The majority of visitors stay at long and windswept Ao Kao, where you'll find a good smattering of budget to midrange accommodation. On the other side of the island, Ao Suan Yai has become more of an upscale area, though not exclusively. Seclusion seekers should head to tiny Ao Nid or one of the low-key small resorts in East Ko Maak.
As the second longest and arguably the prettiest beach on the island, Ao Suan Yai has a good mix of midrange to upscale accommodation, with one great budget spot holding it down north of the pier. This area is great for sunsets.
Stretching down the forested hill across the road from Thaidaho Vista, Good Time specialises in island house rental for families or groups of friends. Each house is different from the next and sizes range from a single-floor villa up to an impressive three-storey, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The spacious houses have an elegant Thai design with polished hardwood or glossy white tile floors,... Read our full review of Good Time Resort.
Cococape isn't the cheapest place to stay on Ko Maak, but it's unquestionably one of the most interesting. Accessed by raised wooden walkways, the least expensive bamboo bungalows look out to sea from front decks placed on stilts amid a cluster of mangroves. These rely on shared hot water bathrooms and are overpriced, even if the setting is memorable. The many other room types all come with... Read our full review of Koh Mak Cococape Resort .
The first resort to appear on Ko Maak was opened by an islander family who constructed a few modest bungalows way back in the mid 1980s. It has expanded steadily over the years and is now the island's largest resort. The original family still owns it, but they have gone decidedly upmarket by scrapping the last of the fan rooms, undertaking major renovations and launching the luxurious Seavana... Read our full review of Koh Mak Resort.
Suchanaree goes against the grain of Ao Suan Yai's upmarket trend, offering a handful of simple dark violet wooden bungalows with thatched roofs scattered amid tropical gardens and mini-lagoons. The rooms come with soft mattresses on woven bamboo floors, mosquito nets, fans, cold-water bathrooms with bucket-flush toilets and decent front porches. Both the bungalows and the relaxed little... Read our full review of Suchanaree @Koh Mak.
This intimate resort's quirkily innovative name tells you where the two owners are from (Thailand and the American state of Idaho). It sets the tone for what is very much a distinctive experience. Perched atop a high hill with great views of Ao Suan Yai and Ko Kham, Thaidaho has an interesting Latin theme going with its earthy yellow villas and dark red trim. Hammocks are strung around a lawn... Read our full review of Thaidaho Vista Resort.
This is by far the longest, though not the best beach on the island. The water is a tad murky and choppy compared to the more sheltered north coast. Still, some great family accommodation is found here, and the other beaches are a bicycle-ride away should you feel like venturing out.
Set on the far west side of Ao Kao in a secluded spot with an excellent beach, the Big Easy is one of our favourite midrange options on Ko Maak. The water here is shallow near the sand, making this a great spot for families with small kids, but gets deeper as you go further out. The intimate resort has six beautiful wooden villas with a romantic feel and direct sea views. Rooms are impeccably... Read our full review of Big Easy Koh Mak.
Nestled along a quiet but somewhat rocky stretch of beach at Ao Kao's eastern end, this popular resort is like a museum of past and present Thai architectural styles. The cheapest A-frame bungalows blend hardwood floors with white wooden walls, vintage furnishings, tall windows and roofs decorated with Lanna (northern Thai) woodcarvings. Made entirely of wood, larger villas boast a traditional... Read our full review of Ao Kao White Sand Resort.
Hidden beyond a rocky outcrop past the western end of Ao Kao and only accessible via a steep road at high tide, Baan Ing Kao is the original bungalow joint on tiny Laem Tookkata beach. Here you'll find a super-relaxed atmosphere, with travellers who need a break from the “real world” lounging on hammocks and enjoying the excellent snorkelling opportunities found just off the coast. Bountiful... Read our full review of Baan Ing Kao.
This small resort towards the west side of Ao Kao makes up for its not-so-catchy name with very friendly service and charming seaside cottages. The accommodation is spread around a lawn with a few hammocks strung between the coconut trees. The rooms in front have direct sea views, but the beach is no more than a few steps away from anywhere on the grounds. The smaller tin-roofed brown wood... Read our full review of Holiday Beach Resort.
