Your Christmas quick-start guide:
- Xmas: All your Christmas FAQs: Koh Samui Christmas Guide
- NYE: How to have the best-ever Koh Samui New Year’s Eve
- Samui: Absolutely everything else: The Koh Samui Guide (PDF)
Release your inner Will Ferrell Elf – CHRISTMAS IS COMING, and New Year’s Eve, too. As always, it feels weird asking favourite Koh Samui hotels, restaurants and beach clubs for their 2016 Christmas events. Let’s face it, there’s nothing normal about eating Christmas turkey on a (mainly Buddhist) tropical island. Yet Samui’s hospitality industy is ever-obliging, so whether you want mince pies in Maenam or cranberries in Choeng Mon (see what I did there) … your carbs await! Let’s get the sanuk (Thai for fun/enjoyment/joyfulness) started:
2016 Koh Samui Christmas Events: What to know?
#1. Booking in advance
With a few exceptions (The Four Seasons), you can reserve your Christmas dinner at many hotel restaurants whether or not you’re a guest – but you must book in advance! Turkeys and roast potatoes are by no means a natural phenomenon on Koh Samui, so you need to stake your claim. If you love to be last-minute, see which hotels – at time of writing – still have rooms available, or start from scratch and get to know your Samui beaches.
#2. Net? Gross? Plus-Plus?
When booking, check whether tax and service charges are included. Typical rates are 10% service charge and 7% government tax. Some establishments include them in the price; some don’t.
#3. What to wear? What to bring?
For a total head-to-toe Thailand dress code primer, whether you’re eating casually or getting dressed up, see:
#4. Not sponsored, just Christmas-obsessed
As is my perpetual policy – I receive no compensation whatsoever from any of the following establishments. I simply asked some of my favourite places what they had planned over Christmas. Menu after tasty, tasty menu arrived – good luck in choosing!
#5. How to save a rainy day? And other FAQs…
More questions? Find out absolutely everything else you’re wondering – or worried – about your Koh Samui trip in The Koh Samui Guide. Arrive better prepared, and make sure you enjoy every minute:
“Thanks for the great Koh Samui Guide. We are coming next week..perfect guide! Could not find anything decent in London bookshops!!” – Ilpo & Anneli
2016 Koh Samui Christmas Events
Events are listed by date, then price (from low to high). For families with children, many events offer children’s pricing – noted where available. By event, jump to:
- December 24: Christmas Eve events under 2,500 Thai Baht (approx £55)
- December 24: Christmas Eve events over 2,500 Thai Baht
- December 25: Christmas Day brunch on Koh Samui
- December 25: Christmas dinner on Koh Samui
- NEW! Dec 31: Koh Samui New Year’s Eve Parties
Dec 24: Christmas Eve on Koh Samui (≤฿2500)
“Potato’s Stylish Christmas Eve” | Lamai
- What: “Christmas Eve in style by the beach”. 4-course set menu dinner, with tiramisu for dessert. Smart casual dress and jazz/deep house music.
- Where: Samui Potato Beach Club, Lamai’s self-proclaimed trendiest beach club
- Price: THB 1,250 (approx. £28). To reserve, phone +66 77 424 420 or contact on Facebook.
Christmas Eve buffet dinner at OZO Chaweng | Chaweng
- What: Dinner buffet with live music and children carolers, plus lucky draw prizes.
- Where: OZO Chaweng, a modern Chaweng hotel with a really cool pool.
- Price: THB 1,800 and 900 for kids aged 6-11, with no charge for children under 6 (approx. £40/£20). To reserve, email [email protected]
Christmas Eve at Melati Beach Resort | Thongson Bay
- What: Look no further: sucking pig on the beach, with crackling pork belly and pineapple chutney for a perfect piggy
festfeast. Melati is speaking my language with “bread and cheese corner” and a macaroon tower. Enjoy your dinner with live music, including Melati carolers – finishing with a visit from Santa.
