Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is a small tropical island in the Gulf of Siam. A hilly, jungle interior with spectacular views and waterfalls takes visitors down to perfect white sand beaches and clear blue water. Sunny skies and calm seas prevail for most months of the year and in particular during the UK summer.

Large parts of the island remain unspoiled, with the tallest buildings rising no higher than the tallest palm tree. At Steppes Travel we chose smaller hotels located slightly away from the main town of Chaweng to ensure our clients experience the best of the area.

There is an excellent golf course and all the activities one would expect for a relaxed island – snorkelling, fishing, mountain biking, horse-riding, sea-canoeing, nature walks and visits to outlying islands. Koh Samui is easily accessed from Bangkok and other major Asian cities so can work well as a relaxing end to your holiday.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Four Seasons Koh Samui £££££

  • Thailand
  • Beach and Island Escapes

This hidden hillside resort offers an ‘away from it all’ sense of peace overlooking the Gulf of Siam. The 60 stand alone Thai style villas are surrounded by tropical gardens, coconut groves and pristine beaches and all have a private terrace with plunge pool and fabulous sea views. A fabulous array of facilities and activities will keep everyone busy and the service is second to none; whether dining overlooking the bay, swimming in the 50 metre infinity pool or relaxing in the forest spa, your stay at this elegant resort will be a delight.

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Banyan Tree Samui £££££

  • Thailand
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Combing the best elements of a tropical getaway with seclusion and privacy synonymous with Banyan Tree, guests can escape from the outside world with days passing in a gentle flow of relaxation, all soothed by the Gulf of Thailand and cool sea breezes. The 88 all pool villas offer accommodation with beautiful views, featuring private sun decks and plunge pools. A dedicated villa host will ensure all of your needs are met. Even though the resort is built on a hill, there is an efficient buggy service to take you where you wish to go be that the spa, beach or pool.

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Kamalaya £££££

  • Thailand
  • Wellness and Spa

Kamalaya offers guests a chance to relax and unwind with a choice of wellness options, which do not feel contrived or forced. Found in a peaceful part of southeast Koh Samui, the Kamalaya is a retreat hidden within a lush green hillside, dotted with stone pools and wooden pavilions. The thatched roofed villas pepper the hillside and range from suites with balconies overlooking the ocean, some nestled in the rainforest and some on the beachfront. All have calm and unfussy interiors.

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Belmond Napasai £££££

  • Thailand
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Belmond Napasai Samui is hidden amongst 17 acres of dense cashew, palm and coconut trees on the beautiful beach of Maenam. The 69 stylish villas and suites assure privacy and tranquillity while the spa offers a wide range of treatments steeped in the Thai tradition. The pool, beach, sailing and children’s activities allow guests to do as much or as little as they like. This coupled with the high standard of service typically offered by Belmond makes the Napasai a great choice for a beach stay in Koh Samui.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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