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“Secluded and quiet, but wildly overpriced compared to similar accommodation on island”

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Narima Bungalow Resort
Ranked #16 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Secluded and quiet, but wildly overpriced compared to similar accommodation on island”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2011

We stayed in a C-bungalow (furthest from sea, cheapest option). This was 3700 baht per night. Bungalow was quite large though when it rained there was a real damp feel and smell to the room and linen. Outdoor bathroom was ok, overrun with mosquitoes at night so had to go to the loo armed with insect spray. Shower is very trickly and not what I'd expect from accommodation at this price. Bed was comfortable and balcony was very nice, hammock was nice to lie in at night before bed. No matter what we did, we got bitten heavily every night. Only on the fifth night did we realise we could request a mosquito net. Narima should put these in every bungalow as standard in my opinion.

The restaurant was nice, decent food and not a bad price. Free water with every meal and always topped up. Breakfast was good as well. Lovely gnarled wooden furniture and a TV in one corner which tended to be hogged by kids watching Disney DVDs. Reception staff are reasonably helpful though their English is limited.

Narima is very remote, getting anywhere will require a taxi or a moped, though they do have mopeds to hire by the hour or day. This made it a little more expensive for us. Fine if you want seclusion, not so good if you get cabin fever.

The bar is really nice, right on the beach, a couple of hammocks and a decent cocktail, lovely. The beach is very rocky however, and walking in to the sea can be treacherous. It is secluded though and is only used by hotel guests.

We stayed over New Years Eve and Narima really let us down I feel. The only special thing was that they'd ordered in some nice fish and shellfish. There was no music, no party, nothing. I know its a family resort, but some sort of celebration would have been good.

Speaking to other people we met, its clear that Narima are still charging their old prices but not updating themselves. One acquaintance had found a beach-front bungalow with communal bathroom for 500 baht a night. We also found really nice-looking rooms in Old Town (Mango House) for 2000 baht a night. Maybe 5 years ago, Narima was THE place to stay, but with development on Lanta picking up pace, Narima either needs to drop its prices or reinvigorate itself or risk losing business to more competitively priced places. For that price as well, surely they can offer free transfers to and from Krabi airport?!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nahm4Xmas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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317 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Victoria, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2010

The bungalows are basic but comfortable and clean. They are definitely too small for our family with three small children, but that was our own doing. The B-row bungalows do not really have sea views as stated on the web page. For that you need to pay up and stay in the A row bungalows.
The staff are very attentive and friendly, and the swimming pool as fantastic.
The beach is not great for swimming (athough it can be done) but it is great for strolling and collecting shells.
Overall we had a really nice time here and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank phishy5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2010

We were four adults and two young children staying at Narima and loved it! Bungalows were a bit rustic but very clean, staff friendly and helpful. We didn't mind the rocky beach as it was easy to walk past them and go for a swim. Not the place to go if you want to party since it is on the southern and more quiet side of the island but perfect for a relaxing family holiday. If you want to get around just rent a scooter from the hotel. The owner was very helpful helping us sort out our stay in Bangkok (during the redshirt protests). In short, it was what we wanted, not too luxurious which often gets impersonal, and a very relaxed pace. I strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank evapeva76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2010

We (3 females in our mid thirties) were in thailand for nearly three weeks in April and the Narima was certainly among the greatest treats.
Having left Paris, our boyfriends and our jobs behind for a couple weeks we were looking for quiet, relaxing retreat in paradise which we found at the Narima.
We mixed up our accommodation with 5 star resorts and hotels with a tad more local flavor. The Narima was the perfect balance. Clean and private bungalows, breathtaking views of the ocean, excellent food (in fact I would argue the best on the island from curry's to banana pancakes) very friendly staff, and above all incredibly nice owners (retired professors from Bangkok). Won (pronounced One) took us on local tours, explained the country's history, vegetation, television and cinema scene, and provided all the necessary TLC for Mosquito bites and sunburn. If ever I return to Koh Lanta i wouldn't hesitate on where to stay.
Emilie & Friends

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank EmilieParis13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2010

Paradise is used far to much, but it is correct for this hotel. The personal touch from the owners makes you feel special from the moment you arrive.
Set in a rain forest but on the cliffs or beach it is just so quiet and beautiful!
Food is excellent. Everything is good value s I have said you do feel special. Don't get me wrong this is not flash and feeling expensive, it is just inkeeping with the beauty of the island, simple, clean and quiet! The staff had fun, smiled and were attentive when required, they looked to be happy in their job. That usually says a lot about the place you are staying.

We will be back!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Ballsy66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamburg
Level Contributor
62 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2010

We stayed one week in this lovely resort and even that was not nearly enough. The resort is located in the south of Ko Lanta and therefore rather quiet. The bungalows are spread out above the sea in the jungle and blend beautifully into the green. The huts are spacious and spotless each with a big veranda with hammock and chairs. Huts in the first row enjoy a great view over the ocean. Also the huts are not too close together so that there is plenty of privacy and you won't get the impression the place is crowded even if it is fully booked.

