Classic Samui hospitality
Staff at Lipa Lodge told us they were the first resort to be built on Lipa Noi and you know what, they're still arguably the best place to stay – we liked it here a lot.
Set at the end of a trail at the northern end of Lipa Noi "village", this large, absolute beachfront property boasts a lawn garden strung with lanterns and dotted with palm trees, plus a couple of right-by-the-sand salas, taking in terrific views down the full length of Lipa Noi to the south.
There's a moderately sized free-form swimming pool which abuts the restaurant on one side, with another dropping infinity style over the sand. It is a breezy and airy enclave, harking back to a time when there was no need to cram rooms in to make a buck – Lipa Lodge has been in business for more than 30 years.
Rooms come in a couple of flavours and while they are set a bit back off the beach, they still have great ocean views, with large, well shaded and furnished decks to take them in from. Rooms are white concrete fronted, with faux rattan sides and dark wood interiors, decks and edgings. They're solid feeling and very spacious inside, with tiled floors and solid walls, large beds on ornamental wooden bases with bedside lamps, decorative pillows and thoughtful art above the bedhead.
Some of the decor is dated, like the mirrored vanity in the room we were shown, but this is a very minor quibble. Rooms are air-con with TV, free WiFi and air-con throughout and the hot-water bathroom is well kept. We found the staff to be particularly helpful and obliging.
Lipa Lodge has a good sized restaurant right by the sea and the beach out front is pristine and well cared for. While you're a little further from the centre of "town", the few restaurants that make up the centre of Lipa Noi are still but a 10-minute walk from here, either along the road or the beach, and we think the distance more than pays for itself in the calm and peacefulness of this place.
Lipa Lodge is going to appeal to travellers looking for some peace and quiet and an atmosphere long gone from most of Ko Samui. We especially liked the spacious grounds, and families with younger children will most likely feel right at home here. If Lipa Lodge is out of your budget, consider nearby Lipa Bay Resort, which also has good rooms (but is very compact, or, at the other end of the beach, Think Retro Cafe. A further option would be Lipa Lovely, but we preferred here. Recommended.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 20th September, 2016.