Koh Samui, Thailand
Where to stay
Lemongrass Villa - This private luxury 3-bedroom beach-front private villa is located on a secluded beach with your very own full-sized infinity-edge pool offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand’s stunning sunsets. The villa is available for rent via AirBnB. The reason I am mentioning it is because it is one of my A-Z branding projects and I'm proud of it!
Four Seasons resort - Truly the best of the best if you are looking for the luxury at its highest with exquisite services. Although, I usually stay at Lemongrass Villa next-door, I always make sure to pop in for the best breakfast buffet on the island. The chef already knows to make me his delicious pancakes with pandan custard, which I fell in love with since the very first day.
Intercontinental resort - This resort spreads over a large beach and a hill area offering the most stunning views on the Five Islands. It has numerous pools for you to enjoy and its unique open design takes an advantage of the breathtaking views. Instead of getting the beach-front villa, I prefer to stay up on the hill in one of their 3 Horizon Suites which also have a large jacuzzi. My favorite!
Buri Rasa - All the previous accommodations are set in secluded areas of the island, but if you are looking to party every night, stay at this small resort hotel situated on the main and busiest Chaweng Beach (and town), where you'll find everything from a large shopping mall to many restaurants and bars.
Where to Eat & Drink
Kalasea cafe - Must-visit! Serving variety of coffee and non-coffee beverages as well as savory food and sweet dishes like waffles. The unique design and ambiance make this cafe super cute and cozy. The only downside is the slow service.
Four Seasons resort - If you are looking for fine dining Thai or Western restaurants, this would be one of the best options. I recommend coming earlier to enjoy cocktails and sunset at Koh bar, followed by dinner filled with authentic and local Thai flavors.
Nikki Beach club - For me, this beach club (and resort) concept from Miami and New York is the best place for late lunch or just sipping on cocktails in the pool while enjoying the DJ's lively and energetic tunes.
Zazen restaurant - Moroccan decorated, French fine dining restaurant is one of my favorites on the island.
Copacabana - Seeing passed the decor, this delicious Thai restaurant never fails. There are 3 branches though and, although, they offer the same menu, the food is different in all of them. The good one is located inside Central Festival mall in Chaweng.
Eat Sense - Beach club during the day, this Thai restaurant located on Chaweng Beach is my favourite place to enjoy cozy sun beds and umbrella drinks during the day on the beach. Their Thai food is the most delicious on the island (especially prawns and fish with their signature Tamarind sauce!) This place is also great for dinner.
Dr. Frogs - High up on the edge of the hill overlooking Chaweng Beach is this restaurant that offers classic Italian and traditional Thai cousines. Fully booked almost every night.
Gusto - Located in Fisherman's Village offering an amazing menu with ingredients imported from Italy. My favorite is their pizza with burrata and the oven-baked eggplant melanzane. Stick to pizza or pasta as that is what they do best.
Intercontinental resort - I recommend coming to the Air Bar to enjoy a stunning view of the Five Islands whilst sipping on tropical cocktails. Dining at the Thai or beach grill restaurants is a great end of an evening.
Rock Salt - This is a great place for breakfast/brunch in a beautiful setting on Silver beach (probably the nicest beach on the island). Eggs Benedict with crab meat here are delicious, as well as a toast with fresh avocado. They also have live jazzy music on Sundays.
Romantic Bamboo - Don't let the design and decor turn you away. This simple bamboo hut houses some of the best Italian pasta on the island. Run by two very friendly brothers who moved here from Bologna. They are very warm and passionate to make you feel welcome and determined to serve you the best home-cooked food. Try their amazing Tiramisu, you'll thank me.
CoCoRum - It's the Four Seasons, so you don't expect anything less than perfection. I've had some of the best food here and the atmosphere is really cozy thanks to their lounge beds with a lot of cushions. I prefer the food variety for dinner better, but during the lunch you get to enjoy a view of a stunning luscious private beach with newly designed over-sized pool. Try their ceviche and prawn tacos!
Barracuda - This restaurants proudly hold it's place in TOP 5 best restaurants in Koh Samui. I've always heard people speaking highly about this restaurant until I finally visited. By far the best restaurant in Koh Samui and I'll explain why. There are some amazing places on the island, yet they either have great food, great decor and ambiance, or great service. They mostly don't excel in all of these categories to deliver a 100% delightful experience. However, Barracuda shines in all of these and really scores to delight you on all levels. Well done.
Tops Market - This is not a restaurant, this is the only gourmet supermarket in Koh Samui offering imported goods and higher quality food than Tesco Lotus or Big C.
Sanphet Grocery Store - I like sharing tips, so for all the drinkers out there, this one is going to be your favorite! An all-booze store. As you might know the sale of alcohol in Thailand is not allowed (no matter how hard you try) between 2-5pm. However, this shop is an exception and you can get your favorite bottles any time of the day.
What to do
Koh Samui offers great opportunities for sailing trips around the National Park Islands as well as golf, elephant rides, and visits to the zoo. Pink and Irrawaddy dolphins can sometimes be spotted along the coast of Khanom 2 hours away from Koh Samui by speedboat.
How to relax
The island is known as a wellness destination with hundreds of spas. Make plans for your day of pampering and relaxation at one of my favorite spas:
Four Seasons resort - the most stunning and luxurious spa on the island
Kamalaya - wellness sanctuary and holistic spa resort
Absolute Sanctuary - yoga paradise
Follow Lustin Guide on Foursquare to have your city guides always with you.