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Thirty years ago there were but a few makeshift beachside bungalows along the nearly deserted coast of Samui. Today, luxury resorts stand shoulder to shoulder with upscale beach bungalows, all vying for bookings. The five-star resorts really go all out to impress, with many offering complimentary snorkel trips, branded speedboats, private infinity pools, and personal butlers. So if there was ever a place to splurge in Thailand for a posh resort, Ko Samui is it. But be warned: Ko Samui is one of the more expensive destinations in Thailand, from pricy flights out of Bangkok to unmetered cabs, bills can add up quickly before you even factor in accommodations.

Those traveling with a group of four or more will find the best value in renting one of the island’s many villas. AirBnB (www.airbnb.com) and HomeAway (www.homeaway.com) villas tend to be in the center of Ko Samui with sweeping views of the island and the beach. A search for properties during high season showed four bedroom villas for around 5,000B per night, and a bit more to rent a home with a pool. That’s a big savings, considering double rooms in a hotel will cost between 5,000-10,000 baht, on average.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.