and is a good distance from the action (especially with a 2 and 5 year old). The Royal Muang has a much nicer beach and closer to central Chaweng.

  12. Inexpensive Chaweng Hotel for Group of 4

    Hi Dave, your blog is awesome – thank you!! We just booked the Smile House on Bophut and are now looking for a hotel on Chaweng – hoping you can help. My group consists of 4 people in our 30’s. Don’t want to be in the action on Chaweng but within walking distance or a short taxi ride. We are looking for a great beach but don’t want to spend a lot of money. So far it seems places are pricier than Bophut. Any suggestions? Also, do you have any suggestions for shows on Chaweng? Thank you! Nancy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Samui First House is at the far southern end of Chaweng Beach (sand and swimming are good here). Nightlife and center of Chaweng is a 20 minute walk along the beach or short taxi ride. Hotel doesn’t have a lot of character but is clean and cheap. They have a family room that sleeps 4 adults. Nice pool. Not right on the beach but their sister hotel is and that’s a 2 minute walk away.

  13. Briza Resort in Koh Samui with Child

    Hi David

    Great blog with some really useful info. We are planning a trip to Koh Samui in August and are looking for accommodation near a good beach with shops and restaurants. We need 2 rooms for us and 14 year old daughter but our budget doesn’t quite stretch for a large resort hotel – about 180USD per night. Any thoughts… we came across a hotel called the Briza Resort in Cheweng which seems to suit but couldn’t find many reviews.

    David

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Briza is nice. A good 3 star beach hotel. Easy walk to shops and restaurants. Beach is nice, water is very calm but can feel lagoonish at times with stagnant water (though nothing terrible just not beautifully idyllic).

  14. Which Anantara in Koh Samui?

    Which Anantara has the best beach for swimming in Koh Samui? Are any close to shopping & restaurants? Any other good beach resorts, not looking for calm waters necessarily? Like the waves….

    Thank you David!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Anantara Bophut is the more appealing – steps from shops and restaurants and on a nice beach. The Anantara Lawana is luxurious and closer to Chaweng but beach not really swimmable and nothing much within walking distance.

  15. Lamai or Chaweng During Christmas

    Greetings
    Great blog, very useful.
    I am planning a holiday in Samui for Christmas.We are a family of 5 adults.
    We are a bit undecided on where to stay between Lamai Beach and Chaweng beach. Could you help us decide? We have want to be some where busy and near shops and restaurants as tourists. Also we want a calm and clean beach to swim.
    Are there any special events for Christmas there? How’s the weather in this time of the year?
    And which do you recommend Phuket or Samui?
    Thank you so much.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I think you’ll like Chaweng better – more to do and a nicer family-friendly vibe. Beach is great at both towns but water a little more swimmable in Chaweng. Hotels often put on a special dinner which can be fun – especially at the smaller places (e.g. Poppies). Weather is usually good around Christmas but still can get the odd rainy or overcast cay. Weather in Phuket is usually a little nicer than Koh Samui during the Christmas holidays as the rainy season ends about a month earlier on the west coast.

  16. Koh Samui on a Budget (with 1 year old)

    Hi David,
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience here – super helpful!
    Our family (wife and 1 year old daughter) will be traveling Thailand for our first time in mid-December. We have heard about inexpensive accommodations in Thailand, but is this possible in Koh Samui? We are going primarily to relax at a resort, beaches and resort amenities would be most important but we are on a budget (hoping to stay around or below $100/night). Is this possible? Can you suggest a few options where we might stay for 4-5 nights?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Lots of good hotels for less than $100/night: Smile House (Bophut), Peace Resort (Bophut), Imperial Boat House (Choeng Mon) – even the brand new Amari (Chaweng) has a few rooms under $100, though the two-bedroom family suite is quite a bit more.

