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REVIEW: 5-Star Luxury At Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui, Koh Samui

From chic private villas set dotted throughout pristine grounds, to fine-dining experiences and fun activities for all the family, this is what it’s like staying at the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui in Koh Samui.

Are you looking for a luxurious resort in Koh Samui? I’ve got the perfect place for you! We’ve just spent an amazing few days enjoying the beautiful surroundings and warm hospitality at the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui.

It was my first time on the island of Koh Samui, and to be honest, we didn’t get off to the best start. We spent the first few days in one of the main towns on the island, dodging black clouds and sheltering from rain storms. Our most used item was our umbrella! I’d heard from several friends that Koh Samui was one of the most paradisiacal islands in Thailand, but we were yet to see it!

View of Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Stunning views of Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

That was until we arrived at the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui. It was as if we checked in, and the sunshine was switched on! There was blue sky to match the bright blues of the swimming pools. I couldn’t wait to dive into the private pool in our villa – anything to cool off!

Villa pool at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
This was our villa pool at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

Over the next few days, we feasted on delicious Thai cuisine and grilled seafood, while sipping our way through the extensive cocktail menu. I should mention that this wasn’t purely a couple’s trip, we had our little 8-month-old in tow too! This resort is a great option for couples and families, with things to do for kids of all ages.

If you’re planning a family holiday, I’d recommend reading my post about travelling to Thailand with kids. It’s full of top tips for surviving the journey and making the trip as stress free as possible!

Family holiday at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
It was a lovely family holiday at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

So, whether you’re planning your dream honeymoon or luxury break, or you fancy a relaxed family holiday in paradise, my review of the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui will tell you everything you need to know.

Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui Review – The Best 5-Star Hotel in Koh Samui

Checking in at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

As we arrived at the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui, we were greeted by a friendly team who took care of our luggage and led us through an impressive entrance to the large reception area. Moments later, we sat on the terrace, mesmerised by the stunning views of the steep-sided resort to the turquoise ocean.

Every guest who arrives at the hotel is invited to be a part of the resort’s family. Sipping on a welcome drink of zingy lemongrass and sweet honey, as a member of staff wrapped a sentimental bracelet around each of our wrists, we felt truly welcomed. They even had one for our baby!

Garrya welcome ceremony
The Garrya welcome ceremony was a lovely start to our stay

We were taken by golf buggy to our private villa, and given a tour of the facilities.

I didn’t realise until we checked in that Garrya is a sub-brand within the 5-star Banyan Tree group. The brand offers sleek and modern resorts, often in secluded or lesser-visited destinations.

Accommodation at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

There’s a range of accommodation options at this resort, from suites with sea views, to private villas with pools accommodating up to 6 guests. We booked a wellbeing seafront pool villa – a private villa with its own exercise wall! I’ve never seen a hotel room with one of those before. I’ll admit, the thought of lifting any weights didn’t seem very appealing when I could laze away my days on a sun lounger or floating in the pool, but I guess moderation is key!

Relaxing at our villa at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Relaxing at our villa at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

The space was utterly divine! After opening the door to our villa, we were met with those beautiful blues yet again! In front of us was our open-air terrace which featured our own private pool, a pair of sun loungers, a 4-poster sunbed, huge outdoor bathtub and dining area. Already the space was enormous, and we hadn’t stepped inside our villa yet.

Outdoor bathtub at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Our outdoor bathtub at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

Inside, the space was split into several zones. There was a large suite, with a king-size bed, sofa area and desk. Around the corner was the wellness area, then behind was a double sink and shower. At 2,034 square feet, it was about three times the size of our flat in London!

Bedroom at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Bedroom at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Our room at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Relaxing in our room

The villa felt spacious, with high ceilings, minimalist décor, wooden furnishings and light, airy fabrics.

We wondered whether there would be much thought to the fact we were travelling with a baby. It turns out this is a resort that caters to families! In our villa was a cot with blankets and a little mosquito net, a sterilising kit and a baby bath with baby products! We were so impressed – we’d never had that kind of service at a hotel since we’ve travelled with Cooper.

Wellness wall in our wellness villa
Wellness wall in our wellness villa

The villas are dotted across the steep-sides of the resort, all with picture-perfect aspects towards the ocean. They feel wonderfully private, and one thing we observed, was how quiet the two main swimming pools were. It became clear that most people preferred the seclusion of their own villas, rather than using the resort’s communal facilities.

Aerial view Garrya Koh Samui
You can see the villas dotted along the sides of the resort

Dining at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

The quality of the food is one of our biggest considerations when booking a hotel. We had read about the Garrya’s many dining options, so we arrived with high expectations. We were so impressed not just by the standard of the food, but also the wide variety of dishes on offer.

There are two main restaurants to choose from. Fish Tales which is located next to the beach and Rhoy Rhoy, which is next to reception. Rhoy Rhoy specialises in authentic Thai cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients, while Fish Tales has a varied menu with a mix of international and local dishes available.

Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Tables at Fish Tales are right on the beach!

We had several amazing meals at both, and we even found time to squeeze in a few of the hotel’s culinary experiences.

