Koh Lanta Charisma
Located in the Andaman Sea within Krabi province, Koh Lanta is revered by many as one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands including CN Traveler magazine. In November 2017, I travelled to Asia with the lovely Sarah Brown otherwise known as ‘Brizz’ to experience Koh Lanta’s reputation first-hand. Anyone planning a weeklong trip to Thailand knows it’s virtually impossible and somewhat overwhelming to make destination decisions in a country whose acclaimed beauty spreads out over almost 200,000 square miles. We chose Koh Lanta after hours of research which confirmed we could find serenity, fewer crowds, clear water and limited party nightlife without sacrificing luxury.
The accommodation options on Koh Lanta flank the island’s west coast and range from cheap hostels to luxury hotels, most with beach access and stunning views. There are also quaint options in “old town” Koh Lanta on the east side of the island. However, if you are looking to treat yourself with a five-star experience including best-in-class dining, spa and hospitality, Pimalai Resort and Spa is going to pop to the top of your google search. The ratings online were undeniably better than all the other hotels we were considering.
Pimalai Resort and Spa
Voted one of the world’s best small luxury hotels, Pimalai Resort and Spa (Pimalai) encourages guests to reawaken their love for nature and find complete solitude in the surrounding mountains. Honeymooners, friends and families can all find serenity from the hustle of life and enjoy the natural comforts developed within the property. Resort facilities include a renowned tranquil spa, casual and fine dining restaurants as well as a very knowledgeable concierge to cater to your land and sea adventure requests. I loved the architecture of Pimalai; every facility had an open-air component and natural furnishings with both modern and traditional Thai deco. There are also plenty of activities to do on-resort including Thai cooking classes, yoga, Muay Thai lessons and even a private romantic beach dinner.
How To Get To Pimalai
Pimalai was one of the few resorts we found that offered private complimentary transportation from the Krabi airport. We were escorted from the airport in a private luxury van that drove us to our own Pimalai private dock and speedboat. From the dock, the boat ride took roughly 40 minutes to the sands of Pimalai Resort and Spa.
The Joyful Welcome
From the moment we stepped off the boat at Pimalai, we were greeted with an intoxicating level of hospitality. A lovely host welcomed us with sweet smelling floral leis. We were driven to the lobby from the beach and there we enjoyed a complimentary lemongrass concoction as we went through the check-in process. We were then escorted by golf cart to our room and started unpacking our bags, inspected the bathroom (which was huge) as well as opened up our double-doors to our private patio.
The Infinity Pools!
I finally experienced my first infinity pool in the most glorious setting. There are not one, but two infinity pools on property. We of course, frequented both. The lower pool located above RAK Talay beach bar was closer to our room but the larger of the two infinity pools was located at higher elevation therefore presented astounding views of the bay during sunset. This infinity pool is located under the Seven Seas restaurant and offers coconut drinks, full bar service and plenty of epic photo opportunities.
The Luxury Rooms
We had a standard deluxe room complete with air-conditioning and one king bed. The room had a huge bathroom (separate bath tub and walk in shower), bathrobes, closet, beach towels and our very own private veranda overlooking lush gardens. The rooms are tastefully decorated with burnt orange and lime green furnishings. Upgraded rooms with kitchens and full-size villas are also available.
The Relaxation Spa
Winner of the World Luxury Spa Award and included into Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Spa Collection, Pimalai Spa offers combination of traditional and contemporary techniques that will rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.
Brizz took advantage of a four-hour spa package including a signature facial, massage and body wrap. She also experienced the private steam bath with Thai herbs. I decided to only book a re-balancing facial to help hydrate my skin after flying. I think she made the better decision…
The Healthy Gastronomy
We enjoyed an incredible spread of hot and cold buffet breakfast options each morning at Spice and Rice open-air restaurant. Selections ranged from dumplings to fresh fruit, on-demand omelets, steamed buns, meats, cheeses, pastas…and more. We also had dinner one evening at Spice and Rice where I enjoyed one of the best coconut curries while in Thailand. I think my favorite meal however was at Seven Seas for lunch before I laid by the infinity pool. I had a vegan cucumber gazpacho and avocado toast. We also enjoyed delicious smoothies and seafood at RAK Talay beach bar and restaurant when we first arrived. The smoothies were incredibly fresh as were all of the menu options throughout the property.
The Locale and Nearby Experiences
If you are in the mood for some evening festivities, you don’t have to look far. Just a short beach walk away, you will find Why Not Bar where you sit on bamboo floors with pillows and can enjoy a nightly fire show and live music. Nearby you can find additional quaint bars and restaurants and a little town full of tour operators and scooter rentals. There are plenty of nearby beaches to explore off property as well. In just one day, I went to Nui Bay Beach, hiked to Khlong Chak Waterfall and visited the lighthouse of Mu Ko Lanta National Park. If you have time to include another offsite dinner, I would highly recommend Same, Same But Different which is also just a short beach walk south of Pimalai.
Till next time, Pimalai
This was my first trip to Thailand and we only had 9 days to explore which was split up between three locations. On my next visit I will dedicate more time on Koh Lanta with a longer stay at Pimalai to enjoy more spa treatments, healthy eating and lounging in front of the most fabulous views found on the island.
Visit the Pimalai Resort and Spa website for more information.
Is this hotel now on your bucket list? It ought to be.
This is a handsome life.