  17. Family Hotel in Koh Samui

    Hi Dave, almost booked Centara Grand but we felt that maybe it was too large and not so traditional Thai, we will be going as a family of 4 with two daughters 14 and 9. What else would you recommend on Chaweng instead or even somewhere else but we do like the idea of being able to wander down the beach to various restaurants and bars. Many thanks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Anantara in Bophut (don’t confuse with the Lawana) is both very family-friendly and a short walk (steps, really) to the restaurants, shopping and weekly night market of Fisherman’s Village. Beach here is not as soft as in Chaweng but if you walk 5/10 minutes to the west (the opposite direction of town) the sand gets progressively less coarse.

  18. Sheraton Samui or Le Méridien Koh Samui

    Hi. We are planning to stay Koh Samui early next April. My choices are Sheraton Samui resort or Le Méridien Koh Samui resort and spa since we are using rewards points. We have 5 year old son. We are planning to just relax but would like to get out of resort and do some tourist stuff. Restaurants and temples…..We are leaning towards Le Méridien because of guests’ reviews. Nice calm beach is important. Preference?? Your recommendation would be greatly appreciated.
    Kim

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Meridien is a more luxurious hotel with more character but the beach at the Sheraton is much better.

  19. Koh Lanta to Koh Samui

    Do you have any advice on getting from Ko Lanta to Ko Samui? We want to avoid flying from the Krabi airport to save costs. Thanks!

    Trevor

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You can take a combination of ferry, bus, and ferry to get to Koh Samui but it’s a full day trip. If you can afford it, it’s definitely worth the money to fly.

  20. Koh Samui for Family of 3 in December

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the great website and you details.
    we are planning a trip to Koh Samui from 15-19 December (2 adults with a 2 year old) . We see that everyone’s advised around the internet to stay in Chaweng or Bophut. We would like to stay on/ across the beach with restaurants / cafe’s in walk-able distance. Our idea is to have a break and just relax. What hotels would you suggest in 200 Singapore $ per night range. We liked the look of Centera Grand Resort in Chaweng. Any advice will be highly appreciated.

    regards,
    Varun

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Chaweng is the best if you want a great beach and walking distance to restaurants. Centara is great. Amari is another good one. Beach is better at Centara but the water is very calm and protected around Amari which is nice with young kids.

  21. Thailand in November

    Planning for a 10 day break to Thailand in November with my wife & 11 month old kid. We start off by heading to Pai for 2-3 nights & then Koh Samui for another 2-3 nights and the balance in Bangkok. I know November is not the best time to be in Koh Samui but we are not big beach people. We would probably head to the beach for a few hours each day just so that the baby has a new experience. The two of us are looking at a relaxing hotel/resort with access to the beach so that we could hit the sand when it’s not raining. Nightlife with the child may not be possible too. We are vegetarians, so could you suggest a good resort? And if not Samui, then where?

    Rishi Jain

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The weather in Phuket will be better in November than on Koh Samui. But Samui can still make for a pleasant visit – especially if beach time is not a high priority. As for good hotels on Samui, both the Hansar and Anantara Bophut have a great location, wonderful pools, and a very easy walk to shops and restaurants (with many serving good veg options).

  22. Which Thai Island in October?

    Hi Dave
    We are 3 families with kids from 4 to 14 traveling to Thailand in October.
    We know it’s not the best time.
    Can you tell which island will have better weather in October?

    Thanks
    Aviv

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Chang or Koh Samet (both in the northwest) are the driest in October.

  23. Lanna Samui Resort for Kids

    Hi David, would you say Lanna Samui is suitable for kids under 6 and is it a bit isolated from the main areas? Thanks, Ian

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Good value hotel but a (not terribly pleasant) 12 minute walk to beach strip with restaurants. By taxi, not isolated but you’re not walking out your door and finding shops and restaurants.

  24. Deva Resort on Koh Samui for Children

    Hi David,

    Any comments for Deva Resort regarding kids? Trying to decide between Deva Resort and Peace Resort. Both don’t show much kids related stuff on their websites. We were in Double Tree Surin Beach last time and the kids slides, kids club etc. was fantastic!

