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“Great Cozy and Friendly Resort”
Review of Aava Resort & Spa

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Aava Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Khanom
Reviewed October 12, 2011

I spent 5 wonderful days at this marvelous place on the south of Thailand. The amenities and environment makes you feel like you are in paradise. The long uncrowded beach right there, with clear warm water makes this resort perfect to take a a good relax from the stressed world.
The service and food are excellent, with different options for local and international flavors. The staff is always there to make your stay pleasant and comfortable, and if you want to go and visit the local villages, Aava will provide you with their own transportation. If you want to have more action you can go and visit the famous touristic island Koi Samui, just in front of Aava.
I truly recommend this resort for couples and family trips in Thailand.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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Thank JRB65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 - 172 of 296 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2011

This a resort that can offer very friendly atmosphere, excellent food, great and peaceful location and the ultimate relaxation experience in Thailand. I stayed in the resort for 4 nights in September. If you are after a modern hotel for ultimate relaxation, Aava is the right choice.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank atefc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

The hotels is in a heavenly beach, almost deserted, away from the main tourist places. If that's what you're looking for this place is great, but if you're lookinfg from something more this place may be somehow frustrating.

The hotel itself is nice and stilish though in many details style goes against practicality. The rooms are spacious, with large windows which is good except for the fact that in a hot place like Thailand with the sun hitting hard all day they get extremely hot, almost like an oven, and the air conditioned is not powerful enough to cool them so during the day you can roast in the room.

There is no chair in the room, so the only place where you can sit is in the bed. The bathroom has a few details that we did not like. The shower has no door, so when you feel like pouring down some water on your burning skin (remember the oven??), you have a two for one experience: you cool yourself down and you conver the room in a small pool so that your partner can just come in and wash her feet. The washbasin is once again really stilish but kind of flat, so whenever you use it the water also spills all over the place (if you still have the shower water in the floor this may well look like like a nice waterfall, so they create a lovely landscape). The doors of the bathroom do not give a whole lot of intimacy, which is not an issue if your are in prefect harmony with your girlfriend when it comes to body functions.

As for the minibar, you could just think that it's another piece of furniture with no function since whatever you put inside comes out at exactly the same temperature, no matter how much time if passes.

Regarding the things the hotel has to offer, well... there are a few but the ridiculous prices they charge for everything make that you feel you are being ripped off all the time. The restaurants are outrageously expensive for Thailand so they are always almost empty. In the few occasions your wallet feels healthly enough to go there you are almost by your own so you can not avoid the strange feeling that you are doing something stupid. The food is OK, though not as good as you might expect after reading the info on the famous chef that is in charge of the main restaurant, who is never there in any case. In most occasions we went to nearby places for lunch and dinner, like the friendly CC beach, right by the hotel where you can eat and have some drinks at normal prices.

For breakfast there is a menu with some dishes that you can choose. The fruit juice they give you is simply awful, Tang-style like made with powder or alike. As for the food we thought it was too heavy and stodgy for breakfast, probably more in the Nordics style, that we as Mediterraneans did not really appreciate.

Overall, you have the feeling that you've been picked up from the airport, taken to a place which is paradise-like, and that's it. Once you are deposited in the hotel, you're by your own. Even if the service is attentive and they're always with a smile in their face, there is no warmth in this place. Strictly speaking the hotel is nice, the beach is fantastic but there is something missing from a place which has everything to be a perfect retreat. Not sure to know what, but definitely we felt like love was not in the air here.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Ilovetravelandfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2011

