Lamai Beach - sandy & granite boulders at the pretty south end

How to find the best hotel deals in Lamai & Koh Samui?
Booking directly with the hotel – cutting out agents & commissions – gets the cheapest prices. It saves the hotels money. But not all hotels pass that saving onto guests. We thus display all Samui beachfront hotels that GUARANTEE, in writing, discounts for direct bookings. If Lamai Beach has no Guarantee hotels, go to 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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Lamai South offers the widest beach & best swimming conditions

Are those huge granite boulders strewn across the south end of Lamai imperfections on a near-perfect beach? or are they beauty spots?
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Lamai Beach South is the area covered by our two southern-most beach maps. It is 1,200 metres of straight sand in front of the main township of Lamai – the 'tourist' town, that is, for the major Thai commercial centre lies further back. The biggest concentration of beachfront resorts is here, making this the virtual centre of Lamai. This is where tourism first took root on this beach – the reason the entertainment and nightlife area lies to the rear. Some would argue that this is so because here is the finest section of Lamai Beach.
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A few huge granite boulders give this part of the beach character, but there are none of the pesky little ones under foot. The far south end of Lamai Beach is the really rocky part. Here huge boulders as big as buses make sheltered pools – delightful, romantic swimming spots.
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The mad scramble of granite that creates the little headland here – the very end of Lamai Beach – also holds the famous Grandmother and Grandfather rocks. This pair, with resemblances to male and female genitals, attracts tourists from far and near – though most are Thai. This no-so-impressive pair has made it onto the Thai list of 'must-see-before-you-die' attractions, without which a Thai cannot boast of having seen all of his country. Samui has only one such 'Thai' attraction.
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While the northern end of this zone has the tourist village to the back, the far south has no entertainment and just a few shops on the main road, which comes closer to the beach here, about 300 metres back. Some resorts stretch 100 metres or more back from beach. The very south end of the beach, and the bungalows there, are accessed through the road running down to Grandpa and Grandma rocks.
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This site offers many more pages about Lamai & all beaches on Koh Samui:

Beach basics: Lamai's coarse granite sand, water, shade & massage

The sand on Lamai Beach is unusually coarse, being made almost entirely of ground up granite particles. One can use Lamai sand for a good back scratch. There is none of the soft powdery stuff here, though in places it becomes a bit finer. Different sand grains find their own parts of the beach, sticking together in wide drifts. The rough feel of the sand does not seem to worry visitors, though. The beach is still very attractive.
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The water off Lamai South is the deepest and clearest on this beach. There is no offshore reef, and no shallow tidal flats. It's thus a great swimming beach. The satellite images of our two northern Lamai beach maps show just how much an offshore reef can affect the beach, creating a shallow, rocky stretch between beach and reef edge, and making swimming difficult or impossible.
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The deeper water along Lamai South thus flushes more thoroughly with the tides, making it significantly clearer and cleaner than in the North.
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Shade on the beach varies greatly in the south of Lamai. Some resorts have deep shade under big beach trees, which guests love. Others have removed the natural trees and built right up to the sand, resulting in such intense heat around midday that guests are forced indoors. Even beach umbrellas are not enough protection through the hottest hours.
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Massage; as on every Samui beach, massage beds are aplenty, and one can rarely walk more than 100 metres without being offered Thai massage, oil massage or other treatments, either in a resort or under some trees.
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noise, jet skis; while Lamai has quite a few jet skis operating here during the calm months, they’re generally moored at the middle of the beach, leaving the far south end the quietest.
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Beach access is easy for those staying in our of the beachfront resorts mapped in this site. For those coming from the outside it is more difficult however, since resorts block most of the beach land. But there is access through the restaurant zone mentioned here – though it can be a bit difficult to find – and you can also entre over the rocks at the very bottom end of the beach near Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks.
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Accommodation, budget to 4-star, on Lamai Beach South