    Thanks heaps.

    Nadine & 1 y.o. & 3.5 y.o.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Peace Resort has a much better location (short walk from Fisherman’s Village) and beach. Deva is a very nice resort but the beach is not great for swimming (too rocky and there’s a pier) and not nearly as much within walking distance. Neither have a kids club but both have very nice pools.

  25. Large Villa in Samui for 2 Families

    Hi Dave, Amazing Blog Man!! Hats Off. We are 2 couples with 3 kids aged 5,10,11 yrs travelling with our 60 yr old mom to Samui July for 5 nights. Looking at a villa with Pool and need your suggestion. We have shortlisted 4BR Vlla at Samui Boat Lagoon and few independent villas – Sabai Thani 10 at Bophut, Villa Baan Lom Talay & Samui Art Villa at Choeng Mon, Villa Majestic Ocean Views also at Choeng Mon and lastly Angelot Villa at Chaweng. Prefer easy access to swimmable beachside and good restaurants/bars. Thanks for such an informative blog.

    Sachin

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Villas right on the beach are hard to find in Koh Samui. The best beach properties are for hotels. The Samui Boat Lagoon is a nice villa but there is not a swimmable beach nearby – you’d need to take their free shuttle to Choeng Mon beach (which is great). I think Samui Art Villa is on a swimmable beach but can’t say for sure (it is not in Choeng Mon proper). I don’t know the others but none look to be right on any of the best beaches.

  26. Surat Thani to Koh Samui Ferry for Family of 4

    Hi, I am so keen to travel back to Koh Samui, with my family, kids will be 3&7.
    Will be travelling from BKK, and flights direct seem too pricey.
    Can you please confirm if flight to Surat Thani then ferry is ok with a young family.
    I have read a few negative reviews.

    Sheridan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, direct flights to Koh Samui are more expensive but if there’s any way you can swing it they are really worth the money. It’s not that the bus and ferry (and then a 40 minute taxi ride from port to main beaches – airport is much closer to the beaches) is that bad it’s just that it makes for a long travel day. The direct flight is much simpler and convenient.

  27. Koh Tao with Kids and Where To Stay

    Hi, this is a great blog, thanks! We want to spend around 10 days in Koh Samui in July with 2 kids ages 11 and 9. Will have a look at your recommendations above. We have been advised to go to Koh Tao for two nights and spend a day snorkelling. Would you agree and if so, any accommodation recommends?
    Jacques

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, definitely, Koh Tao is a beautiful island and the snorkeling is better than what you’ll find off of Samui. Where to stay depends on your preference for busy or quiet. Sairee Beach is the island’s main beach and has lots of shops, restaurants and activities within walking distance (Flying Trapeze Adventures is an off-beat option where you can learn the basics of the trapeze – but there’s also mini-golf, rock climbing, and more). The Koh Tao Coral Grand Resort is a great choice for families and is in a gorgeous beach setting.

      If you want something more quiet, head to Chalok Ban Kao which has less of a party scene but still has plenty of amenities. Ko Tao Resort is one of the more family friendly places to stay here and it has a pool, is right on the beach, and is close to everything.

      For snorkelling, you’ll find lots of day tours on offer. Laem Thian would bably be fun for you since there are often lots of small (and harmless) sharks.

  28. Koh Samui Hotel for Family of 5

    Hi Dave,
    Are hotels in Koh Samui strict with the number of kids staying in the same bedroom as parents?
    We have 3 kids, all under 12, and would feel more comfortable if they stay in the same room with us. Some of the family suites like the ones at W retreat are too expensive, or the 2 bedrooms are detached like the ones at Banyan Tree.
    Thank you for your time.
    Mimi

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Generally, I would say yes, they do stick with the number of guests set for each room. Smile House in Bophut has 2 bedroom villas that also have a separate living room and sleeping area/loft (up a ladder). I’m almost certain they’d let 5 sleep in that one. And there’s a 3-bedroom villa, if they didn’t.

