Stylish stilted chalets
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With their fun, functional design, we nominate the stilt bungalows at Long Beach Chalet just off Long Beach as among the coolest on Ko Lanta. Throw in a swimming pool and free WiFi, and it’s also a favourite resort on a flashpacker-sized budget. The only disadvantage is the lack of direct sea views.
Set on spacious grounds filled with palm trees and butterflies, Long Beach Chalet offers two categories of bungalows, both with air-con and the same loft design. We stayed in a standard, which was just big enough for the double bed, wardrobe and table containing the TV, mini-fridge and a kettle. Thanks to the large windows and high ceilings it didn’t feel cramped, but anyone planning to share the room with children, no matter how small they might be, should upgrade to the roomier superiors beside the pool.
Both types of bungalows have private bathrooms with a hot shower, but for the superiors the bathroom is on the other side of the exterior staircase leading to the bedroom. This is slightly inconvenient when nature calls in the early hours and you have to put on your shoes, but otherwise a clever set-up as you can go from the beach to the shower without tracking any sand into your room.
Another perk of the bungalows’ loft design is the creation of a shady terrace below. Every bungalow’s “basement” has cushion seating and a hammock, making it the perfect place to while away a scorching hot afternoon with a good book (or a good nap). If you ask nicely, the staff will even serve your breakfast here.
Although Long Beach Chalet is not on the beach, you can be there in minutes. A dirt path leads from the back of the resort through a working coconut plantation and onto the sand. Along the beach are a couple of restaurants and bars, but it’s still a relatively undeveloped stretch of sand thanks to a nearby public park keeping resorts away, and you may have it all to yourself during the beautiful sunsets. During the monsoon the beach is not maintained and big waves wash litter onto the sand, making the resort’s swimming pool an appealing alternative.
The resort’s restaurant – Three Mums – is known as one of the best on Long Beach and lures guests from other Long Beach resorts over for dinner. Prices are a bit higher than average with mains from 120 to 200 baht, but we loved the massaman curry with pumpkin and the “larb” meatballs were addictive. The talented “mums” who run the kitchen also offer cooking classes.
By Tanya Procyshyn
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.