Top pick for families
Stretching along a quiet shore composed of sand, rocks and grass, Ao Kao White Sand Beach Resort is our top midrange choice on Ko Mak for families and a fine choice for couples as well.
Since our previous visit this fairly large resort (at least by Ko Mak standards) had replaced the last of its wooden bungalows with smart polished-concrete villas built in a contemporary style. Priced by proximity to the beach, they all come with 40 square metres of interior space to go with lounge chairs and tables on rooftop terraces sheltered by thatch awnings. Lots of well-kept greenery adds a layer of privacy, and railings make the terraces safe for small children.
The cheapest rooms are set back in two rows on either side of a lawn and footpath, while seafront editions fetch an extra 1,000 baht or so. They’re all thoroughly cleaned daily and equipped with quality linens and blankets on soft beds along with hardwood floors and flashes of traditional Thai art and silks in olive green and ocher. Nearly floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides keep interiors bright.
Families can use the sofa beds found in all rooms for 350 baht while adding another single bed for 550 baht, extra-bed rates that are significantly cheaper than most resorts on Mak. All rooms also have WiFi, desk, TV, fridge, kettle, safe, air-con, a couple of cushioned chairs and large bathrooms with rain showerheads and sun windows, with basin sinks set in a separate nook.
The resort offers a long list of activities including yoga, massage, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, foosball, trampoline and kayaking. There’s also a small swimming pool, library and toy room where you can grab a soccer ball, skateboard or sandcastle construction tools. Kids will find plenty of room to run off steam, though couples can easily find quiet corners as well.
The resort has a long seafront that starts with a lawn and rocky shore to the west and opens to a small but pretty beach with sand that has a lighter shade than most of Ao Kao. It’s basically a private beach—the rocky outcrops on either side, and a position towards Ao Kao’s far eastern corner means that few random passersby come strolling through here.
At the centre sits a large sea-view restaurant pavilion serving the included buffet breakfast along with wines, cocktails and a kids’ menu. On multiple visits the manager and staff have been exceptionally helpful and welcoming to us, and the owners hail from one of Ko Mak’s original islander families. They also run the stylish Coco Bar and Koh Mak Pizza, both found among a few other eateries on the main road within a half-kilometre walk from the resort.
Though we prefer Ao Kao White Sand for the activities and rooms with a bit more elegance, neighbouring Palm Beach Resort is another solid option with its own pool and concrete villas sporting similar rooftop terraces. Couples looking to save cash while maintaining the comforts might also check out Lazy Day The Resort, a smaller spot with clean concrete duplex rooms set around a secluded seafront to the east of Ao Kao White Sand.
Address: Eastern Ao Kao, Ko Mak
T: (083) 152 6564;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º28'30.08" E, 11º48'25.35" 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.
Add 1,000 baht for seafront
|2,490 baht||3,990 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.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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