A long-running favourite
Lipe Beach Resort was one of the first old-school bungalow spots to shift upmarket by replacing its old bamboo huts with smart wooden bungalows overlooking a phenomenal stretch of northern Sunrise Beach.
Rooms were built at different times and it would be worth having a poke around if virtually all of them didn’t fill up in high season -- reservations are a good idea. Nearly all are now made of wood with thatch roofs and hammocks and/or daybeds on the porches. More than 40 freestanding bungalows squeeze into a relatively small and leafy property, and all but the front-row editions face the rear of other bungalows that almost fully obstruct the sea views.
A dark-wood fan bungalow that we peeped was simple but spacious, with brushed concrete floors, several windows, four-poster bed with mosquito net, fan and modern cold-water bathroom. An extra 800 baht steps you up to a newer and larger fan bungalow with hot-water rain shower and safe. While these rooms are smart, we were a little sad to see that backpackers are no longer catered for at what was once a go-to budget spot.
Large and well-equipped air-con bungalows replaced the old bamboo huts in 2015 at the back of the property, and there’s also a two-floor beachfront bungalow that’s similar to the rooms over at Castaway. Standing directly over the sand with sea view porches, top-end villas come with wide windows, air-con, fridges and king-size beds; these are as cushy as many non-sea-view rooms at lux resorts that go for more cash.
Fronted by a big bamboo heart for those beach selfies, the resort still has a chilled-out “hipster-on-holiday” vibe at the open-air beach bar, massage sala, book exchange and restaurant. It’s enchanting here when dim lanterns and fairy lights get switched on at night. The beachfront is gorgeous and a large trash barge anchors just far enough away to avoid ruining the scenery, though you might pass it on the 10-minute walk to Walking Street.
Address: Northern Sunrise Beach, Ko Lipe
T: (099) 265 0808;
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º18'32.19" E, 6º29'34.94" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom|
Plus 200 baht for beachfront. Deluxe fan: 1750/3050 baht. Plus 300 baht for beachfront.
|1,350 baht||2,250 baht|
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom|
Plus 800 baht for two-floor air-con bungalow. Beachfront bungalow: 3,990/6,590 baht.
|2,240 baht||4,790 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.
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