Should I book in advance on Koh Samet?
Tip Bear in mind that in peak season on the island it gets extremely busy and booking your accommodation in advance is definitely recommended. Now read it again: it does get busy. Well, you most likely won’t end up sleeping under the stars, but you will be paying for a bug infected windowless room as if you were staying in a mid-range hotel. Koh Samet is popular with the Bangkokians, and during long bank weekends it is full up there.
Plenty of options are available online and also on AirBnB if you’re looking for more choices.
Tips on choosing accommodation on Koh Samet
Tip If you don’t have accommodation booked and are planning to just wing it, some of the key advice is to ensure that you arrive as early as possible, and aren’t laden down with bags that will make it difficult for you to walk around the different resorts to take in as many options as possible. Many spots near the pier are more expensive for exactly this reason!
Many people also advise not to take up offers from those who are on the pier, or boat staff, who may even tell you that there is no accommodation left on the island apart from the options they are proposing. If you’re on a budget and trying to keep costs as low as possible this is not how you’ll find yourself the best deal!
Koh Samet is hot year round and whilst there are cheaper guesthouses as well as some budget bungalows and similar options that offer fan only rooms for lower prices, investing a little extra to get air conditioning is very much recommended. If you’re staying for a few days then not having air conditioning is likely to get very uncomfortable very quickly.
Where to look for accommodation on Koh Samet?
When it comes to the distribution of resorts and accommodation on Koh Samet, the north of the island includes the quieter hub of Ao Hin Khok, whilst Ao Phai has a much livelier atmosphere and tends to be busier with those who want to party.
Samet village has several budget friendly options whilst Hat Sai Kaew is more upmarket with some nicer resorts. Heading southwest you’ll find some of the more luxurious resorts, while east from here there are other popular areas with lower prices. Further south, Ao Lung Dum is popular and relaxed, whilst there are a few more isolated spots in this southern location if you’re looking for a more remote experience.
Budget options tend to be between THB1000 and THB1500 per night, and some popular places to stay in Samet village in this price category include Olly’s Bar & Hostel and Red Ginger. They are friendly places where you can expect to meet plenty of other travellers and feature clean, basic and well maintained dorm rooms.
Further south Ao Hin Khok has cheap bungalows available from Naga Bungalows and moving down into Ao Phai you can find more of these to rent.
Another popular budget location is Ao Tubtim, where places like Skyfriend Guesthouse and the Pudsa Bungalows are a good choice.
If you want to spend a little more on your stay on Koh Samet but don’t want to break the bank, then there are plenty of mid range choices. These are usually well looked after and provide clean and comfortable accommodation, often in brilliant beachside locations.
Starting in the north again, Chom Samed is a popular midrange option with wooden huts, hammocks and well tended gardens, whilst the Sunrise villas are also sought after in this price range. Other options in well-loved resort areas of the island are Barbados Terrace and Summerday beach resort.
If you’re looking for real top end luxury, you can’t go wrong with resorts like Mooban Talay Resort or Saikaew Beach Resort, where prices vary up to around THB8000.