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Koh Samui

Once a remote tropical island, with a couple of thatched pavilions as its airport terminal, Koh Samui is now a colossus on the Thai beach scene. The backpackers who first put the island on the international map, have long since been replaced by wheelie pullers. And the bamboo beach shacks they called home have given way to some phenomenal Koh Samui luxury hotels.

For most travellers who have Yonder in their sights, Samui is simply a necessary gateway to the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. A brief stopover before catching the boat over to one of these true castaway islands. We also subscribe to this mind set. However, this doesn’t mean that Samui has nothing to offer the discerning Yonderer. On the contrary. It has become the setting for some seriously trendy designer hotels which successfully capitalise on Samui’s undoubted natural beauty.

Fly and flop

For those on a mission to simply fly, flop and escape the world for a few short days amid the hedonistic tranquillity of a luxury hotel, then Samui is a hot ticket. But forget any nostalgic notion of a chilled Thai beach vibe sitting on the beanbags watching fire jugglers. You’re more likely to find romance of a different sort, with lobsters barbecued on the beach and served up to doting couples in the elegant surroundings of their Koh Samui resorts. And what’s there not to like about that?

Samui is stunning, with a mountainous interior and palm-fringed beaches. And this has brought mass development over recent years, some of which is simply mediocre. That means there are places that attract those who revel in cheap booze and noisy jet skis (could there be any worse combination!?).

Handpicked gems

Fortunately for you, Yonder is here to steer you away from such indignities. Our few handpicked Koh Samui luxury hotels, all gems, are far removed from the tourist tat and make perfect bolt holes, perhaps before heading off to one of those farther flung island paradises.

And Samui has a couple of other aces up its sleeve. For one, having an airport means that you will be at your hotel within minutes, rather than faffing with transfers and boats to your final destination. Furthermore, you can jet in from Singapore as an alternative to Bangkok.

Out and about

Samui is an island which has undergone a massive transformation over the last 15 years. It’s gone from being a sleepy tropical island in the shadow of its cousin Phuket on the opposite side of the Thai peninsula to being one of the most sophisticated Thai paradises. This is an island which now has everything from Tescos and Starbucks to its own regatta every May.

Yet somehow, quite miraculously, Samui has not lost its charm. For all of the Western influences that have washed up on its shores, the island has stayed true to its Thai Buddhist heritage. It’s a bit of a tourist trap but Big Buddha – yep, it’s a enormous statue of Buddha – is a landmark worth visiting. There are a few other notable sights on the island, from mummified monks to towering waterfalls, you’ll read about in guide books. But one of our top tips is to head to Grand Mother and Grand Father rocks  (also known as Hin Ta and Yin Ya) to see an amusing natural rock formation that has taken on rather, shall we say, idiosyncratic shapes.

As far as beaches go, you’ll be spoilt. Fine white powdery sand comes as standard on many beaches, whilst on others golden grains will slide between your toes. Chaweng beach on the East coast is the most developed with hordes of tourists frying in the sun. Instead, we love the northern and north-eastern beaches.   

Despite its Disney-like name, Fisherman’s Village in Bophut is a fantastic place for an evening stroll and offers some great restaurants.  

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Tailor-Made koh samui Holidays


Off-the-shelf is off the menu at Yonder: from the moment you first get in touch you'll be in the hands of a senior executive who has spent years getting to know your destination first-hand. Other travel companies might talk a big game about expertise and customisation but, to blow our own trumpet for a minute, we're in a league of our own.

Start planning your luxury holiday to Koh Samui

Whether you are looking for the perfect hotel stay or to create an exciting itinerary tailored just for you, every last detail of your trip with Yonder is carefully crafted, including hand-picked hotels that we adore ourselves

Barefoot Luxury Thailand

Barefoot Luxury Thailand

14 Days | From £3,200pp (Inc. Flights)

Visiting: Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Bangkok

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Thailand Boutique Bangkok and Beach

Thailand Boutique Bangkok and Beach

10 Days | From £1,600pp (Inc. Flights)

Visiting: Koh Samui, Bangkok

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Thailand: Rivers, Rainforests & Reefs

Thailand: Rivers, Rainforests & Reefs

18 Days | From £4,200pp (Inc. Flights)

Visiting: Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle, Khao Sok, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Bangkok

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Thailand’s Castaway Islands

Thailand’s Castaway Islands

18 Days | From £3,900pp (Inc. Flights)

Visiting: Phuket and the West coast, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Bangkok

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Thailand Family Island Hopping

Thailand Family Island Hopping

14 Days | From £2,200pp (Inc. Flights)

Visiting: Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Bangkok

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Family Holidays to Thailand

Family Holidays to Thailand

14 Days | From £2,800pp (Inc. Flights)

Visiting: Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle, Koh Samui, Bangkok

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Postcards from our previous clients

David Edwards

We booked our India holiday through Yonder and they delivered from start to finish. From their choice of hotels (all great,...

Dan Lawrence

Used Yonder recently for a holiday to Sri Lanka for my girlfriend and I and I have nothing but positive feedback for them.<...


From the time we first contacted them to when we arrived back from our holiday, Yonder delivered everything and more they p...

Harriet Partridge

Yonder exceeded all our expectations and sorted such an incredible honeymoon for us. Efficient, organised and personable wi...

Our Recommended Accommodation In Koh Samui

Sala Samui

Harmonious blend of traditional Thai architecture, modern amenities and sublime service beside a stunning arc of white Koh Samui sand. Light and airy villas and suites, most with private pools, superb restaurants, two beachside... View this hotel

Six Senses Samui

Embodiment of hideaway perfection. A rustic beachside retreat with amazing views. 66 fabulous villas with butlers surrounded by tranquility and privacy. Sensational spas, divine food, superb hatha yoga and reiki and an awesome ... View this hotel

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Speak to our travel experts and get a tailor-made, no obligation itinerary.

We only recommend hand-picked hotels we have sampled and savoured ourselves. And we know our destinations inside out so talk from experience to give personal insights into every element.

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