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“Personal and friendly service”

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The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only )
Ranked #3 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Sunrise Beach, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Personal and friendly service”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We stayed at The Houben for nine nights over the New Year period. The hotel is up the hill a little from the small village of Kantiang and is quiet with spectacular views to Koh Haa.

The rooms are large and well-maintained (we stayed in two different ones due to the nature of our booking). The ones above the restaurant have the best views. The ones opening to the pool make you feel like the pool is your own private property.

The pool is gorgeous to swim in (despite being unusually red!). While we were there it was the perfect temperature - unlike many Thai pools, which are often quite cold. Maybe the red tiles attract the warmth. And even though the hotel was full it wasn't noisy or crowded.

The staff are attentive without getting in your way and can advise on whatever you want to do or need. Any 'problem' or question is attended to straight away within the best of their ability given that this is southern Thailand and a little off the beaten track.

Red Alert (the restaurant) is a welcome break from 'Thai style' - especially if you have been in the country for a while. The Vietnamese spring rolls and Massaman curry are delicious. Shana Houben runs the restaurant and bar (and probably other aspects of the hotel) with enormous care and detail. Nothing is too much trouble - ask her to make you a hot chocolate - you won't find a better one anywhere. The breakfast is plentiful and high quality.

The village is really close and has everything you need - 7/11, tour and transfer booking places (Lanta Jinda Tours is the best), dive places (Scubafish being the stand out here), small gift shops and the infamous Drunken Sailors restaurant.

The beach is an entertaining 3-5 minute walk away.

We will return to The Houben again knowing that staying here adds so much to the holiday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gwen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear gsand12,

Thank you for the great feedback from your last stay with us. I will be glad to share the commnets with team and thank them for a job well done. Thank you for your kind mentioned to our neighbourhood . We look forward to having you and the family back with us in the not so distant future and please let us know how we may assist on your next visit to Koh lanta .

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (178)
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Placed in number with the broken furniture. The door in a wardrobe is broken open, promised to repair, the third day of accommodation in hotel, and the door isn't repaired.
Recycle bins when settling are full of garbage. The restaurant at Red Alert hotel, except design from itself doesn't represent anything! The personnel doesn't know English. Service at restaurant worse doesn't happen. Products aren't present available any. Prepare badly, except traditional Thai dishes. No bonuses like "Happy hour" are present! And it for such money. During the highest season. I won't recommend this hotel. There are much more noteworthy hotels, let and without a mix of avant-garde and Thai style in architecture, but with much higher level of service cheaper. There can be in 2010 it and there was one of the best hotels on Koh Lanta, but for today it at all so.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Yury K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Dear Yury K,

Thank you for your review on trip advisor . . I am truly sorry that your stay did not meet your expectations. Definitely the head department who concerned to this cause will be investigated by myself so that we can improve upon the issues you mentioned. I assure you that the experience you had is not representative of the service we strive to provide. Your comments are important to us and In response to your comments I would just like to say that we do incorporate a lot of training into the staffs schedules to make sure the service and the english speaking is always improving in order to maximize guest . I hope that you allow us the opportunity to welcome you back and provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

After traveling around Thailand for nearly 3 weeks, we chose to stay at the Houben for the more relaxing part of our trip.

It was a good choice, as we'd already been to loads of beautiful beaches and stayed in more traditional Thai places along the way. The Houben allows you to chill out away from the crowds and more resort-type places. You're not sandwiched between hotels, or at risk of hearing cheesy entertainment within ear shot.

The management are so welcoming and very helpful, which gives this hotel a really lovely personal touch without being intrusive.

There is a real sense of peace here and you're set in the midst of amazing wildlife all around you.
Some of the best sightings were:
-A pod of dolphins spotted from the hotel room balcony (we were on the 3rd floor)
-Monkeys frequently visited the hotel grounds
-Eagles
-A giant praying mantis

Maybe a few improvements could be made to make the stay even better:
-Turn down service - additional water could be provided on top of the 2 bottles given in the morning
-Breakfast - The cooked option was a little hit and miss (maybe depending on who the chef was?)
-Mattress was a little too much on the firm side

Overall - We loved our stay here and would recommend it if you want an alternative to the more traditional Thai hotels. Also great for couples who want peace and quite.

