Comfy and central
A go-to choice for families or anyone who likes their comforts, Phayam Lodge has large and cushy concrete villas to go with a built-in diving and water sports outfit on a central stretch of Ao Yai.
The grounds of this popular Swedish/Thai-run resort look rather sparse, with few trees growing between concrete rooms that are either freestanding or come two to a building. Inside they’re spotless, spacious and equipped with soft beds, ceiling fans in addition to air-con, desks, safes, fridges and huge bathrooms with hot water and two types of showerheads.
A few colourful paintings are placed on white walls that join grey tile floors and wood-and-glass windows for a minimalist style. Tables are placed on attached porches and all rooms face the sea breeze. “VIP” bungalows sleep three and a larger “beach house” comes with multiple bedrooms, making this a solid choice for families.
Electricity runs 24 hours a day and WiFi is free, though we were told it may not work beyond the airy restaurant set beside the beach. The resort rents out kayaks, surfboards and boogie-boards and hosts Phayam Divers. Rates may seem high but significant discounts are offered to guests staying four nights or more. Neighbouring Cede Resort is another higher-end option that struck us as being a little too trendy for Phayam, but it does have a small swimming pool.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 10th January, 2017.