We often receive inquiries from clients who are unsure of whether to go to Phuket or Koh Samui, which is pretty reasonable and understandable. Both islands are beautiful and boast fantastic white beaches and warm tropical weather almost all year round. Phuket & Koh Samui are in fact ranked 3rd & 4th on TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Asian Islands in 2015.

But when it comes to choosing a villa accommodation, there might be some slight differences especially in terms of villa location, which will make one examine both destinations prior to making a decision. We hope the below information will help.

Villa Architecture and Design

When it comes to the architecture, interiors, and overall designs, there’s not much of a difference between the villa rentals you will find in Phuket and villa rentals in Koh Samui. The villas on both islands feature modern lines and structures, but all tinged with traditional Thai architecture details and other Asian contemporary touches. Pointed rooftops and traditional Thai accessories are shared design features by Villas found on both of these tourist hotspot islands.


In Phuket, most of the villas are built with oceanfront views but not necessarily beachfront. These villas may be on a cliff, hill, or an elevated position, overlooking the ocean. Getting to the beach will take some walking, but some are in very proximity to the ocean. Though there are some Phuket villas that are located right on the beach, they’re very rare. In Koh Samui, however, you can find many beachfront luxury villas to rent. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find villas on the island that are on a hill or a cliff – they are also available.

In terms of villas being family-friendly, Koh Samui offers more properties that are accustomed to accommodating children. Whereas in Phuket, where villas are mostly on the hillside, beachfront villas in Koh Samui are generally safer or are more kid-friendly. Know the difference between oceanfront, oceanview, & beachfront villas.

Staff & Services

Almost all villa rentals in both islands are staffed with a highly qualified team including a villa manager, chef, and housekeepers (You may also read the Staff Involve in a Luxury Villa Rental Operation). They both may offer the same level of service. But, of course, there are exceptional ones that offer superb 5-star services. Other extra services that you may require may come at an additional cost including but not limited to massage/spa, car rental with driver, tour, etc. Always check reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor or other villa rental portals/websites.

Terms & Conditions

Every villa whether it’s in Koh Samui or Phuket has different terms and conditions. It’s best always to talk to the company or agency where you book the villa and make sure everything is clear before you take out your credit card.

Always be mindful of your arrival and departure if you need to request an early check-in or late check-out, as some villas may charge extra for this.

Food & Beverages

Food and beverages are not included in the rental for all villas in Phuket & Koh Samui. However, some of the villas may offer complimentary breakfast or drinks. Read more about How Meals & Food are Arranged at the Villa.

With regards to buying food or ingredients, note that if you ask the staff to do the shopping for you, there may be a surcharge of up to 20% of the total purchased items. If you do not want to pay for this, you may do the shopping yourself. The in-house chef can prepare and cook the food for you at no cost.

In terms of costs of necessities, expect Koh Samui to be a little more expensive than Phuket. This difference in commodity prices is because Phuket can easily be reached since it’s connected to the mainland. Whereas getting to Koh Samui is more expensive since the island can only be reached by plane or boat. In terms of transporting goods to these islands, the added cost of getting goods to Koh Samui make everything else more expensive compared to Phuket.

Featured Images: Villa Kalipay in Phuket and Villa Hin in Samui