The Thai island of Koh Samui is a little slice of paradise – offering everything from water sports to blissful relaxation. From secret Buddha gardens to hidden beaches, world class hotels to backpacker chic, sizzling street food to world-class cuisine, Koh Samui has established itself as one of the most diverse and alluring destinations on the planet. For those of us who prefer sun to snow this winter – and who wouldn’t? – This 15km-wide paradise island in Thailand’s Chumphon archipelago takes some beating.
While it had no roads until the 1970s and attracted adventurous globe trotters in the 1990s, Koh Samui has now smoothed off any rough edges and evolved into a destination that does everything, whether it is adventure, action or relaxation, all with effortless class.
For most visitors, Koh Samui is a byword for getting away from it all, with days spent lazing beachside and enjoying thrilling water sports. But for more intrepid nature lovers there is Ang Thong Marine National Park.
Within sight of Koh Samui, this protected reserve spans over 100sq km of land and sea, and comprises more than 40 islands with limestone cliffs, deserted beaches, unspoiled rainforests, lakes, and hidden coves and lagoons.
The equally beautiful Koh Nang Yuan is a world-renowned spot for snorkelling, and when you’re not underwater you can enjoy lazy moments on stunning beachfronts.
A day trip exploring the island will take you from beautiful waterfalls and beaches to intriguing temples and quaint fishing villages.
But before you embark on any trip you need to know where to stay, and Koh Samui doesn’t disappoint. Thailand’s leading hotel group is Centara Hotels & Resorts, always in tune with the local environment while providing exceptional service in unique and sophisticated environments. Centara has hotels in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Vietnam, Oman and Qatar with new destinations planned for 2018, but here are the pick of its properties on Koh Samui to choose from.
CENTARA VILLAS SAMUI
If you are looking for a relaxing and exotic hideaway, head to Centara villas Samui. On the southern tip of Koh Samui and 10 minutes away from popular Lamai Beach, this upscale and intimate resort has everything you need for rest and relaxation. Nestled in a tropical environment, the resort offers 102 villas that blend in with their verdant surroundings and cascade down a gentle hillside to the resort’s private beach. With its enchanting tropical ambience and crystal clear waters, the resort offers all the privacy and tranquillity that you need. Centara villas Samui is just 15 minutes by road to the nightlife areas of Lamai Beach, 30 minutes to Chaweng Beach, and 27 kilometres to Samui international airport.
CENTARA GRAND BEACH RESORT SAMUI
This is the place to be if you want to balance the buzz of Chaweng with swimming, strolling and a spot of sunbathing. This five-star resort is on Chaweng Beach, in the peace of the quieter end with the most immaculate stretch of sand and sea, but close enough to Central Festival for shopping and the heart of Chaweng for the best bars and restaurants. With plenty of accommodation options – from premium deluxe seafront rooms to one bedroom poolside suites – as well as a host of facilities and activities, the Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui is perfect for a tranquil romantic escape or an adventuresome family holiday. Plus, it’s only 15 minutes from Samui International Airport.
CENTRA BY CENTARA COCONUT BEACH RESORT SAMUI
Centra by Centara Coconut Beach Resort Samui is a place for water lovers, whether it’s lounging by the pool or enjoying some of Samui’s best diving. Located on the secluded Thong Tanote Beach, on the south-western tip of Koh Samui, it has views across to Koh Tan and Koh Mutsum, two renowned diving and snorkelling spots. Nestled in lush natural surroundings, visitors can choose between a comfortable stay in a room overlooking the pool or with direct pool access, or in villas by the beachfront pool and the resort’s beach. Two pools, the signature spa Cense by Spa Cenvaree and a variety of leisure activities make the resort a favourite holiday destination.
COSI SAMUI CHAWENG
For the tech-savvy traveller, COSI Samui Chaweng is one of the newest and most modern hotels on Koh Samui. This forward-thinking hotel has everything on-the-go explorers need, with full Smartphone integration. Just tap your phone screen to book, and even check in before you arrive so you can enjoy your holiday the moment you get to Chaweng. The hotel’s relaxing Hub is open 24/7 and visitors get daily credit for food and drink. The Hub is great for chilling out and meeting people, and the COSI Crew is on hand to offer insider tips on the best hidden experiences, and there’s also a rooftop swimming pool to catch a relaxing dip.