Maenam stands out among other popular tourist locations in Koh Samui with its sleepy and peaceful atmosphere, reviving the images of how this coastal village used to look like in the days of yore. With its wide stretch of tidy beach fringed by swaying coconut palms, rare local shacks and a fair number of tourist infrastructure, Maenam is a place to spend your exquisite holiday.
Maenam attracts travellers of all ages with its incredible balance of seclusion and convenience. Offering an ample selection of accommodations to suit all budgets, from the most stunning clifftop villas, like the renowned Villa Celadon, to the bargain-priced basic rooms in the local guest houses, Maenam provides the abundant accommodations to choose from.
Located only a few kilometres from the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut, Maenam is also an excellent place to stay close to the majority of tourist facilities but away from crowds. There is a fair number of eating and drinking establishments dotting the area, so you will have abundant dining options during your holiday.
The west end of the Maenam beach is a home to the small Pra Larn Pier, from where Lomprayah ferry services depart to Ko Pha Nga or Ko Tao. Most of time Maenam beach provides excellent conditions for swimming with its clear and calm waters, however, during the monsoon season do not venture swimming far from the shoreline, as the currents can be strong and unpredictable.
WHAT WE LOVE
Splendid clifftop villas
Vibrant restaurants and bars
Peaceful and serene atmosphere
Fantastic white-sand beach
Proximity to elegant Bophut
Situated towards the west of Samui Airport on the northern coast of Koh Samui, Maenam is the ideal base to relish in the serene and peaceful atmosphere and indulge in staying in one of the luxury villas.
FERRY AND BUS
There are plenty of companies that carry out transfers from Phuket to Samui. The trip consists of terrestrial and marine transfers and ranges from six to seven hours. Buses depart from the central bus station in Phuket and bring travellers to Koh Phangan pier where passengers make a transfer for the modern and fast catamaran, which brings visitors to Nathon Pier located on the north-western coast of Koh Samui. Usually, there are two daily transfers for Koh Samui, but the timing can range due to the travel operator.
Although it is possible to get to Maenam, Koh Samui over land or water, the best way is to fly:
AIRPORT AND PIER TRANSFERS
It takes around 30 minutes to reach Maenam from Samui Airport depending on traffic. If you are travelling by ferry, the trip from Nathon Pier can take between 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Ministry of Villas can arrange a chauffeur to greet you upon arrival and escort you to your villa.
Alternatively, there is a taxi desk at the arrival level which arranges one-way fares at a fixed-price. If you opt not to use the taxi desk, there are numerous taxi drivers waiting outside the arrival terminal so you can negotiate the price with them. Even though there is a big sign “Meter-Taxi” on the roof of taxis, local drivers rarely use them, so it is recommended to discuss the price beforehand. You can opt one of the transfer options – a shared mini van with other travellers or a private taxi. A shared taxi is essentially cheaper but usually requires at least five passengers to depart.
There are several options, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers:
Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and chauffeur for you. Depending on which villa you are staying in, the cost for the private car and chauffeur can vary, so it’s recommended to contact our Ministry of Villas team to get the complete information about the private transfers.
Car travel in Maenam is another comfortable way to move around the village and explore other areas. However, due to the hilly landscape of the area, it is recommended, to select a 4×4 wheel drive car, otherwise, it can be challenging to get to your hilltop villa. Also, take into account, that the lower rental price implies the absence of insurance and a poor condition of the vehicle so opt the international brands when renting a car such as Hertz, Avis and Budget Car Rentals, which are more trustworthy than the local rental shops.
Villas team to get the complete information about the private transfers.
SONGTHAEWS OR PICK-UP TAXIS
Songthaews or “two-benches” are simple pick-up tracks that follow their set routes and pick up or drop off passengers at any site along the route. The trip usually costs THB20, and anyone can simply jump into the truck or require the stop ringing a bell. Though the route is described in English, it can be tricky to puzzle out how to get to the destination point for the first-time traveller.