Lamai Beach South has seen significant redevelopment over the past 15 years, with many old backpacker bungalows being razed and replaced with up-market and boutique resorts. Most of the young travellers and backpackers have moved over to Koh Phangan and even more remote Koh Phayam on the Andaman coast, or have grown older and now require family resorts and swimming pools for kids.
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The standard accommodation here is now 3- and 4-star, mid-range resorts with a mix of low-rise hotel blocks and garden chalets. There are resorts ideal for families, couples both older and younger, and those looking for a romantic getaway. Ever more professional, fine design is creeping into the architecture here.
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It's the trend all over Koh Samui, propelling the island to a new status as the 'boutique' beach destination of Thailand. (see Koh Samui's Top 10 Boutique Beach Resorts) It already offers more small luxury and boutique resorts than any other destination in Thailand. And Lamai is doing its part to help build that new image. Here we show the select five beachfront resorts on this part of Lamai Beach.
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Towards the far south end of the beach several budget establishments still call themselves 'bungalow', the catch-word that tells they are still part of the past. Some of these sit on large tracts of beach land, and can be expected to sell out when the offer is right. If you are looking for a bungalow here that you stayed in years ago, don't be surprised if you find a 4-star boutique resort in its place.
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The photos here show a few of the budget places that were still in place with their doors open in 2017, while below that we profile five of the better quality, 3- and 4-star resorts.
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Aloha Resort – beach and entertainment

Aloha Resort was the first good quality resort on Lamai, opening here in the early 1990s when its neighbours were virtually all catering to the backpacker trade. It was popular right from the start, and following this, mid-range resorts first trickled, then flooded onto the beachfront up and down Lamai.
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Aloha has a U-shaped, low-rise block surrounding a central garden and pool, giving all rooms ocean views. The hotel faces onto the village road at the back, giving guests immediate walking access into the entertainment village that runs behind the beach here. With quite a few more expensive resorts now its neighbours, Aloha is a good-value, middle-of-the-road beach hotel with a good beach location and easy access to entertainment, shopping and other services.
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Thai Ayodhya Villas & Spa – modern in Thai-style

Visually, Thai Ayodhya Villas is the outstanding beachfront resort on this stretch of beach. Built in Thai-style with a lot of wood finishing, their villas stand out as one walks down the beach. The resort has also left a large portion of its land open and green, giving this a very expansive feel. The majority of accommodation is in a 4-storey block to the back.
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The beachfront is wide and open, with good views and easy access to the big granite boulders and their pools by the headland. The only misgiving here is the lack of trees, save some exceptionally old and tall coconut palms, on the beachfront. It will get too hot to stay out here all through the day. See more of this good-value, 3-star resort at Thai Ayodhya Villas.
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Rummana Boutique Resort - good value, good quality

Rummana Boutique Resort is one of the few beachfront hotels near the south end of Lamai striving for 4-star status. This resort has only 40 rooms spread over a large area. It says it provides superior service. Samui's service is generally quite good, but needs improvement to meet those in beach resorts like Phuket, and the high standards in Bangkok. If Rummana succeeds, it is good for Samui.
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This resort has also kept a lot of green, open space, and placed accommodations in lush gardens. It has quite a large pool, and of course a spa. The beachfront here is similar to that of its neighbours, open with good views, but treeless and too hot in the middle of the day.
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Samui Sense Resort

Samui Sense Resort used a lot of good sense in designing their property; the view of the hotel from the beach shows more coconut palm than building. The beachfront is shady and cool and the central area of the resort is open and green. Overall it is a very attractive resort, on a very good part of the beach. This also opens onto the village behind, giving guests walking access to the entertainment zone.
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Accommodations come in a choice of low-rise, 3 storey block or garden chalets. The standards are quite high for a 3-star property. See the rooms in the hotel's own pages: Samui Sense Beach Resort.
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Bill Resort - a family-run resort of the old style

Lush gardens giving an overwhelming first impression at Bill Resort, a pleasant and relaxing 3-star resort on Lamai South. The resort even boasts of the fruit it grows on the premises. Many rooms are hidden in the foliage, while a few prime ones face directly onto the beach. Their pool is well designed for children, and it has a Jacuzzi alongside.
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This resort is 200 metres down the beach from the entertainment village, but has road and easy walking access into the village through the back.
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The place where guests spend most of their time is the beachfront, which is exceptionally shady, green and pleasant. There is also a restaurant right by the beach. This is a very comfortable and pleasant, mid-range resort for couples or families situated on one of the best parts of Lamai Beach.
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by John Everingham
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