Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui. Do you love to stay in quirky places? From teak villas to jungle huts, tents to shipping containers, here are 13 unusual places to stay on Koh Samui... | #kohsamui #thailand #samui #travel
13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui. Do you love to stay in quirky places? From teak villas to jungle huts, tents to shipping containers, here are 13 unusual places to stay on Koh Samui... | #kohsamui #thailand #samui #travel

Do you love to stay in quirky places, and can’t get enough character? From one-star to five-star, teak villas to jungle huts, tents to shipping containers, you’ll find an incredible range of options for unusual places to stay on Koh Samui. Here are my favourite thirteen:

Some links below contain affiliates. Top photo: New Star Beach Resort (Photo credit: Booking.com)

1. The Mud

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
The Mud (Photo credit)

Where: Beachfront in Bangpo

Where’s the quirkiness? Top to bottom. Driving past, The Mud appears to be one of the most unusual places to stay on Koh Samui. The Mud’s aesthetic is ‘The Flintstones’ beach bungalow’ – with extra doses of bamboo. Comfort items include your own porch-front hammock and in-room back-scratchers. On the beach expect, well, mud rather than white sand. Instead, dip into the small resort pool. Daily batik painting is offered for kids and families. Coming soon: A new, completely circular bamboo house with sunset views.

What to pack: mosquito repellent and lots of books

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2. New Hut Bungalows ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
New Hut Bungalows (Photo credit)

Where: Beachfront in Lamai

Where’s the quirkiness: Seriously? New Hut offers actual beach huts – like actual huts on stilts – painted in Crayola’s brightest colours. If you’ve ever wanted to try ‘tiny house living’ (for less than US$10 per night), New Hut Bungalows are both cheap and cheerful.

What to pack: Sunscreen, swimsuit and little else.

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3. Varinda Garden Resort ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
Varinda Garden Resort (Photo credit)

Where: Hillside in Lamai

Where’s the quirkiness? If a pack of hippie children, hyped up on kombucha, were given paintbrushes and told to run riot with their favourite inspirational quotes – they’d find their work already done at Varinda. Flower Children, Earth Mothers, dog lovers, step right up: you’re going to find like-minded friends at Varinda Garden Resort. Does the owners’ invitation to “get back to nature” sound charming and characterful? If so, you’ll love your stay. If you can’t abide elderly plumbing and electrics, maybe not. Indeed, Varinda best suits ‘mai pen rai’ (‘nevermind’/no worries) travellers who expect nothing to work and are delighted when it does. (Note: WiFi is free in the reception and restaurant only – in-room WiFi is charged hourly).

What to pack: Books, mosquito repellent, a flashlight

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4. The Library ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
The Library (Photo credit)

Where: Beachfront in Chaweng

What’s unusual? Its blood-red pool is just the start. As a self-described ‘Unique Conceptual Resort’, you’ll find surprise features throughout The Library. The resort’s public bathrooms, for instance, have stall doors that are mirrored on the outside but are windows within. (So think twice about the poses you strike when you think you’re alone in the sink area). Way more romantic is The Library’s ‘Breakfast Culture’: inviting you to breakfast in bed, on the beach. Love your privacy? Look to ‘Secret Chapters private (saltwater) pool villas.

What to pack: Statement sunglasses for poolside reading (The Library’s library has 1400 books available)

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5. Buri Rasa Village ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
Buri Rasa Village (Photo credit)

Where: Beachfront in Chaweng

What’s unusual? Given its central Chaweng location, Buri Rasa offers time-travel to an older Thailand. Rooms and suites are housed in teak buildings built in traditional southern Thai style. Set amongst mature trees, the result is the perfect balance to the modern frenzy of Chaweng. If you want sun and shade, beachfront and a forest-feeling, to me, Buri Rasa Village is a one-off.

What to pack: Flip-flops and a linen shirt

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6. The Jungle Club ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
The Jungle Club (Photo credit)

Where: In the hills overlooking Chaweng

What’s unusual? Jungle living, for “not jungle people”. If, notionally, you love the idea of nature but would never, ever camp: The Jungle Club might be your answer. Newly built and newly renovated options include jungle bungalows, jungle huts, jungle lodges, a jungle house and jungle villa. Choose a Jungle Lodge for the best views and most privacy and the Jungle House to avoid bugs (its construction is fully enclosed). Note: If you’re interested in bird-watching, I’ve seen some incredible birds at The Jungle Club – truly the pursuits of taking it easy.

What to pack: Mosquito nets are provided but bring plenty of insect repellent as well. A guitar would suit your surroundings very well.

