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Poppies Samui: A Unique Experience in Koh Samui

Our Poppies Samui first impression – a welcome that you will crave to experience, over and over again.

Thailand is almost a second home to us. We’ve visited this country together and apart, more than we’ve traveled any other countries. We’ve been in love with its people, the very delicious food, from street to restaurants, the weather and the beaches.

Who would think a hotel is something you’ll also get attached to?

Poppies Samui was a 45-minute boat ride from Koh Phangan. On our last visit, the weather wasn’t what we expected from Thailand. We had to spend most of our time in the hotel, which was a happy accident in the end, as Poppies Samui would be one of the best boutique hotels we’ve stayed in.

Traveling from Koh Pangan was a very easy process, although the boat ride was a little bit uneasy. Due to the weather, the water was more wavy than usual. If you don’t love traveling with boats, you can get sea sick easily. Still the views and the water was pretty much very breathtaking.

Once we got to Koh Samui, we had a driver waiting for us! It’s not even the typical minivans in Thailand where you have to sit in uncomfortable chairs and spaces, in front of each other. It was special van with 4 seats.

You’ll also be welcomed with fresh flower necklaces, and with a cooler full of cold water (oh how we loved that!) and fresh cold towels to immediately freshen up after your trip.

One thing we immediately noticed, which set the hotel apart from all our hotel experiences in Thailand (and well around Asia), is their extreme focus in small details, without you ever feeling bugged.

You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about by the end of this post. 😉

Getting to Poppies Samui

Yes. This was the van who took us from the Pier to Poppies Samui. It was an amazing ride btw!

How to travel to Koh Samui?

You can get to Koh Samui by ferry from Koh Phangan – a short ride 45 minute boat ride, for around $7 per person. This ferry leaves 3-4 times daily, which can give you a lot of window for travel time. Make sure you always check the schedule in advance.

If you are coming from Bangkok or the North Thailand, there are flights landing in Koh Samui. And from the ferry and the airport, there are many ways to move around. From private hotel transportation, shared minivans to taxis.

For this trip, Poppies Samui already picks you up from your point of entry in Koh Samui, or in a meeting point, and will drive you to the hotel.

First Impressions at Poppies Samui

Room at Poppies Samui

We got to meet James, the head manager of Poppies Samui on our first day. This is always a good experience as you can get more of the behind-the-scenes stories of hotel, which is something we’ve always been curious about.

We had a talk about the history of Poppies, and why they do the service that they do. They try to make it the easiest for the guest, and make them feel the luxury they needed away from home, while still feeling at home.

Having only 24 cottages actually helps. Most of the staff has been part of the Poppies team for many years, so everyone knows the in and outs of the hotel, and culture was already solid.

The place doesn’t feel busy at all, so you have a space to walk around, watch the scenery around the hotel – and actually feel very comfortable.

It was raining, but it actually made the place even more peaceful, because we were surrounded by cottages, greenery everywhere, pretty much feeling like being in the middle of nature everywhere.

The room has everything that you need, with flowers details everywhere and good smell. We liked the wood decoration in our room, our fruit basket welcome and a bottle of wine was waiting for us!

Walking around Poppies Samui

A lot of Asian businesses believe that fishes bring good luck!

Our cottage was built around a sacred tree, which believed to be inhabited by spirits. It’s quite interesting because if you’re Asian, you might have a different reaction to these kinds of things.

Rachel told me that instead of being amused, this would be more of a fearful thing for Asians. Because of that belief, the tree in front of our cottage was dressed in colorful cloths, and had food, drinks and clothes in front of it, as gifts to the spirit. It’s actually an amazing thing to see daily. The tree spirits are believed to be calmed with the offerings.

It actually makes the room look even more beautiful. The bed was cozy, with a touch of modern. And the room is full of orchids and smelled like coconuts.

