Koh Chang is one of Thailand’s prime up-and-coming vacation destinations. Its dreamy white sand beaches and luminous water rival that of southern islands like Phuket and Koh Samui – but this eastern island is still much less crowded (although the secret is getting out, and tourism’s steadily picking up).
By Wanida Tardivel & Luxury Society Asia Team
It’s still no matter, as there’s plenty of secluded area on Koh Chang’s beaches to go around. The lush jungle landscape is known for giving guests an unbridled sense of freedom, while still enjoying the comfort of luxurious hotel amenities.
Koh Chang’s resorts are beautiful, boutique, and what may surprise visitors is what a high standard of quality and service they’ll receive for a price that’s quite low by Western standards. We’ve rounded up the crème de la crème of Koh Chang’s accommodation:
Gajapuri Resort & Spa
Gajapuri is one of Koh Chang’s most highly rated resorts for many reasons. It strikes the perfect balance between luxury and laidback, located on one the private Kai Bae Beach. Guests love to rave about the expansive pool, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. The Thai-style wooden bungalows, trimmed with modern amenities, are just the right blend of contemporary and customary. The hotel also recently overhauled the property, doubling in size and cultivating areas where couples and families can relax separately to ensure the perfect beach holiday for all.
Panviman Koh Chang
This boutique hotel is comprised of an exclusive collection of just 50 deluxe rooms, tucked away from reality in a tropical garden. Panviman’s architecture is incredible, with bespoke Thai-style bungalows made of bamboo and wood. Inside the rooms are still opulent, yet modern: beds with high posts holding lavish mosquito nets and outdoor bathrooms intricately and artistically decorated with stones. The open-air spa faces towards the water, offering a gentle breeze as the perfect compliment to a full-body massage.
Bhumiyama Beach Resort
If you’ve come to Koh Chang to party, then look no further than Bhumiyama. Located on the island’s busiest stretch, Lonely Beach, you’ll be right in the midst of the action. There are plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance, with and Lonely Beach is a great place to meet other travelers during the daytime too. Bhumiyama’s rooms are decorated in traditional fashion, with sweet little accents like Thai silk pillows, fresh flowers and towels folded into elephants to help to make both local and international guests feel right at home.
This hotel on Klong Prao’s white sand beach is known for being romantic. It’s a popular choice in the island for hosting both traditional Thai and Western weddings. The Dewa handles every detail from the bouquet to the cake, leaving guests to relax by the 700-square-metre floating pool and celebrate. The property’s most extravagant offering (often booked for wedding parties) is its Grand Villa suite. Measuring at 120 square metres, it’s a two-bedroom bungalow with a private outdoor Jacuzzi, living room and breathtaking views of the gulf.
The Emerald Cove
Choosing a room at The Emerald Cove will likely prove difficult: guests can either opt for a view of the sea or the rolling hills and primeval forest. Once that’s out of the way though, the rest is easy. This resort provides everything for a care-free, tranquil vacation from spa treatments to private yoga, and three restaurants specializing in Thai, international and Italian food respectively. At the pool bar, happy hour’s every day from 3 to 6 p.m. With this kind of comfort, getting off the property and exploring the island could prove to be difficult!
The Chill Resort and Spa
This resort’s name says it all: a vacation that’s mellow, comfy and not the least bit pretentious. The library doubles up as a living room, with a 55” inch flatscreen, DVDs and Thai and English books for guests. The best part about The Chill is definitely it’s outdoor areas, well-manicured tropical foliage, an infinity pool and a fine dining restaurant both overlooking beach. Step onto the sand and head for a swim in crystal blue waters or kick back in a shady hammock.
AWA Resort is every bit as idyllic as its nearby sister property, The Dewa. It’s located close to Kai Bae Beach, a peaceful, two-kilometre stretch that’s known for lots of shady palm trees and fantastic diving. Take advantage of the AWA’s superb masseuses by getting a rubdown in a poolside sunbed or down by the beach. The rooms are spacious, designed in a white and cream motif that’s modern and pristine.
Kacha Resort & Spa
Kacha is a resort that’s great for family and group vacations, with a wide range of chalets and villas to suite any amount of guests. Lush greenery and garden combines with a traditional Thai wood architecture to really give this property a distinct, special character. Kacha Restaurant sits right on the edge of White Sand Beach, adding a sensory experience to every meal: the sound, fresh smell and breeze of the gently lapping water. There are two pools, and also a children’s pool with a slide that’s perfect for keeping little rugrats entertained.
KC Grande Resort & Spa
You may never want to leave KC Grande after staying in one of their luxury Jacuzzi suites. The private balcony with pool access is an easy way to start the day by sliding right out bed and into the sun. There are four bars and three restaurants, including the KC Coffee Corner a little café that’s great for squeezing in a little obligatory laptop work. At night, guests can enjoy a fire show from tables on the beach, enjoying signature cocktails and fresh seafood BBQ. Be sure to check out the rooftop swimming pool (there’s also a beachfront pool too) for a breathtaking view of the landscape.
This trendy health retreat is all about relaxation and indulgence of the mind, body and spirit. The restaurant menu is packed with locally sourced, organic fare including a wide range of detox juices made with fresh island fruits. There’s even healthy raw food dessert! The resort tries to combines its cleansing programs with outdoorsy activities, like yoga, jungle hikes and kayaking. As The SPA’s name would suggests, the herbal massages, steam baths and sauna offerings are a serious focal point.