Secluded and soothing
Northwest coast, Ko Chang Noi T: (085) 254 8713, (089) 590 6008 F: Bb_hornbill@hotmail.com
Hornbill occupies its very own beach that’s easily noticeable when passing by in a boat thanks to a large Rastafarian flag fluttering above some offshore rocks.
Shaded by a massive banyan tree among other foliage, bungalows all face the beach and were built gradually over the years to suit different tastes. The cheapest huts come with firm beds raised off unfinished wood floors along with mosquito nets, concrete bathrooms with bucket-flush toilets and hammocks on sea-view porches. One of these is made of wood with an A-frame design and cushions on a little loft, while others were made of bamboo and a few are fully enclosed concrete-and-stone numbers. Newer and larger dark-wood wood bungalows are quite smart, with sliding glass doors, plus-size porches and basin sinks in polished concrete bathrooms.
Located around two kilometres north of Ao Yai’s northern end, Hornbill is a secluded spot accessed by a steep stairway unless you’re arriving by boat. The family staff are really laid-back, running a funky restaurant sporting a graffiti art mural on one side. The isolation means that all of the guests, including a handful of repeat long-stayers, get to know each other quickly. Cell service barely works up here but, surprisingly, Hornbill offers free WiFi.
Situated a bit further north up the dirt lane that backs Hornbill, Rattana Resort is another low-key spot with a much smaller beach and rustic wood bungalows built into a forested hill. Further north, Sea Eagle also has a Rasta vibe to go with bare-bones bamboo bungalows fronting a beach that’s arguably as good as Hornbill’s.
South of Hornbill, Contex is another tiny resort with concrete bungalows overlooking a smaller beach. While we liked Hornbill the best thanks to the setting and the wider range of room options, any one of these places will do the trick if you like seclusion.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 12th January, 2017.