- Where: on the beach at the truly lovely Melati Beach Resort
- Price: THB 1,990 (approx. £45) and half price for children aged 4-12. An optional drinks package (add THB 1,590) means free-flow mojitos (or Thai whiskey for the very brave) until 11pm. To reserve, email [email protected]
Christmas Eve dinner at Poppies | South Chaweng
- What: A visit from Santa, an “Angklung” bamboo orchestra performance by local schoolchildren and, later, a Thai music and dance performance. As for food, enjoy a full Christmas dinner that includes fresh eggnog (with or without brandy), Butterball turkey, apricot and pecan stuffing, veggies, roast or mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy, then Christmas pudding flambéed at your table (an experience we’ve previously enjoyed on a very windy Christmas night).
- Where: Poppies (a favourite spot at the southern end of Chaweng Beach)
- Price: THB 1,995 (approx. £45). To reserve, book online.
Christmas Eve at Anantara Bophut | Bophut
- What: Start your evening at a Christmas cocktail reception in Anantara’s beautiful gardens. Then, choose between a six-course Italian seated meal or an ‘East meets West’ gala buffet – go ahead and add some turkey to your Thai food. Add an optional drinks package to either for free-flow house wines and Chang beer. A children’s play corner is available for families.
- Where: Anantara Bophut Resort: Italian dinner at Full Moon restaurant, overlooking the pool. Gala buffet in the gardens.
- Price: THB 2,100 for buffet and THB 2,290 for Italian dinner (approx. £47-52). To reserve, email [email protected]
Christmas Eve buffet dinner at Amaya Food Gallery + set menu Italian dinner at Prego | Chaweng
- What: Christmas Eve buffet dinner, with carol singers and a magic show for entertainment.
- Where: Amari Koh Samui (newly renovated resort in Chaweng)
- Price: THB 2,100 for adults and 1,050 for kids aged 6-11 (approx. £47/24). To reserve, phone +66 77 300 306-9 or email [email protected]
“Merry Christmas at Latest Recipe” | Lamai
- What: A 5-course dinner with carol singing, gifts for children, family activities and Santa Claus, too. Seared scallops, seafood bisque, grilled salmon and an extra chocolatey dessert
- Where: Latest Recipe Restaurant at Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa in Lamai
- Price: THB 2,300 (approx. £52). Children 4-11 are half price. 10% discount for Marriott Rewards® and Starwood Preferred Guest®. To reserve, email [email protected] or call +66 77 960 888
Nikki Beach Christmas Eve Dinner | Lipa Noi
- What: Enjoy a classic Christmas supper with chef’s holiday specials, as Nikki Beach brings you good tidings and the yuletide spirit. Choose from a 4-course menu or dine a la carte.
- Where: Nikki Beach Koh Samui, in Lipa Noi
- Price: 2,500 (approx. £56). To reserve, email [email protected]
Dec 24: Christmas Eve on Koh Samui (≥฿2500)
Secret Garden Christmas Eve dinner | Bang Rak
- What: 5-course Christmas dinner with welcome cocktails, lobster bisque and spoon (helpfully described above.
- Where: Secret Garden, a popular beach resort/live music venue on the beach in Bang Rak
- Price: THB 2,558 (approx. £57). To reserve, email [email protected]
Beach Republic Christmas Eve 5-course dinner | Lamai
- What: Live music with your 5-course dinner, with tons of choices for each course (hellooo scallops and truffle mash).
- Where: Beach Republic, a popular beach club in Lamai
- Price: THB 3,000 (approx. £67). To reserve, book online or email [email protected]
Christmas Eve Gala Dinner at Rocky’s | Lamai
- What: Indulge with Rocky’s Christmas Eve menu and full evening entertainment, including a jazz trio, fire dance, carol singing and a children’s party.
- Where: The Dining Room at Rocky’s Boutique Resort in Lamai
- Price: THB 3,500 (approx. £78), and half price for children under 12. To reserve, email [email protected]
“Gold & Silver Extravaganza” | Taling Ngam
- What: Dine in style on Christmas Eve at Conrad Koh Samui’s Christmas BBQ dinner at the resort’s poolside restaurant. Turkey and seafood BBQ buffet (with a full menu that spans two pages and includes Thai favourites and 12 dessert choices). Live music plus a fire dance show.