The hotel has its own pool, but the restaurant is also close to the beach. You will get provided with towels and pool chairs for your comfort.

pool area at Poppies Samui

The pool area was breathtaking even with the rain.

Breakfast at Poppies Samui

The breakfast in Poppies Samui is definitely of high service. The usual schedule is from 6am to 10am in hotels. However, in Poppies, since you are considered to be in your vacation, you are not rushed to wake up. You can have breakfast well until 12 noon, and will still have a chance a little over 12, if you really slept in. ha!

Breakfast is ala carte, with choices from American and European breakfasts, or Asian. We had fun choosing good old European bread and eggs, but Thai breaky the next day. Yum!

If you wake up early, there’s even a small basket of fruit in front of your room as a surprise. Oh no, wait. We spoiled it. ha!

These details make staying in Poppies Samui really special.

We were able to get a few nice shots that are even delicious in pictures!

Breakfast at Poppies Samui

Thai fried rice. Make sure you add that fish sauce!


We had a delicious dinner at Poppies Samui. We loved the detail of how cold the beer was every moment, James take care of every small details. We started with bread and cream. We tried delicious starters as you can see below in the pictures! And also we tried Kantoke, a complete dish from North Thailand with spicy sauce vegetables and fish.

Cocktail Party

On Monday, Poppies Samui organize a complimentary cocktail party in the beach. Due to the rain, we did it in the restaurant. It was great to meet all the guests in the hotel from different countries, and make new friends. There are beers, wine, cocktails and authentic Thai finger foods to try.

Such a great way to start the evening.

Cocktail Party at Poppies Samui

Spa and Massage

Spa and Massage at Poppies Samui

A massage during the cocktail time? Yes, that’s possible! Poppies Samui even had a short massage in the cocktail area, where you can get a massage in the middle of you drinking and socializing. Such a good experience.

Beach Time

Walking around the beach at Poppies Samui

Swimming, sunbathing, walking around, reading or relaxing in the beach. You can your time in this quiet private beach.

What to do around Poppies Samui?

Around the hotel there are a few plans to do, unluckily the weather wasn´t the best on those days. You can shop, go for a beer, eat in local and Western restaurants around. There is a local market if you want to feel the vibe around Koh Samui!

Hidden Passage

With all the beautiful things you can enjoy in Poppies Samui, another new thing they are launching is the Hidden Passage. This is an entrance you can take, hidden behind a big shelf of books where you can view some of the paintings that re-created the old pictures of how the hotel started, all the while smelling the food from the kitchen.

It is an underground tunnel that was designed to allow for deliveries to be made to the beach bar and restaurant without disturbing the guests above on the resort grounds. It has been a secret for 22 years,

Hidden Passage at Poppies Samui

The tunnel is being decked out with illustrations telling the timeline of when Poppies Bali first opened in 1973 up until the present day.

Going back to Poppies Samui?

Without no doubt this place is amazing! If you want to visit Poppies Samui, check their website and you will enjoy your time there!

Read here for the best things to do in Koh Samui.

If you want to enjoy more luxury places in Thailand, read our luxury vacation in Ao Nang. Or read our great experience in Phuket at Hyatt Regency Phuket.

Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

susan connell

Sunday 27th of August 2017

can anyone use the passage and does it have steps and go to the beach , my sister is disabled and drives a small mobility scooter so once inside resort over the steps through reception we are hoping that there will be no more steps . Did you notice if there are a few cottages near the beach and restaurant ?.

Ruben Arribas

Sunday 27th of August 2017

Hey Susan,

It will be no problem for that! There are cottages very close to the restaurant and the beach.

And if you have any problem, Poppies Samui staff is the best ever :)

Eat your way to some of our favorite Thai food - Gamintraveler

Thursday 25th of May 2017

[…] If you’re not into too spicy food, then make sure you mention that when you order. In our experience, Poppies Samui is one of the best restaurants that offer Authentic Thai food. If you want to know more about our experience in Poppies, read here. […]