Wow - i don't really know where to start. The first thing to say is that this hotel isn't for everyone. If you have any mobility problems, or prefer convenience to the peace and quiet of seclusion, then this probably isn't the place for you. The reason for that is down to the unique quirks of this hotel which have been well documented in other reviews.
The only way in and out of this hotel is either by boat shuttle (which is free and runs mostly hourly, but can vary heavily depending on tides and weather - and often gets booked up especially first thing in the morning) which drops you at Nopparat Thara beach and you then get a tuk tuk for 40 baht each into town. We walked it once during the day and it took about 45 mins to walk, so the tuk tuk stage can't really be avoided. The alternatives are to walk the monkey trail, or by wading round the corner at low tide - but be warned you will get wet.
The best way i can describe this hotel is like something out of Jurassic Park. The animal and plant life are both rich and diverse. The hotel is in a National Park which means that they have to do their best to incorporate guest comfort within the constraints of the regulations that govern them. This means you get the floating jetty and wooden walk ways leading from the hotel centre to the rooms set into the cliff above.
There have been many conflicting opinions expressed in other reviews about the jetty and the monkey trail. My husband absolutely loved the jetty and would often take a stroll to the end to enjoy the view and the undulating platform. There were a couple of rougher days, but the staff are perfectly well aware that not everyone will love it as much as my Husband and they're always on hand to help those who need it.
We walked the monkey trail pretty much every day for 10 days and had absolutely no incidents, however we went prepared with sensible shoes and made sure we were never in a rush. We were fortunate but i can see how a poorly placed footstep could lead to problems. We walked it at day and night, and in dry and wet weather. It is lit at night, but the sandy road that leads to Ao Nang is pitch black, so a torch would be a good idea to help you for the last bit if you plan on walking it at night. My view is that if you're careful, wear proper footwear and take your time - you'll be absolutely fine. And its not as steep and horrible as you might think. We timed it at around 7 mins, but reckon on around 20 mins from leaving your room to arriving in town because the rooms are a good 5-10 mins walk to the start of the trail which is by the security hut at the corner of the beach.
The rooms are staggered up the hill in the shadow of the cliff. This means steep winding trails, or the wooden steps which cut through. We were near the top which suited us fine, but it does mean that you've got a 5-10 mins walk to get to the lobby or pool area. There are golf carts if you don't fancy walking.
In terms of the food, we ate at Hagi and On the Rocks. Both were very good, but obviously aimed at the western tourist's palette, which to be honest wasn't really what we were after. So we preferred to head into Ao Nang instead for something a bit more authentic and of course - cheaper (if you get the shuttle to Nopparat Thara beach but don't fancy getting the tuk tuk into Ao Nang town, then try Krua Thara which was a great seafood restaurant we enjoyed. There is obviously endless choice in Ao Nang, but Nopparat shouldn't be overlooked as just somewhere to pass through on your way to Ao Nang. Other restaurant higlights in Ao Nang were Boat Noodle, Ton Sai and the street food stalls outside Macdonalds).
Breakfast in the hotel was very enjoyable. Lots of choice, everything from noodles to eggs to cereals and fruit. The fresh waffles and pancakes were my favourites.
The staff deserve special mention because without exception they were all fantastic, and really added to our enjoyment of the hotel. They anticipated all our needs and met them in true Thai style - with a quiet grace. Thank you to them for their attention.
Our room was fabulous, almost like a self contained villa. As you walk in there's a daybed and chairs, then round the corner is the balcony with two more sun loungers. Inside is a very comfy king size bed along with a well equipped sink area, walk in shower and bath. Spacious and comfortable.
We must of course mention the monkeys. They descend on the hotel every morning on the look out for anything you might have left on the balcony. And make sure you lock the door properly - i mistakenly left ours on the latch and we were soon joined by an uninvited visitor who made straight for the mini bar. You'll meet them on the monkey trail too - our experience was that if you leave them alone to go about their business then they'll do the same to you. If you start feeding them or trying to interact with them, then you'll invite trouble. They're very smart and not afraid to show you their teeth if you've got something they want. Remember, we're on their turf.
The pool area is a lovely place to spend some time relaxing. While we were visiting the hotel was quite empty so we had no problems with finding loungers. My Husband also booked a snorkeling trip to Koh Phi Phi with the dive centre. Its run by Kon Tiki who also have a shop in Ao Nang town centre. The staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful, and he very much enjoyed his day with them (a day's snorkeling was 1700 baht including all equipment, transport, lunch and drinks).
As you can probably tell, we absolutely adored our time at this hotel. The unique features you find here were what made our stay exceptional because you simply don't find it anywhere else. We found the seclusion and abundant wildlife fabulous - we couldn't have asked for any more. So thank you to David, the manager, and all the staff for giving us a holiday to remember.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
24 September 2012
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Thank you for taking the time to write your detailed comments on this forum following your recent stay at our resort.
It was a pleasure to read that you enjoyed your stay and we met your expectations in many ways. It is encouraging to know that the hard work of our team is recognized in this way.
I am also confident your comments will assist many travelers who will be able to make an informed decision when choosing our resort.
We really do appreciate your support and recognition and trust we will see you again when you are next in Krabi.
best regards, David Martens
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC