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Hotel Review: Garrya Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand

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Looking for one of the most luxurious hotels in Koh Samui? Then look no further than the gorgeous Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui!

garrya tongsai bay review

Can you beat a bit of 5* luxury in Thailand? Honestly, it is one of my favourite countries in the world, the place that I keep going back to over and over again. I think I’ve been to Thailand about 15 times now, so I’d like to think I know a lot about the country and what people are looking for when it comes to their holidays.

Well, if you’re looking for a place to completely unwind from it all, your own little slice of paradise, then look no further than the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui. This is a very luxurious 5* resort towards the north of Koh Samui, and it is just stunning.

garrya tongsai bay samui
It’s views like this which is why I keep coming back to Thailand

I recently spent a few days there with Chloe and Cooper, and it was soooo relaxing. At times it was hard dragging ourselves away from our villa (it did come with a private pool overlooking the beach, so you can understand why), but there was so much to see and do at the resort. This was very different to some of the crazy adventures in Thailand I’ve done before!

From sunrise hiking to beautiful viewpoints, to delicious Thai cooking classes, to bbq dinners on the beach, you certainly won’t be bored here. And if you are, then you can just chillax on a sun lounger by your pool.

So, if you’re looking for one of the best luxury hotels on Koh Samui, then keep on reading my Garrya Tongsai Bay review.

What is Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui?

review garrya tongsai bay thailand
The Garrya at Tongsai Bay is such a beautiful resort

The Garrya Tongsai Bay is a wellness and luxury resort tucked away on the north east of Koh Samui in Thailand. It really is a sanctuary with its own private beach and jungle vibes. I also really liked the fact that there were hardly any other hotels around – it really did feel like you’re in the middle on nowhere on Samui which adds another layer to that seclusion and luxury.

The story of how the hotel began is beautifully poetic. In 1985, a Thai businessman saw Tongsai Bay from the sea and declared that it was “love at first sight”. Seven days later he purchased the land.

garrya tongsai bay samui review

For three months after that he slept on the beach dreaming what his ideal resort would look like. He even started planning the layout and location of the rooms in his head.

The resort eventually opened its doors in July 1987 and became the first five-star luxury hotel on Koh Samui. How about that as pioneering? Ever since then it’s been delighting holidaymakers from all over the world, all who fall in love with the place too.

restaurant by the beach
There are plenty of dining options here

For me, I was looking for a place to really kick back and relax. I had just spent three weeks travelling around Vietnam with Chloe and Cooper (our son’s first taste of Asia), and we were pretty exhausted.

All we wanted to do was sit by the pool and eat everything on the menu. As if often the case when staying somewhere like this, the hardest decisions each day was deciding what to order for lunch and dinner! Seriously though, how good is Thai food?

Rooms at Garrya Tongsai Bay

tongsai pool villas
Our room was tucked away in the jungle

There are so many different room options at the Garrya, it all depends on your budget and what you’re looking for.

The room options are:

  • Seaview Hillside Suite (680 ft2)
  • Seafront Suite (731 ft2)
  • Beachfromt Sutie (775 ft2)
  • Seaview Hillside Pool Suite (947 ft2)
  • Grand Seafront Villa (1,291 ft2)
  • Grand Seafront Pool Villa (1,517 ft2)
  • Two Bedroom Seaview Hillside Villa (1,722 ft2)
  • Tongsai Seaview Pool Villa (1,937 ft2)
  • Wellbeing Seafront Pool Villa (2,034 ft2)
  • Nang Gong Seaview Double Pool Villa (2,626 ft2)
  • Akorn Two Bedroom Seafront Pool Villa (2,841 ft2)
  • Tongsai Three Bedroom Seaview Pool Villa (4,133 ft2)

As you can see, there are A LOT of options here so I’m just going to focus on where we stayed which was in the Wellbeing Seafront Pool Villa. I can say this though, all the rooms are absolutely gorgeous, so I’m sure you’ll be very happy with whichever one you choose.

suite garrya
Our villa was huge, perfect for travelling with Cooper
wellness suite garrya bay
It even came with a wellness wall which was different

Our room came with a huge king-size double bed, a little outside jungle area at the back, and a secluded bathroom/shower area. One of the things that made this room so unique was the wellness wall.

This was a wall with resistance bands, rollers and weights, so you could get a bit of a sweat on in the morning without having to go to the gym. And what do you do when you’re hot a sweaty? Take a dip in the pool outside of course.

private pool tongsai bay
My favourite area was by the pool

The outside was my favourite area, and it was absolutely massive. Not only did it come with a gorgeous pool overlooking the beach below, but there were two sun loungers to relax on. Not only that, but there was also a wooden gazebo to hide away under when things got too hot.

But the best bit was the outside bath. Yes, this villa comes with its own outside bath. It feels so luxurious it was almost naughty.

One of the things I loved about all the villas at Garrya Tongsai Bay is they all feel so private from each other. We didn’t hear anyone else around us, and it just added to that tranquility.

Restaurants at Garrya Tongsai Bay

rhoy rhoy restaurant
Rhoy Rhoy is the main restaurant here

Being a travel blogger, I’ve stayed in my fair share of 5* hotels over the years, and I can assure you the one thing that sets them apart is food. So many so-called 5* hotels still have big buffets for lunch and dinner. That was even the case with one hotel in the Maldives!

