Aerial video of Maenam Beach and resorts, Koh Samui shot in November 2016 by John Everingham.

for some, Maenam is Samui's best beach...

Where to find the cheapest hotel rates on Koh Samui?
Booking directly with the hotel – thus cutting out all commissions – 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 resorts list to the left of this page, or 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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For some who love swimming, Maenam is simply Samui's best beach.

This 4.7 kilometres of yellowish sand sits in a bay with a curve that looks like a giant bite mark. It is right in the mid north of the island, facing Koh Phangan, some 10 kilometres to the north.
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This is Samui's longest unbroken beach, almost a kilometre longer than Chaweng, though it has just a fraction of the number of beachfront hotels. Though unbroken most of the time, the beach is crosses by a couple of small streams that flow after rain. We have cut the beach into three sectors in order to show the resort shapes and sizes in greater detail.
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There is still a lot of green along this beach. As the photos show, most of the sand is lined with coconut palms, giving it a distinctly tropical look. Only a few resorts have cut them down to build right up against the sand.
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quieter area, but within striking distance of Chaweng...
Though it has quite a lot of resorts, Maenam is still rather quiet, with only beach bars and restaurants for evening entertainment. So the entire length of the beach enjoys a large measure tranquillity, though it takes only a 15-minute drive to get to the pulsating nightlife of Chaweng. The beach restaurants and night market of Bophut's Fisherman's Village are barely 10 minutes drive away. Also, Maenam gives easy access to the airport, while being well out of hearing range.
For some, this combination of relative peaces and quiet with easy access to entertainment, plus the good beach, makes Maenam their Samui favourite.
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This site offers info pages about all aspects, and all beaches on Koh Samui:

more about Maenam Beach – what you will find here.

swimming conditions in Maenam
Maenam Beach is ideal in several ways. The sand is quite soft and a little yellowish, even though it is not as fine and white as the exceptional, powdery stuff on Chaweng Beach. Importantly, there is no offshore reef here, leaving the water quite deep for the entire length of the beach. This is quite unusual, for virtually all beaches in Samui – and most island beaches in Thailand –have offshore reefs and shallow sand flats between that and the beach. These sand flats typically dry out at the lowest tides, and leave water too shallow for swimming at most other times. Maenam's deeper water is thus a special attribute for an island where ideal swimming beaches are not common.
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suitability for children
This is an excellent beach for children, especially those old enough to swim. The lack of shade can be a problem in some places, something that will chase kids off the beach by 10AM due to the heat of the sand. If you’re coming with a family check the resort photos carefully to find a hotel with a good-size pool and some shady trees by the beach. And avoid resorts with beach walls, for reasons mentioned below.
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beach restaurants & bars
Unfortunately for guests on Meanam there are very few independent beach restaurants and bars here. It’s quite unusual for a tourist beach in Thailand. There is little beachfront land available for them to set up. Virtually every resort on the beach has its own beachside restaurant however, so there are choices.
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shops and village
Meanam has a central village set back about 200 metres form the middle of the beach. The Florist Resort s the closest on our maps to this. But there are many more shops, convenience stores and the occasional market spread along the main road that follows the beach, anywhere from 200 to 300 metres back. There’s a surprising number of 7-Eleven convenience stores, such that you don’t usually need to walk far to find one.
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sunsets & sunrises
Here’s is a little disappointment on Meanam Beach. Since the sand runs east-west and it faces north, the sun both rises and sets behind mountains on each side. Sunset can still be pleasant by the beach on those days when the skies are layered with pinks and reds. But for the ideal sunset viewing spots get transport to Laem Yai Beach and the line of Thai restaurants looking directly west.
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take a trip to Phangan... from Maenam jetty ... Maenam pier is home base of Lomprayah ferries, the major fast ferry operator connecting Koh Samui, Phangan and Koh Tao to the mainland, and to each other. Several fast boats depart through the day, and this is used by many visitors who want to see more than just Samui on their trip. One can depart the island for Bangkok by taking the ferry that starts in Surat Thani, calls into Samui, then stops at Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and ends in Chumporn, the Thai coastal town from where there are both buses and trains to the capital.
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whack & roll - golf balls over the hills Your golf balls will do a lot of rolling here, on Samui's first golf course. The course flows up, over and down the hilly vales at the foot of the huge interior mountain – right at the back of Maenam. This is one of only two courses here, and Samui's only full 18 holes. This offers great views to sea over the trim line of coconut palms along the beaches below, making this one of the most beautiful golf courses anywhere. It belongs to the family that owns Thailand's famous Singha beer, and the Santiburi Resort on Maenam Beach.
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Meanam still offers many budget bungalows on the beach

Despite being Samui’s third most popular beach – in number of resorts and visitors – Maenam has a surprising number of older-style, budget bungalows that have not yet been over-taken in the rush to go up-market and boutique. While they are indeed being redeveloped, bit-by-bit, the majority of Maenam's beachfront establishments here still lie at the lower end of the scale. It is still possible to find a bungalow in high season for about 1,500 Baht, or about $40 a night.
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Cheap bungalows are found all along the beach, though there are more towards the west side. All are shown on our maps and in the hotels’ own pages and photo galleries in this site. Some cannot be booked online. We provide whatever contacts they have – usually e-mail and phone – in the Contacts page.
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Meanam beach – a good range of upmarket beachfront accommodations

