Well away from the buzzing bars on Koh Phi Phi and the big markets in Krabi, you’ll find the sleepy little island of Koh Lanta. If you’re dreaming of the perfect place to stay to really, really get away from it all then this is where you need to be going to. I love this little island and its calmness more than I thought I would and I think it’s somewhere everyone needs to add to their destination list. When I visited Thailand 5 years ago, I never really gave the islands much of a thought, simply dismissing them to be full of party-goers, but staying here completely blew my misconception out of the water!
I was recently lucky enough to stay at one of the top resorts on the island, the Crown Lanta Resort and Spa, and I had one hell of a tough time leaving here. Now, I know what you might be thinking, staying somewhere like this is surely not exactly budget-friendly. Well, it might well be far from the price of a hostel but you might be surprised at how affordable it is and believe me, this is the place you’ll want to splash out on.
If you look at a map of Koh Lanta, you’ll see a little piece of land jutting out away from the rest. This is where Crown Lanta is. This little peninsula on the north of the island is an oasis. It’s away from pretty much everything apart from tropical greenery and incredible turquoise waters even though it’s actually just a short 15 minutes from Saladan Pier. The resort itself stretches over the cliff hills and literally right up to the water’s edge on its own private beach.
Part of the beauty of the resort is its location right on the cliff. This means that it can be pretty steep to walk around but to avoid this problem, they have a bus service that runs all over the resort so you don’t have to try and walk it. You simply call from your room and a bus will come and pick you up and you hop off at the stop you want.
Incredible rooms at the Crown Lanta
Tom and I stayed in one of their Deluxe Sea View rooms and it is hands down the nicest place we have stayed. Believe it or not, this room is actually one of their entry level rooms but feels far far away from that!
The room was huge but at the same time comfortable and cosy. From the beautiful dark wood furniture to the plush window seat, it was just the ultimate place to relax. The room was the perfect combination of Thai decor with all the modern home comforts and facilities that travellers want. But the real slice of luxury came in the shape of our huge balcony that not only overlooked the pool, but also the ocean. Having such a beautiful outside space was such a treat and with the huge sofas out there it felt like we had our very own lounge.
Along with what practically felt like an apartment, our ensuite was just as luxurious as we expected it. The shower was huge with a waterfall head and there were complimentary toiletries to use and a lovely fresh scented candle to burn too. The bathroom also had an adjoining dressing room which I, of course, made full use of!
If you’re looking to really indulge, then you Crown Lanta has their incredible villas to choose from. Their Ocean Pool View Villas and Grand Panorama Pool Villas are insane! Each has its own private pool as well as a bathtub and allows you to really enjoy total privacy and tranquillity.
The friendliest staff
Ok, so I’m yet to stay anywhere where I haven’t felt welcomed, but the staff at the Crown Lanta really are the best. Tom and I were picked up from Saladan pier with a friendly smile from our driver who promptly took our bags which we didn’t see again until we were in our room. The staff at reception when we checked in were so lovely and no question was a problem. We were also served a delicious tea and given cold towels which were bliss after sitting on a boat for a while. Everywhere I went around the resort the staff was just so lovely and nothing was ever a problem.
The most delicious food
As you would expect with a luxury resort, everything you want is on site. Each morning we enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast at The Peak, full of both western and Asian foods, fresh fruit, eggs cooked to your choice, pancakes, waffles the list goes on. Needless to say, you have no chance of leaving there unsatisfied. The staff are also so lovely and welcoming that it’s just a great start to the day. Just to top it off, The Peak also has an amazing sea view too!
As well as The Peak, Crown Lanta also has 2 other restaurants as well as a cafe. The Cliff restaurant is located right next to the pool and offers a good selection of western and Asian dishes as well as snacks that are great for around the pool. In the evening the restaurant extends to the outside area so you can enjoy the ocean views and dine under fairy lights. I enjoyed a lunch of quesadillas there as well as an incredible seafood curry which was packed full of flavour – simply divine!
My favourite spot in Crown Lanta has to be their Reggae Bar. This bar has been created on the cliff edge, made from bamboo and is the perfect place to chill. I spent the whole evening here sitting on their floor mats, drinking cocktails and choosing from the selection of small dishes on their menu. It’s the best place to watch the sunset and you can also see the neighbouring island of Koh Phi Phi.
Plenty of extra amenities
Our room overlooked the beautiful pool, complete with plenty of loungers and an awesome built in pool bar that you can swim to. I have to admit, I have always wanted to stay somewhere that has a pool bar so I was in my element! If you love fresh coconut, be sure to try one of their cocktails made from coconut milk and served up in the coconut itself- they are divine!
As well as the pool view from our room, we could actually see the ocean where the Crown Lanta’s very own private beach sits. The beach is quite small and rocky but has plenty of sand area to sunbath on and relax. However, if you really want to relax, be sure to book in for a massage at the Infinity Spa. Tom and I enjoyed a Thai Massage and it was fantastic. I had never had a traditional Thai massage before but I felt so relaxed and it actually felt like it helped heal my aches and pains from carrying around a very full backpack.
I also took the opportunity to use their gym during my stay and burn off some of the food I’d been indulging in. The gym is well equipped, air-conditioned and also nearly killed me. That wasn’t Crown Lanta’s fault though; I had just got that lazy since leaving Australia that my body nearly crumpled at the sight of possible exercise. But, if you’re looking to keep your exercise routine going, you won’t have a problem here.
The Crown Lanta Resort and Spa is the perfect place to stay for anyone looking to really want to relax and hide away from the buzz of the busier places in Thailand. Due to it being in a blissfully secluded spot, it’s not the place to stay at if you’re looking to explore the island as the hotel is truly a destination in itself. It’s where you’ll want to go to really experience the luxurious side of Thailand and to step into the slow pace of Koh Lanta. I loved every second of my stay here and it came at the perfect time when I was just starting to burn out from doing things all the time. The Crown Lanta offers a style of accommodation for everyone and you won’t find a better place to treat yourself.
A huge thank you to the Crown Lanta Resort and Spa for hosting Tom and I. As always, all opinions and views are entirely my own.