Villas in Koh Samui, Thailand

The third largest island in Thailand, Koh Samui is just 21km at its widest point and 25km at its longest. The hinterland consists of forested limestone hills and the shoreline is made up of countless coconut palm-fringed beaches and bays.

Traditionally a coconut plantation and fisherman's haven, in the last few years the island has grown into a major holiday destination with regular connections to Bangkok and direct flights from Hong Kong and Singapore. Despite rapid development, Samui is small enough to retain its charm and its modest size also makes it a convenient, laid back location even during busy seasons.

As well as fine beaches, Samui is known for recreation, relaxation and fine food. The blue waters of the Thai Gulf provide a wealth of possibility for water sports, while on land the island is well known for its professional and indulgent spas and health retreats. Fresh seafood is a specialty at most of Samui's restaurants, but you can also enjoy food from almost every corner of the globe thanks to the island's strong international influences.

Each beach on Samui has its own particular character and ambience. The east coast beaches of Chaweng and Lamai are busy, commercial areas with everything from beach vendors to fast food chains, while to the north, Bang Rak and Bo Phut have a more relaxed local village atmosphere. Beaches like Lipa Noi and Laem Set on the western and southern shores feel much more remote and untouched.

Koh Samui combines comfort and convenience with a sense of real escape and this has made it a popular choice for residential as well as tourist development. The island is an eclectic blend of nature and sophistication, one that draws repeat visitors every year to indulge in its tropical delights.

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Miskawaan - Villa Gardenia

Miskawaan - Villa Gardenia

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

The villas at Miskawaan are positioned perfectly so as not to infringe on each other, allowing privacy in a sheltered beachfront world. The days passed gently, time between meals happily filled with regular dips in the pool interspersed with naps and a good read. For sun soaking sessions we headed to the beach, and staff obliged by moving the sun loungers down onto the sand for us. The water here is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius year round and deep enough for a long swim (during the monsoon in November the tides are higher, so the beach gets quite narrow). We enjoyed watching a Hobiecat with its rainbow sail pass up and down and a kite-surfer making the most of the breeze, and we gazed enviously at a super-yacht moored in the distance.

The villa manager and her team were friendly and amenable throughout, regularly appearing from nowhere to offer drinks and snacks and efficiently setting tables and serving our pre-ordered meals. Alfresco breakfast was well prepared and varied, with special touches such as the homemade jams – be sure to try the unusual but delicious coconut jam. The estate manager was also there to welcome us when we arrived and not only answered our questions but also offered useful tips and insights about things to do in the area.

In the end though, we resisted the temptation to explore the island in favour of relaxing and enjoying the villa to the full: we saw little reason to go out when we had everything right on our doorstep. We did manage to explore the menu in depth though, and offset our guilt with regular swims and walks along the beach. Luckily our stay included a Thursday night, so we were able to enjoy an evening at the nearby festive walking street market. On our return, the room has been turned down, the air-conditioning set at just the right temperature, and flowers placed on our pillows.

Although Gardenia lacks some of the high-end facilities (such as a private gym or cinema room) available at more opulent private residences, we were quite content to enjoy the various holiday pleasures on offer – particularly the villa’s beachside setting.
 
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Miskawaan - Villa Hibiscus

Miskawaan - Villa Hibiscus

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

Although none of the villas at Miskawaan infringe on each other, Villa Hibiscus is perhaps the most private of the bunch and we happily wondered around the grounds in varying states of undress, totally relaxed in our own sheltered beachside world. The days passed gently, time between meals happily filled with regular dips in the pool interspersed with naps, reading and ‘Googling’ on the beachside terrace (which is covered, so no need to rush in if it rains). For sun soaking sessions we headed to the beach, and staff obliged by moving the sun loungers down onto the sand for us. The water here is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius year round and deep enough for a long swim (during the monsoon in November the tides are higher, so the beach gets quite narrow).

The villa manager and her team were friendly and amenable throughout, regularly appearing from nowhere to offer drinks and snacks and efficiently setting tables and serving our pre-ordered meals. Alfresco breakfast was well prepared and varied, with special touches such as the homemade jams – be sure to try the unusual but delicious coconut jam. The estate manager was also there to welcome us when we arrived and not only answered our questions but also offered useful tips and insights about things to do in the area.

