It might seem like choosing a Koh Lipe hotels would be easy. After all, it’s such a small island.
But Koh Lipe is packed with so many different resorts, guest houses and bungalows that it actually makes the decision quite difficult. Each place varies from the cheap, low quality rooms with only a fan, to the expenisve, premium quality luxury rooms with stunning sea views.
Plus, choosing the right location on the island for your stay is important. Get the right spot, and you can walk from the bungalow porch straight onto soft white sands. Choose the wrong place for your needs, and it could be a 20 minute trek through jungle to reach the walking street every night.
Anybody travelling to Koh Lipe is already paying a lot for their vacation. And we all want our holidays to be perfect for our families. That’s why I put together this guide to help people make the best decision when choosing Koh Lipe hotels.
A couple of months before my holiday there, I spent about two weeks reading reviews LOTS of Koh Lipe hotels, their facilities, the location, even how long they had been operating. I’d recommend choosing accommodation based on three factors:
- Location on the island you’d like to stay,
- Budget and price of the hotel
- Type of room, either wooden traditional Thai style or modern concrete
Pattaya beach – See more pictures Pattaya beach on the south side of the island is the biggest, most popular and in my opinion, the most beautiful on the islands. It is the widest, which means that people can walk the whole length of the beach at any time of the day or night, as the sea never covers all of the sand. Despite what a lot of reviews say online, there are also fewer boats moored on Pattaya beach than there are on Sunrise beach. There is also a dedicated swimming area on Pattaya beach where boats cannot enter.
Choosing Koh Lipe hotels on Pattaya Beach is a great choice. The sun shines here all day and the sand is soft. There is always plenty of space for sunbathing. At nighttime there are plenty of bars on the beach front open in high season, and Pattaya beach is also the closest to walking street. This is useful for walking home from bars at night after food and beers.
Pattaya beach has a lot of accommodation to choose from. Some of the nicest are Bundhaya Villas, Akira Lipe Resort, Z-Touch Lipe Resort, and Mali Resort Koh Lipe. These are also good value, with beach front rooms in the low season around 3,000thb.
My personal recommendation is Bundhaya Villas, which I stayed in for five nights during low season in early June. Pretty much everything was perfect and I think it is one of the best Koh Lipe hotels in terms of price, quality and location. Read my review of Bundhaya Villas.
Sunrise beach – see more picture Sunrise beach on the east coast and the second most popular beach on Koh Lipe. There are a lot of reviews online talking about how quiet it is, and how much more beautiful than Pattaya beach. This wasn’t true in my experience. The tide comes in every day and covers a all of the middle the section of Sunrise beach, making it impossible to walk along at certain times of the day. Secondly, even in low season there were more than a hundred longtail boats all moored along Sunrise beach. This is firstly, to keep Pattaya beach as quiet as possible, and secondly, because many of the boats are owned by local islanders who live in a village about half way down the beach. The other factor that is against Sunrise beach is that there is a daily collection of trash from the island, and the huge trawler boat stop on sunrise beach. The smell is pretty unpleasant.
The other downside of Sunrise beach is that some resorts are quite far from walking street, taking about 20 minutes to get there, without any footpaths or lights in the night time. However, for some people, this adds to the privacy, seclusion and appeal of Sunrise beach.
The positive thing for sunrise beach is that you are best placed for kayaking directly to nearby islands of Koh Usen and Koh Kra. This only takes about 20 minutes or less of gentle paddling, and Koh Kra is perfect for stopping the kayak and climbing out onto its small beach. Throw a snorkel and fins in the kayak and go snorkeling at this spot.
Plus, the northern tip of Sunrise beach is very quiet, and it has the postcard-perfect picturesque jetty of sand that stretches out into the clear blue sea. The nearest hotel to this is Mountain View Resort.
Some resorts on Sunrise beach are also more expensive. Ten Moons Resort, Serendipity Resort and Idyllic Concept Resort, all at the mos southern tip of the beach, are the most expensive – even in low season for their most basic rooms, Idyllic Concept Resort is 4,000thb a night while Serendipity is 6,000thb a night.
Castaway Resort has a great feel to it, has plenty of activities going on including yoga, free-diving and kayaking. They have big wooden bungalows,which are affordable and they’re a fairly close walk with paths and lighting to walking street.
