Koh Samui Photo Diary + Videos!

a five day "honeymoon" for one in Koh Samui, one of the most beautiful islands off the coast of Thailand! it was incredible - here is a massive post... + two videos!

Koh Samui was definitely the relaxing leg of my trip to Asia. I spent 3 nights at The Ritz Carlton and 2 nights at Le Meridien. Both hotels were incredible in their own, magical ways. I was going to make two separate posts; one about each property… but I’ve been strettttching out these Asia posts (unintentionally!) so today you get one lonnnng post about both places!

For my first three nights in Koh Samui, I stayed at The Ritz.

My favorite trips are either very rustic or very luxurious (nothing in between) and this part of the trip was all about luxury. As it was low season my room was less expensive than it usually would be (a little over $300 for a suite – more than we paid for any of our other rooms but inexpensive by Ritz standards). I had reached out to the PR team ahead of our visit and they were so nice; upgrading me to an ocean view suite. It was one of the nicest, if not THE nicest place I’ve ever stayed.

My room was absolutely incredible.

A giant bed, a huge bathroom with a separate tub, and the best part – it’s own private pool with a little sundeck, overlooking the ocean. I have never experienced anything like this; it felt like I was on someone’s honeymoon. Definitely watch the video below to get a feel for it!

All of the restaurants at The Ritz were amazing.

Such incredible service and insanely good food. I felt a bit badly that I didn’t leave the resort during my stay but it was just SO nice there (and frankly, I was a bit overstimulated after Bangkok and Cambodia (and the TEMPLES!), so it felt great to just stay put and be ultra leisurely!!!

All of the restaurants at The Ritz were amazing.

I made this little video about The Ritz – it will give you a better idea of how incredible the property is!!!

Video is such a fun way to show you these adventures… I love feeling like I am “taking you along” with me! I would LOVE for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, right this way.

As for The Ritz itself, the property is HUGE.

As for The Ritz itself, the property is HUGE.

It’s 75 acres… with four restaurants, a spa, an incredible health center (and boxing ring), it’s own snorkling reef… the works. As the property is (so) vast and expansive, they take you around on golf carts (buggies).

 The Ritz | KOH SAMUI  The Ritz | KOH SAMUI

 The Ritz - meal | KOH SAMUI

There is more about my room in the video… but that tub! That bed!!!

The spa at the Ritz was beyond. I had the coconut flow massage and it was pure heaven.

After three nights at The Ritz, I headed over to Le Meridien!

I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like Le Meridien after being spoiled out of my mind for three nights at The Ritz. But it was SO nice. My room reminded me a lot of one of the more expensive hotels I stayed at in Tulum and the courtyard area reminded me a lot of the Ocean Club in the Bahamas. Seriously – if it were in Tulum it would have easily been $400 a night. The room itself had three parts. A sitting area, then you walk through a glass door, the bed, another glass door and then a plunge pool which separated the bathroom. This part was partially outdoors. The bedroom itself was small and would have been cramped had Becca and I shared a room (the original plan).

But what really blew my mind was THE BED. It’s one of the nicest beds I’ve ever slept on and I think it’s because of the extra fluffy feather bed that sits atop the mattress. This is magical and much nicer than the bed at Le Meridien in Bangkok. (For the record I have no affiliation with Le Meridien – we just ended up picking it for both Bangkok and Koh Samui as it looked nice).

 Le Meridien

Another thing to know about Le Meridien is that the breakfast is incredible.

Like, so good. It’s the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had. They basically have everything you could ever want to eat, and every single juice you could ever want. At one point I think I had six different glasses of juice in front of me. They also have a really cool bar for happy hour – it’s in the video but you walk along the dock and sit and just take in the sunset and mountain views.

The spa at Le Meridien was also very cool. It’s mostly underground which I thought was really cool. On my last day, before I left for the airport, I did the chakra ritual massage and it was the most relaxing thing ever!!!

 Le Meridien | The Stripe

A general note about hotels in Koh Samui //

Hotels are so funny here. There are so many options. There are the top tier places like The Ritz, The W, The InterContinental, and then there are mid-tier places like Le Meridien. The price discrepancy between these two options is huge. Like $400-500 a night (starting price) vs. $100-$150. And then there are less nice places where you can literally get a room on the beach for $40-50. Or you can stay at a hostel for even less. As someone who is now closer to 40 than 30 (yikes) I like a little luxury. But I was really happy at both properties! I will say that the W Koh Samui also looked really amazing. I went for dinner (some of the best sushi I’ve ever had) and drinks and the views were incredible. And they have so much cool art all over the property!

