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Pimalai Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta

Independent Review

Page Navigation
Accommodation - Beach Zone
Accommodation - Pool Villa Estate
Prices & Booking


In December 2013 Pimalai was honoured in the prestigious "World Luxury Hotels Award" competition. Pimalai received the award "2013 Winner - Best Scenic Envrironment". Click here for more on why Pimalai's location on Kantiang beach is so wonderful. Note that this award was not for the best scenic environment in Thailand, it was for the best scenic environment in the world.

We offer the best deals available anywhere on the internet at this resort. Additionally, we know the resort intimately so can request the best room numbers for every room type, so if a seaview and/or privacy are important to you, we can help. To get a great room and a market-beating price at Pimalai, contact us with your requirements.

Take a break from the cold steel of modern times and be nurtured by a more harmonious relationship with nature, on one of the few remaining luxury pristine beaches in Thailand.  Pimalai Resort and Spa occupies the southern 900 metres of the 1,100 metre long Kantiang bay on Thailand’s Koh Lanta island. Pimalai, offering tranquility, peace and lots of private space for you and your loved ones, is the ultimate tropical beach getaway.

Pimalai was built and operates in harmony with nature. The resort actively protects this pristine environment and you can expect to see eagles soaring overhead, monkeys playing in the trees and fiery sunsets lighting up the sky. Birdsong and waves lapping the beach form the muted soundtrack to Thailand’s most luxurious eco-beach experience.

Located in a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, Pimalai complements rather than dominates the environment in which it is located – the 121 low-rise rooms and villas are thinly spread among fully 250,000 square metres of beachfront and hillside rainforest. … more on the location.

There are over 100 resorts on Koh Lanta, and Pimalai is certainly the best of them. Everything about this superb resort is 5-star, from the cuisine to the architecture, service and accommodation.

While everything is as good as is to be expected from a top-flight Thai resort, what really distinguishes Pimalai is its 900 metre-long pristine beachfront location. There are resorts in Thailand that can match Pimalai for luxury (Phulay Bay springs to mind) but none can beat Pimalai's location, although 4+ star Paradise resort on Koh Yao Noi is a close contender.


Even incognito travel writers arriving on scruffy mopeds are treated like royalty by the welcoming staff of this resort. Whilst scruffy motorbikes must be left in the car-park 200 metres from the resort in order to avoid creating an eyesore, their riders are graciously greeted with the customary Thai smiley service.

The lemongrass-infused iced water with which the visitor is greeted is about the most refreshing pick-me-up possible, and not an eyebrow will be raised if the visitor asks for several refills.
The very first impression sets the naturally stylish tone - a central pond is surrounded by four mature frangipani trees, which shed their petals onto the pond's surface, creating an archetypical Thai scene.
Visitors will feel less in less a rush than usual to complete the formalities and get to their room, particularly as the stylish lobby is perched on a pretty hillside and offers far-reaching vistas of the Andaman Sea below.

The attention to detail, in a resort where even the ash-trays are miniature works of art, is impressive. In the art gallery-impersonating lobby, the ceramics look like they would be more in place in a museum of Asian fine art. Hotel lobbies aren’t normally places to tarry, but the Pimalai's lobby is different.

In whichever direction your eye wanders it is greeted by a tableau so harmonious that, feeling yourself to be at the epicentre of a place of perfect loveliness, you feel no urge to move elsewhere. Soft cushions ensure that the bottom is at least as at ease as the eye. When you manage to tear yourself away and explore the resort, be sure to keep your teeth slightly clenched, as otherwise you may be embarrassed by your jaw continually dropping. 

The Pimalai’s immaculate condition and extensive amenities fully justify its 5 stars, and it offers great accommodation for both families and couples. It benefits from fully 900 metres of the 1,100 metre long Kantiang beach. Thecentral section of Kantiang beach, fully 500 meters of beach, has been left completely untouched.
This pristine patch of beach provides a buffer zone between Pimalai and the neighbouring resort and bar, and at the same time reinforces the feeling of spaciousness that is prevalent throughout the resort. Many arriving visitors find a wander along this untouched beach a good way to start the process of winding down a gear or four, and of making a start on the process of trying to remember how to relax.