Well I can promise you that the Garrya is a step above the rest because the food is ridiculously good. Honestly, we didn’t have one bad meal here.

There are three main restaurants. These are:

Rhoy Rhoy – this is the main restaurant and where you have breakfast each day. You can also have lunch and dinner here from Thursday to Monday with an authentic Thai menu with regional specialties.

Fish Tales – this is the restaurant down by the beach where you can have lunch or dinner with the sound of the waves crashing next to you. There is a big focus on seafood here with lots of Thai flavours.

Evol – this is the wellbeing restaurant where all dishes are cooked with local natural ingredients. You can find a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes on the menu here.

fresh juice
Genuinely the happiest person I’ve ever met!

Okay, so let’s kick things off with breakfast. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then you’re in for a great day at the Garrya. As you walk in, you’ll see the juice lady who might just be the happiest woman I’ve ever met. She can make up any juice or smoothie to kick things off. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, go for mango, lime and ginger (you can thank me later).

Then there’s a veritable buffet of dishes from freshly made omelettes, international cheeses, dim sum, and sweet treats like waffles, pancakes and cronuts. Naturally it was very hard not to stuff myself silly each morning.

beef massuman curry
I loved having lunch next to the beach each day

Every day we ate lunch down by Fish Tales as we wanted to be by the sea. We really liked it down here as it felt very relaxed while serving some cracking dishes. A few of my favourites were the chicken satay, the beef shank in massaman curry, and the Thai inspired seafood selection. That massaman curry was something else.

For dinner, we ate down either at Fish Tales or up in Rhoy Rhoy. On some evenings they offer different dining packages such as a bbq dinner on the beach or a Thai style tapas dinner, but more on those later!

thai tapas
Even Cooper had his eyes on dessert

I would add that the service at all the restaurants is exemplary. All the staff are so attentive and really make sure you’re well looked after in every sense.

Activities at Garrya Tongsai Bay

beach in koh samui
Relaxing by the pool or beach is an activity in itself

As I’ve already mentioned, there are a number of activities you can do at the Garrya for guests. I know a lot of people just like chilling and doing nothing on holiday, but I personally love keeping busy, so it was nice mixing it up each day.

8lements spa – There is a really lovely spa overlooking the jungle at the Garrya. Here you can have a number of treatments from an ayurveda massage to a back-cracking Thai massage.

Sunrise hike – One morning I dragged myself out of bed at 6am to go on a sunrise hike. This takes you through the jungle to a stunning viewpoint overlooking the resort below. It was a really great way to start the day, and the hike was very easy. It only took about 30 minutes to get to the top, so I would say this is an activity for all ages and ability.

Thai cooking class – I can’t get enough of cooking classes, especially when travelling. Well this was a brilliant one. With our chef Joy, she showed us how to cook five different Thai classics such as a green curry and paad Thai. If you’re looking for an introduction to Thai cooking, then this is such a great activity. I would say make sure you come very hungry, because this is a lot of food!

thai cooking class garrya tongsai bay
We absolutely loved our cooking class

Bbq on the beach – I know a private bbq on the beach for two sounds super cheesy, but I actually really enjoyed this one. As we came down to the beach, there was a table for two with torches burning around it. Then our own private chef cooked up a seafood feast on a bbq which was delicious. We had prawns, salmon, sea bass, and it all tasted great. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion then I’d definitely recommend this one.

Thai style tapas evening – The other dining experience that I would really recommend was the Thai style tapas evening at Rhoy Rhoy restaurant. This is a banquet of Thai dishes, many regional just to Koh Samui. This might’ve been my favourite meal during our stay.

kids club
There’s a great kids club at the hotel too

Kids play area – If you’re travelling with kids when there’s an amazing kids club at the hotel. Inside there is a soft play area and a big ball pit for the little ones to play around in. There are also a number of activities for kids aged 3 and over. Things like tennis lessons, painting club, those sorts of things.

My thoughts on Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

holidays in koh samui
We had the best time at the Garrya

As you can probably tell from my Garrya Tongsai Bay review, I absolutely loved our stay here. It was everything I wanted it to be and more.

The resort was also a lot more family friendly than I expected it to be. If you’re thinking of coming here with the little ones, then you’ll be really looked after. I just wish Cooper was old enough so we could fully make use of the kid’s club. Then it would’ve been even more relaxing.

best luxury hotels in koh samui

The Garrya Tongsai Bay bills itself as one of the best 5* hotels in Koh Samui. After staying here for a few days, it’s easy to see why. It’s not just the location that makes it so special, but the food and the service is next level.

If you’re looking for luxurious holiday with your partner or family, then I really can’t recommend this place enough.

This post was in association with Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui showing what it’s like staying here. As always, all views are entirely my own and without bias.

Are you planning a trip to Koh Samui, or are you looking at staying at the Garrya? If you have any questions at all, then let me know in the comments below!

Also, if you’re heading to Bangkok or Chiang Mai, then check out my guides of the best Bangkok hotels and the best Chiang Mai hotels too.

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Hotel Review: Garrya Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand

About the Author

  • Macca Sherifi

    Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

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