Room Tip: Definitely recommend being on the 3rd floor. Jacuzzi takes a while to fill, so start running is a g...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katsuki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Dear Katsuki ,

Thank you very much for such a kind review to The HOuben HOtel . I was so glad to hear that you were enjoy our stay with us . I will follow-up with the F&B Management about the issue that you mentioned. Also all the comments will be definitely corrected to make your next trip feel more comfortable.

Warm Regards,

Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

The good:
- The view from our room
- The room itself and especially the bed!
- The pool
- The location close to the beach but on top of a cliff, which means a great view and fresh brise.
- The room service, efficient and nice

The not soul good:
- The breakfast: Limited choice, if you picked more than one you were made felt it was too much, fruit flies near the fruits
- The food: Twice as expensive as in the beach restaurants and half as good. The Tom Kha Gai tasted like water.
- The place lacks soul. Though the owners are present every day, they do not engage much with the guest (mostly younger couples). There are no joint activities, no happy hour, no special dinner, nothing, so all guests keep to themselves, which feels strange in a place with just 15 rooms.
- The pice is way too high. For USD 350 a night you can and should expect more in Thailand. Yes the beach is beautiful and the Pimalay even more expensive, but The Houben in its current state is not worth it.

Room Tip: If you are in the area and get a really good deal, try and get a room on the third floor.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Funmap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Dear Funmap ,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback at the Houben Hotel .Please allow me to excuse apologize if i and the houben team made your valued holiday unpleasant . All comments will be investigated and correct , including me. If i make our customers feel that i wasn't engage with the young guest , i will check myself and improve. Please return to the Houben Hotel for the next trip to Koh lanta to make sure that we 've never ignored our valued customers feeling or comments . Looking forward to serving you .

Warm Reagrds,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We just got back from 5 nights at The Houben and loved every minute of it. The hotel is beautiful, the service is outstanding and friendly, and it's perfect as a base of operations for Koh Lanta, or just to lay about the pool area. The Houben family were great hosts, offering suggestions on things to do and what goes on on the island.

The pool is stunning, infinity edge with an amazing view of the sunset. Breakfast was good, though I preferred the buffet to the cooked items on the menu.

The staff arranged a couple of excursions for us, and after a disastrous attempt at riding scooter, also arranged for a car and driver to take us around for the day.

The room was great - the bed was big and comfortable, and there was plenty of room in the bathroom for two people to get ready. There's also a couch (perfect for watching on of their huge selection of DVDs on a rainy day) and a mini fridge.

Note, the hotel is on a cliff about a 5-10 minute walk to the beach, not on the beach itself. There's a funky little restaurant down at the beach (not affiliated with the hotel) as well as a handful of beach bars which had a really great, mellow vibe.

Room Tip: Our room was on the ground floor so we had direct access to the pool - I liked this, but others may...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Raj R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear Raj R,

Thank you for your kind review on trip advisor . As always , we reached the goal when we could make our customers satisfy at the Houben Hotel . Please let us know for your returning , our loyalty programme is well prepared.

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

The Houben stands out immediately with its modern look and feel. All the retaining balustrades are glass to keep the look minimalist and allow you to appreciate the view. The red rim flow pool is the main centre attraction and the view from the pool is unparalleled.

As we were on Honeymoon we stayed in one of the 2 Privilege Suite's which were fantastic. The bed was one of the most comfortable in any hotel I have stayed in and the extra touches like a Nespresso machine in your room, an iPhone / iPod speaker system and the jet bath on the balcony all contributed to the experience.

Shana and all the staff were great and there are DVD's you can use free of charge for entertainment. The restaurant made very good food but you pay for the privilege and we ate out for most meals as we wanted to try different spots. We rented a small scooter the day we arrived and while The Houben is only 5 minutes walk from the closest shops, it was very nice to be able to hop on and explore whenever we wanted to.

We didn't try the Spa as the prices were very high in comparison for what you could get 5 minutes from the hotel. I do appreciate that the hotel spa would be a much better environment and experience but was I was having massages every 2 days, the spot down the road was good enough for me.

