2006 Top guesthouses on Ko Phi Phi

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First published 11th September, 2006

We have a more recent version of this story, updated in September 2011: The best places to stay on Ko Phi Phi in 2011/12.

Top of the list is Tropical Garden Bungalows. It's way up a hill at the end of the viewpoint road, but if you call in advance, they'll meet you at the pier and cart your stuff up for you. The bungalows here are beautifully made from natural woods, and provide a great atmosphere in a lush natural setting. The cherry on the cake is the pool at the top of the hill with a swim up bar. The staff here get high marks, too. You'll pay more than you would at the cheapie places down at the bottom of the hill, but it's definitely worth the price.

There is one place at the base of the hill, though, that stands out from the pack. Garden Home has unique, creatively-designed rooms in a small courtyard at the end of the viewpoint road. If you can live without a pool, they offer an excellent alternative. The restaurant they run down the road also gets raves from regular customers.

What is the best hotel on Ko Phi Phi: Maphrao resort, Ao To Koh, Relax Beach Resort

Another great bungalow outfit nearby is Chunut House -- along the road from Ao Lo Dalam to Ton Sai Beach. It's on another hill, amid more lush greenery, some of which you'll find growing inside your room (on purpose, of course!) The bungalows here are even better than the ones at Tropical Garden, with day beds, good balconies and really fun jungle toilets.

Most of the place in Ton Sai village offer poor value for money, but the best of the slim pickings is probably Kinaree House -- tucked at the end of an alley. The staff here are great, and the rooms, though small, have a lot of amenities and a certain cozy charm.

The rest of the good stuff is further up the coast and you'll have to hike a ways or take a longtail to find what you're looking for.

What is the best hotel on Ko Phi Phi: Slumming it at Tropical Garden Bungalows

Maphrao Resort, just over the hill on the far side of Long Beach, is a well-kept secret with an eclectic selection of creatively designed bungalows. Run by a Belgian expat, the picturesque beachside restaurant serves Gallic and Thai cuisine. Despite what you may hear elsewhere, it's open year-round.

Ao To Koh is a long-time favorite among those in the know, and it gets oodles of positive feedback from Travelfish users. It's on a very pretty private bay with really excellent snorkelling. The bungalows up on the hill are a bit boring, but the ones along the water are definitely something to write home about. They have a good restaurant on site, and a bar, La Buena Suerte, overlooking the water.

What is the best hotel on Ko Phi Phi: Zeavola creature comforts

A new place has opened up further along the coast offering a slightly more upscale version of the same experience -- the Relax Beach Resort on Pak Nam beach. The bungalows here are new and quite sturdy, with lovely interiors in a nice setting. The restaurant overlooks their private beach and is well-designed for just lounging about.

Finally, there are a few very high-end places that would make it worth your while to travel to Phi Phi Island from anywhere in the world -- on your private yacht, of course.

The Phi Phi Island Village is the only place to stay on Ao Bakao, and it's a gorgeous luxury resort that delivers on what it promises. Even the standard rooms are sumptuous, with exquisite decor and unerring attention to detail. The free form infinity pool is the largest and most beautiful on the island -- it features a huge built-in jacuzzi and a swim up bar.

On Laem Thong beach, at the northern tip of Phi Phi Island, you'll find the Zeavola. The open-plan bungalows here are exceptionally luxurious, while remaining well-integrated with the natural environment. The prices are stratospheric, but it's a perfect setting for couples or small families with lots of disposable income.

What is the best hotel on Ko Phi Phi: Kids playing on Long Beach

On the same beach is a more reasonable mid-range place that is a great spot for a family vacation: The Holiday Inn. Yeah, that's right, the Holiday Inn. Its got a big pool and very decent hotel-style bungalows that come equipped with extra beds. There's an excellent beach for the kids, and there are several other resorts nearby, offering a range of dinning options in the evenings. The staff here are so relaxed and friendly, you'll completely forget you're being billeted by a multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation. The prices are reasonable for what you get, and all the water-sports and activities on offer are available free to guests.

Can't see what you're looking for? Click here for a full list of the guesthouses, resorts and hotels on Ko Phi Phi.

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

Read 1 comment(s)

  • I really appreciate the northern part of Phi Phi much better than Ton Sai bay. If you want tranquillity that’s where you should go; if you want to be a part of the touristy actions Ton Sai bay has everything you need. Accommodation wise: you don’t really have a choice. Find a cheap one if all you need is a place to sleep; pay a bit more and enjoy some of the facilities if you are travelling with families, etc.

    Posted by Richard Dillon on 1st December, 2010

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