While the Pimalai impresses on every front, the stars of the show are the staff. Everybody beams huge smiles at each other all day long. Just be careful of the culture shock this might cause. Not the shock of arriving at the Pimalai, as most people get rapidly used to being in a more friendly milieu than back home. It's the culture shock of going back home that's the problem - try to remember not smile at strangers, as they will most likely assume you have mental problems.

If your head starts spinning from all the luxury and elegance, perhaps take a stroll down the beach for a drink at the Why Not bar, which offers live music in a rustic beach-bar setting. It's not too far away, but thankfully not too near either. This quaint little beach bar is a candidate for being Thailand's best beach bar, and is certainly the best on Lanta. The live music performed almost every night is very good indeed. The band are so good that they regularly tour overseas, which is highly unusual for a Thai band.

Maybe don't venture into the jungle too far though, as the leeches are a significant nuisance - like we travel journalists, they're always looking for a free meal.

The resort is divided into 2 zones, called the Beach Zone and the Pool Villa Estate. The latter is located a fair way up the hillside behind the resort. Each of the units in this zone has its own private pool, and the Pool Villa Estate has its own shared pool, restaurant, fitness centre and poolside bar. A shuttle service runs continuously throughout the day to take visitors between the 2 zones - guests will never have to wait more than 10 minutes for a ride.



This award-winning spa is a typically Pimalai-style essay in elegance, blending into the lush jungle environment so perfectly that it provides almost as much of a balm for the senses as for the body. Water flows everywhere, and giant fan palms create a stately backdrop to the magnificently-crafted open-sided Thai massage pavilion. Whether you're tired from a long flight, stiff from too much office work, or simply sore from too many years, the spa has a package for you, which the delightful spa manager and receptionists, Lek, Gib and Karn, will be happy to help you choose. Click here for the full spa menu.



There are 6 restaurants in the resort, including a fine dining restaurant and a noodle bar, where dishes are advertised as "THB 190 per noodle". Thankfully, though, that's not THB 190 per single noodle - the prices are quite high here, but not that high. On the subject of restaurant prices, though, many guests are surprised at how affordable all the restaurants in the resort are, when compared to comparable quality dining back home. The restaurants are as follows:

  • The Seven Seas. This is the the resort's fine dining outlet. The new menu introduced by the executive chef Mr Asker has gained wide approval, even from such discerning pallettes as that of one of the senior managers of Mouton Rothschild, whose wines are featured in the well-stocked cellar. The Seven Seas is set half way-up the hillside behind Kantiang Bay and benefits from panaromic sunset views. Click here for the Seven Seas Menu
  • The Baan Pimalai is a more casual outlet, and concentrates on fusing Western food with different Thai specialties, and cuisines from other Asian countries. The restaurant has another very atmospheric setting, set amid swaying palms a few metres up from the beach.
  • The Spice'n'Rice is the resort's headline restaurant for Thai food.
  • Rak Talay is located on the beachfront and is the premier seafood outlet
  • Noodle Bar - next to the lower of the resort's two pools, this is a convenient place to grab a quick bite to eat.
  • The Banyan Tree is located next to the upper of the two pools, and is popular for light lunch-time snacks.

Click here for an interview in the winter issue of Wexas Traveller magazine with Pimalai's most senior Thai chef.

Accommodation - Beach Zone


Some of the Deluxe rooms have the bath set into an alcove off the bedroom, while in others the bath shares a room with the WC and shower. Most people like the former design better, and it lends itself to more spontaneous romantic possibilities for people on honeymoon, whether it's their first honeymoon, their second honeymoon, or their thirty-third honeymoon. Wherever the bath is located, all the Deluxe rooms exhibit the faultless taste for which Pimalia is a byword on Lanta and further afield.

