Top 10 Sustainable Resorts: Koh Samui

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    Top 10 Sustainable Resorts: Koh Samui

    ••• A beach sunrise on Koh Samui.

    Once a small fishing island, Koh Samui has become one of the gems of Thai tourism. Budget travelers and wealthy vacationers come from all over to enjoy the white sands and tropical climate. There are many luxury accommodation options with spa treatments, private beach clubs and gourmet restaurants offering local and fusion cuisine. Chaweng Beach, the most popular local town, is the hub for shopping and nightlife. Although luxury and sustainability aren’t usually in the same sentence, lots of locations across the island have taken energy saving, eco-friendly purchasing and recycling measures to show their guests one doesn’t have to sacrifice high quality for being green.

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    Tongsai Bay

    ••• Tongsai Bay, one of the most luxurious resorts on the island, glows in an aerial night shot.

    ,Located just 10 minutes by car from Koh Samui's International Airport, the local street market and busiest town, Tongsai Bay is one of the most highly rated hotels on the island for its suite, cottage and villa options, as well as a private beach. In addition to preserving all the trees on the property since the time it was built, Tongsai Bay has an extensive "Green Project" that intends to “preserve the balance among human beings, animals, trees and environment.” The hotel recycles all their waste and chemicals, forbids plastic bags and wrappings and has pledged to work with other local hotels to keep the island’s natural environment intact.

    Not many places can compete with Tongsai Bay’s upscale options with an eco-conscious touch.

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    Six Senses Samui

    ••• Six Senses Samui offers many private villas with beautiful waterfront views.

    At the northern tip of the island and less than four miles from the airport, the luxurious Six Senses Samui is made up of 66 private villas surrounded by personal pools and naturally vegetated landscapes. It boasts an infinity pool, stone massages and cuisine using locally grown food. Their sustainability efforts are tremendous in both environmental and social responsibility, covering areas such as water saving and recycling, community commitment and contribution, paper, and pesticide products and energy saving measures.  The resort vigorously updates their Environmental Management System so it is up to date with the industry’s best practices in regards to sustainability and engages in community service projects with the local school. If you’re looking for a five star “green” getaway, Six Senses Samui is the place.

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    Banyan Tree Samui

    ••• The secluded Banyan Tree Resort has exquisite views of the ocean.

    Nestled above cascading terraces and blue waters, Banyan Tree Samui is a secluded luxury resort elevated above the coastline.  With a spa, hydrotherapy facility, excursions for couples and families and recreational activities, there are many options for entertainment and relaxation. This property boasts a Green Hotel Award from the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, as well as many other certifications and recognition. This includes a  “Stay for Good” pledge that encourages guests to participate in greening efforts and being environmentally aware.  Banyan Tree is fully immersed and committed to sustainability efforts and community involvement.

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    Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa

    ••• Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa has many options for villas and bungalows.

    Zazen, which is derived from the Japanese word for “inner peace," is a boutique resort and spa made up of villas and bungalows.  Thai cooking classes, relaxing spa packages, and safari trips are just a few of the services and activities available to enhance guests' experience. Along with providing a peaceful Zen for guests, Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa has conscious efforts to reduce waste, recycle materials, conserve water and leave nothing but footprints behind on the beaches. They are also part of the Green Island Project that began in 2007 to preserve the ecosystem and natural beauty of Koh Samui.

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    Amari Koh Samui

    ••• The breeze pool looks pristine at the newly renovated Amari Koh Samui.

    Secluded near the Chaweng Beach and only a 10-minute walk to the nearby town, Amari Koh Samui is a newly renovated hotel with three distinct wings, a breeze spa and a number of pools. Guests can choose whether to be closer to the tropical gardens or the ocean. Although being a large hotel with nearly 200 rooms, Amari goes one step further than the usual green initiatives of water reduction, recycling, controlled chemical use and waste management. The hotel has been built to be energy efficient, the management offices only use recycled materials, and they only purchase materials that have a minimal impact on the environment.

