Update: Full Reviews Now Available
I’m in the midst of a long trip to Bangkok and Koh Samui and unfortunately the trip is sadly almost over. I stayed 2 nights at the InterContinental Samui Resort and two nights at the Conrad Koh Samui and both stays have been absolutely wonderful, but for very different reasons.
I felt compelled to write this post in case anyone is considering a trip to this island and having trouble deciding where to stay (and also because my trip reports are notoriously slow). The two resorts that I’ve stayed at on this trip are very different, so hopefully a few pictures and a brief explanation will help you decide!
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
I stayed here on my first two nights in Koh Samui, and it really was a fantastic stay. There are a couple of restaurants that are an expensive taxi ride away, so plan on doing most of your eating at the resort. The room service food was pretty good for the most part, so I didn’t mind staying in.
The views, however, were spectacular. Take a look at the huge open-air lobby and view from it.
The view from the room wasn’t as great, but still pretty darn good.
The resort itself was great. There were people around, but not a ton. There was never more than 8 people in the community pool at the same time. There were plenty of places to sit on the beach, and the water is warm and wonderful. There was free kayaking, wind surfing, and snorkeling , and there was also a long pier that made for some great photos.
The entire resort was built with walking in mind. And I mean a lot of walking. Lots of stairs, steps, ups and downs. If you have trouble moving around much, this is NOT the hotel for you! I was literally exhausted each time I got back to the room. If you’re here when it’s hot, then it’ll be a rough walk.
But if you prefer seeing people around and taking advantage of a great beach and pool, this place should be your choice. It’s a bargain when using IHG points at only 35k per night, and you get 10% of those back if you have the co-branded Chase credit card.
Conrad Koh Samui Resort
My next two nights were at the famed Conrad Koh Samui resort. It’s a spectacular resort but for very different reasons than the InterContinental Resort.
For starters, the lobby is not made for you to hang out in. It’s small but has great views. The only way to get around the resort is by a huge army of golf cards they have for you on-demand (they drive you anywhere you want to go on the resort).
Once you get to your room, you’ll find little reason to want to leave. The room and bathroom are huge, and oh yeah…your backyard has a 30 foot infinity pool with lounge chairs and a separate sitting area. And yes, the sunset was visible from the room.
The rest of the resort is great, but super quiet (FYI when I was here it was only 60% full). The resort pool was empty and so was pretty much everywhere else. Additionally, there isn’t a true beach at the Conrad. You’re not supposed to go swimming because of the reefs just off the beach, but kayaking and snorkeling is permitted and free. They also got rid of their pier because apparently it was built for lakes and not the waves of the ocean.
There is also an island that they transport you to for free to hang out on, but in my opinion it’s pretty useless. It’s not private as there were other boats there, and there’s nothing to do there anyway. It also smells funny.
But again, this resort is all about the room. There really isn’t much reason to leave except to kayak or eat breakfast, which is free if you’re a Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond member.
I booked this before the Hilton devaluation while it was still 50k points a night, but now it’s up to 95k per night. A better deal would be to use free nights from the Hilton Honors Reserve card from Citi.
Believe it or not, I preferred the InterContinental resort. Clearly these hotels are made for people looking for different types of vacations, so decide what kind you prefer. Both are spectacular and you’ll enjoy your stay no matter which you choose!
Full reviews will be coming later!