Like many formerly cheap bungalow joints on Lipe, the secluded Sanom Beach has taken things up a notch by installing modern flush toilets, high-quality queen beds with mosquito nets and pricier toiletries in its otherwise simple rooms.
Given the enviable location on a small, secluded beach with good snorkelling just offshore and sweeping views back to Pattaya Beach from many of the hillside bungalows, we feel that Sanom hasn't quite overstepped its bounds by upping the prices. Each of the free-standing, tin-roofed rooms are a little different from the next, but they're all composed of wood and concrete on stilts that place the attached balconies with hammocks high above the ground. We'd opt for a cheaper bungalow in "the small bay," the resort's name for a rocky and tree-lined hill between Pattaya Beach and Sanom Beach itself. The Urak Lawoi-owned establishment employs some Spanish helpers, and together they offer laid-back and personable service. To get here, it's necessary to traverse a wooden walkway built over an outcrop of rocks that begins at Pattaya Beach's far western end. It looks rickety but seemed sturdy enough, though you'll definitely want a torch after dark. Sanom Beach closes for much of the rainy season.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 500 baht, high season 1,600 baht. Notes: Add 300/400 baht for the main bay
T: (087) 630 7497
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B