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“Designer chic with the feel of a private villa”
Review of The Houben Hotel

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The Houben Hotel
Ranked #4 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
105 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Designer chic with the feel of a private villa”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

I am going to start this review by stating if you are used to the Ritz Carlton and expect that type of service at the Houben don't come. You will just annoy yourself, the staff and the other guests.

If however you are used to and enjoy staying in amazing boutique feel hotels where the staff blend in to the background yet are there when ever you need anything then come. The Houben has the look and feel of a large expensive private European villa. uber modern and uber cool. Forget suits, shirts and ties, this is strictly linen, baggy, and lots of it.

The location: perfect. Poised on the top of a cliff overlooking the bay the swimming pool (brilliant blood red) forms a seamless infinity edge with the sea beyond. Perfect for sitting and watching the sunset. Other people in Ko Lanta have to go to a bar or restaurant for a cliff top sunset - guests here just move from the lounger to the pool and back again.

The hotel is a 40 min (20 min in Shana drives you - Belgiums Alain Prost in a great way!) from the boat pier in the north. Located a 5 min walk from the beach and the dive shops this is a great place to be based for the National Park and the diving at Ko Hao. Free and fast Wifi through out although please remember you are in Thailand, 1 hour off shore so it is going to be intermittent. That is not the hotels fault so no use blaming them. Besides - it is FREE.

The rooms: The hotel does not do itself justice with the pro photos of their rooms. They are resplendent and pristine. Clean whites everywhere mixed with red. The owners, a Thai / Beligian couple are interior designers and bring everything that is cool, chic, minimalist and modern to the the establishment. The rooms have huge and superbly comfortable king beds. TV (should you want it....). Uninterrupted views of the ocean. A nespresso machine, mini bar, whirlpool baths etc etc etc. Everything is clean and tidy. This is not your beach shack type of establishment. All rooms have big balconies with either outdoor beanbags or Fritz Jacobson style chairs. Towels aplenty and all the amenities you would need.

The restaurant: Red Alert serves excellent Thai food. There is also a western menu though we elected to stay away from it. Again you are in thailand with a wonderful chef cooking up fresh dishes with local ingredients. We ate the Thai beef salad (pretty much every day) which was succulent marinaded beef, served with chopped garlic, shallots, coriander, sping onions and peppers. Excellent. The Vietnamese spring (not deep fried) rolls were similarly bursting with flavour. Each around 250 THB each. For main there is a range of delicious and not heavy curries and noodles including an excellent fragrant red and green curry each again around 250 THB. We also tried the steamed fish which was approximately 600g each time and served on a bed of coriander, chilli (lots of chilli), peppercorns, soy, ginger and lemongrass. It was by far the best fish we tasted in Ko Lanta. This was 520 THB. Prices here are approximately 20% more expensive than on the beach but the service is better, the hygiene is assured and the tastes superb.

The staff: This is what makes the place more than any of the above. Shana and her team work like energiser bunnies to keep the place ship shape and are always there if you need anything. Nothing is too much trouble. A word of warning - not all the staff speak fluent english and neither should they. This hotel is doing a fantastic job of employing the local community and all the team work tirelessly with big smiles and a great attitude. One tip - if you can get Shana to drive you - go for it. She is a fantastic driver and......well likes to use the noisy pedal a lot. You will not miss your flight!

All in all a fantastic hotel that goes close to or at my number one favourite places to stay in the world. It is certainly my favourite beach / chill hotel. Great food. Great service. Great rooms; Clean and fairly priced.

The downsides:
Like a lot of Ko Lanta, if you are wheelchair bound there is no lift, however there is access from the side of the hotel to the restaurant and the ground floor rooms open onto the pool. Not effortless but I suspect manageable, especially with the amazing staff.

Perhaps there is a need for more shade umbrellas? The sun here is fierce and the shade from the good umbrellas doesn't fully cover two loungers. I intended to go home the colour of Wesley Snipes but went back the colour of the pool

Room Tip: All rooms are non smoking so no issues there. Would fully recommend stumping the extra cash for one...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dsharratt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, May 4, 2013
Dear Dsharratt ,

I 'd like to thank you for taking your time to give us your valuable feedback. It was great to hear that our staff , the service and the houben itself ,they were the highlight of your stay with us. First of all please allow me to give the credit to our interior designer , they are the Thai couples who are the best and so fantastic . Thanks them again . I am happy to hear that you enjoyed our food also thank you again for your understanding of the internet network . Even the base of the connection were interrupted because of our location but i 've never ignored this problem . I'm trying to find out how to make it better , just only wanna spoil our customer holiday . Thank you for your address of the shade , we will fix it . Please let us know your returning , we are looking forward to serving you .

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (177)
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Alicante, Spain
Level Contributor
102 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in koh lanta during low season the weather still great. I booked the hotel 2 days before arriving and they offered me a suite room for something like 100 euros a night. Motorbike rental included, the room had awesome views over the sea and a jacuzzi. Very wide and clean rooms, excellent swimming pool and the service is great. Besides is located near to good restaurants and services and to the rest of the restaurants it's just a quick drive by bike.
Service is excellent and everyone is very nice and quick in providing all your needs. If you want a great experience you defently need to stay at this place!!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank FrankCortesBcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, May 4, 2013
Dear FrankCortesBcn ,

Thank you so much for taking your time to review us on Trip Advisor . We are so glad to hear that our team could provide you all the things that you need , we were so happy to do that for all of our customers . Please let us know your return , we are looking forward to serving you in the nearly future.

