The Best Resorts in Phi Phi Islands


Phi Phi Islands – Thailand

Approximately 90 minutes by boat from famous Phuket Island lays one of Thailand’s biggest treasures, the iconic Phi Phi Islands. There are six islands in the archipelago, 5 of which are uninhabited and forms part of a protected national marine park. Their nature is therefore untouched and pristine, both above and beyond the surface of the Andaman Ocean. It is only Phi Phi Don, the biggest of the six which is a tropical holiday paradise offering hotels and resorts amid jaw dropping scenery.

I got my first glimpse of this profoundly beautiful location standing on the bow of the boat which transported us there when the island suddenly started appearing on the horizon. First it just looked like a big rock jutting from the middle of the ocean, but the closer we got the more striking it became.

During my stay I found Phi Phi to exactly match my expectation of tropical island escape. There are no airplanes flying overhead, no cars and no scooters. If you need to get somewhere you walk or get a local to transport you in a long tail boat.

I also learned that with the island being only 8 kilometers long and 3,5 km wide (giving meaning to the word Island), the number of good resorts with high standards, services and facilities are limited. In fact, all the 3, 4 and 5 star resorts combined total only 12 and only one of them is 5 stars. At the same time you need to choose the location of your resort carefully, because though the island is small, location is everything and could make a significant difference in your overall experience. The following are in my opinion the best locations and resorts in Phi Phi and the information will hopefully assist when you plan a trip to this Andaman Ocean gem.

Tonsai Bay

I stayed in Tonsai Bay which is also the island’s main entry point and commercial hub featuring countless vendors selling all kinds of paraphernalia, tattoo shops, restaurants, bars and is naturally also the centre of the nightlife scene. The downside to Tonsai for me was that I found the beach not as great as most other beaches on the island and it was too busy and touristy for my taste. Most hotels and lodges in the area, though comfortable and clean, are the cheaper basic type, hence the reason for the high number of younger travelers. However, if you prefer the convenience of having everything at your doorstep and a lively atmosphere, the best place to stay Tonsai is the Bay View resort. It is well priced, well sheltered from noise, it has high accommodation standards of offers great views of the bay.

Don Dalam Bay

Some beaches around the island can only be reached by a few minutes long tail boat ride along its coast. You may therefore in some instances have to weigh your need for convenient access to the bustling activity of Tonsai Village against your need for a more exclusive and more idyllic location. Don Dalam Bay is the one area that will satisfy both requirements. It is located directly on the opposite side of the island from Tonsai Village, but with the island being only 3,5 kilometers at its widest point, walking right across is no sweat. The beach has a relaxed atmosphere and the water in the small protected bay is calm and great for swimming while all the attractions of Tonsai are a stone’s throw away. On this beach Phi Phi Island Cabana Resort is king. The resort is flanked by the bay’s lush covered hills, it offers extraordinary views and its facilities are great.

Laem Tong

On a pure white beach to the north-east with sweeping views of the ocean and removed from main stream crowds is where you can book 5 star accommodation at Zeavola Resort. It is located not far from a small sea gypsy village and shares this pristine stretch of sand with very few others. If you want exclusivity, incredible exotic scenery, privacy, luxury and experience my idea of a tropical island hideaway, you will find Zeavola without rival. The resort clings to the side of a hill and is enveloped by lush tropical rain forest. Some of its villas are set right down on the beachfront and there are also villas with private pools.

Outrigger-Phi-Phi-Island-Resort-and-Spa 2

A short distance from Zeavola on the same beach is the Holiday Inn Resort facing the same incredible scenery, but at a price a regular guy like me can afford which is exactly why it is so popular. It has bungalows and studio type accommodation right on the beachfront. Apart from many other first class facilities like a beachfront pool and pampering spa it also features a Padi registered scuba centre. Phi Phi is of course renowned for the underwater scenery just off its coast, so if you want to qualify as a diver this would be the ideal opportunity.

Lo Ba Kao Bay

To the northern end of this bay on the eastern side of the island, a short distance below Holiday Inn and Zeavola, is Outrigger Phi Phi Island Village Resort spilling onto a pristine, private and idyllic beachfront. It has to be one of the ultimate locations on the island and you can choose to have a suite right on the beach or a villa on the hillside with your own private pool and superb views.

When you should go

If you want to visit this island during festive season, December and January, take my advice and book many months in advance if you want any hope of finding an available room at one of the above mentioned resorts. It is a great time to be there, but for me February and March are even better months.

December and January could cost you up to 60% more as opposed to going in January. The weather during February and March is also great and maybe even better than during December. On the money side of things, April to end October will be the friendliest on your pocket. This might be the season when you experience more rain so maybe not so great of you are an avid scuba diver, but you would probably pay half for accommodation compared to any other time of the year. In addition, resorts like Zeavola and Outrigger Island Village will have free night deals going making things even more affordable.

About the Author

This article was written by who works in the Thai travel industry. George regularly shares information about traveling in Thailand which he hopes will be useful for visitors when they start planning their holiday to this amazing country.

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