Guesthouses, hotels and resorts
Lipe's three main beaches all have a different vibe. Pattaya Beach is the busiest and has the most raucous nightlife; Sunset Beach offers the most remote feel; and Sunrise Beach, which is our favourite, falls in between. There are exceptions to these rules and it would be a mistake to write off any of the beaches off the bat. Those who don't mind an easy walk to anywhere on the island might opt for an inland option.
Plenty of choice
Ko Lipe‘s ever-increasing popularity was evidenced by roughly 100 places to stay in 2015 — up from under 50 just five years earlier and a mere five back in the 1990s. The general trend is to ... Read the full review of Where to stay on Ko Lipe?.
Back in 2013, Pattaya Beach was down and out thanks to a trash barge and loads of other boat traffic docking here. By late 2014, the barge had moved to northern Sunrise Beach, and Pattaya Beach was looking better than it has for years. Throw in Lipe's only hostel to go with a decent selection of bungalows for below 1,000 baht in high season, and it looks even better for budget travellers. If the cheap places listed here are full when you arrive, you could try your luck with the beach bars on the eastern side of the beach, some of which offer a room or two out the back for between 500 and 1,000 baht. Just keep in mind that this side of the beach turns into a live music venue on most nights until 01:00.
Classy Balinese-inspired villasPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (091) 979 4600;
Our favourite of the higher-end resorts that keep things quiet and clean towards the west end of Pattaya Beach, Mali features a handful of gorgeous dark-wood Balinese-style villas set around a lawn ... Read the full review of Mali Resort.
Mellow bungalows behind the cafePattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (086) 969 9472;
Best known for its fantastic restaurant perched over a central slice of Pattaya Beach, Cafe Lipe rents out a handful of bamboo bungalows with thatch roofs in a cool, shaded area behind the cafe. The ... Read the full review of Cafe Lipe and Resort.
Decent midrange optionPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (086) 292 8204;
While Z-Touch won't knock your socks off, it's worth keeping in mind as a comfortable option at the centre of Pattaya Beach. The standalone white concrete villas with wood and thatch trim stretch ... Read the full review of Z-Touch Lipe Island Resort.
Air-con for cheapPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (090) 324 1248;
An offshoot of the Davy Jones Locker dive operation on the quiet western end of Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe Backpackers is the first of what we suspect will be more hostels in Lipe's future. Two ... Read the full review of Koh Lipe Backpackers Hostel.
A bit cheaper than the neighboursPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (087) 392 2518;
A stone's throw west of the Walking Street entrance, Moonlight has a string of simple bamboo bungalows stretching back behind a snorkel shop (the owners also lead daily snorkelling tours by ... Read the full review of Moonlight Bungalow.
Secluded beach with great viewsPattaya Beach
T: (087) 630 7497;
Like many formerly cheap bungalow joints on Lipe, the secluded Sanom Beach has taken things up a notch by installing modern flush toilets, high-quality queen beds with mosquito nets and pricier ... Read the full review of Sanom Beach Resort.
Quirky and long-runningPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (080) 546 9464;
Blue Tribes has gradually watched the eastern side of Pattaya Beach fill in on either side, but things haven't changed much at the small resort itself. A giant buffalo skull is still hung over the ... Read the full review of Blue Tribes Garden Beach Resort.
Eco-friendly budget resortPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (084) 521 7969;
We didn't have high hopes for Green View's future a couple of years ago, but we're happy to say that it survived two nightmarish seasons of dealing with a big, smelly trash barge parked right in ... Read the full review of Greenview Resort.
Cheap and quietPattaya Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (081) 542 9866;
Just beyond a string of luxury resorts at Pattaya Beach's far western end, Daya Resort's ageing concrete and wood bungalows are some of the cheapest on Lipe. Painted in an array of bright colours ... Read the full review of Daya Resort.
