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“Fantastic Experience!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Houben

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The Houben
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   272 Moo 5 | Ba KanTieng Bay, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #3 of 82 Hotels in Ko Lanta
4.5 of 5 stars 390 Reviews
Medford, MA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2011

Wonderful time at the Houben. We loved talking to the staff there and felt looked after. They made us feel like we were home away from home addressing any questions/concerns immediately, with the exception of an odd experience that did leave one negative feeling: When we ordered the most expensive item on the menu (sparkling wine to celebrate our 1st anniversary), drink was in a bucket of warm water with no ice. Considering we've had top service, we were confused and left us questioning whether they know that alcohol such as this should be chilled. Thinking it was probably an inexperienced staff member that did this, we called to ask for ice to chill the bottle but were charged for it. We thought that was strange and inquired about it. We were still charged. Paying wasn't the issue; it was just confusing as the Houben had dealt with all other inconveniences right away and fairly. It could make some wonder negatively about the reason and the set up of it. If it is necessary to charge, our suggestion is to include this in the price itself as again, price really wasn't the issue. If it weren't for this experience, we would have called this a PERFECT experience and what experiences at hotels should be. This says a lot as we have stayed at 5 star hotels across the world.

With that out of the way, I'd like to leave on a positive tone that the Houben deserves, as all other and many more experiences were top-notch. The place was truly wonderful. Beautiful rooms, semi-private balcony (partitioned walls) with outdoor seats, and view of the sunset. The place is enclosed and faces the sea so you feel like you are in a quiet peaceful place. Infinity pool and jacuzzi part of the pool in the main outside area kept at great temperature. The amazing staff made sure to turn on the jacuzzi side of the pool whenever we were taking a dip. We felt they anticipated our needs and not only tended to but truly cared about. Some rooms have a private jacuzzi and a spa is onsite (though did not partake in spa). Not a single spot of dirt/mess noticeable.

Location: Although no direct beach access, it is only a short walk to the beach. Local travel agencies are close by for booking kayaking trips, motorbike rentals, and anything else to explore the island. For us, the location was perfect - exactly what we wanted.

My husband and I also appreciated the immediate warm welcome from the staff and the cold pomegranate drink upon arrival. Free DVD rentals to watch in modern hip rooms were nice touches to the service.

Overall, staff worked hard to make us feel at home, clean clean clean, great view, great location for us, great service generally, nice size rooms, and in sum - a fantastic hotel AND experience. I really can't say enough about the staff. We felt like so cared for and thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and interactions with them.

Absolutely would return again and have decided to think of this as "our" hotel on Koh Lanta. Will visit the island again knowing that the Houben is there. We have recommended this place to everyone and anyone we happened to be talking about our vacation. Next time, we will bring our respective parents/families as well.

Room Tip: If booking a room with a jacuzzi, tub takes long time to fill so plan ahead. Bathroom in our room is...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben, responded to this review, September 18, 2011
Dear MinLe,
thank you so much for posting your review on this forum and I am pleased to read that you liked your stay with us at the Houben very much . I’d like to say deeply apologize for this unusual service that brought you annoying during your anniversary. This incident wasn’t the standard of The Houben so I will address with the F&B department , definitely it will be found out and improved shortly.
Once please accept my apologies that we failed to provide you with the perfect anniversary that you ’ve come to expect. I do really hope to get a chance to serving you by myself.
Best regards,
walter Houben
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390 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
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Sydney
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

there is nothing to fault about the houben. generous sized rooms tastefully decorated in modern designer comforts, a friendly team managed by sharnah that kept the places going, views of the andaman sea right from your room balcony and wonderful meals. the houben is a couple of minutes walk from kanthiang bay beach which is well kept and shared by a few resorts only. this area is not your bar and trinket shop scene. perfect for quiet and relaxing days. the only thing i would fault about the houben is its not too close to home. or else, i'd make this my weekend getaway.

Room Tip: Rooms on level 3
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, CRM at The Houben, responded to this review, September 1, 2011
It was indeed very nice to serve you during your recent stay and many thanks for your kind message. The team & I are very pleased to learn that you have been enjoying your staying with us and we are always happy to have our chance to taking care of you at The houben as your second home.
We are really looking forward to welcoming you again soon.
Shana Houben

warm
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011 via mobile

If the Wifi would not have been out of order, I would rate the hotel - all in all - the best we have ever stayed in. Fair price, very nice rooms - allthough you have to like the design. The sea view - which all rooms have, we stayed on the second floor - is amazing. Helpful staff, pier pickup was complementary for us. When staying on Ko Lanta you can not really go wrong with the Houben.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben, responded to this review, August 24, 2011
Dear Aleft,
Thank you for your positive comment and for staying at the Houben.
We will surely improve on the wifi system as well our service and further .
Looking forward for your next stay with us again soon.
Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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Hobart, Australia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
175 helpful votes 175 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2011