In the end though, we resisted the temptation to explore the island in favour of relaxing and enjoying the villa to the full: we saw little reason to go out when we had everything right on our doorstep. We explored the menu in depth and offset our guilt with regular swims and walks along the beach. Luckily our stay included a Thursday night, so we were able to enjoy an evening at the nearby festive walking street market. On our return, the room has been turned down, the air-conditioning set at just the right temperature, and flowers placed on our pillows.

Although Hibiscus lacks some of the high-end facilities (such as a private gym or cinema room) available at more opulent private residences, we were quite content to enjoy the various holiday pleasures on offer –  particularly the villa’s beachside setting – and marked the evening switch from outdoor to indoor indulgences with sunset drinks in the poolside sala.
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Miskawaan - Villa Lotus

Miskawaan - Villa Lotus

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

The villas at Miskawaan are positioned perfectly so as not to infringe on each other, allowing privacy in a sheltered beachfront world. The days passed gently; time between meals happily filled with regular dips in the pool interspersed with naps, reading and lazing in the comfortable, shady sala. For sun soaking sessions we headed to the beach, and staff obliged by moving the sun loungers down onto the sand for us. The water here is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius year round and deep enough for a long swim (during the monsoon in November the tides are higher, so the beach gets quite narrow). We enjoyed watching a Hobiecat with its rainbow sail pass up and down, a kite-surfer making the most of the breeze, and gazed enviously at a super-yacht moored in the distance. The games room made a pleasant change from the beach, as we challenged each other to games of pool and foosball. 

The villa manager and her team were friendly and amenable throughout, regularly appearing from nowhere to offer drinks and snacks and efficiently setting tables and serving our pre-ordered meals. Alfresco breakfast was well prepared and varied, with special touches such as the homemade jams – be sure to try the unusual but delicious coconut jam. The estate manager was also there to welcome us when we arrived and not only answered our questions but also offered useful tips and insights about things to do in the area.

In the end though, we resisted the temptation to explore the island in favour of relaxing and enjoying the villa to the full: we saw little reason to go out when we had everything right on our doorstep. We did manage to explore the menu in depth though, and offset our guilt with regular swims and walks along the beach. Luckily our stay included a Thursday night, so we were able to enjoy an evening at the nearby festive walking street market. On our return, the room has been turned down, the air-conditioning set at just the right temperature, and flowers placed on our pillows.

Although Villa Lotus lacks some of the high-end facilities (such as a private gym or cinema room) available at more opulent private residences, we were quite content to enjoy the various holiday pleasures on offer – particularly the villa’s beachside setting – and marked sunset each evening with drinks in the poolside sala.
 
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Miskawaan - Villa Waterlily

Miskawaan - Villa Waterlily

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

Villa Waterlily is a rare beachside delight. Even on an island known for easy access to sand and sea it's not always easy to find such comfortable and private accommodation so constantly connected to both. We slipped into holiday mode immediately, even postponing our usual tour of the rooms and facilities to just sit back and soak in the surroundings. When we did summon the energy to explore a little, we were impressed by the quality of the furnishings and decor, which is all meticulously maintained (not always the case in rental villas, even at this level).

We also appreciated what architects and designers sometimes call the 'flow' of the building, which suits the location and makes the most of the island experience. Despite the villa's substantial size, you can wander easily between the various spaces and, thanks to the discreet yet efficient staff, even if you choose to set up in one spot for the entire day, you can be sure they will appear at regular intervals to refresh and feed you, sometimes even popping up unprompted with pleasant surprises like a plate of fresh fruit or a glass of iced water.

A late breakfast (included, but with optional extras charged) in the breezy beach-view sala set a suitably relaxed tone for the day. Over our toast and marmalade we agreed that Villa Waterlily is not somewhere you rush to explore the island from. A far better schedule here is to sink into a routine of sun, swim, snack and snooze. To ease the guilt of such sloth, we did manage a sunset walk along the beach one evening to browse the weekly 'walking street' market in Mae Nam village (Thursdays). We returned to a delicately prepared meal of fresh crab curry and crisp local vegetables, accompanied by a decent Chilean red and our favourite playlist of tropical itunes.

For those in search of peace and relaxation, Villa Waterlily certainly makes life simple and easy. Having said that, the multi-functional design, staffing and idyllic location also make it ideal for a more sociable gathering or family-oriented holiday.
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Miskawaan Residences - Villa Sila

Miskawaan Residences - Villa Sila

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

The two Miskawaan Residence villas are positioned so as not to infringe on one other, allowing privacy in a sheltered beachfront world. However, clever design means that if you’ve booked both, it’s like having a luxury resort all to yourself.