The oriental art is intriguing, yet subtle and understated, the wooden floors gleam, and the muted pastel hues of the cushions contrast beautifully with the elegant decor and furniture. Some of these rooms have fabulous sea-views, and others offer easier access to the beach. The best room for the visitor depends on the customer's preference - does he or she prioritise privacy and a great view, or prioritise closeness to the beach.

If you contact us, we'll check if there is a room available which meets your requirements. These units are built four to a building, two upstairs units on top of two other downstairs units - most people prefer an upstairs unit. The units to the north of reception are the best choice for most people, as they are fairly close to the beach and all amenities, yet very quiet. There are three types of Deluxe room at Pimalai, all of which are identical in price and differ only in location. Click here for an analysis of which the best Deluxe rooms are. The Deluxe has either a double or two twin beds. The rates in the table below include occupancy by 2 people, with 1 extra bed possible.


Bayfront Deluxe

These units are about 50% more spacious than the Deluxe rooms and are the most popular rooms in the resort. They are the most difficult rooms in the resort to book - book early, book often. Click here fore more on the Bayfront Deluxe. The Bayfront Deluxe includes occupancy by 2 people, with 1 extra bed possible.


Pavilion Suite

The Pavilion Suites come in 2 flavours, either 1 or 2 bedrooms, while the Beach Villas also come in 2 flavours, 1 or 2 bedrooms.  

The Pavilion Suite 1 bedroom can be compared to the Beach Villa 1 bedroom. The Pavilion Suite 1 bedroom is less expensive and also better for guests without small children than the Beach Villa 1 bedroom, for the following reason: the units are identical in layout, the only difference is that the Beach Villa 1 bedroom benefits from shared used, between 4 units, of a small swimming pool. This benefit is not worthwhile unless the guest has small children, as the sea is only a few steps away from the Pavilion Suites, as is the resort's main pool. The location of the Pavilion Suites is somewhat better than the location of the Beach Villas, as they are closer to the main pool. This is why we prefer the Pavilion Suite 1 bedroom to the Beach Villa 1 bedroom, except for guests with small children.

The Pavilion Suite 2 bedrooms can be compared to the Beach Villa 2 bedrooms. The Beach Villa 2 bedrooms has a large private pool, so is a better choice than the Pavilion Suite 2 bedrooms, as well as a significantly more expensive one.

Some of the Pavilion Suites have better views than others. They are situated on 2 rows, one of which is absolute beachfront.

Most visitors prefer the front row absolute beachfront location, but others prefer the extra privacy of the 2nd row units.

Click here for more on the Pavilion Suites. The rates for the Pavilion Suite 1 Bedroom in the table below include occupancy by 2 people, with one extra bed possible at the extra bed charge indicated. The rates for the Pavilion Suite 2 Bedroom in the table below include occupancy by 4 people, with two extra beds possible at the extra bed charge indicated.


1 Bedroom Beach Villa

These four units are all located near the beach and share a pool. Two of them are absolute beachfront, and 2 are located 10 metres higher up the hillside behind the beach. Some guests like the privacy of the units further away from the beach, but the front row units are also very private, as the resort does nor set out shared beach loungers in front of these units.

The rates for the 1 Bedroom Beach Villa in the table below include occupancy by 2 people, with one extra bed possible at the extra bed charge indicated.


2 Bedroom Beach Villa

These 2 units are u-shaped, and set around a central private pool. Ten meters above the beach, there is nothing to choose between them.

The rates for the 2 Bedroom Beach Villa in the table below include occupancy by 4 people, with two extra beds possible at the extra bed charge indicated.


3 Bedroom Beach Villa

These huge units are Koh Lanta's most lavish beachfront accommodation.
There is a major flaw with these units - this travel writer can't afford to stay in them.

The rates for the 3 Bedroom Beach Villa in the table below include occupancy by 6 people, with three extra beds possible at the extra bed charge indicated.


