Koh Samui’s top 10 small luxury beachfront resort hotels

Top 10 small luxury beachfront resorts among 100+ on Koh Samui

How to find the lowest hotel rates on Koh Samui
We identify hotels that guarantee, in writing, to discount below the best available on-line rates for guests who book directly with the hotel. This cuts out middlemen and saves money for both guest and hotel – and we take no commission.
See the GUARANTEE list on this page, then contact hotels directly via the e-mail box on the hotel page.
We also sell DISCOUNT ROOM VOUCHERS, the cheapest rooms available on Koh Samui beaches. These are limited & conditions apply. Just click TOP DEALS above. Contact Jade for advice anytime: jadebeachfront@gmail.com

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Koh Samui has some 270+ true beachfront hotels and resorts spread over more than a dozen beaches – and all are quite small by international standards. Despite Samui’s backpacker origins, today we find the great majority of these accommodations at the mid- or up-market end of the scale, with few budget rooms remaining.

Small luxury beach hotels? Well over 100 of the island’s total must now be classified ‘luxurious’. Selecting this top 10 list was thus very difficult, and many fine resort hotels have been left out. However, we have other categories that show off the better hotels for different reasons.
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Another 10 outstanding, small beach resorts have been featured in the Top 10 Beautiful Boutique Resorts. We have avoided duplicating them here. Additionally, because there are simply so many excellent luxury resorts on the island, we have also featured larger luxury resorts in Samui’s Top 10 large luxury resorts.
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The criteria used in selecting these resorts have gone well beyond identifying hotels with luxurious bedrooms – which all here indeed have, in varying degrees. Also taken into account is the time guests spend outside their rooms, both within the resort and on the beach or resort environs. Beautiful beachfronts where guests can relax in the sun or shade with a view of the ocean score well here. The quality of the beach has also been taken into account, though a few, like Nikki Beach Hotel, Tango Lux and The Sarann have overcome poor beaches with exceptional resort facilities and grounds. For some variety, The Kala has no beach at all, but its location on the side of a mountain overlooking the ocean is quite outstanding, as are the resort rooms and facilities.
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Future visitors to Koh Samui who really value the beach, and want to swim, should be aware of the strange tides in the Gulf of Thailand, which produce a single high tide throughout the day between November and March, and a reverse, all-day low tide from May to September. Many of the beaches are too shallow for swimming at low tide, adversely affecting many beach-lovers.
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Other travel info pages about Koh Samui might be helpful:

Nikki Beach Hotel – 48 rooms luxurious rooms & a trendy club

This hotel often suffers an identity crisis, and here I will do my bit to spread word that Nikki Beach Hotel is much more than a trendy beach club with hot music and lots of beautiful people sipping cocktails. This is a serious, even exceptional, luxurious beachfront resort – even if they call themselves ‘hotel’.

The central Nikki Beach Club is the public magnet that draws thousands of trendy, young-at-heart people from across Samui to this remote, west coast location. It’s surprising that this is a one-of-a-kind beach club on fashionable Koh Samui – perhaps the reason people drive for 30 minutes to get here from Chaweng and other northeast beaches.
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But as stated, Nikki Beach also has luxurious accommodations in two very different configurations. The ‘standard’ rooms are in two parallel, two-storey blocks that sandwich a long swimming pool. Luxurious? Indeed, with all modern fittings. That’s on the south side of the beach club – a few metres away.
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On the north side we find the serious luxury: Nikki’s villas widely spaced through delightful tropical gardens and shaded by towering coconut palms. These don’t have individual pools, but the big pool of the beach club is just steps away. This compound is kept entirely private, with the club revellers hardly being aware that such all-in, luxurious accommodations are so close by.
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Tango Luxe Beach Villa – 14 luxury rooms in a Thai community

