Bophut West; a mid-range beach with location, location...

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Booking directly with the hotel – thus cutting out all commission agents – is the best way. But only some hotels guarantee to discount below the advertised online rates. We display all Samui beachfront hotels that guarantee, in writing, such discounts. See the Samui map page for the full list. We put you in direct contact with the hotel, and take no commission.

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Bophut has three distinct zones; Bophut East, Bophut West and Fisherman's Village. The latter, entertainment village separates East and West, which are very different indeed. As our beach maps show, the East is a very small section of beach with a small number of rooms, and only one hotel with enough facilities to be called a resort. Bophut West is the major tourist accommodation area here, with 14 resorts and hotels marked on our maps, many of them quite large and luxurious. The map shows that virtually all of this beach is occupied by these tourist establishments.
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This west side of the beach – some 1.6 kilometres of sand – is in the 'middle' in many ways; location, development and accommodation options. In the middle of the North coast, Bophut is certainly not one of Samui's isolated beaches, yet the level of development here is still rather rustic and 'village' - in the middle range of Samui's development chart.
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The mid-coast location makes Bophut West convenient to Samui Airport, yet far enough from the flight path to miss the noise of air traffic. It is not far from Big Buddha, and Bophut's own Fisherman's Village is within easy reach, even walking distance. It is on the road to the island's administrative centre on the west coast, and the two ferry ports there.
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Perhaps most importantly (for some), Bophut West is only a ten minute drive from the nightlife and entertainment centre of Chaweng. One can thus enjoy the relatively low-key and relaxed atmosphere of Bophut Beach by day, while two of Samui's top evening entertainment centres are not far off: Bophut's local scene, and the bigger, wilder one in Chaweng.
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Bophut accommodation offers many mid-range beachfront hotels, plus a number on both the up-market and budget ends of the range.
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Some of the other pages about Koh Samui, and other beach destinations in Thailand, might prove helpful:

Beach basics: sand, shade, water, massage, activities

Sand
Bophut West catches the sand. Waves from the annual northeast monsoon gradually move it west. That's good news for the resorts here, and their guests. While the beach at Bophut village is very narrow and disappears at high tide, here in the west it is wide, sandy and quite attractive.
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Water
Here the water is relatively deep and good for swimming. There is no offshore reef at this end of Bophut, and thus no sand bank running to the beach. Only the very last 300 metres, that running below the small headland, has a reef and shallow, rocky bottom.
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Shade
It is a little surprising that Bophut has fewer beach trees and less shade than most other beaches on Samui, especially when many of the resorts here have such lush gardens. Unfortunately, a number of resorts have cut the natural trees to bring buildings right up against the sand. It makes beach umbrellas necessary in many places, though even those are not sufficient protection through the heat of the day. Bophut Beach can get hot. Look at the photos of resorts' beach frontage before making booking decisions.
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Massage
These options are found along the full length of the beach. Almost every resort here has a spa, and there are many smaller independent operators under trees at various spots on the beach, giving a range of choices.
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Beach restaurants & bars
The number and variety of Bophut’s beach restaurants and bars is famous, drawing visitors from across the island. See more about the many choices on our dedicated page about Fisherman’s Village.
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Water sports
A few resorts here have beach catamarans and kayaks – for their house guests’ use only. There are very few or no independent water sports operators here.
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Jet Skis
There are a few jet skis operating on this beach, so while it is relatively quiet, it is not without some disturbance.
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Beach Hawkers
Some hawkers are found here, but in relatively small numbers. The mainly sell finger food and tropical fruits, and are generally polite and not very intrusive.
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Suitability for children
This beach is fine for children, especially those old enough to swim. The water becomes quite deep quite quickly, so it’s not so well suited to very young ones, who need to be watched carefully.
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Sunset, sunrise
With this beach facing directly north, it doesn’t fully see the sun either coming up or going down. However, around sunset the sky will often turn beautiful shades of pink and red, and that, with reflections off the ocean and the beautiful view to Koh Phangan, can give visitors an entirely relaxing and enjoyable place to end the day with a cool drink.
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Gardens, lots of lush foliage in Bophut's resorts ...

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Despite the fact that some sections of Bophut's beachfront are void of big shade trees, many resorts here have made extra efforts to create especially lush and beautiful gardens. Those in Anantara's are outstanding, while Bophut Resort, Samui Palm Beach, Lawana and others also luxuriate in beautiful tropical foliage Waterways or features are also used for an extra relaxing effect.
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Here are photos of some of the more interesting resort gardens.

Bophut Beach West – from budget bungalows to 5-star luxury

It is not many years since most beachfront accommodation on Bophut Beach was 2-star and basic. Today just a few of those original establishments remain, while most of their neighbours have been sold and redeveloped to meet the soaring demand for 4-star and 5-star luxury. Resorts now line virtually all of Bophut where the road allows space. As our maps show, there are at least 14 of them.
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Bophut West enjoys a good location – with roads to all corners of the island, easy access to the airport and to the many lifestyle possibilities in this northeast corner of Samui. It also enjoys a good swimming beach and reasonable tranquillity. These have helped Bophut become one of the most popular beaches on the island.
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First we show a few of the older, budget bungalows that were still operating on Bophut in 2010 – but don’t be surprised if you cannot find them today. Redevelopment continues at quite a rapid pace on Samui. Then below we give snapshot views of six beachfront accommodations at the top end – a quick comparison with a link to each resort's own pages and photo gallery in this site.
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Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa

Zazen Boutique Resort is rather small and distinctly ”boutique”. It has the most daring and most interesting design of all resorts on this beach, exuding a sense of fun and youthful romance. It is surprisingly up-market for such a small resort – claiming four star status - on a beach with so many mediocre accommodation options nearby.
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The beachfront of Zazen is distinctly off-beat. The niche wall facing the sand, where many a romantic couple has relaxed in bliss, is smartly designed. The beach is a little narrow at this far west end of the beach, but the water is excellent for swimming, for there is no offshore reef here – although one does start just beyond this resort. See the interesting design of Zazen Boutique Resort in its hotel page and photo gallery.
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Peace Resort; family-friendly tranquillity in expansive gardens

Being one of the early resorts to open on this beach, Peace Resort was able to acquire a large plot of prime land close to the middle of the beach. Our map shows that only one other resort can equal the width of its beachfront. To its credit Peace built fewer rooms and kept more trees over its expansive area, with the result today being a resort immersed in a mature forest. Also, Peace has upgraded over the years since it began, but has avoided to temptation to build anything higher than two floors, keeping well under the coconut palms. The great majority of its accommodations, now thoroughly modern and 4-star, are still in single unit bungalows with balconies looking out into the surrounding foliage. Some provide families with connecting rooms.
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The large restaurant sits right above the beach, providing a pleasant dining venue and a great place to relax during the hot hours of day. Parents can also relax here while supervising their kids either on the beach or in the adjacent swimming pool. This big pool, with special toddlers and children's sections, helps make this an especially family-friendly resort.
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See Peace Resort, its accommodations and beach on its own pages in this site.
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Anantara Koh Samui Resort & Spa

Anantara Koh Samui Resort bears one of the more respected luxury brand names in Thailand, and one can expect the highest standards in just about everything here. Needless to say, this 5-star property is a full-service resort. The atmosphere through its extensive gardens is that of the lush tropics. It has a good size pool, and a wide beachfront area raised above the sand, giving good views of the beach.
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At the east end of the line of beachfront resorts on Bophut, Anantara is a pleasant stroll from Bophut's Fisherman's Village, the main attraction here and the centre of wining and dining.
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Bo Phut Resort & Spa

Bo Phut Resort is something of a surprise for this beach, for one rarely finds 5-star luxury of this kind in a local-grown resort. This is one of just two resorts on Bophut that can claim 5-star status. The majority of accommodation units here are luxury villas set throughout tropical gardens, with water features between. There are a few pool villas and some hotel-style rooms. The swimming pool is quite large and has a children's section. The beachfront area is mix of garden and restaurant, facing a good part of Bophut beach where the sand is quite wide and the swimming good. Perhaps the only thing this resort lacks is more trees and shade along the beach. See Bophut Resort's photo gallery and full details.
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Bandara Resort & Spa

4-star Bundara Resort follows the lead of its 5-star neighbours with yet more beautiful tropical gardens, making this central part of Bophut Beach a lush and green one. Bundara was more rooms than its neighbours, most of them in hotel blocks. The strongest attraction of this resort is perhaps its large and interesting pool, close to the beach. The hotel's beachfront is also good, with many beach lounges both on the beach and on a sun terrace. There are some trees for shade, but there is also a covered restaurant overlooking the beach and sea. This also enjoys one of the best parts of Bophut Beach, with good sand and swimming conditions. For full details see Bundara Resort on its own pages.

Samui Palm Beach Resort

Samui Palm Beach Resort is the grand old lady of Bophut Beach, having opened here long before most other up-market resorts, at a time when most accommodation on Bophut was in backpacker bungalows. It belongs to the Bangkok Airways group. As an early arrival Samui Palm Beach secured the longest tract of prime beachfront land. The resort is divided into two, with hotel style rooms in the main resort, and more luxurious garden villas in the Royal Wing to one side.
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The resort's beachfront is quite attractive, with many coconut palms shading the sand and lawns. This also has an exceptionally large pool which, if a little boring in its rectangle shape, is great for swimming laps. There are photos and full information in the resort's own page at Samui Palm Beach.
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Devatara Residence

Devatara Residence offers luxury beachfront villas right on the beach, this time at the far west end of Bophut. The location sets this off by itself, giving a little additional privacy. However, the beach here has a reef offshore and shallow water in front. The good swimming area of Bophut is 200 metres back towards the other resorts. Luxury villas of this kind require a bigger investment in a holiday, but give full facilities for luxurious family living, a home-away-from-home. From Dhevatara it is only a few minutes’ walk to Maenam Beach, giving access to two of the island's better beaches.
See the home-style villas with private pools at Devatara Residence.
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Road, village, and Bophut's own Fisherman's Village

Bophut's Fisherman Village has become such a famous landmark, and favourite eating and drinking venue, that Bophut guests have to share it with visitors from all over the island. That’s no problem, however, for the number of restaurants and beach bars is high, and there are generally a couple of coffee shops and/or bakeries there too. Like new restaurants everywhere, they come and go with the seasons. During the day many clothing, souvenir and craft shops are open, along with beachside restaurants. But it is around sunset that this village really comes alive, and stay that way till quite late.
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Friday night the main, narrow street becomes a walking street with stalls set up with a bazaar atmosphere taking over. There’s lots of Thai street food and the open-air beer bars do good business. To see more of this village and the many different establishments here see our dedicated Fisherman’s Village info and photo page.
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by John Everingham

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