  29. Centara Grand or Poppies in Chaweng for Family of 4

    Hi Dave
    Great blog, very useful.
    I am planning a holiday in Koh Samui in the 2nd week of June. We are a family of 4, me, my wife, and our college going kids.
    We are a bit undecided on where to stay between Centara Grand Beach Resort and Poppies. Could you help us decide.
    Thanks much.

    Ani Ghosh

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Centara has more of a resort feel. Poppies is more boutique (and has a better restaurant). The two hotels are a 5 minute walk from each other along the beach in South Chaweng. The sand and swimming in front of both hotels is great. Centara is better for young kids. Poppies better for honeymooners. You’re probably somewhere in the middle and have to lean towards one side or the other.

  30. Bophut with Kids

    Hi

    Firstly a big thank you for providing such a great information base.

    We are family of seven – 4 teenagers and one 10 year old plus mum and dad – travelling end of July and looking to spend 7 nights on the island in a villa.

    Erring towards Bophut as seems to have something for everyone – any good villa agencies? are we on the right track plumping for Bophut?

    Can you swim in the sea on this beach?

    Thanks again,
    Sarah Mcdermott

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, Bophut is a great family destination. The beach is very nice here and great for swimming. Admittedly, there are beaches with nicer/softer sand (Choeng Mon, south Chaweng) – the east end of the beach at Bophut does have coarse sand but it’s still fine for swimming. I’ve never used an agency for booking villas so couldn’t help there.

  31. Hotel for Wedding on Koh Samui

    Hi Dave-how are you?loved reading all your info:)
    I’m getting married in April 2018 and want to be near Chaweng beach. Where is good for a lovely small wedding venue (say 25-40 people) and also we have 3 children-which is a good family hotel also?
    Michelle

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Look at Nora Beach, Nora Buri, Vanna Belle, and Silvadee resorts. These cover a variety of locations and budgets.

  32. Bophut or Lamai with Kids

    Hi David,

    Love your blog. We are planning to go to koh samui for 10 nights early May this year along with our 3 year old daughter. We thought we would split it up and stay at 2 different locations. From your recommendation we thought we would stay at the Centara at Chaweng Beach and we were looking at Manathai at Lamai. We thought we would go to Lamai as the beach is better for kids but due to your comments about Lamai I’m having doubts and I am thinking of Bophut instead. What don’t you like about Lamai and do u think we are better off to go to Bophut.
    Thank you
    Lisa

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Bophut is much nicer than Lamai. The beach at Lamai is nice but otherwise the town doesn’t have a lot to offer and has a slightly seedy feel (not awful but not relaxing either). Bophut has a great vibe and is fun to walk around at night. Lots of family-friendly places to eat. The beach at Bophut is a mix of sand quality (it gets nicer the farther west you go). In any case, Manathai Hotel is not really in Lamai. It’s a 10 to 15 minute walk along a busy road from town. And the hotel is not on the beach but on the opposite side of the road. There are far better places to stay than this area.

  33. Villa for Large Group in Koh Samui

    Hi David

    I have a group of 12 adults and 3 children under 9 and we are looking for places to stay where there are 2,3 & 1 bedrooms for the whole group we want to go to Koh Samui around 20th December 2016 until 3rd January 2017. Can you suggest places where we all can be together?

    Thanks
    Debbie

  34. Peace Resort in Bophut for Family of 3

    Hi Dave,
    Spending hours and hours researching where to stay in Koh Samui and always find myself back on your site. Looking at staying at the Peace Resort at Bo Phut. Would be grateful if you could give me any feedback if you know of the hotel. Also looking at hotels around Crystal bay and Lamai.

    Our budget is around £80.00 per night or less! on the beach if poss too.

    We have a 11 year old son who’ll be travelling with us, so not too much nightlife!