Chaweng is one of the big towns in Koh Samui. There are a lot of bars and nightlife. It wasn’t really my scene but if you are there to party/go dancing, you should definitely go there. There are a lot of really inexpensive hotels and hostels in Chaweng but for something more luxurious stay at The Library. I went there with my friend (this is where that beautiful red pool is!) and we had some nice drinks by the beach.

There were a few things I wish I did that I didn’t do //

  • The Thai Experience sounds amazing and has such good reviews. The one night I wanted to go they were closed!
  • I had mixed feelings about visiting the Tiger Zoo and aquarium. I ended up not going but if you want a tiger pic for your tinder bio 😉 you should go!
  • Day trips to the other islands are pretty easy. I would have done this if I were traveling with friends.

 Le Meridien | The Stripe

Koh Samui

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Comments

  1. Awww man, your post maks me want to go to Koh Samui so much! The first time I visited Koh Samui was when I was around six years old or so – and I don’t think I’ve been back since (though I still regularly travel to other places in Thailand). Looks like I need to go again! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Jenn Lake says 7.26.18

    Stunning! Both properties look absolutely amazing!

  3. Taylor says 7.26.18

    This is incredible! I remember being so so jealous when you were posting from there in real time and that jealousy has continued!

    Not sure if this is appropriate or not, but when you say you reach out to the PR team before you stay there, do you essentially pitch them on yourself and your blog? I’m not a blogger or anything, I’ve just always been curious about how that works when they don’t reach out to you directly.

    Thanks again for sharing, going to be sad when all the Asia photo diaries are over (I hope this isn’t the last one!)

    xo, Taylor

    • grace at the stripe says 7.26.18

      Hey Taylor!

      Of course! Prior to booking my hotel stay I reached out to the Ritz as I know they have worked with bloggers in the past. I got a connection from a friend who had worked with them in the US, and the US team connected me to the Thailand team.

      In terms of pitching, I have a media kit which contains all of my blog stats and information. We chatted back and forth and the media rate was actually more than the rate on hotels.com (I know weird but I guess the deal on Hotels.com was really good) so we opted to book with our own money. I let the hotel know this and they ended up upgrading us.

      Hope that answers the question? xoxo

  4. Heidi says 7.26.18

    I’m also interested in what “reaching out” to the hotel means? It sounds to me like your stay was partially sponsored so I don’t know why you aren’t more clear about this. I don’t mean to be rude but it just irks me when bloggers don’t declare what is sponsored and what isn’t. And getting an upgrade to me means sponsored content.

    • grace at the stripe says 7.26.18

      Hi Heidi,

      I am really sorry that you don’t feel that I properly disclosed my trip – this makes me feel badly as I pride myself on being clear and disclosing everything and being honest + upfront with my readers about absolutely everything. I know it’s frustrating when bloggers (and editors too) don’t disclose, which makes me ultra vigilant with my own site. I actually tend to err on the side of over disclosing as you can’t be too careful. In this case I do feel a bit frustrated as I have been clear and I haven’t done anything wrong here.

      I disclosed the upgrade in the blog post (multiple times in my instagram stories too!) in the post, but that’s exactly what it was. An upgrade with hopes on the hotel’s part of coverage on my blog + social channels. The experience was incredible, so of course I wrote about it, but I was not required to do so. Technically, calling a trip sponsored means that I received payment – but even if I’d been comped a stay I would have disclosed that. If this were a sponsored post, there would be deliverables, a contract, an agreement with the brand. There wasn’t any of that here. If you look back on previous posts you’ll see I disclose everything – paid stays, comped stays, even a media rate. In this case I actually declined the media rate as it was more expensive than the rate on hotels.com.

      Of course there are perks with having a blog. I was very clear about what the perk was.

      I hope this clears things up! I don’t mean to come across as defensive, but I take these things extremely seriously.

  5. Jg says 7.27.18

    Sorry, how could it be, you wrote a comment about Samui and dont know nothing about that wonderful island. In Thailand, you dont have to spend hundred of dollars for nice hotels, but up to you. Believe me, you dont know everything about the really amazing Thailand.