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  • 07 of 11

    The Kala Samui

    ••• The Kala Samui is built up on the cliffs with sustainable materials.

    This eco-resort, built on the cliffs between the Chaweng and Lamai beaches with reclaimed wood, naturally dyed fabrics and recycled materials, truly speaks sustainable. The owners of The Kala Samui were inspired to make their resort as low impact and environmentally friendly as possible while still providing a peaceful tropical paradise. With only 38 rooms, the resort prides itself on traditional furnishings, eco-friendly design and ability to tailor to the needs of their guests for the best experience possible. The Kala Samui also provides many opportunities for guests to enjoy themselves, including water sports, a beach club, and infinity pools. The Agarin Spa, which translates to “where time stands still," is the place to find rejuvenation, relaxation, and spirituality.

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  • 08 of 11

    Elements Boutique Resort and Spa

    ••• Elements Boutique Resort & Spa offers a private beach in the southwest corner of the island.

    Set back on the southwest corner of the island,  Elements Boutique Resort and Spa is the place to go for an eco-friendly wellness getaway. The resort offers spa and detox program options as well as private yoga and meditations sessions for guests.  With sustainable travel and health at the top of their priorities, the resort has strict recycling and energy saving policies as well as a NASA inspired filtering system for swimming options that keep both guests and the environment safe, clean and chlorine free. Your hair and skin will definitely appreciate it as much as the nearby ecosystem does.

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    Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort

    ••• Anantara Lawana Koh Samui offers villas with private pool options as well as unique activities for guests.

    If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, head over to Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort.  In addition to spacious room and villas plus shared or private pools options, the resort offers Thai boxing classes, fruit carving and cooking classes, kayaking, deep sea fishing, windsurfing and dining in a treetop restaurant. This resort also has close access to the Chaweng Beach night scene, shops, and cuisine. Anatara Lawana Koh Samui Resort is Green Growth 2050Gold Certified and has reached high rankings in categories such as sustainability management, labor practices and human rights, and environmental stewardship.

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    Bandara Resort & Spa

    ••• Bandara Resort & Spa is closer to the fishing towns and shopping scene and grows their own food for their restaurants.

    Closer to the fishing towns and quiet beaches, Bandara Resort & Spa lets you choose your level of luxury from individual rooms to romantic villas with private pools. The resort’s convenient location allows one to visit both the nearby Fishermen’s Village as well as the popular Chaweng shopping and nightlife scene. In terms of sustainable efforts, Bandara Resort & Spa keeps up their extensive gardens with re-treated wastewater and no chemicals. It also has a strict no smoking policy in order to allow guests the cleanest quality air and protect their health while staying at the resort. And for the foodies, Bandara Resort & Spa grows their own organic food to use in their cuisine to ensure its top notch. 

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  • 11 of 11

    Mövenpick Resort Laem Yai Beach Samui

    ••• Mövenpick Resort Laem Yai Beach Samui boasts three large pools in addition to a large beach area.

    Known for its prime viewing of the sunset on the beach, Mövenpick Resort Laem Yai Beach Samui is a secluded villa resort on the northwest corner of the island.  There are three pools, a spa with indoor and outdoor treatments and many options for snorkeling, kayaking and recreational activities with close proximity to Ang Thong National Marine Park. The resort is Green Globe Certified and awarded based on achieving targets in areas such as Sustainable Management and Environment, including water consumption, purchasing eco-friendly products, conversation efforts, management and reuse of wastewater. It’s an “off the beaten path” yet sustainable option for those looking to relax, get some exercise and see breathtaking views.

    Secluded near the Chaweng Beach and only a 10-minute walk to the nearby town, Amari Koh Samui is a newly renovated hotel with three distinct wings, a breeze spa and a number of pools. Guests can choose whether to be closer to the tropical gardens or the ocean. Although...MORE being a large hotel with nearly 200 rooms, Amari goes one step further than the usual green initiatives of water reduction, recycling, controlled chemical use and waste management. The hotel has been built to be energy efficient, the management offices only use recycled materials, and they only purchase materials that have a minimal impact on the environment.