The villa manager and her team were friendly and amenable throughout and we found the level of service to be exceptional – all staff were very professional and the villa manager speaks impeccable English. Alfresco breakfasts were enjoyed at the shady sala overlooking the bay and staff regularly appeared from nowhere to offer drinks and snacks, efficiently set tables, and prepare and serve meals to our schedule. Although we visited as a couple, we could appreciate how a large group would be well taken care of with this team, particularly for a corporate event.

The days passed gently, time between meals happily filled with regular dips in the pool interspersed with naps, reading and ‘Googling’ on the beachside terrace. For sun soaking sessions we headed to the beach, and staff obliged by moving the sun loungers down onto the sand for us. The water here is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius year round and deep enough for a long swim (during the monsoon in November the tides are higher, so the beach gets quite narrow).

We enjoyed the villa to the full, seeing little reason to go out when we had everything right there on our doorstep, and so explored the menu in depth and offset our guilt with regular visits to the fitness room and sauna interspersed with long beach runs and paddles in the villas’ kayaks. On the Thursday night, we enjoyed an evening at the nearby festive walking street market. On our return, our room has been turned down, the air-conditioning set at just the right temperature, and local coconut candy placed on our pillows. (It’s worth noting that the air-conditioning is so quiet, that had the room not been cool, we would have questioned whether it was on.)
 
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Miskawaan Residences - Villa Sila and Wayu

Miskawaan Residences - Villa Sila and Wayu

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

The two Miskawaan Residence villas are positioned so as not to infringe on one other, allowing privacy in a sheltered beachfront world. However, clever design means that if you’ve booked both, it’s like having a luxury resort all to yourself.

The villa manager and her team were friendly and amenable throughout and we found the level of service to be exceptional – all staff were very professional and the villa manager speaks impeccable English. Alfresco breakfasts were enjoyed at the shady sala overlooking the bay and staff regularly appeared from nowhere to offer drinks and snacks, efficiently set tables, and prepare and serve meals to our schedule. Although we visited as a couple, we could appreciate how a large group would be well taken care of with this team, particularly for a corporate event.

The days passed gently, time between meals happily filled with regular dips in the pool interspersed with naps, reading and ‘Googling’ on the beachside terrace. For sun soaking sessions we headed to the beach, and staff obliged by moving the sun loungers down onto the sand for us. The water here is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius year round and deep enough for a long swim (during the monsoon in November the tides are higher, so the beach gets quite narrow).

We enjoyed the villa to the full, seeing little reason to go out when we had everything right there on our doorstep, and so explored the menu in depth and offset our guilt with regular visits to the fitness room and sauna interspersed with long beach runs and paddles in the villas’ kayaks. On the Thursday night, we enjoyed an evening at the nearby festive walking street market. On our return, our room has been turned down, the air-conditioning set at just the right temperature, and local coconut candy placed on our pillows. (It’s worth noting that the air-conditioning is so quiet, that had the room not been cool, we would have questioned whether it was on.)
 
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Miskawaan Residences - Villa Wayu

Miskawaan Residences - Villa Wayu

Thailand » Koh Samui » Mae Nam

The two Miskawaan Residence villas are positioned so as not to infringe on one other, allowing privacy in a sheltered beachfront world. However, clever design means that if you’ve booked both, it’s like having a luxury resort all to yourself.

The villa manager and her team were friendly and amenable throughout and we found the level of service to be exceptional – all staff were very professional and the villa manager speaks impeccable English. Alfresco breakfasts were enjoyed at the shady sala overlooking the bay and staff regularly appeared from nowhere to offer drinks and snacks, efficiently set tables, and prepare and serve meals to our schedule. Although we visited as a couple, we could appreciate how a large group would be well taken care of with this team, particularly for a corporate event.

The days passed gently, time between meals happily filled with regular dips in the pool interspersed with naps, reading and ‘Googling’ on the beachside terrace. For sun soaking sessions we headed to the beach, and staff obliged by moving the sun loungers down onto the sand for us. The water here is a balmy 28 degrees Celsius year round and deep enough for a long swim (during the monsoon in November the tides are higher, so the beach gets quite narrow).