Sunset beach – See more pictures Sunset beach is on the west side of the island. Despite the idea of relaxing in front on the ocean and watching a beautiful sunset, there isn’t actually much of a beach along here. The strip of sand is fairly narrow, and a large part of sunrise beach is steep cliffs, which makes it a long walk down to reach the sea.
Sunrise beach, is however, very secluded. Accommodation here is quiet and peaceful. Most of the accommodation is fairly cheap in comparison to other Koh Lipe hotels, and uses the traditional wooden bungalow style Thai design.
The big draw back (for me personally) is the long walk through jungle trees to walking street. As mentioned before, I like to eat a lot at night and wash it down with a few beers (who doesn’t when they’re on holiday?) before shuffling slowly back to the room. Call me lazy, but the idea of a walk up hills, buzzing with mosquitoes and in pitch black darkness just doesn’t appeal to me.
Koh Lipe Walking Stree – Read MoreStaying on walking street or other inland resorts is low budget. This option is pretty sensible if you’re a backpacker, young traveller or you want to save money as they have some cheap Koh Lipe hotels. In the low season, rooms can be found for as little as £15 a night or less. It’s basic accommodation for this price, but if you don’t mind the quality of the room, and will be spending most of the time outside, it’s ideal. After all, it’s an easy to walk to beach in the day time and night time time for a romantic stroll or to enjoy a beer listening to the sea, then return back to the room inside the island.
In the high season, guest house style rooms along walking street will be a little more expenisve, but still far less than those in beach front resorts. There will be more noise in high season, especially f the room is above a bar, so look further inside the island at places such as Jack’s Jungle, South Sea or Baan Peangpor.
I stayed for two nights at Ricci House Resort, which is not on walking street, but at the very end of it. The room was abot 2,000thb a night but it was modern, clean and had a balcony and the staff were good.
Budget is something that’s personal to everyone. Expensive for one person is cheap for another, and vice versa. We’ll break this down into low budget, medium budget, and high budget. Koh Lipe hotels are generally more expensive than Bangkok, or other resorts, simply because demand is high and supply, is fairly low – especially in the high season. For the price paid, the standard also won’t be as good as a hotel for the same price elsewhere.
Low budget Vist Koh Lipe in the low season (read our guide to the best time to visit Koh Lipe for some secrets of choosing which month to travel in). Stay in a gust house room along walking street, or deeper inside the island, or try Castaway resort, or somewhere on Sunset beach. 1,000Thb is a low budget price for cheap accommodation on Koh Lipe
Medium budget If travelling in the low season, it’s possible to get some spectacular rooms in the medium budget range around 3,000thb per night. Many resorts on the beaches are 80% – 90% empty in low season from June until December and have rooms on the sea front that would be double or triple in high season. Expect to pay a little more honeymoon suites but they shouldn’t be more than 4,000thb or 5,000th, especially on Pattaya beach.
High budget This option is for people who have more than 5,000thb a night to spend on rooms. If money is not an option, choose rooms with a sea view, located directly on the beach, that are modern and have a great restaurant. at Bundhaya Villas the honeymoon beach front rooms with a Jacuzzi is 12,400thb a night in high season.
Or for the most expenisve on the island, go to Serendipity Beach Resort on Sunrise Beach and choose a deluxe bungalow with sea view (but this is not on the beach front, it’s tucked away on a cliff) and is a traditional style wooden bungalow. This is 15,000thb a night with breakfast included and free cancellation option.
If you’d prefer a luxury modern room, and don’t mind price, Idyllic Concept Resort has great reviews, and the best rooms are on the beach front with sea views. Their I-Pano rooms are luxurious with great ocean views at 14,000thb a night in high season.
Everybody has their personal preference. There are some wonderful, high quality wooden bungalows and there are some low quality concrete rooms, and vice versa. Personally, I like concrete as I like the idea of clean, modern furnishings. This is perfect when mixed with beachfront ocean views. The issue that really sways it for me is bugs and mosquitoes. They will get everywhere when you are staying on a jungle island in the middle of the sea, but I prefer concrete rooms when it comes to keeping out as many creepy crawlies as possible.
Remember, the most expensive and desirable rooms – eg the beachfront bungalows and rooms – get booked up really quickly, especially for high season. If you desperately want to splash the cash for a perfect holiday with a partner, book in advance to ensure the best room.
Hopefully this guide has been useful for you when it comes to choosing a Koh Lipe hotels.Read all our articles and guides about Koh Lipe island