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Review: Crown Lanta Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta (Thailand)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today: October 26, 2016: Review of Crown Lanta Resort & Spa in Koh Lanta, Thailand.

The ideal choice for a relaxing beach holiday, Koh Lanta in Thailand is a picture perfect tropical paradise. With beautiful, lush green scenery, spectacular sunsets and nine gorgeous white sandy beaches to choose from, a stay here is guaranteed to make you feel a million miles away from the daily grind. It’s great for families, with safe, calm waters, and also offers fun activities including world class diving and snorkelling. There are nature reserves to explore, as well as traditional fishing villages where you can dine where the locals do and of course chilled out beach bars.

If this peaceful, picturesque island sounds like your cup of tea, and you fancy staying somewhere really luxurious, the hotel you need to book into is the 4.5 star Crown Lanta Resort and Spa. A boutique resort set in 22 hectares of beautiful park-like land, it boasts stunning sea views, two swimming pools, a fabulous spa, a choice of restaurants and access to two different beaches. The 83 rooms and villas are spacious, stylish and contemporary in design, with a definite Thai flavour throughout, while the staff pride themselves on their traditional, gracious Thai hospitality. Ideally located to ensure peace and privacy while still just a stone’s throw from all the delights Koh Lanta has to offer, you would be hard pressed to find a better hotel on this idyllic island.

In this review:

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

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Pros & things I like
  • Deluxe Rooms are spacious and elegant, with a pared-back, Thai inspired design. Each one features a bedroom and modern ensuite bathroom complete with rain shower. Gazebo and Elegance Deluxe Rooms have their own large, private balconies kitted out with daybeds, while Pool Access Deluxe Rooms offer guests the luxury of being able to step outside their room and dive straight into the cool, refreshing waters of the lap pool at any time of day.
  • In addition to the Deluxe Rooms, there are also small villas with their own living quarters and stunning ocean and sunset views. These are ideal if you’re after a little more privacy; each one also comes with it’s very own pool.
  • If you’re celebrating a special occasion and really want to push the boat out when it comes to accommodation, I’d recommend the Grand Villa Residence. Featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas and a kitchenette, it’s your own self-contained home away from home. Outside, there’s a private swimming pool and deck, while its elevated position affords breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea, coastline and neighbouring islands, as well as spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
  • Breakfast is served with a stunning clifftop view, which makes for a particularly inspiring way to start the day. A fabulous breakfast buffet offering both Western and Asian dishes is available every morning at The Peak, overlooking the Andaman Sea and Phi-Phi Island.
  • Dinner or cocktails at the Reggae Bar is something special, with its atmospheric sea side setting and spectacular sunset views. Make sure you catch the weekly fire show and live music.
  • You can also see the fire show, as well as authentic Thai dancing, at The Cliff, Crown Lanta’s poolside restaurant. Overlooking the private beach, this lovely, relaxed eatery features a weekly seafood BBQ buffet and is open every day for both lunch and dinner.
  • The Infinity Spa is situated in a peaceful, private suite within the hotel and boasts a comprehensive menu of treatments to pamper you from head to toe. Whether you’re after a mani/pedi, facial or full body treatment, you will find it here. Treatment rooms are climate controlled and treatments are administered by the friendly team of spa professionals.
  • On that theme, you get the choice of a three day reboot package, a five day relaxation package or a seven day restoration package, should you really want to take recharging your batteries to the next level. You can either choose your own programme of treatments or consult with one of the spa consultants to build your perfect wellness package.
  • There are two swimming pools to choose from. Those who want to get some serious lengths under their belt can head to the lap pool, while if chilling out in the water is more your cup of tea, you’ll love the resort pool.
  • The free shuttle service into Saladan should be taken advantage of, as there are a wide variety of restaurants and shopping to explore in this quaint seaside village.
  • While you’re guaranteed peace and tranquillity in this part of the world, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you entertained, and the hotel will happily assist you to arrange whatever takes your fancy. With 9 stunning beaches and a National Park to explore, you can also enjoy snorkelling, sea cave and/or mangrove kayaking, fishing, elephant trekking, hiking and much more.
  • For business travellers, the hotel is well equipped to serve your every need, with a state of the art business centre set up with WiFi, wireless microphones, LCD projector and screen and a meeting room that can accommodate up to 60 people in a “U” formation or 100 in a classroom style set up.
  • The hotel also makes the most beautiful, romantic setting for weddings, and there are a variety of packages you can choose from, as well as a vast selection of extras including photography and videography, hair and makeup, lantern lighting ceremony, fireworks and traditional Thai dancing.

Cons & things to know

While it’s difficult to fault this peaceful and luxurious hotel, there are a couple of points worth mentioning in order to ensure that you really get the best from your stay there. If you’re thinking about booking, I’d recommend bearing the following in mind:

  • All the rooms at the Crown Lanta are of a high standard, but if you really want to make the most of your swimming and sunbathing time, you just can’t beat the convenience of a Pool Access Room.
  • The Reggae Bar is located about a five minute walk from the main reception area of the hotel and there are several hills to negotiate while getting around the resort, which is something to keep in mind if mobility is an issue. However, the staff are only too happy to give guests a lift in the buggy.
  • The prices are generally a little on the high side by Thai standards, but on the other hand, there are a lot of luxuries on offer here that aren’t easy to find at other resorts in the area. When it comes to ordering drinks, make sure you take advantage of the happy hour specials!

My Verdict
  • Location: 8/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Rooms: 8/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Service: 8/10
  • Overall experience: very good: 8/10

Best time to visit

Koh Lanta’s dry season runs from November to April. This is considered the high season and is when most tourists prefer to visit. The rainy season – or green season, as it’s known locally – runs from May to October. In the past, most of the tourist industry used to close down during this time, but for the last five years, this has no longer been the case. With temperatures still generally warm, those tourists who don’t mind the occasional downpour take advantage of the fact that most areas tend to be a lot quieter and many hotels, including the Crown Lanta, offer reduced rates. May is a great time to visit, as you’ll benefit from having fewer other tourists around and the weather is still good, albeit with the occasional rain shower. From June onwards, the quickening winds might be a factor to consider, especially given the hotel’s high elevation and beachside location. September and October are probably best avoided as the monsoon tends to be in full swing then and there’s quite a lot of rain to contend with.


How to get there

You can fly non-stop to Bangkok via London Heathrow with British Airways, Thai or EVA Air; flight time is around 11 hrs 30 min. From there, you will need to get a connecting flight to Krabi International Airport, which takes about 1 hr 20 min. Once in Krabi, you can either take a boat from Klong Chi Lard Pier, about 5kms outside the town, or a minibus. During the high season, the ferries have two daily departures to Koh Lanta, and you may travel year round via land (minivan).Both modes of transportation take between 1.5 and 2 hours to reach the island.


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