We stayed at Aava for 8 nights in late July/early August and our expectations, based upon the webpage, were high and were almost, almost satisfied! Actually, this is probably the hardest review we've ever had to write, as Aava Resort is full of somewhat confusing contradictions.
The location: a picture postcard white sand beach with views across the Bay of Siam is wonderful. And the swimming for kids is both safe and fun. After a week on Samui, we loved the overall location, some five kilometers from Khanom town. This is the real unadulturated southern Thailand where the local Thais are still pleased to see tourists. If you rent a scooter and venture onto the back roads away from beach then you can have some wonderful experiences. Likewise, Khanom is a very pleasant Thai port town with some interesting markets NOT designed for tourists. Wonderful!
The resort: is designed by architects who don't seem to have visited Thailand in the rain! Hence the receptionists have to take cover whenever it rains! The rooms we booked were far too small with no private veranda or seating area so we upgraded to the family villa which was the saving grace for our stay. The internal design of the villa varied from genuis all the way to bizarre - fantastic views from the first floor combined with a staircase with an uneven step heights! Watch out for the 13th step! We stubbed our toes countless times! The washbasin is designed for small children and thus you end up washing your thighs alongwith your hands! The toilet stank, there was no hand soap and all the dispeners were non functioning and the water from the shower flowed everywhere - but you can also take a shower with the door open (and lights off!) whilst enjoying views over the sea. The jacuzzi on the sun deck is simply wonderful but the build quality and choice of materials is also extremely poor and thus I recommend that you visit sooner rather than later, as the place will decline fairly rapidly in the harsh Thai climate.
The restaurant is run by the admirable Siva and, due to the Finnish owners insistance that this is a 5 star venue, the prices are simply unreasonable - hence the restaurant is virtually empty every night as the clientele disappear to other eateries in the area - our favourite being the excellent Khanom Hill Restaurant, which offers a free pick up service every evening. On the few occaisions we ate at the restaurant, then we found the quality to be OK but the pricing is simply outrageous.
The same comment applies to massage and washing clothes - these services are available at a 1/5 of the price at the grocery store on the other side of the road or at CC Beach Bar!
The pool is great - good design and open views over the sea.
The staff were, by and large, super. A special mention to the Activities Management Team of Luke and Ben who went a long way to making our stay so pleasant. We enjoyed some great trips to waterfalls and caves, National Park in Khao Sok, and longtail boat trip to see the famous pink(ish) dolphins! All highly recommended. Luke and Ben also arranged a party at the local Reggae Beach Bar - great vibes and great sounds from the band, Job to Do!
All in all, we had a great time at Aava and would possibly return. A few hints: do get an upgrade to the middle family house; do rent a scooter; do remember to enjoy this piece of unspoiled Thailand! And do watch out for the 13th step!

Room Tip: Upgrade to the middle family villa. Other villas have restricted views. Pool side rooms = ok but pre...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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16  Thank RobHod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2011

Room was ready when we arrived. Walked into bathoom, lifted toilet seat and it came off in my hand. Toilet was also leaking and taps were spinning around.

Moved to second room - aircon was ineffective.

Third room was an upgrade to a Poolside Villa, very grateful. Rooms nicely designed but bathrooms very user unfriendly. Fine in a showroom or on paper but the sinks are about 4 inches deep - turn the tap on and it's like pouring water into the bowl of a spoon; water spurting all over the place. Prepare to shave in 2 inches of water. Shower is completely open, so half the bathroom gets soaked. No towel rails. The room should be very nice, but so many negatives: It's a 'minibar', not a fridge, so not very cold. It was also noisy; the non-Thai TV channels were not available; WiFi was very slow and there was no desk and/or chair to work at; bedside lamps didn't work (regardless of what combination of light switches we applied); noisy aircon which struggled during the day to cool the room; terribly soft pillows on the bed; bed has a wooden platform around it, so prepare for badly bruised shins; no Do Not Disturb sign; no complimentary soap.

Restaurant was very poor. On the first afternoon I ordered the duck confit with risotto. What arrived was an overcooked, dry duck leg on a dollop of virtually cold rice-puddingy type rice which, a) was not risotto rice and, b) looked like it had been sitting in a bowl in the fridge for at least a couple of days. Disgusting, and prices were exhorbitant. Ignore the Chef Nokweedz stuff on the website - she works in Samui, apparently, and only turns up there occasionally. We rarely saw anybody eating in the restaurant (except maybe on their first night there) - the beach bar a few mins walk away was quite busy with Aava guests every night though.

Breakfast was a joke. A few grand sounding items on the menu: Crisp Bacon and Soft-yolked Egg with Garlic Foam, etc., arrived as a bit of bacon and 2 hard, pancake-flat eggs -that was it. When I sent it back and asked them to give me what was described on the menu, it came back with a few slics of fried garlic on it. Service in the restauant was not the best - cutlery and crockery were in short supply and it didn't occur to a waiter to bring me a side plate when he saw me cutting a bread roll on my napkin on the table.

