With precious few options for backpackers, Ko Ngai's resorts cater mainly to an upscale crowd. Many visitors settle into their resort of choice and stray only to the beach or offshore reefs for a bit of snorkelling.
The Coco Cottage is arguably Ko Ngai's most stylish place to stay. The priciest standalone dark-wood villas are perched over a small canal just back from a seawall with steps leading down to the beach and a nearby coral reef. From there, a cluster of similar rooms blend into a sandy area filled with palms and flowers. They've pulled off a natural theme by preserving many trees and creating rooms... Read our full review of Coco Cottage Koh Ngai.
As the southernmost resort on Ko Ngai, Thanya occupies a coveted expanse of sand at a quiet corner of the beach that's still within an easy walk of other resorts. Apart from a trickle of hikers crossing the headland trail to Paradise Beach, you won't see anyone here except for the professional staff and other guests. Inspired by a mix of Thai, Balinese and Japanese influences, the detached... Read our full review of Thanya Beach Resort.
The Thapwarin is another stylish mid- to upper-range resort that struck us as a better choice for older travellers than neighbouring Coco Cottage. Thatched villas have classy wooden interiors with big, sumptuous beds and large decks. Rooms are decorated to a very high standard, with exotic touches like glass lanterns, extra-tall four-poster wooden bedframes and classical Thai paintings on the... Read our full review of Thapwarin Resort.
By far the largest resort on the island, the gaudy but comfortable Koh Hai Fantasy fronts a major chunk of prime beachfront and sprawls far up the hillside behind. A total of eight different room types are available in two zones: Caribbean, which covers the main area near the beach, and Bali, including a newer set of Balinese-style villas spread over the hill in back. All of the rooms are made of... Read our full review of Koh Hai Fantasy Resort & Spa.
As the name suggests, this laid-back spot in the centre of the beach presents itself as more of a restaurant, but it also offers more functional bungalows than neighbouring Koh Hai Villa. Fronting a lawn with plentiful flower bushes and direct sea views, the spacious wood, bamboo and-concrete bungalows are rather Spartan with their rough cement floors and stark white walls. Yet the ones we... Read our full review of Koh Hai Sea Food.
Wedged between the Mayalay and Fantasy mid- to up-range resorts, Koh Hai Camping is the black sheep of this island. Large green tents are set up overlooking the sea and outfitted with a couple of firm single mattresses on the floor, a lamp and moveable fan -- so yes, they do have electricity at night. The grimy shared bathrooms are hidden towards the back of the grounds and seem more like... Read our full review of Koh Ngai Camping Resort.
Koh Hai Villa is a throwback to the days when Ko Ngai was a practically unknown island where backpackers freely roamed. Unfortunately, its bamboo and wood bungalows with green tin roofs haven't seen an upgrade since then, and today they look like they're on the verge of falling over. If you stay here, be prepared for a tiny, dusty room with cheap plastic matting over the floors, uncomfortable... Read our full review of Koh Hai Villa.