Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui has for a long time been considered the little sister to Phuket, which is larger and receives more visitors. But it is a misconception to think that Samui has less to offer than its Andaman equivalent.
The most popular tourist locations on the island are located on the east and north coasts around beaches such as Chaweng, Lamai and Bophut. Chaweng is an especially popular attraction thanks to its long sandy beach and extensive dining, shopping and entertainment options. The slightly quieter Lamai beach is perhaps more family friendly, while Bophut has managed to maintain its fisherman's village charm.
Samui offers accommodation options to suit everyone's budget and expectations of comfort. The island was once a backpackers' paradise and there are still plenty of affordable guesthouses and hotels that cater to this segment, as well as mid-range and package tourists.
As the market matured, the budget travellers have largely moved on elsewhere or grown up, which means that Samui today offers some truly excellent brand name hotels and resorts where guests enjoy some of world's best services and facilities. The mid-price segment is also healthy, catering to the many Europeans and increasingly Chinese an Russian mass markets.
Private villas on Koh Samui are an excellent alternative to the island's sometimes crowded hotels and resorts. A private villa will often afford more privacy and the excitement of having an entire villa just to yourself is often highlighted by visitors. Some of the larger villas even have the same facilities as a resort, but catering to a much smaller number of guests. They often come with staff, such as a housekeeper, maid and even a private chef, so for groups travelling together, either with friends or as a large family, the benefits are obvious.
Renting a villa on Samui not only means added privacy; the overall cost will also in many cases be less than staying in a hotel of equivalent standards. Most Samui villas feature a private swimming pool as a minimum inclusion, and it is not uncommon for some of the larger properties to offer more extensive facilities such as a private gym, home entertainment such as a gaming room and sometimes a private cinema.
The most extravagant villas on the island also have beautiful artwork decorating the individual rooms, as well as appealing additions such as marine toys and dedicated facilities for children.
It can sometimes be difficult to decide which of the many villas on the island is the perfect match for your needs, but experienced villa rental agencies like Luxury Villas and Homes have a sound knowledge of the island and will always be able to point potential guests in the right direction to ensure they enjoy a rare, personalised version of this renowned Thai paradise.
Posted by Wayne Hue