We enjoyed the villa to the full, seeing little reason to go out when we had everything right there on our doorstep, and so explored the menu in depth and offset our guilt with regular visits to the fitness room and sauna interspersed with long beach runs and paddles in the villas’ kayaks. On the Thursday night, we enjoyed an evening at the nearby festive walking street market. On our return, our room has been turned down, the air-conditioning set at just the right temperature, and local coconut candy placed on our pillows. (It’s worth noting that the air-conditioning is so quiet, that had the room not been cool, we would have questioned whether it was on.)
 
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Miskawaan - Baan Tamarind

Miskawaan - Baan Tamarind

Thailand » Koh Samui » Bang Rak-Big Buddha

We loved the simplicity of Baan Tamarind. The villa’s uncomplicated layout and its easy access to Koh Samui’s tourist attractions make it an excellent choice for a family holiday. We found several local restaurants offering a good light lunch for when we wanted to get out and about, but when we didn’t feel like a walk, the in-house chef prepared tasty meals for us from the villa menu.

A sea breeze meant that evenings could be spent outdoors with little bother from mosquitoes and the seafront sala was just the spot to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sailboats returning at sunset. We remained outdoors long after the sun waned, and enjoyed our dinner alfresco. Of course, if the weather doesn’t allow, or you’ve had too much sun, the indoor dining room makes an equally appealing setting, with windows looking out to the lights twinkling across the bay.

We were pleased at how clean the staff kept the beach directly in front of the villa and an energising early morning walk along the sands brought views of the fishing boats leaving for the day and locals digging at the waterline for shellfish. With our appetites charged, breakfast was ready and waiting on our return, a most welcome treat.

With villa manager Khun Adul at the helm, the staff are attentive yet unobtrusive. While we lounged outside enjoying the sunset they prepared our rooms for night time, setting air-cons to the right temperature, lights to the right ambiance, lighting fragrance oil burners and adding special touches such as flowers on our pillows. With its comfortable furnishings and blissful beachfront setting, we found it easy to adjust to the delights of Baan Tamarind and tough to return to reality at the end of our stay.
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Motsamot

Motsamot

Thailand » Koh Samui » Choeng Mon

Our initial concern at the location soon gave way to satisfied sighs when we settled into Motsamot's appealing, natural surroundings. The serene forested setting and abundance of space more than compensated for the lack of beach or ocean views, and with 20m of cool blue pool to swim and splash around in we never felt an overpowering urge to get sand between our toes.

The villa's intriguing design touches and framed photographs of Asia not only make it feel homely, but also had us pointing out details to each other; playing 'guess the country of origin' as we admired the owner's well-travelled taste. It's hard to confine yourself to one spot at Motsamot and we definitely wished we'd come as a group to make the most of all the different lounging, dining and bathing options. The staff happily but unobtrusively followed us around, bringing us cool drinks as we switched from pool to sala to lounge and finally to the terrace. They even moved the furniture outside for us when we decided the latter was the best place to relax with a book. Having a rental car meant both Choeng Mon and Chaweng were an easy hop for dinner by the sea. During the day we survived on the filling breakfast (included) and then snacks we bought at the local minimart. Not a choice for seasoned beach freaks perhaps, but certainly a very comfortable and original villa if, like us, you like a bit of privacy, plus the freedom to come and go with ease.

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Motsamot

Motsamot

Thailand » Koh Samui » Choeng Mon

Our initial concern at the location soon gave way to satisfied sighs when we settled into Motsamot's appealing, natural surroundings. The serene forested setting and abundance of space more than compensated for the lack of beach or ocean views, and with 20m of cool blue pool to swim and splash around in we never felt an overpowering urge to get sand between our toes.

The villa's intriguing design touches and framed photographs of Asia not only make it feel homely, but also had us pointing out details to each other; playing 'guess the country of origin' as we admired the owner's well-travelled taste. It's hard to confine yourself to one spot at Motsamot and we definitely wished we'd come as a group to make the most of all the different lounging, dining and bathing options. The staff happily but unobtrusively followed us around, bringing us cool drinks as we switched from pool to sala to lounge and finally to the terrace. They even moved the furniture outside for us when we decided the latter was the best place to relax with a book. Having a rental car meant both Choeng Mon and Chaweng were an easy hop for dinner by the sea. During the day we survived on the filling breakfast (included) and then snacks we bought at the local minimart. Not a choice for seasoned beach freaks perhaps, but certainly a very comfortable and original villa if, like us, you like a bit of privacy, plus the freedom to come and go with ease.

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