A streamlined, sun-splashed sanctuary, Sala Samui Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui is perfectly positioned to maximise its tropical setting and views of the sparkling Gulf of Thailand. Enjoy the waters on the hotel’s paddleboards… or just dip into the central moon-shaped pool. Indoors, each room is crisp and open, with light furniture, lounge chairs and large windows ideal for ushering in ocean breezes (every room has its own pool for private plunges). Evenings mean movie nights on the beach, barbecues in the sand, strolls to the night market or Thai feasts in the beachy open-air restaurant.
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Free airport transfers; stays of five nights also get 15 per cent off food and drinks; stays of seven nights get all of the above and 15 per cent off laundry
The Oceanfront One-Bedroom Pool Suite is open and bright, with an over-sized plunge pool ideal for cooling off on hot island days. The Sala Pool Villas are ideal for privacy, set on the wings of the property off to the sides of the main building, with an outdoor shower.
There's a large pool with sunbeds and lounge chairs in each of the two wings, both with smaller child-friendly pools.
A haven of swooping modernist curves and soft spherical lights, Sala Spa is inspired by our solar system. Step through the circular doorway and you'll find six treatment rooms, each themed after a planet and housing a bath tub, rainfall shower and twin treatment beds. The menu is wide-reaching, including blissful body scrubs, aromatic herbal wraps and limbering massages. The therapists only use products from two leading Thai beauty brands, I Plus Q and Dii Skincare.
Stock up on beach wraps and woven sandals at the night markets that pop up around the island, including nightly at Chaweng Beach.
The hotel is not wheelchair accessible.
Children of all ages are welcome. The hotel has a children's pool, lawns suitable for playing and dedicated kids club. Babysitting can be arranged with a day's notice. Foldaway cots and cribs are available, along with baby baths and high chairs.
Over-4s, who'll be able to make the most of the kids club and facilities.
The kids' club is open daily from 9am to 6pm, and is open to children from four to 12. A range of supervised art, craft and playtime activities run throughout the day, and the playroom is well stocked with toys and games.
There's a child-friendly pool attached to the main pool in each of the hotel's wings.
Babysitting is available with 24 hours' notice.
The hotel uses organic and seasonal products wherever possible, and tries to minimise waste and plastic by using reusable hand towels, glass water bottles and paper straws.
Take a table close to the water for breezes and silhouettes of palm trees as the sun sets.
Bright, beachy sundresses and linens are ideal for this laidback setting.
The Tent is an open-air beachfront restaurant serving fresh-caught seafood and a variety of Thai and international dishes. The canvas-topped minimalist setting draws the focus to the beach, just steps from the tables – plan on a moonlit stroll in the sand after dinner. Open for lunch, the Treehouse has a pitched roof, pale-wood furniture and soft sofa-style seating in a deep ocean blue. The menu has western and Thai sections, spanning salads, pizzas, fragrant curries and seafood; there's also a menu for little Smiths. Guests staying in any of the Garden Wing rooms have breakfast at the Treehouse; those in the Oceanfront Wing rooms have it at the Tent.
The Tent’s adjacent bar serves up the full restaurant menu as well as some appropriately tropical cocktails. The Beach Bar will whisk you even deeper into holiday mode, with jackfruit, coconut and other exotic delights at hand to please your palate.
Breakfast is served at the Tent from 7am to 11am, lunch from 11am to 5pm and dinner from 5pm to 10.30pm; the bar is open from 11am until 11pm daily. The Treehouse serves breakfast from 7am to 11am and lunch from 11am to 2pm.
Order anything you fancy from the restaurant menu to your room, during restaurant hours.
Sala Samui Chaweng Beach is on the northeast side of Koh Samui, right on the beach.
Koh Samui Airport (www.samuiairportonline.com) is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, with daily flights from Bangkok on Thai Airways. Contact Smith24 for assistance with transfers.
The hotel is pleasingly central, if you’re interested in exploring the rest of the island. There’s on-site parking, but it’s easier to arrange a driver to navigate the island’s small roads.
Worth getting out of bed for
Plan to spend plenty of time enjoying Koh Samui's world-renowned beaches, which have been the subject of love songs, novels and even the movie The Beach. The hotel has a prime spot by the warm waters, and plenty of gear to help guests take advantage, including paddle boards and kayaks to try in the lagoon. On Thursdays, the hotel offers movie night on the beach (free popcorn included). On Saturdays, there’s a beachy barbecue with grilled dishes, a raw bar and live music.
Explore around the island by chartering a boat through the hotel to snorkel in the crystal waters by Ang Thong National Marine Park and explore the coves and less-popular stretches of sand around the island.
There’s no spa at the hotel, but Thailand is renowned for its massages, and many operators set up shop right on or near Chaweng Beach, for the ultimate seaside relaxation.
There are plenty of little restaurants and food stalls off Chaweng Beach for those looking to sample island flavours. The Chaweng Beach Night Market sets up nightly with vendors selling fresh-grilled casual beachy skewers and classic Thai dishes, including papaya salad and sticky rice.
Feast on fresh fish in classic Thai preparations at Supattra, a local favourite just north of the airport in an open-air spot near the water. Coast Beach Club and Bistro, down the beach from the hotel, installs a DJ for music and beach views as the backdrop for tiki drinks, full-moon cocktails and a menu of salads, pastas and burgers.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachfront hotel in Thailand and unpacked their sarongs and sandals, a full account of their island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Sala Samui Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui…
With its white walls and modernist curved alcoves, Sala Samui Chaweng Beach has the stark and sun-bleached look of coral from the Gulf of Thailand. And like coral, the hotel belongs on the beach, conjuring visions of crisp, clear waters and balmy breezes. Tucked onto a prime stretch of Chaweng Beach, with its soft sands and gentle waves, the hotel has an ideal location. Beach bums can stake out a spot with sea views and almost never leave, summoning tropical cocktails and light snacks for sustenance before evenings of barbecues and movie screenings on the sand. Adventurers can take off by kayak or paddleboard to discover the coves and waterfalls that lure intrepid explorers, and culture buffs can stake out the goods at the nearby night markets. If you happen to tire of the sun (we’re told it can happen) just retreat to your spacious, airy room, where a private pool awaits for secluded dips.