In southern Thailand, you’ll find Khao Lak in the Takua Pa District of the Phang Nga Province. Facing west towards the Andaman Sea, it’s a popular destination for beachgoers and Indiana Jones wannabes, with the Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park having plenty of adrenaline-lite activities. Best of all, there’s a range of places to stay. Here’s our pick – bookable on Culture Trip.
Overlooking a white-sand beach, the Sarojin is perfect for couples, with its secluded back-to-nature luxury. It’s near Pakarang Cape, a few kilometres north of the wild Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park entrance. The villas, with wooden accents and floor-to-ceiling windows, are built for romance; each one comes with a huge bed, a whirlpool bath for two and a private patio garden hidden by lush foliage. Book one of the larger villas if you’d like a plunge pool. Facilities include a spa, a full beach service and a lake-size swimming pool edged by curtained daybeds.
What Le Menara lacks in intimacy, it makes up for in location. Here, you can enjoy the 6km-long (4mi) Bang Lut Beach pretty much to yourself. Villas exude luxury, with warm hardwood floors, tall French windows and beds with heavy linens, and open onto a garden overlooking a huge pool. Plusher options have small pools, while the honeymoon villas come with beach and sunset views. Le Menara is a good bet for families, with a pool and a club specifically for children.
If you’re after good value, consider the Chongfah Beach Resort, with its oceanfront setting on Hat Bang Niang – one of the more popular beaches in Khao Lak. While there are plenty of other resorts nearby, the sunset views over the Andaman Sea from Chongfah’s sea-oriented bungalows are excellent. Each accommodation has a whirlpool tub and a cosy private balcony. Meanwhile, the resort’s outdoor restaurant, like the infinity pool, is made for relaxing, while shops, more restaurants and bars are a 10-minute walk away.
Looking for somewhere small-scale and boutique-like? Try the adults-only Bangsak Village. It’s photogenically set in a garden of casuarinas, palms and tropical flowers on one of the quietest beaches in the Khao Lak region. Spacious open-plan rooms in creams, beiges and unbuffed woods are very easy on the eye, with woven wall hangings, cane and bamboo fittings, and arty hardwood furniture. There’s a plush spa with an outdoor massage deck (best before sunset when the mosquitoes come out) and a restaurant and coffee shop with ocean views.
With more than 150 rooms and villas set around a huge, sinuous pool, the Khaolak Laguna is one of the largest family resorts in the area. Here, you can expect plenty of company, along with stacks of facilities and services. There’s one of the best spas in the region, and activities range from yoga and Thai boxing to cooking classes and bike tours. There’s also a hobby club for kids, and the family-size rooms in polished woods and muted tones come with large decks and living areas.
Khaolak Bhandari’s Thai-style villas, with their eye-catching finial-topped terracotta gables, bask in orchid gardens dotted with Buddha statues and fragrant with frangipani trees. Book a pool-view room in the adult wing, featuring rich woods, quality linen and a private terrace. There’s a spa, a fitness centre and a decent restaurant that serves a mighty breakfast buffet.
Abutting the Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park by the coral sand of Lam Kaen Beach, this resort blends reef and rainforest with the beauty of orchid-filled, lush gardens busy with tropical birds. There are all kinds of adventures in the wild, including rafting and rainforest treks. The villas are seductive in warm, modern tones and feature sliding glass doors and, in some cases, plunge pools. There’s a spa and a fine series of pools, dropping tiers like a mini-waterfall.
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