After staying at Alanta Villa we figured it could not get much better on Koh Lanta. We were wrong! Due to a miscalculation on my part when booking accomodation back in Feb I was one night short before our return flight. Why not spoil ourselves for one night. After consulting Trip Advisor again I settled on The Houben at Kantiang Bay. We booked two adjoining rooms and it was quite cheap in comparison to what we would pay in Australia.
We were picked up by the Houben Hilux utility, cosy to say the least and driven about 20 minutes further South. What a grand entry, there isn't a sign on the road yet it is so new, just a large concrete pillar, but then to reception with a large covered portico, grey concrete and the inevitable red, more red later. Smooth reception and taken away to our rooms on the first floor. There are only 15 units all up in two buildings with the restaurant, aptly named Red Alert below us. Nothing can prepare you for your first impression. Wow, as you look through the all glass frontage straight out to the sea beyond from the top of an incredibly steep cliff.
It is one large room, with the bathroom and toilet behind and to the side of the main room. Everything is immaculate. Oil burner adding atmosphere as we are shown around, first the bathroom and toilet opening out into the huge jacuzzi looking out to the sea and behind it a huge rain shower. You just can't get beyond the view.
Everything is beautifully done. Plasma TV and DVD player, free DVDs from reception, bar fridge, tea and coffee, it's all there, but done so much better than normal. Small touches like individual flexible adjustable reading lights, glass wall between the bed and the jacuzzi. Amazing.
Out on to the balcony, lounges and table, bean bags next door, and the pool! The red pool. It is tiled in red tiles and it looks like you are swimming in blood red water, with its' own spa at the end and a constant depth meaning it is not really not suitable for children. Damn.
There is a large spa/massage room below reception which we didn't get to use. we were the only clients during our stay even though they said there were more due in next day. Again nothing was too much trouble, again language was a difficulty, even though it was explained that they were in the process of staff training due to it being so new. We did have some difficulty with the wi-fi so they took us into the admin area and let us use their computer and printer.
If it was this good why didn't I rate it higher? Simply because of the restaurant. We had lunch and dinner in the restaurant. During lunch a huge rainstorm went through. There is only drop down clear plastic blinds on the front and sides and they simply could not cope with the downpour and the wind. There was obviously a blind on the other side as well but it had probably blown away at some stage and not been replaced. There was frantic mopping and sweeping trying to keep the rain at bay. I could only recommend they need proper bi-fold doors, or similar, for these sort of conditions.
The restaurant feels cold, it is all concrete including the benches along the wall and it just feels cold and impersonal. Maybe on a hot high season night full of customers it might be different.
The staff were lovely, but I feel must have been embarassed when every second thing we asked for was not available, due to low season. It is an extensive menu, a bit pricey compared to other restaurants, but dissapointing when so much wasn't available. The food that we received was quite good, but virtually no sea food in a sea food paradise and no bananas for banana fritters, in a land full of bananas. Not good enough. Our recommendation is to have a low season menu, limited to what is available at the time. we admit it must be very hard when you only have four people in the hotel, but that is what service is about.
Don't get me wrong, this place is truly amazing and it would not deter me from going again and I cannot believe it is only rated four star. It leaves many five star wqe have stayed in for dead. And then there was the amazing sunset that we thought we were going to miss out on during our stay in Thailand. A beautiful hotel in a magical setting. Well done The Houben!

Room Tip: Try for the higher floors for the views
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

Wow – the architecture is stunning, and the room we had was amazing. Really stylish, clean and very spacious as well. After the initial wow factor I was concerned as the manager Shawna who I'd read so much about was away for a few days. However, it was not a problem as any shortcomings the staff may have had in attention to detail was made up for with loads of friendliness, enthusiasm and charm – this applied to the helpful receptionist and the cheery restaurant staff equally. The hotel booked my onward ferry without any problems, despite my constant questions, and responded very well to all requests.
The only negative I can comment on is that the hotel was missing something in the general ambience. The restaurant was too empty to have any real atmosphere which was a shame as the food was good. The pool area was also good and it was only a short walk to the beach and village with other restaurants and a small shop etc.. We hired a scooter from the small tour office 50 metres from the hotel entrance which I'd also recommend. Overall, a really stylish and clean hotel I'd recommend for a good value short stay.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Subang Jaya, Malaysia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2011

The Houben is the best hotel ever. The service was great, the staffs are friendly and attentive. They try to help as much as they can. Stayed in Deluxe first 2 nights ~ the room was awesome, bed was comfortable except there is a bit noise coming from the ventilation. But either than that it was perfect.

Changed to Suite Room for the other 2 days. It was great as well but i think the deluxe is much much better. The breakfast was delicious. I've never had such delicious tea before =). We had dinner 2 nights at Red Alert (the hotel's restaurant), it was also delicious. I especially love the Tom Yum with Squid. My bf loved the Roasted Duck with Tamarind Sauce. Very very very good!

Ive had to say that the nearly 3 hours trip to get there was worth it. I will pick this hotel again without a doubt even i had a choice to choose a hotel at Aonang. It was all worth it!

The pool is gorgeous! It was something different with the red tiles. Love the design soo much! Very unique! Love all of Houben's design but the Suite Room can improve abit. Like a place to put our luggage and the shower bigger then it is perfect. No complaints to Deluxe Room, everything is perfect!

Keep up the good service & good food!

Room Tip: Deluxe Room, get the highest floor perfect view
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2011

We stayed there for 3 nights. Very clean and spacious room with great view from a very big and relaxing balcony. The biggest bathroom and biggest shower room I have even been in my life. The Houben is very generous with breakfast and the quality of breakfast is brilliant! All fresh. Lovely time in the pool and watching the sunset. There are some monkeys in the jungle next to the hotel, they are shy and not aggressive. So it gives you a real nature touch!! The service is great, the staff are a bit slow but great service mind and friendly. We were really happy and have nothing to complain. Such a great value and lovely hotel. We even recommended our friends to stay at The Houben and they also love it and will definitely go back.

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean view
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Houben

Address: 272 Moo 5 | Ba KanTieng Bay, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#3 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Houben 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on the hilltop of Kantiang Bay, Ko Lanta. Isolated from the crowds and villages , only 5 minutes walk down to the local shops. Overlooking at the great sunset view of Andaman Sea.The spacious rooms with comfortable bed, well-equipped with free WI-FI internet connection by cable access .The Houben affords the modern contemporary decoration. Outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi where you can view the tranquil ocean and listening to the serene sound of waves crashing along the shore. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Houben Hotel Ko Lanta

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