The pool temperature was 29 degrees and on the few days we did not feel like going to the beach laying on our private deck or in the jet bath with a 5m walk to the pool was heaven. All in all a fantastic spot and highly recommended - if you are looking for a fantastic hliday with all the creature comforts, look no further.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Moose-JHB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Dear Moose-JHB,

Thank you for taking the time to share your kind review at The Houben Hotel. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed our privilege suite and the facilities provided . We appreciate your kind comments about the team and we will be delighted to spoil your holiday anytime! Thank you for your enjoyable with our neighborhood . Looking forward to serving you in the near future very soon .

Warm regards,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weehawken, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

My husband and I came here as the last leg of our Thailand honeymoon trip. Prior to Ko Lanta we were Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. Now given the fact that my husband did all the booking for this vacation I had little knowledge of where we were going. All I had in mind was beautiful secluded island with hotel on the beach. My husband had contacted the hotel to arrange pick up from the pier. After 2 taxis and 2 long ferry rides we were hoping the trip to the hotel from the pier would be simple. Unfortunately when we arrived no one was there from the hotel to greet us. My husband called the hotel and they apologized and did send a taxi for us. The taxi arrived after 10 minutes. The ride to the hotel from the pier took approximately 25 minutes (30km).

We arrived at the hotel and were handy an incredibly sugary drink and made to fill out some paperwork. We soon learned that this hotel is NOT on the beach. It is on a hill/cliff side overlooking the beach, so yes you do get a great view of the sea. But I was not coming to island for a great view of the sea. I want to swim in the sea. The beach, which has no shade from the sun is a 7 minute walk from the hotel. Entry into the water is rocky.

Anyways we were showed our room that was spacious and had full glass wall and a balcony facing the water. Lovely view. The curtains however were white and did not do enough to block the sun from the beaming into the room early in the morning when we were trying to sleep late.

At an attempt to make the hotel look modern the room was full of tacky Ikea style furniture that was chipped in many places. The layout of the room was very the strange. The toilet is completely exposed with no privacy. Any romantic atmosphere that is achieved with the sea view is negated when you hear your partner doing his/her business on the toilet. There is a large jacuzzi tub in the room and a seperate standing shower. The shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion smelled very nice.

Other amenities offered in the room were umbrellas, toiletries, safe, mini fridge, beach towels and bag. The hotel also offers a very typical style continental breakfast: yogurt, limited fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese. The breakfast is included in your stay.

Overall I would say this an average place to stay. But I would not recommend Koh Lanta as a destination at all.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PolinaSlavin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ), responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear PolinaSlavin,

Thank you for your last stay with us at The Houben HOtel . Please excuse that we missed each other at the meeting point , not only you but the customers took a long journey to the houben / Koh Lanta to rest on the holiday , even one minute , you shouldn't wait for .

By the way it seemed like your stay with us was not all that it should have been , not just the houben didn't meet your expectation but Koh Lanta . Even though its very quiet and beautiful island ,bakantiang beach ( the closet beach to the houben ) ,there is a few rock but its a white sand and long beach . We always present ourselves as the hotel on the cliff not on the beach as pictures be shown on our website ( for both the houben hotel and the houben villas website ) but perhaps the source of details and information wasn't enough to acknowledge , also it will be improved .
We appreciate your feed back on the welcome drink and curtains will review these with our team to see how we can do to make adjustments to better meet your expectations.
Only thing that you misunderstanding , concerned to our decoration interior , i and our interior team , we worked very hard to get not just the furniture but everything in room , the unique furniture had been designed and produced each pieces by hand in the north of Thailand .
In Belgium , i'm one of the IKEA members but not yet in thailand .
For the moment the hotel still don't need anything from there because we opened since 2009 before it would arrival to here .
Very sorry to see that we did not fulfill these expectations when you were with us during your holiday . Hopefully we can have the next chance for your return .

Well noted with appreciate that your comments will help us maintain and improve our service .

Happy new Year and Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only )

Property: The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only )
Address: 272 Moo 5 | Ba KanTieng Bay, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Ko Lanta
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ko Lanta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Houben Hotel ( Adult Only ) 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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