Accommodation - Pool Villa Estate

Perched high above reception and the beach is the resort's separate pool villa annex. The shared areas here, including the 7 Seas Restaurant and the upper pool, offer superb views of the Andaman Sea, particularly at sunset, when the sun sets behind Koh Haa, setting the sky ablaze in the one of the fiery sunsets that are an almost daily occurence in high season. While the upper pool and restaurant area offers good views, however, the villas themselves offer better ones. If you like infinity pools, you'll love the ones here. Float with your eyes a few inches above water and watch the pool's water tumble over the edge, seemingly straight into the Andaman Sea far below.


1 Bedroom Pool Villa

These are built in an L-shaped design around a pool, with a bedroom and a living room on either side of the pool. The living room contains an oversized day-bed and exhibits all the standard Pimalai style, grace and oriental allure. The bedroom is an essay in understated opulence. These units offer lots of places to get comfortable, and are popular with honeymooners.

These opulent Pool Villas were again recently awarded a World Luxury Hotel Award, for an unprecedented second year in a row.  They nestle on a forest-clad hillside and each offer a uniquely panoramic view of the serene and scenic shoreline of Koh Lanta’s Kantiang Bay, recently selected by the Sunday Times as Thailand’s best beach. Each spacious Pool Villa features a private swimming pool and a comfortable outdoor Thai ‘sala’ (open-sided pavilion). One of these peaceful idylls forms arguably Thailand’s most romantic retreat, and is a perfect place for you and your partner to experience the delights of nature-inspired living, freed from worldly cares and stresses.

One of these private pools, set on stilts and reaching up into the jungle canopy high up the hillside, is a sublime place at any time of day. Some guests like floating around, face up to the jungle canopy, watching and listening to the pulse of daytime jungle life all around. For others, the blaze of stars visible on most nights is a highlight, but for all guests without exception, a grandstand view of the sunset from one of these villas is a certain enchantment. Almost every night during high season and very often during the green season, the sun sets the sky aflame in a brilliant palette of vivid colours as it sinks behind the craggy profile of Haa Island.

Such a blazing display sets the soul at ease, and the body will soon follow, thanks to one of Pimalai's range of professionally designed and performed massages.

After the body has joined the soul at ease under the canopy of jungle and stars, what better way to continue the evening’s delights than an in-villa, candle-lit, gourmet meal delivered from the resort's acclaimed Seven Seas restaurant?

After the sunset, massage and in-villa dinner, the stage is perfectly set for further night-time pleasures, also of a private nature.

The rates for the 1 Bedroom Pool Villa in the table below include occupancy by 2 people, with two extra beds possible at the extra bed charge indicated.

All of these villas have good views, but three of them have the best views. We know which these are and will be happy to request one of them for you, a service unavailable if you book elsewhere.


2 Bedroom Pool Villa

These are similar to the one bedroom villas, with a second bedroom added underneath the first. Please read the above text on the 1 Bedroom Pool Villa, as it also describes the 2 bedroom Pool Villas.

The rates for the 2 Bedroom Pool Villa in the table below include occupancy by 4 people, with three extra beds possible at the extra bed charge indicated. On a case-by-case basis we can sometimes accept booking with 4 extra beds.

The best of these units is the one in the image above, as the only things you can see from your villa are the ocean and jungle; no buildings are in sight. The terrace area is completely private. We can request this villa for you, as we know what its room number is.


3 Bedroom Pool Villa

These are similar to the two bedroom villas, with a third bedroom added underneath the living room. The only person ever known to have complained here was a princess - and that was only because she couldn't stay longer.

The rates for the 3 Bedroom Pool Villa in the table below include occupancy by 6 people, with three extra beds possible at the extra bed charge indicated.



The rates below are the lowest on the market. Click here for how we can offer the lowest rates for Pimalai on the market.

Note that the rates below include 17% service charge and local tax.



Click here for more on Koh Lanta, here for holiday packages, here for other destinations.


Andaman Sky, Co., Ltd, 454/2 Moo 1, Ao Nang, Thailand




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