Travelling on two wheels around Maenam is an excellent way to explore the area and further afield. There are several motorbike rental shops, where you can opt the modern scooter and negotiate the price. Take into account that you must always have an international drivers license on your person, otherwise, the local police can issue you a ticket with a summons to appear in court. Also, always opt bikes with insurance, and, of course, make sure you wear a helmet.
You can flag the taxi down the street in Maenam village or request a pick-up by phone. It is recommended, though, to negotiate the price before getting into the car, as Samui taxi drivers rarely use meters.
There are over 15 Ministry Approved villas in Maenam. As Maenam is a rather secluded and quiet location in Samui, villa prices tend to be lower than other parts of Koh Samui. Maenam villas range from USD $180 per night for two-bedroom villa resorts to over USD $2,000 per night for a seven-bedroom luxury villa.
Most of our villas have dedicated staff including butlers, chefs, nannies, 24-hour security personnel, drivers and many other services you won’t find in a hotel. This is why we say “Spend just one night in a villa and you’ll never stay in a hotel again.”
The majority of the best restaurants are usually located in or around hotel resorts and along the Beach Road. Serving the lavish range of the local and international cuisines – from the authentic Thai Pad Thai to the exquisite French dishes – Maenam dining scene has something to offer to everyone.
The laidback dining along with a few high-end fine-dining can be found nearby Maenam Pier, at the western end of the beach. If you want to get the authentic dining experience, head inside the village, where the fair number of the Thai-style eateries catering to the need of both local expats and tourists.
You will be spoilt for choice of the reputable bakery, fish and chip shop, pancake stall and an abundant genuine Thai, Japanese and Mediterranean venues. No matter what is your food preference along with the travel budget, Maenam will surprise you with its abundant dining scene.
Maenam has a reputation of serene and quiet village catering to more mature travellers. However, you will be surprised with the selection of bars and pubs that start operating, when the sun goes down.
Maenam drinking establishments have nothing in common with gogo and girlie bars of Chaweng and Lamai. Instead, visitors will appreciate the vast selection of sports bars, typical Irish pubs for pool games and sophisticated lounge bars in Maenam.
Several beach bars lining the coastline are ideal spots to indulge in the relaxed ambience and watch the fabulous sunset while sipping the fresh coconut or cold beer. After the sumptuous dinner and a few drinks, most visitors head to their villas and hotels, and the nightlife fades away.
Maenam shopping scene is not as diverse and abundant as in Chaweng area, however, you can still enjoy the retail therapy. The business card of the Maenam shopping is its Walking Street market taking place on two main roads leading to the pier every Thursday.
This family-oriented event provides the excellent possibility to savour the local food, sold in the street stalls, or sip a freshly squeezed juice, take a closer look at Thai traditions and, of course, hunt out some authentic souvenir, T-shirt, handicrafts or almost-genuine Dior sunglasses.
Maenam also hosts several must-visit furniture shops serving a huge range of furniture, housewares and design items. Even if you are living at the other end of the planet, and delivery will cost a fortune, ultimately, you will still spend less than in any other country, so it’s still worth buying.
If you want to get a truly relaxing and sophisticated holiday experience, opt one of the Maenam villas, facing the mesmerising Gulf of Thailand. Lazing by the private swimming pool, gazing into the distance on the scurrying boats, and sipping a cocktail will give you a palatial retreat.
The beautiful white sandy shoreline, surrounded by swaying palms and belted with warm waters provides the tropical beach relaxation for those wanting a laidback beach retreat. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate numerous water activities available in Maenam to keep them active.
Those feeling for a more classy relaxation can opt an 18-hole golf course at the Santiburi Samui Country Club. This world-class course stretches along the lush valleys, rocky hills, coconut plantations, and serves scenic vistas over to the Gulf of Thailand. After the exciting round of golf, you can savour an exquisite lunch in the restaurant and share impressions with your friends.