As Koh Samui is a small island with an understandably finite supply of resources (electricity included), we’re sure that every accommodation provider does what they can to be ‘eco’. While newer builds have the benefit of improved and more efficient technology, older hotels and traditional bungalows might lack air-conditioning entirely. In such cases, which would you say is more “green”? That with better intentions and infrastructure, or that which draws less power/water/fuel? Casting green or eco labels soon gets sticky.
However, as wannabe model citizens (who compost!) we pay close attention to any corners of Koh Samui making things better (whether that’s better for wildlife, less toxic for guests or for our ‘planetary future’ generally). If any such eco aspects appeal to your travel priorities, here are the hotels and resorts on Koh Samui that stand out (to us and others) for being eco/green/sustainable in all kinds of ways.
The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui
Tongsai’s entire mandate was built along environmental lines and it’s both the longest-standing eco resort and category leader for green accommodation on Koh Samui. While it’s great to see other arrivals in this niche sector, Tongsai Bay is unequalled for its top-to-bottom eco dedication.
How’s this for practicing what you preach: when built in 1987, Tongsai Bay’s construction didn’t cut down a single grown tree. As such, many rooms have individual features as they’ve all been built around things rather than over them (whether trees, boulders or other topographical quirks).
If you’re sensitive or alert to chemicals, listen up: no chemicals or pesticides are used throughout the property, and Tongsai’s rooms are ‘green cleaned’ with non-toxic ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. This is really rare in hotels generally and Thailand especially. Plants are fed with house-produced Effective Micro-organism liquid (a tropical version of compost).
Tongsai Bay is THE spot on Koh Samui for animal lovers and those appreciative of wildlife: they are thorough! Staff are educated in humane animal treatment and “[a]nimals that are found deceased on Tongsai Bay land are sent to a local vet for an autopsy to ensure that any passing is of natural causes and ensure that our Tongsai operations are not a factor” (source). Moreover, Tongsai’s 25-acre site has the largest array of birds and native wildlife you’ll see at any resort on Koh Samui (they have 60 resident species of birds… in 12 years we’ve managed to see a quarter of them).
Food leftovers and scraps are donated to the island’s animal shelter, Dog and Cat Rescue Samui (DCRS). Crazy for dogs or cats? Tongsai will arrange for your transport to visit DCRS to choose an animal to sponsor.
Infrastructure and stand-out features
Tongsai Bay has a full-time Green Projects Manager on staff, so education is ongoing and new projects are often undertaken. Plastic bags, straws and bath products are bio-degradable and thorough recycling takes place. For more eco resort details see Tongsai Bay’s Green Projects, as well as further details at Green Pearls here, here, here and here.
Yes. There’s 50-tree fruit orchard on site, plus a large kitchen garden.
Good for a family vacation?
How to book
To book see rates and reviews for Tongsai Bay.
We offer this detail to highlight great work and as an example of the helpful, honest advice you’ll find in The Koh Samui Guide.