One of my favourite meals was a leisurely lunch we enjoyed at Fish Tales. We shared some chicken satay, an incredibly unctuous Thai curry and a pad Thai, followed by mango sticky rice. It was a tasty Thai feast, accompanied by stunning views of the ocean and a light sea breeze. Holidays don’t get much better than that!

Lunch at Fish Tales Restaurant
An amazing Thai lunch at Fish Tales Restaurant

We often nipped down to the beach bar for a pre-dinner cocktail as the hotel offers a happy hour where many drinks are half price. The yuzu mojito was one of my favourites!

Happy hour cocktails in Koh Samui
Don’t miss the daily happy hour cocktails

We also enjoyed two of the resort’s culinary experiences. The first was a DIY BBQ dinner on the beach. This was a fun experience where our own private chef grilled a range of meat, fish and seafood on a BBQ right on the sand. Our table was laid with flares and candles surrounding it, the waves a few footsteps away. It was very romantic… or it would have been if we hadn’t had our 8-month-old in a high chair next to us!

Beach BBQ at Garrya
Our beach BBQ was cooked by a private chef

We also enjoyed the ‘Kin Hor’ Thai set dinner at Rhoy Rhoy, which costs 1800 Baht per couple. This was a really interesting experience, and a great way to get to grips with some authentic Thai cuisine. It was served family-style and included an amazing seabass soup, yellow with turmeric and rich with coconut. There were gigantic grilled prawns smothered in a tangy tamarind sauce. Plus, a grill rack topped with deep-friend local squid.

We were so full after all of these, but we just about found room for a selection of Thai desserts. They were so elegantly presented, like a Thai afternoon tea!

We were absolutely amazed by the high-quality of the cooking at this resort. We’ve been to several 5-star resorts around the world, and we’ve often found it to be the cooking that lets them down.

Delicious food at Garrya Tongsai Bay
We thought the food was delicious at Garrya Tongsai Bay

Even the breakfast buffet was an incredible and varied feast, with everything from fresh fruits and eggs, to home baked bakery items, dim sum, salad, sushi and more! There was even an entire wheel parmesan! Needless to say, if you book this hotel, you can expect to eat incredibly well. Maybe you’ll need to add in a couple of trips to the gym or a workout in your wellness villa to balance things out!

Breakfast at Garrya Koh Samui
Lots of treats at breakfast at Garrya Koh Samui

Amenities and Activities at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

There are plenty of great activities on offer at the hotel, many included on a complimentary basis, such as the rental of kayaks and paddleboards. There’s also a small spa up on the hill, offering treatments and massages. I went for a very relaxing massage there one afternoon, and pretty much floated back to our villa. If you’re craving exercise, you could visit the well-equipped gym by the beach or the yoga studio.

Continuing our passion for food, we booked a cooking class one morning. We learned how to make several Thai dishes from scratch, including one of my favourite dishes Tom Kha Gai – the fragrant coconut soup which is packed full of lemongrass and galangal. We’ve returned home with a new repertoire of dishes, some of which we’ve already had fun recreating. It’s just a shame we couldn’t replicate the Koh Samui weather back home in London…!

Cooking class at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
We loved our cooking class at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
Cooking my own pad Thai
I cooked my own pad Thai

For children, there’s a kid’s club located near Fish Tales restaurant which is open from 10-6pm each day. Kids can take part in fun activities throughout the day such as animal towel making or cupcake decorating. Or, simply enjoy playing with the toys, climbing on the soft play or lazing in the ball pit. With Cooper learning to crawl and pull up to stand, it was amazing to have somewhere safe to take him to play each day. He loved it in there! I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I also loved a quick play in the ball pit too!

Kids club at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
There’s a fun kids club at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

Occasionally, the hotel staff lead a pre-breakfast nature walk around the resort. This is a great opportunity to learn about the island’s creatures, flora and fauna.

The resort also offers plenty of other tours and experiences, so if you’re keen to take a boat trip, visit a local temple or tour the island, you can organise these via reception.

Main pool at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui
A very inviting swimming pool at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

Overall Review of Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

We absolutely adored our stay at Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui. Travelling with a baby can be stressful at times, but at this resort, it felt like so many details were taken care of. We loved the attitude of the staff too. They were so welcoming, many of them learning Cooper’s name and offering to play with him throughout our stay.

The food and drink options were varied and of such a high standard too. I’m dreaming of returning for that tasty Thai curry we had by the beach! It was one of the best I’ve eaten on my travels.

Main swimming pool Garrya Koh Samui
Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui is one of the best 5 star resorts in Koh Samui

Our seaview villa became a real home from home. One morning Macca took Cooper on the nature walk, so I had a lazy soak in the outdoor bath, staring out at the blues of the ocean. It was the perfect way to start the day.

If you’re looking for a luxurious resort in Koh Samui, for a honeymoon, special occasion or a family holiday, you’ll fall in love with the Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui. We certainly did!

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: 5-Star Luxury At Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui, Koh Samui”

  1. Having also just returned from Garrya Tongsai Bay ourselves, we endorse everything you report. The professionalism of the staff was impeccable. We particularly liked the location. It was exclusive and private however it was easy to we could pop into the neighbouring village and mingle on a public beach. Kind of keeps one grounded!


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