Felt a sudden urge to take a breather from work, and when thinking of where to go, the image of paradise struck me; the most recent place I visited where I disconnected, was blissful, eternally blessed for being there, and would not have traded places with anyone else in the world: Koh Phi Phi. Paradise does exist; at least a great part of mine lies here, in the soft white sandy beaches, the clear blue still water, the wild multicolor fish that swim carelessly next to the divers, the KPP community that despite having experienced a devastating tsunami less than 10 years ago stand as a stellar role model on overcoming strife and adversity, the flowery-decorated long-tail boats, the glorious Thai cuisine, and I could go on forever. A month ago I stayed at Phi Phi The Beach Resort, and although it met all my expectations, I recommend the Holiday Inn over the former by far.
Location: Not being a fan of the Tonsai ambiance, if possible, I prefer to be in a more secluded less-hectic place and the island offers a wide range of hotels for this. The Holiday Inn is at the northeast end of Phi Phi Don Island. It’s located by the Laem Tong Beach; when comparing to Phi Phi The Beach Resort’s Long Beach, the former is more exclusive, tranquil, the beach shore is longer (you can take a longer walk/jog from end to end), you have a pretty good distance of knee-deep water, it’s less dense boat-wise, and there are many coral reefs nearby for you to enjoy your hotel snorkeling experience. In terms of having a serene paradisiac beach, this is as good as it gets. Once again, if the purpose of your visit is the full moon party scene at Tonsai, this isn’t a convenient location for you. Although it’s a 20 minute long-tail boat ride away, you’ll find it difficult to get a boat driver to drive you back to the hotel after 8 PM (by this time the popular Slinky’s bar/club hasn’t attracted a substantial crowd), as it gets quite dark (except on full moon nights), and a bit scary. Having said this, for those that have already experienced the scene or those that are not interested, it’s worth visiting in the daytime. You can do some local shopping, sit at a bar and do some people watching, write postcards, and last but certainly not least, visit the Phi Phi Tsunami Memorial Park by the Sunflower Bar. You cannot miss out on visiting the nearby beaches and snorkeling points (here you can find all the characters from Finding Nemo). For this, the hotel provides different packages to visit Maya Bay (notoriously known for it’s appearance in the movie The Beach), Bamboo and Mosquito Island, Monkey Beach (those monkeys can get feisty), the Viking Caves on Phi Phi Leh Island, among others; the price varies according to the hours of your trip. Overall, the location is recommendable; you have everything you could possibly need within the hotel.
Staff: The Holiday Inn staff is simply wonderful. I was quite exhausted from a long trip and thus dreading the check-in, especially after observing many people with the Holiday Inn stickers riding the ferry, and imagining the long queue I’d have to go through before I could settle in. However the check-in is pretty efficient; you’re picked up in one of the hotel’s long-tail boats from the ferry to the Holiday Inn and guided to the bar by the beach where Karol the manager kindly greets you. You’re soon provided with a delightful courtesy drink, and as you sip through it enjoying the breath-taking view, one of the staff members sits with you, settles everything, and you’re soon provided with your room key. It’s definitely a breather from those conventional in-doors check-ins where you often have to wait in line. As you’re seating by the beach, Kuk passes by offering you drinks, food and even provides you from time to time complementary refreshing fruit skewers. Each day of the week offers different activities including Thai cooking classes, traditional Thai dance show, and full moon party. One of the highlights of my stay was sipping a refreshing piña colada by the beach and surprisingly hearing the bar’s music duo sing Journey and Bryan Ferry songs.
Food: The breakfast spread is scrumptious with a wide variety of foods for both Asians and us, non-Asians. There are all types of breads (sliced and non-sliced, white and whole grain, sweet and savory), pastries (Danish, croissants, among many; do try their delicious almond/banana squared cakes), dairy products, spreads (including a delightful prune compote), meats, fruits (it’s great to have hotels like these that offer the region’s fruits; to many tourists living outside of Asia it can become an interesting opportunity to explore new foods), vegetables, eggs cooked to order, fresh juices, and the list goes on. I thoroughly enjoyed waking up in the morning to enjoy such a wonderful meal. For lunch and/or dinner you can enjoy one of their three restaurants. I love experiencing local food, thus always headed to their Thai-themed restaurant were Baow always greeted me with a friendly smile and patiently described the dishes. This restaurant offers one of the best Thai dishes that I have had up-to-date including their brilliant Pad Thai, green curry with prawns and steamed rice, Tom Yam soup, and glorious mango with sticky rice (a must-try if you’re in Thailand; it sounds like and odd pair but put together results in culinary geniality).
Room: I stayed at one of their king coral seaview studios that overlook the Andaman Sea. After stepping outside the terrace, it was literally 2 steps to the white sandy beach. It was relaxing to not only wake up to the sound of the waves, but also to be able to look at such a beautiful turquoise sea. There is free-Wi-Fi in all of the hotel’s premises so you’ll have no problem connecting from your room (or even from the beach). The bungalow is spacious, with a modern bathroom including and indoor and outdoor shower. It’s equipped with all of the standard hotel amenities, but it’s in the little details in which you evidence that you’re truly staying at a hotel that goes that extra mile for their guests: a personal wooden spoon within a carved ceramic bowl always filled with water for you to clean your sandy feet when coming from the beach, the ‘soft’ and ‘firm’ marked pillows, environmentally friendly toiletries, and local Thai cookies on your bed as you first arrive.
Overall, I highly recommend you not only to come to Koh Phi Phi, but to also stay at this hotel where you experience paradise from a delightful unplugged perspective.
If possible stay at one of the king coral seaview studios that overlook the Andaman Sea; after stepp...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.