- Where: Azure Bar & Grill at Conrad Koh Samui, Taling Ngam
- Price: THB 4,888 or 2,444 for children aged 6-12 (children less than 6 years old dine free) (approx. £110/£55). 10% food discount to Hilton Premium Club members. To reserve, book online or email [email protected]
Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner | Taling Ngam
- What: If you don’t eat from now until December 24th, you might make your way through this buffet: even the salads can’t be missed. Live cooking stations include sushi, Thai and Indian food, flambé and crêpe stations – plus a chocolate fountain. As for desserts (I counted): twenty-six desserts. It’s almost worth skipping the turkey. Live music and a smart dress code (I suggest something loose-fitting).
- Where: Amber restaurant at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam
- Price: THB 4,900, including welcome cocktail reception (approx. £110), and THB 2,450 for children 6-12. To reserve, email the Festive Hospitality Desk at [email protected]
Dining on the Rocks’ Christmas Eve Dinner | near Choeng Mon
- What: A culinary journey. First: A glass of Chamdeville or special 4 elements cocktail. Then, “savour [Chef] Giancarlo’s special set dinner, accompanied by the romantic setting at Dining on the Rocks….” 6 courses include lobster, Wagyu tastiness and the chance to devour Chiang Mai lychee ice cream. Dress code is smart casual.
- Where: Dining on the Rocks, an incredible spot at Six Senses Samui with 270 degree views.
- Price: THB 5,500 (with optional wine pairing at an additional THB 3,800) (approx. £123-208). To reserve, email [email protected]
“A Golden Xmas” | Maenam
- What: Christmas Eve at The Beach House starts with a cocktail party, then a seated dinner, and entertainment to follow: Christmas shows and live music
- Where: The newly renovated Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa on Maenam Beach
- Price: THB 5,500 (approx. £123) and half price for children. To reserve, please contact Khun Pimpa, Guest Relations Manager at 077-425031-8 or by email: [email protected]
“White Christmas 4-course menu” | Taling Ngam
- What: An indulgent set menu dinner, finished with Christmas cookies. Seafood bisque, ravioli in truffle cream sauce and filet mignon for you, with a separate children’s menu available. Smart dress code.
- Where: Flames restaurant at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam
- Price: THB 5,900 including welcome cocktail reception (approx. £132) and THB 2,950 for children 6-12. To reserve, email the Festive Hospitality Desk at [email protected]
Christmas Eve Gala Dinner with Santa | Bophut
- What: Arrive to cocktails and canapés around Zazen’s wonderfully romantic pool, then enjoy a lantern-lit Christmas Eve dinner: 6 courses, a magic show and Santa himself. Zazen’s food is out of this world – expect something very special.
- Where: Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa on Bophut Beach
- Price: THB 6,474 (approx £144), half price for children 3-6 and no charge for children under 3. To reserve, email [email protected]
Dec 25: Christmas Day brunch on Koh Samui
COAST Beach Club Christmas Brunch | Chaweng
- What: Choose a family brunch, or a boozier ‘festive’ brunch with carving stations, turkey, Christmas pudding and more. Entertainment includes fashion-show-as-performance by local designer Nikky Noodles. Every child (12 and under) receives a gift.
- Where: COAST, Centara Grand Resort’s popular beach club on Chaweng Beach with “grill-focused cuisine and laidback attitude” (Aussies, step right up).
- Price: Starts at THB 1,590 for family brunch/soft drinks only (approx. £35). To reserve, email [email protected]
Nikki Beach Christmas Day Brunch | Lipa Noi
- What: The busiest brunch of the year at Nikki Beach – reservations are strongly recommended. Join Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui during the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrate Christmas Day with holiday-themed surprises alongside world-renowned global buffet and signature live entertainment! Note for families: “Children are allowed, but after 2pm we ask parents to remove kids from the pool as it gets unsafe.”
- Where: Nikki Beach Koh Samui, in Lipa Noi
- Price: Price for brunch is 1,700 THB per person (approx. £39) and 850 for children. All guests are required to purchase brunch ticket. If guests want to use beds, those are an additional price starting at THB 4,000. To reserve, email [email protected] or book online
“Brunch in Style on Christmas Day” | Taling Ngam
- What: A “sumptuous festive brunch buffet menu accompanied by a welcome glass of sparkling wine”. Live music while you eat, drink, eat, be merry … and eat.
