We stayed (and actually are still staying while writing this) 16 nights from 24 December 2013 until 9 January 2014 at this captivating resort - the best on Klong Dao Beach on Koh Lanta.
The architecture and design allows for just 22 bungalows, tastefully located with proximity to each other, but allowing each to have their own 'space' and privacy. The keyword is space because the functional design of this wooden/concrete gem allows for people to feel as co-habitants of a harmonious, private and yet social congregation of hedonistic and life enjoying visitors.
Kids are not welcome at the resort, which is shame for families but a luxuryfor those without children. Guests come to this place for true relaxation and vacation and having visited the majority of the hotels on the 2 km stretch of Klong Dao Beach, it is easily judged the best place. The neighbouring place, Twin Lotus, aspires to be the high end spot on the beach but is much less attractive and more the traditional spa compared to Costa Lanta.
We stayed, and still stay, in bungalow number 105 and should have a Garden View Type B. There's more view of the parking and reception than garden, but we're not fussy about that since we practically only use the space for sleep. At first we were surprised to learn that the mono-bedroom + large outdoor'ish bathroom had so little or no closet space. The only closet can be found in the bathroom next to the safety box and mini-fridge (small freezer for ice cubes is part of the fridge but don't expect a fully fledged mini bar known from big standard hotels). This means that you are forced to optimise space as the bedroom is taken up by one large bed. The zen design and functional philosophy of the place follows you to your room. After 2 nights you stop thinking about it and start to live minimalistically and use the outside space, the beach and the bar. Like you should on a vacation. There are no TV's in the rooms, but the sunsets, ocean view and waves provide the cinematography and soundtrack you need.
Service is attentive, personal, respectful, amicable. Fresh towels are delivered to your room twice each day and the sleeping section of your bungalow is prepared for an anti-mosquito nighttime every afternoon. Housekeeping stops by, turns on the candles in the bathroom, sweeps the floors, puts down the mosquito net, sprays the room and turns on the aircon. Your one bedroom cocoon is now ready for a peaceful night with the soundtrack of exotic birds and morning cicadas.
Fully rested, breakfast consists of 4 different options and additional toast coffee/tea, fruit. It's ok, but after 10 mornings you may find yourself fantasising about the variety found in many Bangkok hotels. Again, the limited and restricted range of choice emphasise the place's Zen philosophy and helps customer balance their vacation calorie intake.
The place is on the beach and much of the wood starts to show a need for care and attention. The polished concrete stands majestic and contrasts well with the garden surroundings.
One element which travellers must consider is price of food and services at the resort. A beer is around 120 bath, but only 70 bath at the beach bar located 40 metres to the ritght of sun beds. A meal around 230 versus 150 at the beach bar...you get the drift. That said, food and kitchen is clean and modern.
Why is this place so great? It all goes back to the design and functional layout. Beach beds are for example in pairs and about 2 metres apart. The same goes for dining and breakfast arrangements. You are part of a community but still private.
One last thing which is often forgotten and maybe is more a consequence of good places: the other guests are great people! Given the exclusivity and design the place attracts quality travellers and visitors. All we met were friendly, culturally sensitive and respectful - and we made some great friends.
How do we know this place is special? By the sheer number of people glaring in auge at the place when they walk along the beach.
Sofia & Kasper
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- Also Known As:
- Costa Lanta Hotel Ko Lanta
- Costa Lanta Ko