Oyster’s investigators ventured to secluded beaches, small villages, and bustling towns in Thailand’s Krabi Province to find the best hotels in the region. Here are the picks for Krabi’s top value hotels.
The Baan KanTiang See has eight freestanding villas, each with a generous private terrace with sea views of Kantiang Bay. The resort is nestled on a sleepy tropical hillside, an eight-minute walk from Kantiang village's fresh seafood restaurants and friendly local bars. There are landscaped gardens, a saltwater infinity pool, and an outdoor lounge, but the resort lacks an on-site restaurant and bar. Free shuttle services run to select Ko Lanta destinations, and prepared meal and grocery services can be arranged. Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort.
For guests who don't mind being half a mile from the beach, Chaw Ka Cher Tropicana Lanta Resort is a solid, affordable option. The small garden resort offers a free shuttle to town and the ferry pier, as well as free breakfast in its open-air restaurant (traditional Thai and international fare are served for lunch and dinner). All 28 rooms are bungalows built in the southern Thai style, and all have safes, mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, bathrobes, and slippers. The resort is just south of Ko Lanta's longest beach, the aptly named Long Beach, and it is a pleasant escape from the Lanta crowds.
The Holiday Inn Resort Phi Phi Island sits on a tranquil stretch of remote Laem Thong Beach. The 126 mostly modern bungalows and studio rooms -- some directly on the beach -- are showing a bit of wear, and some furniture is dated. There are two pools, both with whirlpools; one has a kids' area while the second is reserved for adults. Three hotel restaurants and two bars provide plenty of dining and drinking options, which is good because it's a lengthy ferry or long-tail boat ride to Tonsai, the island's bustling town. The brand's kids-eat-free program draws plenty of families.
Although the mid-range Aonang Villa Resort is the oldest resort in town, it's still one of the most popular choices. Straddling the beach and central Ao Nang, the resort is in a prime location and is a short walk to eating, drinking, and nightlife options. Rooms are nothing fancy, but they are some of the most spacious you'll find in Ao Nang, and they have free Wi-Fi. The resort also has two large swimming pools, a modern fitness center, and a kids' club with a playground, along with a couple of excellent restaurants and bars. A free afternoon tea with cakes and drinks is provided.
On a relatively busy commercial street winding through Krabi's signature limestone karst cliffs, this 78-room Vogue Resort is a short walk from Ao Nang Beach. This is an older property, though modernization is in progress, and rooms are spacious and include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. The on-site restaurant has a trendy bistro and there is an outdoor pool plus a small but fantastic spa.
The 206-room Ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang is a mid-range property with views of Krabi's limestone karsts. Restaurants, bars, and shops are just outside the hotel's front door, and the beach is a 15-minute walk or five-minute drive. Rooms are compact, but they're contemporary and feature flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. Some have beautiful views of the cliffs from balconies -- the same views capitalized upon at the outdoor pool. There's also a kids' pool and a playground. The restaurant serves all meals, including a free breakfast, and drinks and tapas are offered at the bar in the lobby.
The Mook Lanta Resort is a small backpacker property at the southern tip of Long Beach on Ko Lanta, right by the beach. The resort offers 24 basic, traditional bungalows, some with thatched roofs. Standard Rooms are barebones -- with only beds, fans, and hammocks -- while the fanciest VIP bungalows have large fridges, TVs, safes, and plenty of room. The tiny resort is set in a tropical garden accessed by a raised wooden walkway, and there are no facilities here other than a small restaurant and bar. If you are looking for a no-frills, old-school Thai style lodging, it's about as cheap as they come on Lanta, and while this section of the beach is rocky and not too attractive, it's a short walk to better sand.
The mid-range Lanta Pearl Beach is a small, 32-unit resort located about halfway down Long Beach, on Lanta's west coast. It's fairly basic in terms of decor and amenities, but modern concrete bungalows have air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, safes, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi, along with terraces with hammocks. There are also a small restaurant, a bar, and a coffee spot, but no pool or other typical resort facilities.
The mid-range Narima Bungalow Resort is a somewhat rustic, back-to-nature-style resort that sits alone amid rain forest trees along tiny Klong Hin beach, toward the southern end of Ko Lanta. All 32 bungalows have traditional thatched roofs and wood floors, and differ only by their position in the forest -- some overlook the beach, while others are closer to the road. They do not have TVs, although there's a 32-inch flat-screen TV in the lobby. Narima has a small three-tiered swimming pool, with a whirlpool on the top level, a kids' pool, and a spa pavilion on the beach. The restaurant and lobby occupy a beautiful high-ceilinged traditional building with a grass-woven roof, hand-carved teak furnishings, and petrified wood tables. Narima Bungalow Resort has some nice touches and a fascinating array of birds and butterflies, and prices are competitive for this caliber.
Lanta Casuarina Resort is a 65-room, mid-range resort set on the southern end of Long Beach, not quite halfway down the west coast of Koh Lanta. Rooms are spacious and have roomy terraces -- some of which face the sea -- and all come with modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, safes, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. While the rooms won't win any design awards, they are functional and pleasant enough, plus their rates include free breakfast. There's also a beautiful swimming pool right by the beach, a beach bar for watching the west coast sunsets, a restaurant, and meeting rooms.
The Krabi Tropical Beach Resort is a small, family-friendly property with fewer than 20 rooms. As a value resort, it's not overly fancy but offers a great escape from the crowds in Ao Nang. The resort is located about six miles from the port village of Ao Nam Mao, where boats leave for East Railay Bay. It's on a tranquil and undeveloped beach; while not white sand it's refreshingly devoid of the beach-umbrella and water-sport crowd. Rooms range from Family Apartments with full kitchens to Deluxe and Superior Sea View Rooms, all decorated in contemporary Thai style with patios or balconies, and air-conditioning. There is a small saltwater-treated pool in the garden, a whirlpool, and a restaurant with an open-air section on the deck.