- Where: Zest, at Conrad Koh Samui in Taling Ngam
- Price: THB 2,150 (approx. £48) or 1,075 for children 6-12. No charge for children under 6. To reserve, book online or email [email protected]
Christmas Day brunch at Beach Republic | Lamai
- What: Spend Christmas Day enjoying live music and 4 hours of festive buffet. Arrive to a welcome champagne cocktail, then tuck into to fresh seafood, a carver station and ALL the desserts (mince pies, Christmas cake, pavlova, yule log, trifle… and fresh fruit.
- Where: Beach Republic, Lamai
- Price: THB 2,490 (approx. £56). Half price for children aged 4-12 years, and no charge for children under 4. To reserve, book online or email [email protected]
Dec 25: Christmas Day dinner on Koh Samui
“Festive Frolics at The Larder” | North Chaweng
- What: Full Christmas dinner with a choice of turkey or baked ham, all the trimmings (including bread sauce and sage stuffing), plus a choice of three puddings: chocolate mousse, boozy baked apples or “Good Ol’ Christmas Pud”. Free flow beer and wine for three hours.
- Where: The Larder (“a restaurant-come-bar… verging on gastro pub…… and not quite a wine bar”), at the northern end of Chaweng
- Price: Not yet published. To reserve, phone +66 77 601 259 or email [email protected]
Christmas Set Menu at The Duke Pub | Chaweng
- What: Perhaps the only Christmas menu on the island to feature deep fried ice cream as a dessert option (preceded by Thai and Western favourites including red duck curry and BBQ pork ribs).
- Where: The Duke Pub, “a fantastic British sports bar with nightly live rock music”.
- Price: THB 750 (approx. £17). To reserve, [email protected]
“Christmas Carvery Night” | Lamai
- What: Calling all carnivores: Book your traditional carvery dinner at The Dining Room. Homemade gravlax, and roast turkey, pork, beef, lamb, potatoes – and a baked gammon, too. Save room for Christmas pudding.
- Where: The Dining Room at Rocky’s Boutique Resort just south of Lamai.
- Price: THB 1,250 (approx. £28) and half price for children under 12. To reserve, email [email protected]
“Rockstar Christmas Dinner” | Chaweng
- What: “A red carpet worthy 3-course meal” featuring crab and smoked salmon salad, turkey (or surf & turf) with a choice of desserts to follow. Big family? Hard Rock can accommodate groups of up to 600 people!
- Where: Hard Rock Cafe Koh Samui, on Chaweng Beach Road
- Price: THB 1,299 (approx. £29). To reserve, email [email protected]
Christmas Day Dinner Buffet at Anantara Bophut | Bophut
- What: Let Anantara “spoil you with a classic Christmas feast and dazzling magic for little ones. Dine on succulent roasted meats with all the trimmings, and traditional festive puddings. Kids can play in the children’s corner throughout the event”.
- Where: High Tide restaurant at Anantara Bophut
- Price: THB 1,450 or 2,350 with optional drinks package (approx. £32-53). To reserve, email [email protected]
Secret Garden Christmas dinner | Bang Rak
- What: 3-course Christmas dinner with live music, sea bass or coq au vin and ‘coconut snow balls’ for dessert.
- Where: Secret Garden Beach Resort on Big Buddha Beach (aka Bang Rak)
- Price: THB 1,590 (approx. £36). To reserve, email [email protected]
Christmas Eve lunch or dinner at Poppies | South Chaweng
- What: A full Christmas dinner that includes fresh eggnog (with or without brandy), Butterball turkey, apricot and pecan stuffing, veggies, roast or mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy, then Christmas pudding flambéed at your table (an experience we’ve previously enjoyed on a very windy Christmas night).
- Where: Poppies (a boutique hotel with Thai-style cottages)
- Price: THB 1,995 (approx. £45). To reserve, book online
If you’re not hungry (or headed straight to the gym), get some travel stocking stuffer ideas and see everything else you need to know about Christmas in Thailand. Stay tuned for a full listing of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Enjoy!