East-facing Sunrise Beach has filled in over recent years and now hosts a number of mostly flashpacker to upscale resorts. You won't find a bungalow below 800 baht a night in high season, with some basic bamboo huts now fetching 1,200 or more. Mountain Resort is a massive place at the far northern end that we'd avoid due to unwelcoming staff and the owner's desire to slap as much concrete as possible on the property. Neighbouring Andaman Resort is even more dismal, which is a shame as it sits on a particularly beautiful spot. At the opposite end of the beach, two yet-to-open upmarket resorts were replacing the old budget-friendly Viewpoint Resort at time of writing. It can get windy on Sunrise Beach during high season.
Great atmosphere, questionable valueSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (080) 543 1466;
Situated on a slice of northern Sunrise Beach that's grown increasingly crowded of late, Lipe Beach Resort went sharply upmarket since our last visit. Along with many others on Lipe, the resort now ... Read the full review of Lipe Beach Resort.
Refreshing eco-friendly resortSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (081) 1707 605;
Castaway delivers some of the most stylish, comfy and eco-friendly accommodation on Lipe. Most rooms are in two-storey wooden bungalows with large decks and hammocks to go with bathrooms down below, ... Read the full review of Castaway Beach Resort .
Clean rooms, good serviceSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (089) 464 5854;
One of the better of Lipe's many newish midrange resorts, Wapi occupies a sizeable chunk of what was once Tarutao Cabana Resort. In addition to building smart new concrete villas with wide glass ... Read the full review of Wapi Resort.
Tasteful, luxurious, isolatedSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (088) 395 5158; F: (02) 129 3850
Serendipity's motto, To find something beautiful by chance, doesn't exactly make sense since this eco-friendly upscale resort's 12 wooden bungalows must be booked in advance. The reception area, ... Read the full review of Serendipity Beach Resort.4,000B to 8,000B 1 vote Toprange
A top pickSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (083) 194 4223;
Slap bang in the middle of Sunrise Beach, Gipsy Resort’s comfy rooms at reasonable rates have drawn us back time and again. The Spanish and Urak Lawoi (sea gypsy) managers do an excellent job of ... Read the full review of Gipsy Bungalows.600B to 1,500B 2 votes Flashpacker
Unusual and artisticSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (089) 164 5896;
A new addition as of 2014, Kaixo occupies a sliver of land that, like nearby Wapi Resort's space, used to be part of Tarutao Cabana. The Spanish and Thai owners have made the most of it by erecting a ... Read the full review of Kaixo Lipe Resort.
Cheapest digs on SunriseSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (095) 091 5393;
With upmarket resorts engulfing much of Lipe, it's refreshing to see Varin Village's old but sturdy bamboo bungalows still spread over a prime piece of grassy real estate that opens straight onto a ... Read the full review of Varin Village.
Moving upmarketSunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (089) 656 2767;
Run by a youthful team of Thais known for their attentive service, Zanom Sunrise hadn't changed much since our last visit, at least on the surface. The relaxing beachfront restaurant still has floor ... Read the full review of Zanom Sunrise Beach Resort.
Sunset Beach and the northern coves
Northwest-facing Sunset Beach has sadly moved past its days of being an affordable Eden for free-spirited backpackers. The old Porn Resort and its bungalows, which used to cover almost the entire hillside stretching behind the beach, was being torn down when we last visited in late 2014. An upscale resort will replace it, and midrange to luxury resorts now cover Sunset's southwestern corner. It's not all bad news though. The Fisheries Dept still rents out cheap accommodation on a hill between Sunset and an eastern cove, which has some interesting resorts of its own. Further west, a couple of tiny bungalow joints on private beaches are good options if you're looking to leave the world behind. If you don't stay here, be sure to swing by to catch the sunset.
