The Houben is a chic boutique hotel with a million dollar view. We asked for the top floor and our wish was granted. The view from the balcony rendered me speechless. It was the perfect place to sip our cappuccino in the morning and watch the sunset at night. Although we loved the top floor, I would not recommend it for everyone. I would consider a lower level if you don't like to climb stairs. Speaking of view, our deluxe room came with a jacuzzi and it also has an ocean view. The only down side is that it takes over an hour to fill so we only used it once.
As you can see from the photos, the design is modern chic with a touch of Thai. This was exactly what we were looking for. Thai inspired decor with modern/western amenities. Every details have been thought of; from beach bag to hanging rack for your wet clothes. Nothing has been overlooked.
The design and layout of the room was extremely thoughtful. The material and products used are of high quality. I am extremely picky when it comes to beddings and I was more than satisfied. I usually use my own shampoo and body wash but not this time. The organic rice toiletries were heavenly.
Service was excellent. You can tell they really want your stay to be perfect. For example, the wifi signal was a bit weak on the top floor so Shana resolved the issue by installing an individual modem in our room. How awesome is that?
We paid for the Room Only plan (without breakfast) as we like to try different restaurants. It was 300 THB per person for breakfast if we wanted to join. We opted not to as it was much cheaper to eat elsewhere and we were out and about almost every morning. Drunken Sailor is a great option but they do not open until 9am. In general, the hotel restaurant is much more expensive than the local ones.
We asked the hotel to book us a shared shuttle minivan (provided by an outsourced company) from Krabi Airport and it was 500 THB per person one way. Please note, there is a markup for this service. It is generally 350 THB per person one way if you were to book it yourself. Given the convenience, I thought it was a reasonable markup. Private transfer from the hotel was 3000 THB for 2 people and you can generally get it for 2300 THB locally. Similarly, if you want to rent a motorbike, it is 350 THB per day with the hotel and 250 THB per day if you rented from an outside vendor. As expected, pretty much everything has a markup.
For those considering the minivan option, the following has been my experience. We waited for 50 minutes before we were picked up at the airport (only after a kind local gentleman helped me call the hotel so they can track down the minivan company). After we made the call, we were picked up within 15-20 minutes. The driver was an aggressive driver (not a complain) and got us dropped off within 2 hours after pickup. Amazing! To be honest, the wait before the pickup was a bit irritating after 33 hours of traveling but that's just how it is if you go with this option.
Like a few reviewers have mentioned, there are some wear and tear at the hotel but nothing major. For example, the walls did have some small chips here and there but this is to be expected given the proximity to the salt water and the humidity in the bathroom. I did notice there were moss growing in one corner of my shower but other than that the room was spotless.
My only wish would be that the jacuzzi connecting to the swimming pool would be heated. I guess the unheated jacuzzi is pretty much the standard in Thailand.
All in all, it was a lovely 5 night stay. I only wish it wasn't 36 hours to get to. Unfortunately, we probably won't be able to stay here on our next trip, as children under 12 are not permitted. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want screaming children running around when I'm trying to enjoy my peace and quiet.
The Houben truly is a rare find. You will definitely not regret staying here.
- 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