Maenam Beach offers a wide range of resorts, with more at the cheap end than the luxury. However, among the five luxury resorts that I identify here are two of the very best on Samui. For many years Santiburi Beach Resort was the icon of luxury on Maenam, but now it must vie with W Retreat for that crown. But these two super-luxury resorts are very different, and can be seen to complement each other.
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Each year sees one or more of the old, cheap bungalows disappear as they are taken over and redeveloped into up-market establishments. Since Maenam is one of the finest beaches on the island, and perhaps the best swimming beach, expect to see this up-market momentum continue. Below is my list of the top five resorts currently on Maenam.
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Santiburi Resort Samui - the Grande Old Dame of Maenam

Santiburi Beach Resort was the original 5-star resort on Samui, one of the iconic establishments that helped put the island on the world map. And today it remains at the top of Samui's luxury offerings. By arriving early, Sanitburi had the luxury of choosing the best part of Maenam Beach, an area where the beach is widest and the water quite deep for swimming. The beachfront is thick with coconut palms and guests love to spend much of the day relaxing in the shady groves here. Viewed from the water, you see little but that thick line of coconut palms and tropical foliage.
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Yet Santiburi's finest trademark are the wide, lush gardens through which their luxury villas are scattered. After years of care this has developed into one of the best tropical gardens on the island. See Santiburi Resort Samui.
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W Retreat Koh Samui - style and luxury from hill to beach

W Retreat Koh Samui introduced a new level of 5-star luxury and sophistication to Samui when it opened its beachfront property that spans both an expansive sandy beachside area and a small hill where the reception, restaurants, bars and other public facilities perch. The views from here across the 10 kilometre channel to Koh Phangan are quite spectacular. The sandy point between Bophut Beach and Maenam Beach that this occupies gives it beaches facing both sunset and sunrise.
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The design of W Retreat is ultra modern, and not surprisingly, executed with real taste. Both their main hilltop and their beachfront bars are among the best on Samui. Both style and prices are 5-star, but here guests will feel they are getting something quite unique for their money. See more photos of the interesting design and the full hotel details at W Retreat's own page in this site .
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Paradise Beach Resort - afordable luxury at mid beach

Paradise Beach Resort is for those both budget conscious and looking for good standards of comfort and service. This resort offers both villa rooms and a hotel block around a pool and gardens. The beach here is narrow, disappearing underwater at high tide. There is a beach wall with trees and sun lounges above. This comfortable mid-market resort under foreign management is well established and has a solid reputation, even if the beach is not the best here. See more at Paradise Beach Resort.

Fair House Villas & Spa - Thai and Chinese influences fused with luxury

Fair House is an interesting resort, another early arrival that secured a large tract of land with that great view across to Phangan Island. The villas here are modern and luxurious, set into attractive gardens and green walkways. The pools are interesting, and built with children in mind.
This has included some interesting Chinese architecture along the beachfront. A wall runs along much of this beach, which is relatively narrow here, and underwater at high tides. However the location gives easy access to the wide, sandy point on the east side.
See more at Fair House Villas & Spa's own page.

Samui Buri Beach Resort - at the quiet west end of the beach

Samui Buri Beach Resort is an attractively designed, mid-sized resort with Thai-style villas spread through lush gardens. The swimming pool is large and gives a great infinity view out over the beach and ocean. The beach here is quite wide and good, and the water quite deep, making it a good swimming area.
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The modern design of their beachfront lounge area is very attractive, but it excludes trees, so one has to wait till late in the day to use this area, or, during the heat of the day, use the shaded, beachside restaurant.
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environment, jellyfish and other things to be aware of on Maenam Beach

rubbish and polluted water
Are there problems on this seemingly ideal beach? Happily, not many. There are almost no hawkers, few thieves, and few disturbances or worries. But Maenam does suffer from the same blight of rubbish and polluted drains and waterways that is seen all over Thailand. Maenam has two particularly putrid streams of stagnant black water that lie right behind the beach, collecting household waste and waiting for each new storm to flush their smelly black filth into the ocean. Don’t be surprised if, after a storm, you run into plastic bags while swimming off the beach.
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ugly, destructive beach walls
Some parts of Meanam beach have been badly degraded by the construction of walls too close to the ocean. When storms throw waves at such beach walls much or all of the sand can be eroded away, degrading or destroying the beach. This is only the case in small parts of the beach, but if you want to be sure of a beautiful sandy beach in front of your resort, check the photos in our galleries carefully.
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dangerous box jellyfish
Until recently the deadly chironex box jellyfish were believed to be a north Australian problem. But then when the occasional foreign tourist was stung and killed in the Gulf of Thailand, the authorities and experts began to take notice. And since records were begun in the 1990s more than ten people, mostly foreign tourists, have been killed. Considering the countless millions of people who swim off Thai beaches each year that is statistically insignificant. However, the problem part is that most of those jellyfish attacks took place close by on Koh Phangan and Samui itself. See a page of info about the statistics and risks of dangerous box jellyfish off Thai beaches.
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by John Everingham

hotels in this destination

that guarantee below-market rates

for direct bookings