Explore the treetops
The curiously named Aana Resort features villas set high among treetops along with two swimming pools and boats always waiting to cruise guests down to the beach via a picturesque waterway. This is one of our top two or three picks in Ko Chang’s midrange to upscale bracket.
White walls, high thatch roofs and bamboo accents lay the design foundations in the resort’s tropical-minimalist style. Soft beds with high-quality linens are placed on wooden frames and draped in mosquito nets with soft lamps, silk pillows and tall windows rounding out the airy interiors. Built high atop hills, some rooms bag you a striking vista of the treetops, rooftops and mountains in the background.
Most rooms come in the form of circular concrete villas and we like how these were built at different height levels, creating more privacy and a pleasant look to the grounds. While the least expensive rooms in a three-floor block at the back of the property are acceptable, we felt the villas were well worth the extra cash. Great for honeymooners, the best of these come with plunge pools, a higher degree of privacy and the finest views.
All rooms come with large private terraces and expected amenities like bathrobes, TVs, WiFi, desks, minibars and safes, with tubs and handmade metal basin sinks in the bathrooms. Though higher-elevation rooms are terrific, the few villas with decks set close to the calming estuary are also worth considering. Rates fluctuate often throughout the year; in low season you can score killer prices on rooms that offer good value even at the rack rates.
The main reason rates are lower than many competitors is that Aana’s location comes with no sea views or direct beach access. To hit the shallow water and white sand of nearby Haad Khlong Prao, guests can catch either of two boats: a white pontoon and a Venetian-looking sampan. It’s not possible to walk from the resort to the beach, but the boats are free and readily available throughout the day. A fitness centre and two swimming pools, including an infinity pool with a smashing view, help to make up for the lack of beachfront.
Of course, beside the estuary is no shabby place to hang out either. The resort took full advantage of it by way of Cinnamon, a restaurant serving Thai and international food to riverside decks that include normal tables and cushioned booths by the water. This area stays quiet and relaxing except when weddings take place, which happens fairly frequently at Aana.
Staffers have been exceedingly helpful on our visits over the years, and the resort is notably popular with moneyed Thais from Bangkok.
Address: Central Khlong Prao (north bank of the river), Ko Chang
T: (039) 551 138 ; (082) 716 0302; F: (039) 551 599
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º17'38.92" E, 12º3'22.57" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Deluxe double room||1,620 baht||3,360 baht|
|Deluxe Suite||2,160 baht||4,200 baht|
|Private pool villa|
Up to 4,000/5,670 baht for top-end villa.
|3,300 baht||4,725 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Chang