    Much appreciated
    Jo

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Peace Resort is wonderful and in a great position on the beach. Far enough west so that you get really great sand but still close enough to Fisherman’s Village (to the east) so that it’s not a long walk along the beach to get to town at night. Crystal Bay is nice. Lamai less so. Both are a little isolated. I would recommend south Chaweng or Chaweng Noi instead. Quiet beaches with great sand but much closer to the shops and restaurants of Chaweng. (It’s walking distance from south Chaweng to central Chaweng. From Chaweng Noi you’ll likely take a taxi most of the time.)

  35. Amari Samui / Weather in June

    Hi Dave
    Thank you for providing so much information.
    We (myself, husband, children 6 & 3) are looking at the Amari Koh Samui for the first 2 weeks in June.
    Do you think this hotel is in a good location? We want to be near the restaurants (been to Thailand pre children – love the food). Also I have read on here that June is great weather…. Can we expect lots of blue skies and sunshine?

    Thank you xxx
    Carrie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Amari Samui is a great hotel. It’s currently being refurbished and everything will be brand new when you visit in June. It’s on a nice stretch of beach north of the beach clubs. It’s about a 10 to 15 minute walk along the beach to central Chaweng. Many good restaurants are nearby on the beach. Across the road from the hotel (not on the beach) is one of Koh Samui’s best Italian restaurants, Prego.

      There are never any guarantees with weather on Koh Samui, but June is pretty consistently a good time to visit – though be prepared for some short-lived rain storms.

  36. Choeng Mon or Bophut for Family

    Thank you for this site. It has been invaluable in planning our holiday in Thailand. We hope to spend 6 nights in Koh Samui and have decided on Choeng Mon for the beach. On our budget our choice is between the Imperial Boat House and the Bay Water Resort. The latter is not mentioned on your site. Would you be able to advise which one of the two to go for? Thanks so much!

    We are also tempted by Bhoput but is the sand/beach that much worse than Choeng Mon? Can’t decide. Your advice would be much appreciated!

    Meera

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Bay Water is a new hotel and very nice – but not right on Choeng Mon beach (it’s about a 3 minute walk to the beach). The Imperial Boat House is on the beach with wonderful pools. For full-on resort, choose the Bay Water. For a beach vibe, the Boat House.

      I prefer Bophut to Choeng Mon (far more places to eat and drink) but both are very nice.

  37. Chaweng with Kids – or Bophut or Choeng Mon?

    Hi Dave, great blog thanks. You recommend a lot of properties in Cheweng but so many people on forums say stay well clear – its the Benidorm of the East! Is there a good and bad bit to Chaweng? We were looking at either BoPhut or Choeng Mon beach instead, perhaps staying 3 nights at each (one budget and one luxury to balance the books!).

    Our girls are 6 and 10.

    Thanks,
    Tracy G

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Bophut is my favorite beach town on Koh Samui, so I will heartily recommend it. Choeng Mon has the most calm and kid-friendly beach but it’s pretty quiet, with just a handful of places to eat. Chaweng is wonderful too. Especially along the beach, where you can walk for 30+ minutes from north to south with lots of different places to eat and drink. The party scene is a very small stretch and not near the hotels I listed above. There are no big hotels or buildings taller than 2 (maybe 3) floors. (Very unlike Benidorm.)

  38. When Is The Best Time for a Family Vacation on Koh Samui

    What months are best for a family trip to Koh Samui. Would also like to spend time in Bangkok – when is it nicest there? We are thinking some time between late December and June, 2016. We are a family of 4 that will be flying from Sydney to Bangkok and plan on 2 weeks in Thailand.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Those are all good months for visiting Koh Samui. The worst months are October and November and outside of those it’s consistently nice with the best months on Koh Samui being from late December until mid-April. As you move into April and May the weather gets progressively hot. Not so bad if you’re just hanging by the pool all day but if you have kids it can start to feel stultifying and just too darn hot to do anything. For Bangkok the heat starts a little earlier and is more intense, so the best months there are from early December until late March.

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