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We just returned from a weeks stay at the Houben in Koh Lanta. It was one of the most relaxing holidays that we have ever had. The southern part of the island is much quieter and more remote. Shana was the best host ever. She arranged everything that we wanted to do and even was our driver on a couple of occasions. She arranged a Thai cooking class on site that was outstanding and many other things. We booked an exclusive suite that was separated from the main building but right next to the pool which had a jacuzzi on the deck facing the ocean which was sooooo.....worth it. It was very private, except for the troop of monkeys that did go past twice during our week there. We live in Dubai and are surrounded by 5 star hotels with some of the top restaurants in the world so we know 5 star accommodations and food. The Houben is surely 5 star. The food in the restaurant was outstanding and much cheaper that we are accustomed to paying for food of this quality in Dubai. The rate was good value. It was also very quiet and peaceful there. The Houben is located up on a bluff overlooking the ocean so the view is unparalleled. This makes the beach a 5 minute walk away, but no problem as it gave us a reason to stop into the Drunken Sailor pub for a cold Chang on the way there and the way back. We always got the hammock seats when we stopped there.
We will make the Houben our stay the next time we go to Thailand, no question about that.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank professorDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, May 4, 2013
Dear ProfessorDubai,

Thank you for your kind review to The Houben Hotel . As always , it was so great to hear that your stay at here , our staff 's hospitality , food , accommodation could make you happy at your valued holiday . Please let us know your next return ,our loyalty package is well ready for you.

Warm regards,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

There are a few things you should know when making a decision about where to stay in Ko Lanta. First is, are you OK with being in a more secluded part of the island? I highly recommend the southern part of the island even though people say its too remote. The northern part of the coast is crowded, there's a conservative Muslim beach (not fun in my opinion), and has a completely different vibe. The southern part is totally do-able, esp if you want to be lazy - and you can always rent a moped for 250Baht/day. Take the moped to the national park where the lighthouse is..the beach there is THE BEST. Small, private, very few people.

Second, DO NOT eat in the hotel restaurant. The food is terrible and very expensive for what it is. There are much better places minutes down the hill.

Third, the hotel has an amazing view of the sunset. Not many others have that.

Fourth - having a pool is a real nice t ohave, esp when you need a break from being sandy or swimming in the sea. When the tide is low in the afternoons and the water is too hot to swim in the sea, definitely head to the pool.

Fifth- the service is really good at the Houben. They leave you alone, yet they really seem to care and are super friendly.

As much as we liked it, we felt that it wasnt that great value for money. Was really expensive by Thai standards.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank welovemaps2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, May 5, 2013
Dear welovemaps2,

Thank you for sharing your experience at The Houben Hotel, Koh Lanta to Trip Advisor . It was so great to hear that you were happy with our team 's service and hospitality . There wasn't any order food from your room to investigate so i couldn't find out what kind of food couldn't satisfied your taste. Only our breakfast items , therefore , please excuse my deeply apologize that our breakfast wasn't good enough . Your feedback is so valuable for us , we promise to make things better , just for having a chance to serving you again .

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tervuren, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed April 3, 2013

The Houben Hotel is truly beautiful.
Spotlessly clean, fresh, modern and has the most amazing views.
Watching the sun set every evening was a real highlight.

The food at the "red alert " restaurant was delicious and cheap! Great value for money.
Thai and Belgian food ! Everything very fresh and tasty.

Staff at The Houben were very friendly and helpful.
Boss has amazing knowledge of Thai nightlife. Just ask him and he will be happy to show you arround.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PhG1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Dear PhG1968 ,

Thank you for sharing your recent stay at The Houben Hotel to Trip Advisor . Really appreciated that you were enjoy our food , etc.and my advice . Please let us know when you 'd like to return to us , the 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.
Luzern
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

The location (5min walk to the beautiful Ba Kantiang Beach) is great, you have a great view from your room and from the pool over the ocean. We enjoyed a lot of beautiful sunsets.
The restaurant (red alert) is amazing, the food is so delicious (thai and european food)! The service is excellent.
The room was huge (with a balcony) and clean. The bathroom was great and we had a whirlpool inside with an amazing view over the ocean. The air condition was a little bit loud.
The owner and staff are friendly, helpful and they speaks english very well.

We had a great time and we can recommend this hotel. We'll go back!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ReisendeLuzern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Dear ReisendeLuzern ,

Thank you for sharing your stay with us at The Houben Hotel . We are very very appreciated that you were enjoy the food , the room , the view , of course our service and hospitality that we provided all of them to spoil our customer 's stay . Please let us know your returning , the loyalty package is waiting for you .

Warm Regards,
Walter Houben
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Antwerpen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 28, 2013

I stayed in the hotel already 3 years ago. I was very satisfied with the service at that time.
I need to say that it has only improved since then !
The food in the restaurant is delicious ( western and thai ) and the prices are fair.
Now you also have a variety of belgian beers. So home stays very close .
Shana is the model manager and chef of the restaurant. You can almost ask everything to her.
She has always big smile on her face. The owner Walter ( papa from Shana) entertains the people with talks and also takes personally care of the transfer to the airport.
The beach is very close to the hotel , but we prefered to take a rest next to the fantastic red swimmingpool of the hotel. Shana took care of our cocktails .
We booked at the reception by khun Dee a tour to Phi Phi Islands for 1 day which we enjoyed very much. Only watch out for the sun while snorkling because i forgot to put suncream on and i still feel it.
I will certainly come back one of the years. Take care Shana, Walter and all the rest of the staff.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dendax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walterhouben, Owner at The Houben Hotel, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Dendax,


First Thank you for your returning to The Houben Hotel and Returning to TA.for such a beautiful review . It was great to hear that our staff was able to provide you with a beautiful stay + a loyalty program for the guest return to making your stay comfortable and relaxing. I also appreciate your constructive feedback regarding our food that fair price and further .

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

Property: The Houben Hotel
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 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 Hotel 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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