ExceptionalSunset Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (080) 543 1466;
If only more of Lipe's upmarket resorts would be more like Sawan. Perched over a quiet corner of Sunset Beach, Sawan's five luxury villas are constructed of smooth wood with thatch and bamboo ... Read the full review of Sawan Resort.4,000B to 8,000B 1 vote Toprange
Lipe's most creative roomsThe beach just east of Sunset Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (085) 376 2555;
Another newish small resort run by younger Thais who have rebelled against the bland concrete architecture often favoured by older generations, Phuritra runs down a quiet hillside to the often ... Read the full review of Phuritra Resort.
Basic but good valueSunset Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (087) 478 7958;
Many travellers are unaware that the local Thai Fisheries Department offers simple concrete rooms in attached buildings along with concrete bungalows perched directly over the sand. The accommodation ... Read the full review of Fisheries Department.
Soak up the peace and quietThe beach just east of Sunset Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (093) 008 8840;
Not to be confused with Lipe Beach Resort on Sunrise Beach, Lipe Sunset is a straightforward option with sturdy bungalows strung over a forested hillside near Sunset Beach. Set on solid concrete ... Read the full review of Lipe Sunset Beach Resort.
Good vibes on a secluded beachBila Beach (west of Sunset Beach), Ko Lipe
T: (087) 570 3684; F: (087) 570 3684
Bila Beach is about a five-minute stroll to the west past Sunset beach, and a good 20-minute walk from Walking Street. It's no longer the most most far-flung of Lipe's resorts, but the small private ... Read the full review of Bila Beach Bungalows.600B to 1,500B 2 votes Flashpacker
Walking Street and inland
While you'd expect to score deals when heading inland, we were surprised to find that many of the hotels and resorts on and around Walking Street and further inland charge similar rates as some beach resorts, without offering a whole lot more for your baht. A handful of small options are worth considering, however, including a pair of bungalow/camping spots located just past the island's forest temple. If you're on a shoestring budget, these are probably your best bets on the island.
Top spot for artsy backpackersNext to the forest temple on the main westerly road, Ko Lipe
T: (086) 964 9008;
One of our favourite budget spots on Lipe, the Art Garden is an example of what much of the island used to look and feel like. Imaginative portraits adorn large slabs of wood at the entrance, and ... Read the full review of Lipe Art Garden Guesthouse.
Just what it sounds likeRoad to Sunset Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (080) 543 1466;
Located a quick hop up a quiet lane from Sunset Beach, Time to Chill is an intimate and artistic establishment that blends into the existing nature. Each of the five rooms are unique, but they're all ... Read the full review of Time to Chill House.
Unlike anywhere elseWalking Street, Ko Lipe
T: (086) 957 2480;
Slap bang in the middle of Walking Street, The Box is best known for its terrific Spanish tapas and stylish bar, but it also has a small collection of well-equipped rooms in a garden area out the ... Read the full review of The Box Lipe Resort.
Forest bungalows near the actionWalking Street, Ko Lipe
T: (087) 810 7257;
If you want to have an easy walk to any of the three main beaches, the Gecko is a fine choice. The small assortment of bamboo-and-wood bungalows is set amid a cluster of trees in a quiet spot just ... Read the full review of Gecko Lipe Island Resort.
Lipe's most basic accommodationMain westerly road, Ko Lipe
T: (081) 076 3701;
New as of 2014, this rag-tag reggae-inspired joint will appear like a desert oasis to backpackers on tight budgets. Spread over a gradual hill with no shade, a handful of very basic bamboo huts have ... Read the full review of Koh Lipe Camping.
Trendy air-con roomsInland road that runs behind Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (074) 750 428; F: (074) 750 429
Sitting just off the eastern end of Walking Street and a stone's throw from Sunrise Beach, Harmony isn't a bad option if you're after an inexpensive air-con room (at least by Lipe standards). The ... Read the full review of Harmony Bed and Bakery.
Simple rooms in the forestThe road to Sunset Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (089) 736 4871;
One of the first resorts to appear amid Lipe's inland terrain, Jack's Jungle has been around since the days when most of the island was actually still covered in jungle. The fact that it's preserved ... Read the full review of Jack's Jungle.
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