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 cushions and lofts spread amid wooden platforms with high ceilings, and the wooden rooms still stretch behind reception in a mix of attached single-floor buildings and standalone bungalows. All of them still have porches with hammocks and benches, though only a few afford sea views. Inside they're rather dark and sparsely decorated but comfortable, well kept and equipped with TVs, with cold water in the fan rooms and hot in air-con editions. The air-con rooms also bag you mini-fridges to go with wall-to-wall carpeting and desks. So what has changed? Major price jumps have placed Zanom Sunrise's more basic rooms at questionable value. While this is a general trend across Lipe, it's worth mentioning that the resort's website listed the rooms we peeped at 300 baht cheaper than what we were quoted as walk-ins (they seem to have offered us the mid-December to February rate in November). This perhaps displays a greedy outlook that's causing basic rooms to go for substantially more than what they're worth -- and in some cases double what they went for a couple of years ago. Even so, Zanom Sunrise remains a decent option when taken in the context of a beach and island that have swung heavily upmarket.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.