Great atmosphere, questionable value
Sunrise 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 charges flashpacker or even midrange rates for the same basic bamboo bungalows that went for under 1,000 baht just a couple of years ago. The old beachfront bamboo bungalows have been replaced by smart wood villas with large windows, huge porches with hammocks, air-con, hot-water bathrooms with rainshowers and king-size beds on tasteful wooden frames with mosquito nets -- these are nearly equal to Anda Resort's beachfront villas for less than half the price. A string of smaller dark wood fan bungalows aren't too shabby either, but we have to question the basic thatch-roof bamboo huts in the back, with no views and bucket-flush toilets, that fetch 1,250 baht a night in high season and even more at peak times. Though the resort feels more cluttered than it used to thanks to the new additions, the same relaxed atmosphere can be expected in the open-air beach lounge and very good Elephant Bar. Expect the same "hipster on holiday" scene as before, but now without the backpackers. Service is excellent and the place is very popular, so do plan ahead if wanting to stay here in high season. Add 200 to 1,000 baht (depending on the room) to the below rates from mid-December to mid-February.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.