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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
This library is too cool for school. The entire resort is a sparkling white mirage accented with black trimming and slatted curtains...
The Scent Hotel
Find a taste (and scent if you light your complimentary incense) of Indochine at this resort that recreates the elegance of 1940s and '50s colonial Asia...
The Jungle Club
Chaweng Noi Beach
The perilous drive up the slithering road is totally worthwhile once you take in the incredible views from the top. This isolated mountain getaway is a huge hit among locals and tourists alike...
A two-minute walk to the beach, this excellent-value small hotel has two storeys of big, tastefully furnished, tiled rooms encircling the lobby and an incongruous dipping pool.
The Loft Samui
The row house doubles and deluxe rooms in the new building have a warm, butter-yellow, near-Mexican style, but avoid the darker, mustier bungalows across from reception...
My Place @ Surat Hotel
This spiffed-up Chinese hotel has surprising touches like bright paint, colourful throw cushions and modern art on the walls. It's clean, very central and the best bargain in town.
The Cliff & River Jungle Resort
This beautiful property with stilted bamboo bungalows is set below the jagged cliffs and is removed from Khao Sok’s budget huddle. If you need air-con, come here.
Morning Mist Resort
Clean, tiled, fan-cooled bungalows all have balconies or patios, and are set in split-level duplex style blocks. The most expensive overlook the river.
The Imperial Boat House Hotel
This sophisticated retreat has a three-storey hotel and several free-standing bungalows made from imported-teak rice barges whose bows have been transformed into stunning patios...
It doesn’t look like much from the front, but the three dorm rooms here are surprisingly spic and span and each has its own hot water bathroom and air-conditioning. The staff are sweet too.
Buri Rasa Village
Thai-style wooden doors lead to private villa patios and simple yet elegant rooms...
Kirikayan Boutique Resort
Simple whites, lacquered teak and blazing red accents set the colour scheme at this small, hip address along Hat Chaweng’s southern sands. Wander past thick palm trunks and sky-scraping foliage to find the relaxing pool deck at the back.
Tango Beach Resort
Tango features a string of bungalows arranged along a teak boardwalk that meanders away from an excellent but busy stretch of beach...
Mae Nam Beach
If Apple computers designed a hotel, this is what it would look like – all sleek modern lines, white and not a hint of dust. The contrast of this against the turquoise sea and the hotel's large infinity pool makes for a stunning piece of architecture...
Samui Jasmine Resort
Smack dab in the middle of Hat Lamai, varnished-teak yet frilly Samui Jasmine is a great deal. Go for the lower-priced rooms – most have excellent views of the ocean and the crystal-coloured lap pool.
The Tongsai Bay
Choeng Mon Beach
For serious pampering, head to this secluded luxury gem. Expansive and impeccably maintained, the hilly grounds make the cluster of bungalows look more like a small village...
After passing through the marble lobby, a small staircase suddenly opens onto a tropical paradise that feels miles away from busy Chaweng...
New owners have spiffed up this small hotel with teak windows aplenty, which let in lovely muted light. Decor is a tasteful mix of Thai and a touch of Ikea thanks to the Swedish half of the British/Swede ownership...
Nora Chaweng Hotel
Nora Chaweng is not on the beach, but this newer addition to the Chaweng bustle has swankily designed rooms, an inviting on-site pool and a relaxing spa studio.
Chaweng Center Hotel
Although the views of McDonald’s across the street are far from charming, this central cheapie has freshly refurbished rooms that are well-priced and pull off ‘minimal-chic’ instead of feeling spartan.
Haad Khuad Resort
Although expensive, this small hotel is worth the splurge. The rooms are fastidiously clean and they all feature floor-to-ceiling windows that face the cerulean bay.
The Lodge feels like a colonial hunting chalet with pale walls and dark wooden beams jutting across the ceiling, except it all looks out over blue-green sea...