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7. Khwan Beach Resort ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
Khwan Beach Resort and Koh Samui Glamping (Photo credit)

Where: Two minutes’ walk to Maenam beach

What’s unusual? Your only chance for glamping on Koh Samui. Promising “art and heart”, Khwan Beach Resort is adults-only and has both pool villas and glamping tents. Tents have air-conditioning, WiFi, smart TVs with a totally private garden area (and totally open-to-the-skies bathrooms). Tents range in size from 55sqm (~600sqft) for one bedroom to 110sqm (~1200sqft) for two bedrooms.

What to pack: Mosquito repellent and a jaunty Panama hat

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8. New Star Beach Resort ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
New Star Beach Resort (Photo credit) – Not pictured: Rubber ducks

Where: Beachfront in Chaweng Noi

Where’s the quirkiness? On arrival, when you find a lobby stocked with hundreds of rubber ducks. On the beach, where you’ll find giant rubber ducks. In your room, where you’ll meet – wait for it – yet more rubber ducks. New Star is a wonderful four-star beach resort, suited to couples and families alike, with a double dose of ‘sanuk’ (Thai for anything fun, funny, cheeky or amusing). What’s with the ducks? An attempt to break the world record for the largest collection. If you prefer salty to sweet, book for the New Year’s Eve pirate party. Great food!

What to pack: Best chance for an upgrade? Bring more rubber ducks. (Not kidding).

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9. Cactus Bungalow ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
Cactus Bungalow (Photo credit)

Where: Bophut Beach

Where’s the quirkiness? While finding these rates (typically US$15-30/night) on Bophut Beach is highly unusual, Cactus Bungalow comes through on the quirkiness, too. Bar stools? No. How about barbershop chairs. White walls? No. Tiger murals. Dragon murals. Square rooms and flat floors? No. Curvy better. As with The Mud (see above), Cactus Bungalows evokes a very Flintstones feeling. Yabba-dabba-do for as little as US$15/night. You get no frills (look elsewhere for in-room fridges, hairdryers, etc) but you do get tiger murals and a beach.

What to pack: All your own toiletries (and mosquito repellent)

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10. SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort ()

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort (Photo credit)

Where: Beachfront in Chaweng

What’s unusual? Want style, love minimalism and have always thought your balcony should be an actual infinity pool? SALA Chaweng Beach Resort is a palace of white – with in-room infinity pools that defy my understanding of gravity. The resort just opened this year (with the second phase of development underway). It’s a total renovation of a pre-existing property and the result is bright white everything; a vibe somewhere between Miami and Mykonos – with a tiny dash of ‘spaceship’ on the side. Note: for extra privacy, book a balcony pool suite on the second or third floor.

What to pack: A (white) swimsuit per day

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11. Samui Us Hostel

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
Samui Us Hostel (Photo credit)

Where: Ten-minute walk to Fisherman’s Village

Where’s the quirkiness? Ever wonder where the cool kids hang out? If you’re backpacking or just want to meet some travel buddies – Samui Us Hostel takes the converted-shipping-crate trend and runs with it. Hang out poolside on bean bags or in the open-air bar/coffee shop space – in the company of ten cats. Games Nights precede the shuttle bus to parties and nightlife in Chaweng. (As for ‘pool rules?’ Smoke or drink in the pool and you have to buy the water to refill it).

What to pack: Your charades A-Game

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12. MAI Samui Beach Resort

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
MAI Samui Beach Resort (Photo credit)

Where: Fairly removed from the real world near Bang Po

What’s unusual? You know those ‘struggle is real’ days when you can’t get out of bed? Book Deluxe Pool Access at Mai Samui Resort and, with next to no effort, roll out of bed and straight into the pool (your balcony steps lead directly into the water). The ideal Koh Samui resort for water babies, swimmers, paddlers, guppies and water aerobics enthusiasts who only have eyes for the pool (the beach is rocky at low tide and not swimmable at high tide).

What to pack: Waterproof sunscreen

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13. Imperial Boat House (honourable mention)

Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui: 13 Cool, Quirky and Unusual Places to Stay on Koh Samui
Imperial Boat House (Photo credit) – Pre-renovation

Where: Beachfront in Choeng Mon

What’s unusual? This is an honourable mention as The Imperial Boat House has closed for major renovations after twenty-seven years. It will re-open in May 2019, rebranded as part of Melia Hotels International. While the rooms and facilities were due for a refresh (imagine the bathroom of your dreams in 1991 … yikes), fans of the Boat House need not worry: the boats themselves will remain as star pieces of this much-loved property.

What to pack: Hold your horses for now, and see what else suits on Choeng Mon Beach

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