There are some good things about the hotel. Most staff seemed to be doing their best but semed lacking in hands-on management supervision. There apparently is a Western manager there and he can apparently be located in his office, except at lunchtimes. We saw people we presumed to be the Finnish owners there, proudly setting up a cider promotion - may I recommend a little more attention in the kitchen?

Location of the Poolside Villas is nice, with a good view. Good level of cleanliness. I don't think I'll be returning though.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank markl23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2011

We stayed 16 nights at Aava and found Aava to be perfect place to relax. Khanom is still a small fishing village so there is not so much to do, except to relax. Beach was practically empty, some locals were fishing from shore, while number of tourists was less than 10 all the time as far as eye could see. Beach is good for small swimmers as it is shallow and comes with soft sand bottom.

About the resort, staff was best I have ever seen! All the time smiling and helping out. We escpecially loved their nanny service, they have play room and toys for children so we could relax while nanny was playing with our 2 year old. Resort looked very nice and breakfast was exceptionally great, sometimes a la carte sometimes buffe. Rooms vere not so big, but I don't see that as a problem as you spend time outdoors anyway.

Resort arranges various excursions to Samui, local waterfalls, to see pink dolphins, trekking in national parks etc. We did few trips and they were great. Friendly and knowledgeable guide/driver who took as around. Only downside is that the excursions are quite expensive, escpecially at Thailand standard.

We stayed during the low season when the number of guests was less than 10 all the time. Resort is packed up quite tightly so I strongly believe that during the high season this place is too packed and noisy. Pool side rooms for example are nice, when you are there alone and have private access to the pool etc. But when all six rooms are occupied, people playing in the water, laying on the sun beds, music playing at the bar I don't think it is a nice experience anymore. Also the service level, ecspesially the nanny, might not be so good when there are more people to compete for the attention.

Also I have to say that the pricing of Aalto restaurant and their spa is ridicilous. Cheapest dishes start from 500THB and up! Better options are nearby beach bar and small Thai resort. Same thing with the Spa, thai massage 60mins was 1500THB while 200m away at small local place you get same or even better treatment for 300THB...

Location wise this place is in a middle of nowhere. If you can not drive scooter there is no way to get to Khanom city or anywhere else so you are tied up to stay around the resort which is either good or bad depending what you want.

Overall conlucion is that go during the low season, but avoid during the high season when the room price also rises quite sharply. If you go during the high season take room from the back, near the reception away from the beach, bar and pool so that you can get some privacy.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Bonfire_81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2011

We were at Aava Resort & Spa in April and stayed for 6 nights. For us it was really important that the hotel was not a tourist place nor the surroundings. Aava and Khanom was perfect for it. We both just loved it. The Scandinavian design combined with Thai friendliness in service is a perfect match. We were at this hotel in the end of middle season meaning that there were only couple of other rooms at the same time so peace and quiet was guaranteed.

The food was excellent and we loved the fact that restaurant served à la carte breakfast. All our wishes were completed as good as the hotel could arrange them. For instance, we got the chance to pre-order the barbaque dinner even tough they did not had that night.We did not eat everynight at the hotel, but tried the other restaurants, as well, in the area. Our favourite became CC Beach just few meters next to the hotel.

They also arranged private excursion to the nearby area that fitted to our profile: we saw the rare pink dolphins in the bay, swimming at two natural beaches and in a water fall up in the hills.

We can also recommend the spa services they offer. What a feeling after 3 hours spa treatments.

You can also rent mopeds from the hotel. We did this and explored the area and the beautiful countryside nature. This place is for those who seek for quiet place, but anyway some services nearby, like they have their own tailor who comes from Koh Samui (we so can recommend them). If you are looking for party place, this is not for you. We loved this because it was so peaceful and nature is still untouched in large areas. This is the countryside at its best.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Youni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aava Resort & Spa

Address: 28 / 3 Moo 6, Nadan Beach, Khanom 80210, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Nakhon Si Thammarat Province > Khanom
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Khanom
Price Range: $127 - $408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Aava Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aava Resort and Spa is spa resort in Khanom, southeast Thailand. Scandinavian influence can be seen in our unique architecture and design. Aava-design is created by Finland's top designers. Aava Resort and Spa combines traditional Thai friendliness and family values with Scandinavian quality and elegance. The values of Aava Resort and Spa evolved from the idea of serving our guests with traditional Thai friendliness without compromising high European standards. Rating 4 star. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aava Resort And Spa
Aava Hotel Khanom

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