A great choice for both backpackers and flashpackers, Monkey Island offers over 50 different rooms with an “urban-meets-tropical” design. The cheapest “Baboon” rooms are set towards the rear of the property, with roofs and sidewalls made entirely of thatch, contrasted by wood-walled fronts that open onto small porches with hammocks. These have fans and comfortable beds with mosquito nets,... Read our full review of Monkey Island Resort .
Another great family spot that has more character than its name suggests, Palm Beach is set on a quiet and idyllic stretch of eastern Ao Kao beach. A few coconut trees shade the powdery white sand, and the beach bar can serve drinks straight to your hammock or lounger. There's also a small but inviting jacuzzi and swimming pool where several kids were having a blast splashing each other during... Read our full review of Palm Beach Resort.
With only four beachfront villas and a couple of rooms in the back, this miniature resort enjoys a great location on a wide stretch of beach that's central to several good restaurants and the road to Ao Suan Yai. Wedged between the larger Holiday Beach and Blue Sky, many people walk right by without noticing Baan Chai Lay. The villas are unassuming concrete numbers with tinted glass windows and... Read our full review of Baan Chai Lay.
This small resort's motto is “Cool Vacations”, and indeed its smart accommodation is designed with more of a modern, youthful style than elsewhere on Ao Kao. Placed in a semi-circle around a lawn and small lagoon, the flash white villas feature glass windows that almost cover two whole walls. Each detached room is spaced relatively far from its neighbours and comes with a stone terrace with... Read our full review of Baan Koh Mak .
Wedged between the beach and a picturesque cashew orchard to the east of Ao Kao, Island Hut has a number of basic thatched wooden bungalows clustered close together. The small beachfront huts are plopped right on top of the sand, almost within arm's reach of the sea, and have funky turquoise and yellow paint jobs, cement floors and a window facing the breeze. The bungalows set further back are... Read our full review of Island Hut.
No part of Ko Maak is over-developed, but most of the east side is blanketed in rubber and fruit groves, with a few villages and isolated resorts scattered along the coast. Along with motorbike rental, each of these resorts offers free pick-up truck taxi transfers to the west side of the island and back throughout the day. WiFi is also available out this way.
As Ko Maak's most remote place to stay, Little Moon is perfect for those seeking a quiet and romantic getaway. Set back from the sea under abundant trees, the tastefully done white villas blend large porches, wall-size glass doors, polished concrete, soft lighting and hardwood furnishings with rattan, thatch and stained glass touches. Soft beds are adorned with high quality linens and olive green... Read our full review of Little Moon Villa.
Situated at the top of a hill lined with young rubber trees that enjoys northward views of Ko Kut, this intimate resort has a fitting name. All eight stilted bungalows are crafted almost entirely of bamboo, with whole polished bamboo rods encompassing both floors and walls sealed from the outside by woven bamboo. The rooms are spacious but sparsely furnished with comfortable beds draped in... Read our full review of Bamboo Hideaway Resort.
This isolated nature-oriented resort is reached by following a side road that shoots north off of the main eastward road. It's a quiet, semi-forested spot that reminded us of the campgrounds with cabins that you'll find at many Thai national parks. With plenty of hammocks and loungers, the beach is interspersed with rocky outcrops, and a quirky concrete statue of a crab guards a long wooden pier... Read our full review of Koh Mak Green View Resort.
The southeastern bay of Ao Nid is virtually devoid of sandy beaches, but is quite picturesque nonetheless and a great place to catch the sunrise. There's also a small village and a few notably good restaurants out this way.
Located at the bottom of the hill just past Ao Nid pier, this cute resort is perfect for those who need some serious down time. Seven spacious and clean bungalows are perched on stilts over a grassy hill with huge wood porches that afford fantastic sunset views. You can choose between fan and air-con, and most rooms have tile floors, soft beds, lots of screened windows and large hot water... Read our full review of Ao Pong Resort.
This quiet midrange resort is set on the breezy hill that makes up Ao Nid's northern side, offering great views over the bay and out towards Ko Kut. The crimson-roofed concrete villas are spacious and cool, with white tile floors, tasteful Thai woodcarvings placed on white walls, glass doors in addition to the large windows and front patios with deckchairs and a few potted trees. The priciest... Read our full review of Sea Breeze @Koh Mak.