You won’t have trouble deciding where to stay in Koh Lanta. The entire island is so beautiful that you simply can’t go wrong. Not only that, but Koh Lanta has some of the best hotels in Thailand. You will find the one that’s right for you. That said, Koh Lanta has different beaches that satisfy different tastes.
We just spent a month and a half around the area and had an incredible time. What can we say? We never tire of Thailand. Koh Lanta is some 55 miles (90 km) south of Krabi. The island faces the Andaman sea, and is part of the Mu Ko Lanta National Park. It’s one of our favorite places in South East Asia!
The park covers 50 square miles (134 square km) and includes 16 islands. There are glorious rain forests, mangroves, and beach forests. Here we are referring to Koh Lanta Yai, the southern island. Mangroves cover Koh Lanta Noi, the northern one. Only a section of Koh Lanta Yai is part of the park.
The Best Places to Stay in Koh Lanta
Klong Dao Beach
The best place to stay in Koh Lanta is Klong Dao Beach. Please take note that the beach is also known as Laem Kho Kwang. The long sandy beach is on the north of the island. It’s the first beach east of Siri Lanta Bridge, that connects Yoi and Nai islands.
We love it because it’s a long sandy beach with crystal blue waters. Not only that, but it’s a two-sided beach. Mangroves cover the north side, after the tiny peninsula. You can see Koh Lanta Noi from the north of Klong Dao. Therefore, the views from Klong Dao will take your breath away.
It’s not that easy to swim at all the beaches in Koh Lanta. Most beaches have corals and stones. Well, dying corals thanks to us humans. In any case, Klong Dao is the best beach in Koh Lanta to swim. There aren’t many stones, so you won’t hurt yourself. Besides, it’s not overcrowded.
We Recommend These Hotels on Klong Dao Beach:
Twin Bay Resort
The Twin Bay Resort has the best location, on the north of the beach. Thus, the unforgettable views of both sides. The bungalows are super comfy and come with a small patio. You can enjoy your favorite juice or cocktail at the infinity pool. It’s got a great onsite restaurant and warm service.
Twin Lotus Resort and Spa
If you are looking for a bit of luxury, book a Deluxe Villa with a sea view at the Twin Lotus Resort. The rooms are set in a lovely garden facing the coast. All are big, super comfy, and have balconies with views. It’s got three swimming pools!
Long Beach (Pra-Ae Beach)
Long Beach is also known as Pra-Ae Beach. It’s the next beach south of Klong Dao. The sandy beach is a bit longer though. Though there are stones in the sea, you can swim, especially in the south. The northern section is a bit more crowded. The center of town is next to it.
We like it because it’s long, sandy, and it never feels crowded. You will see local and foreign families and friends enjoying the beach. Besides, we like to walk around the tiny town to mingle with the locals too. It’s also a great place to arrange transportation to other islands.
There are a couple of good restaurants and bars directly on the beach. Some open till late at night. However, the beach is very quiet and peaceful. Our favorite section is in front of the Public Health Park, a big public park with no buildings. Grab your favorite drink and enjoy killer sunsets.
We Recommend These Hotels on Long Beach:
Lanta Casuarina Beach Resort
We spent two nights at the Lanta Casuarina Beach Resort and had a blast. The hotel has a huge garden facing the sea and a big pool. The rooms are big and comfortable. Their family rooms and suites are great value for money. Since the hotel is next to the park, the beach is never crowded.
Layana Resort & Spa
The Layana Resort & Spa is one of the best luxury hotels in Koh Lanta. The gardens are as incredible as the beach in front. The rooms are huge and come with a seating area and a balcony with views. It’s got a library, gym, spa, and infinity pool.
Klong Khong Beach
Klong Khong Beach is a long and narrow stretch of sand south of Long Beach. The beach is gorgeous and rocky. Therefore, it is not the best beach to stay in Koh Lanta if you like to swim in the sea. That said, you won’t have any trouble enjoying the water.
North of Kong Khong, before Long Beach, you will find three small beaches. These are sandy bays where you can stop for a drink and chill. Again, lovely places but not the best to swim. The Sunset Rock Viewpoint offers memorable views of the sea and Klong Khong Beach to the south.
What makes Klong Khong special is its atmosphere. The beach is very relaxed. There are several bars on the beach playing cool music. The hip and young come from all over Koh Lanta in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset. Besides, it offers the most inexpensive accommodation in Koh Lanta.
We Recommend These Hotels on Klong Khong Beach:
Coco Lanta Eco Resort
Our favorite hotel in Klong Kong is the Coco Lanta Eco Resort. The hotel is directly on the beach and has traditional hammocks facing the sea. We spent hours swinging and having mango shakes. The bungalows are simple, clean, and comfortable. We loved the restaurant and the pool.
El Pillax Lanta Resort
You won’t get better bungalows than at the El Pillax. The big and comfy bungalows are set in a manicured garden facing the sea. The ones with sea views are great value for money. Pamper yourself and book the one with its own private pool. Fantastic onsite restaurant!
Klong Nin Beach
Klong Nin Beach is further south. It used to be under the radar, but now it’s full of bars and restaurants. This is the best area to stay in Koh Lanta if you like to party, listen to music, or just chill at a bar enjoying the sunset.
