Our Favorites in Koh Samui for Affordable Luxury Travel

Affordable Luxury Lodging in Koh Samui

We used our weeklong stay at P&P Resort on Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui as our example of the difference between luxury travel and affordable luxury travel.

We cannot recommend this place more highly for affordable luxury travel!

For $37 a night we got a nice room with a big bed, access to a beachfront pool and deck and a really lovely beach.

In the afternoon the beach turns into a bar.

And if that’s not enough, the famous ARKbar and its nightly fire show is right next door.

The other side of that example was our stay at the exclusive Sea Dance Resort on the secluded Choeng Mon Beach.

If expensive luxury travel is what what you seek, it’s all right there at Sea Dance. But we are all about affordable luxury travel these days!

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Restaurants in Chaweng Beach

We made an ‘old life’ mistake of having a luxury dinner our first night in Chaweng at Spago restaurant.

It was familiar and felt ‘safe.’

In other words, it was boring and expensive.

We realized our mistake before the appetizers arrived and spent the rest of our time on Chaweng Beach eating affordable upscale.

Being adherents to a dirty keto low carb way of eating, we quickly fell in love with keto-friendly local favorites like green and coconut curries, whole fish (you sometimes have to ask for olive oil but it’s generally available), roasted meats and salads.

There is a certain sameness to the Thai restaurants in Chaweng as they cater to tourists.

But here are some of our favorites.

Mr. Crab

Mr. Crab is off a side road toward the north end of Chaweng. Cheap and very tasty.

Top Ten BBQ

Top Ten BBQ was at the end of the ally that leads from the main road to both ARKbar and P&P Resort and has awesome great grilled meats that were cooked roadside. Chicken wings and pork ribs were amazing:

bbq ribs grilled meat chaweng top ten bbq

The Library Thai Tapas

One night we at dinner at The Library Thai Tapas. Each dish was 90 Baht (~US$3) and were unique twists on classic Thai:

The Library Thai Tapas Chaweng

Outdoor Thai Stalls

We also ate at several small outdoor (most restaurants were open-air, some are totally outdoors…) Thai joints.

We just walked along until we found a place that looked cozy and ate there.

Chaweng Night Market Food

We only ate at the Chaweng Night Market once and it was pretty similar to all the other Thai joints in terms of food but open seating.

Lisa had some pepper crabs that proved to be pretty messy:

Chaweng night market

Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

Chaweng Beach is awesome..that’s why it’s the most popular on the island.

And the water is lovely when it’s not rough.

High tide came up to the property front most days, making the beach disappear for a couple hours each day, but no biggie.

There was a pretty consistent sea breeze our entire stay making the beach and pool-front very pleasant for sitting working, reading or napping. We did a lot of all three!


Getting Around Chaweng Beach

Having seen most of what Samui has to offer in terms of tourist attractions last year, we simply walked everywhere we wanted to go: morning tea, meals, 7-11 runs, etc.  

Avoiding walking in the middle of the day is advisable.

There is no breeze on the street and the sun is scorching. But if you can find and/or walk in shade it’s pretty nice.

Walking along the beach is better, but access from the beach to the road is mostly private so we felt compelled to choose one or the other when we walked in the Chaweng Beach area.

Nightlife in Chaweng Beach Koh Samui

The famous ARKbar is about 100m from P&P Resort.

And we took in the nightly fire show there a couple of times after dinner.

We stayed on the beach and left by midnight so we can’t speak to the late-night partying that takes place after that but we heard it’s epic!

Koh Samui affordable luxury travel
ARKBar Nightlife Scene
ARK Bar Understudy Fire Show

On our last night on Chaweng Beach the ‘second stringer’ fire show guys (immediately above) did a mini-show in front of P&P while the first string were doing their thing next door.

Unfortunately during the spinny-sparky part of the show sparks ended up falling all over us and burned a few little holes in Lisa’s only pair of pants.

The upside is that now her pants have travel scars!

Bottom Line – Koh Samui for Affordable Luxury Travel

Koh Samui is an awesome place to chill out and veg for a while.

And while you can pay a lot of money for a luxury travel experience in Koh Samui you don’t have to pay a lot for a little bit of luxury.

Koh Samui is definitely a place you want to consider for affordable luxury travel.

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