The resort has a wonderful small private beach as well as a wonderful pool and a great restaurant. Every meal we tried was great! The cream on top was the always attentive and friendly staff, especially the owners who could not be more nice and caring. We would love to come back!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sodasan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sherborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2010

Nineteen of us met up at and spent a magical week at the Narima for the wedding of my eldest son to his beautiful bride, Sophie on 17th February 2010. The wedding couple had travelled out a week beforehand to complete the necessary paperwork in Bangkok and then arrived at the Narima five days before the wedding to make all the arrangements for the big day. The other friends and family arrived in batches from the UK and en route (in our case) from Cambodia. My son and his fiancee arrived at the Narima full of ideas but with everything to do and no small feeling of panic at how much they had to achieve in the few days before wedding itself. Within days of arriving, the owners, Drs Nopawan and Yodchai and their team of wonderful staff had taken the task in hand, dispelled all their fears and calmly guided them through all the necessary arrangements. Nopawan is a delightful, very classy lady who quietly manages the running of the hotel to ensure that it is welcoming, friendly and excellent value. I heard that the owners received and turned down an offer from a four-star hotel chain to take over the Narima - they want it to remain affordable and "home from home".

The individual bungalows are arranged in three "rows" amongst the trees and vegetation and are priced from 2200 Baht to 3500 Baht per room per night, the more expensive bungalows being nearest the sea and beach. They are set well apart, feel "private" and are otherwise identical with a small partially open-to-the-air bathroom with basin, shower and WC, a generous double bed and small fridge, a central fan and air conditioning. Each has a small balcony looking towards the sea with chairs, table and hammock (excellent!). They are simply furnished and decorated, clean and provide everything you need with none of the things you don't need which would raise the price. A can of coke from the mini-bar is 60p (US$4 at another hotel in Siem Reap!). There is a central, open restaurant beside the reception area, office and dive shop, a small pool on the next level down towards the beach with an adjacent Jacuzzi and a friendly, well-equipped bar on the beach with seating areas and tables where you can eat lunch and dinner. The beach itself is rocky with sandy stretches and left that way in deference to the natural inhabitants - the sand is decorated by the trails of hermit crabs who quietly go about their business whilst you are eating dinner. Breakfast is served in the main restaurant area with choices of Continental, English and “a la carte" - each guest has an allowance of 200 baht for breakfast and if you want something outside this you pay the difference - none of our party ever needed to (and there are some hungry men amongst them!). Lunch and dinner are from the extensive menu which is in two sections - Thai and (essentially) European. We ate exclusively Thai food and it was consistently good and excellent value - dishes around 150- 200Baht and portions generous. Wine is, as always in Thailand, expensive due to the taxes but a Chilean Sauvignon was about 1000-1200 Baht a bottle and very pleasant. The chef, Chamnam originally worked at the Phi Phi Island Village Resort and is both a very good cook and a very friendly fellow. There is a dive shop where you can book PADI course or dive trips run by a separate company, Scubafish, who operate from a hotel a short distance from the Narima. This was run efficiently by friendly, enthusiastic Europeans and my younger son completed his Open Water Diver Course and loved it (despite a longstanding fear of deep water since being allowed to watch “Jaws" at the age of six by his father who has never been forgiven by his mum). The hotel has a masseuse who takes bookings through the afternoon and evening, either at a simple, comfortable studio behind the hotel or at a "banda" near the beach. Traditional Thai and also oil massages and Indian Head massages are on offer, excellent and very reasonably priced - 600 Baht for an hour (go for the Thai and Oil - brilliant). The office provides details of local trips and tours and you can rent one of the scooters belonging to the hotel staff for 150 Baht/half day. We have stayed at much more expensive hotels on our few trips through India and the Far East, but if we went back to Koh Lanta, we would be straight back Bungalow “A Nueng” without a second thought.

And that's just the basic hotel information. Where the Narima and its staff really proved themselves exceptional was the wedding. Nopawan and the chef spent hours talking over the options with Tris and Sophie. Nopawan arranged for the Amphor (registrar) to come to the secluded cove along the coast to sign the registers (on the beach), I suspect using her influence as the daughter of the once Supreme Justice in Bangkok. The flowers, long tail boats to transport the guests to and from the beach, the flower arch on the beach, the food and drink for the wedding, the decorations, even the music to be played at the bar during the reception were sorted out with no fuss and at amazingly reasonable cost. All the staff joined in with the decorations, a table beautifully arranged and decorated on the main beach itself with lanterns and fire beacons along the shore and illuminated flower arrangements on the beach itself. The wedding feast was wonderful - excellent Thai food, beautifully crafted fruit carvings and cocktails and drinks served endlessly and cheerfully by the ever-smiling barman Tom and his team. Nopawan arranged fire-dancers to perform on the beach after dinner and the staff helped light Chinese lanterns to drift into the night sky as the day drew to a close. Throughout the day, Nopawan and Yodchai were unobtrusively on hand, watching over the proceedings and ensuring that all went well, and it certainly did.

All the guests were sent a "wedding pebble", picked from Brighton Beach, with their wedding invitations and asked to bury it somewhere that was special to them during their trip to Thailand or wherever they visited on the way there or back. It is a huge credit to Nopawan, Yodchai, the Narima and its staff that most of us left ours here and that at midnight, before they left us to start their honeymoon at much more expensive and “exotic” hotels, the bride and groom, still in wedding dress, stood alone on the hotel beach amongst the rocks and flickering lanterns and, arm-in-arm cast their own pebble into the moonlit Andaman sea outside the Narima.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank GlyndebourneGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Narima Bungalow Resort

Property: Narima Bungalow Resort
Address: 98 Moo 5 Klong Nin, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Lanta
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Narima Bungalow Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 32
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Also Known As:
Narima Bungalow Hotel Ko Lanta
Narima Hotel Ko Lanta
Narima Resort Ko Lanta

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