Don’t get us wrong. Since the beach is long, you can also find quiet spots. In fact, families love Klong Nin Beach. However, it can be hard to swim. There are rocks in the sea, close to the coast. If the tide is high, you won’t have trouble, but be careful.
What makes Klong Nin special is the gardens next to the beach. We are talking about massive bamboo forests just meters from the sea. Besides, there’s a small center with a couple of shops, schools, and a Muay Thai bar. Though there are tourists, you will find locals here too.
We Recommend These Hotels on Klong Nin Beach:
Nirvana Beach Resort
The Nirvana Beach Resort is one of the best resorts on Koh Lanta. The property is on the beach and up a small hill. Therefore, it offers glorious views over the sea. Book a deluxe room with a Jacuzzi and you won’t want to leave. Everything is fancy and elegant at the Nirvana.
Rawi Warin Resort
We spent a couple of nights at the Rawi Warin Resort and loved it. The hotel is on a small hill overlooking the beach. It has 4 incredible pools, 2 restaurants, 1 bar, a gym, billiards, bikes, ponds, ping-pong, and a spa. If you have kids, stay here. They’ll love the kids club and programs.
As you will notice, there aren’t proper beaches south of Klong Nin. The forest goes almost all the way to the sand so you are left with a tiny stretch. Besides, there are lots of stones in the sea. Thus, you have to go further south, to Kantiang Bay.
This bay is the best area to stay in Koh Lanta if you like secluded sandy beaches. You won’t find many bars, sellers, music, or crowds here. It’s basically you, soft sand, green forests, and blue waters. Since it’s a bay, the water is calm, perfect for children.
You can swim in Kantiang Bay but be cautious when entering the water. There are big stones. From Kantiang, walk to Nui Bay, a beach with one bar and fewer stones. Then there’s Klong Chack, very secluded and empty. Finally, magical Bamboo Beach is next. It’s a picture-perfect beach next to the National Park.
We Recommend These Hotels in Kantiang Bay:
Pimalai Resort and Spa
The Pimalai Resort and Spa is one of the best 5-star hotels in Koh Lanta. The hotel has one of the biggest and nicest gardens in the country. Since it’s on a slope, the views are epic. The rooms are huge and elegantly appointed. The service is in a class of its own!
The Houben is the best adults-only hotel in Koh Lanta. We loved it! The hotel is on the rocks facing the sea. You won’t believe the views! Book the room with a private Jacuzzi for added pleasure. The hotel can help you arrange anything, just ask. They even provide complimentary bicycles to explore the area.
In the Middle of the Island
As you can probably tell, we are obsessed with beaches. That’s why we love Krabi province, home to the best beaches in Thailand. However, Koh Lanta offers much more than its fabulous beaches. The island has incredible forests. Since not many people live on the island, most of it is forests.
Most people live on the coast, where the hotels and bars that cater to foreigners are. Then you have a couple of tiny towns in the middle of the island. The terrain is mostly flat next to the sea. As you enter the island, you go up lovely hills covered in nature.
Don’t forget to check Koh Lanta Old Town, on the eastern shore. The tiny little town is authentic. No franchises nor western same same here. You’ve got a market, a pier, traditional restaurants, bars, shops, and welcoming people. Visit the local Lanta Buddhist Temple and walk to the Chinese shrine on the coast.
We Recommend These Hotels in the Interior:
Phurin Thara Resort
If you are looking for comfortable rooms, forest views, and fantastic hosts, stay at the Phurin Thara Resort. If you like to experience the real Koh Lanta this is where to stay. The property is in the middle of nowhere, and that’s why we love it! That said, you can go to the beach in no time.
I Talay Lanta
The best hotel in Koh Lanta Old Town is the I Talay. It’s a collection of houses on stilts overlooking the sea. Actually, it’s on the sea! You wake up and go to bed on the water! The owners are professional and warm. You won’t get a more traditional experience than here.
How Long to Stay in Koh Lanta
The obvious answer is as many as you can! We just spent 15 days in Koh Lanta and it was not enough! The island is gorgeous and offers so many beaches that you won’t have a dull moment. However, we all have time constraints and a huge world to discover.
Thus, you are probably wondering how many days are needed in Koh Lanta to cover the basics. We believe you should at least spend five days on the island. You can either find your favorite beach and stay there doing nothing, or set base and explore the rest of the island.
Since we are hotel queens, we decided to move every three days or so. We wanted to try the best ones. In addition, we really like to swim and bathe in the sea safely. That’s why we pay so much attention to the rocks in the water. We’ve seen many legs with cuts and bruises!
The best way of moving around Koh Lanta is with a tuk-tuk. Of course, if you rent a motorbike and like driving, you’ll be in heaven in Koh Lanta. As mentioned, the island is not that crowded so the roads are mostly clear.
Since we don’t drive, we take tuk-tuks. We love them! Thai drivers are very professional. They drive better than most tourists, know their way, and are fun to talk to. All you have to do is arrange a price and enjoy. We usually hire tuk-tuks for hours or half days.
You can walk from beach to beach. However, take note that it can be mega hot in Thailand. Wear a hat, proper shoes, and grab a recycled bottle of water. You can also use a bicycle. Some of the hotels we’ve mentioned have complimentary ones. Be careful when driving, especially at night.