Small, personal, tasteful and luxurious, the 14 rooms of Tango Luxe Beach Villa are hidden gems that will not suit the masses looking for the perfect beach. But are sure to delight many of those seeking something different and out of the way. Beach is not the highlight here, with the resort facing a narrow strip of sand lining a shallow bay with a marina crammed with fishing boats and leisure yachts. But it is distinctly Thai, and within, Tango Luxe is a sanctuary of colourful pleasure and delight. All rooms here are ‘pool villas’, even though they are just plunge pools. Floor to ceiling windows seem to invite the tropical foliage inside. The rooms are spacious, with the wooden floors and ceilings create a rich, sensuous ambience. Bathrooms are likewise spacious, with wood fittings and period tubs and fittings.
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Like the whole hotel, the beachfront area and its swimming pool are quite small, but again are done with taste and provide a pleasant, relaxing space. Swimming in the ocean is not a real option here, but Tango Luxe is about something quite different; escaping to a hideaway, living in the Thai zone rather than among the tourist hotels, and of course, luxurious accommodations.
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Kanda Residences Samui - 30 luxurious, fully-fitted villas

For families and groups of friends looking for home-style living in a fully-furnished villa, Kanda Residences ’ 1- to 4-bedroom villas make interesting choices. Couples seeking exceptional privacy will also appreciate this luxurious choice away from the crowds.
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The location on a lonely stretch of coast with small private beach is one of the main advantages for this collection of 36 villas. While Kanda gives a sense of real isolation – there are no neighbours visible at all – it is just a 10 minute drive from both the airport and the famous lifestyle options of Chaweng beach, including restaurants, bars, street food, shopping and markets etc.
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All villas have a private pool, lawn and garden plus beautiful ocean views. Fully-fitted kitchens allow families to do their own cooking when they wish, though of course the resort also has its own restaurant on a deck overlooking the beach and ocean.
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The Briza Beach Resort & Spa – 57 pool rooms from the Srivijaya era

The Briza Beach Resort Samui was obviously built by someone with a passion for Oriental art, history and culture; the resort is infused with the architectural styles, motifs and art pieces from the East. While the resort states that it is built in ‘Srivijaya’ style, so little is known of that ancient, almost mythical kingdom that we wonder how. But Oriental it certainly is, and beautifully so.
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Chinese sometimes seems to be the predominant theme, with roofs, doorways and decor giving glimpses of the ancient Middle Kingdom. But turn a corner and you may be transported to old Siam, while from the outside we see the water features, gardens and lines that are distinctly Modern Tropical Asian, the architectural and design amalgam born in Bali just a generation ago.
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Those who enjoy the sensuousness born of immersion in a foreign culture will surely appreciate the love that went into the building of The Briza – and enjoy staying here. Luxury accommodations are offered in small room blocks with differing configurations, with all villas or rooms having a small swimming or plunge pool. Rooftop rooms have pools and decks open to sun and stars, while those below open onto gardens and water features.
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In addition to providing a fascinating world of fine design and decor within, The Briza is also ideally located for those who also wish to partake of Chaweng’s famous nightlife, restaurants, bars, shopping etc. It’s all within easy walking distance of ancient Srivijaya.
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The Sarann – 49 pool villas & rooms overlooking the beach

The Sarann is another beachfront resort that has gone to great lengths to provide guests with stunning luxury amidst fine design and decor – in order to overcome a drawback in location. Although the resort is set facing one of the most beautiful beaches in Samui, Chaweng Noi, the section of beach directly in front of the resort is shallow and rocky. Guests only have to walk a hundred metres for excellent beach conditions.
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Inside The Sarann however, the suites and villas are both luxurious and tasteful enough to attract a lot of the honeymoon market ..Their view directly up Chaweng Noi Beach from villa beds is delightful. As the photos show, the swimming pool also enjoys a good infinity view of beach and ocean, and all public areas are also exposed to the views.
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One note of warning; this resort also has some back rooms overlooking the road, and they exposed to the noise. Avoid those, and The Sarann could be the perfect, romantic spot for any couple looking to spend lots of private time together in luxurious settings with a grand beach view.
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Sareeraya Villas & Suites – 49 luxurious villas & rooms

Sareeraya Villas & Suites offers luxury rooms and villas with exceptional style and decor. The 49 rooms come in suites with either ocean views or an outdoor Jacuzzi, or in villas with private plunge pools.
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However, for many guests the major advantage of this cosy boutique resort will be location. Lying at the far north end of the beach, Sareeraya is one of a half dozen fine resorts that have transformed this into the high-class end of Chaweng. It’s also significantly quieter, without the jet skis and hullabaloo of the beach’s middle zone.
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While enjoying some of rare calm on Chaweng Beach, Sareeraya is also within easy walking distance of the shops, restaurants, bars, markets and nightlife for which this boisterous beach is famous. It thus makes a peaceful, luxurious escape to retreat to after a night on Chaweng’s long entertainment strip.
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The Kala – luxury in 38 ocean-view rooms

The Kala has a special problem to overcome, and to do so it provides every measure of luxury and comfort for its guests that it can. The Kala has no beach; instead, it is crafted into a steep, rocky hillside overlooking an especially attractive portion of Samui’s rugged east coast. The trade of beach for views and tranquillity is a well measured one, for here each room does indeed have a spectacular ocean and island view. The steep mountain rushing skywards from the shoreline creates quite a spectacular scene in front of the resort. The attractive, small beach of Coral Cove is in view, and within easy walking distance.
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This small, boutique resort pampers its guests with luxurious rooms and a pleasant, if somewhat small swimming pool. It too enjoys nice views. Wooden walkways clamber through brush and over huge granite boulders to give access the water below the resort. Guests can swim, snorkel or kayak among the big boulders here. Strong swimmers could head directly to Coral Cove Beach. For kayaks, which are provided by the resort, the rocky shore and its many indentations make excellent paddling territory. Guests can paddle all the way to Chaweng Noi or Tongtakian beaches – if paddling strength allows.
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Synergy Samui – luxury in 30 beachfront rooms

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Synergy Samui is a new, modern addition to Chaweng Beach, bringing new levels of luxury with it. Set near the middle of Chaweng Beach, it offers guests a tranquil refuge by day and close proximity to multiple nightlife options after dark. Here you can simply walk out of the resort to explore the famous nightlife and shopping of Chaweng.
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The resort has plenty of space, but has chosen to remain low density with its chalets set in a grove of large trees. The long beachfront has two swimming pools and the restaurant, plus sea-view lounges where guests can relax in the shade through the day.
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This section of Chaweng beach is quieter than further north, with fewer jet skis and activities on the beach. The party zone centred around Ark Bar is only a few hundred metres up the sand, giving guests another option if the relaxing ambience of Synergy grows a little boring.
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The Passage Samui Villas & Resort – 50 rooms in 5-star luxury

The Passage Samui Villas & Resort is one of two resorts on this Top 10 list that are isolated on this remote northeast corner of Koh Samui – and it’s due entirely to the quality of the resort itself rather than the beach. The location is idyllic for those seeking a real tropical hideaway, though anyone looking for a real swimming beach may be disappointed. Waist deep water extends for 300 metres in front of the resort at high tide. But come at low tide and that becomes 300 metres of exposed sand. However, the strange tides in the Gulf of Thailand ensure that high tide lasts all day long through the months of November – March.
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To compensate for its off-and-on beach conditions, The Passage has created a lush and plus ambience within the resort to keep guests content. That includes three good sized swimming pools and a pleasant, beach-side sun deck and restaurant. When the tide is high the water is generally clear, calm, and inviting.
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The 50 rooms are all in modern, ground-level bungalows surrounded by foliage. Facilities and comforts are all 5-star.
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Note that this resort was branded a Moevenpick for a few years, before changing back to The Passage.
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The Sunset Beach Resort & Spa – 21 luxury boutique rooms

The Sunset Beach Resort & Spa is aptly named, for the daily setting of the sun is indeed the focus of much attention in this small, cosy beachfront resort. While the great majority of Samui beach hotels face the sunrise (though few of their guests are awake in time to see it) Sunset Beach faces directly west.
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This 21 room boutique hotel offers luxurious accommodations set into lush foliage, and opens onto a narrow beach where the sand runs unbroken by human habitation for kilometres. It’s far from the frenetic east coast beaches where the great majority of tourist hotels are jammed in side-by-side. Several small islands jut form the sea in front of the resort, while the Thai mainland is visible in the distance on clear days. It’s a very idyllic location for those seeking to avoid the tourist crowds.
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As the photos suggest, the resort sets lounges and tables in the sand for guest to relax in and enjoy nature’s daily spectacle as the red orb sinks below the sea or distant mountains.
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by John Everingham