L Resort Krabi – A Review By Punam Mohandas
The L Resort Krabi was recently refurbished, and an updated review post-refurbishment can be found here.
The L Resort Krabi has an undoubtedly enviable location. Bang in the midst of central Ao Nang, it is just across from the promenade and therefore, the sea. If location is everything, then the L already has most of its bases covered.
That’s not all, though. In a pleasant change from most hotels, the L Resort Krabi has opted to go in for eye-catching bright purple and white as its colour theme; an instant mood-lifter, it is also of course the royal colour of Thailand. Therefore, one enters a low-ceilinged open-air lobby, with faux stone pillars and the purple and white motif in its decor. Very modernistic but surprisingly, not jarring at all with the deep emerald of the sea outside.
Owned by a Thai lady, Wanna and her Swiss husband Stefan, the L Resort Krabi is currently undergoing massive renovations and extensions to the tune of about 95-million baht. The plan is to have 35 new rooms coming up that will take the total inventory to 59-keys, with junior suites on the third and fourth levels offering sweeping sea views. Thankfully, all the buildings are low-rise.
Room categories are divided into the Lite Room, Lite Room Pool Access and Lite Room Sea View, all at 32sqm with balconies. Then there are the Large Rooms at 40sqm, the Junior Suites at 60sqm with no balcony (existing wing) although the new Junior Suites, at 64sqm, will have a balcony overlooking the sea, and finally the two-bedroom L Suite, at a whopping 100sqm.
The Junior Suites have tall French windows in the living space as well as bedroom that overlook the sea, with remote controlled blinds.. Sensibly, the bed has been angled to get a sea view. The decor is minimalistic; the suite is done up in pleasing shades of lavender offset by a deeper violet and of course, white. There are two TV sets, one in each room – something bigger brand hotels in the area could learn from. The bed has a faux leather headrest in black. A sloping ceiling gives the room a quaint European-style country look.
The bathroom is really spacious, offering a bathtub as well as shower cubicle with rain shower. Embedded ceiling lights in a circular purple motif, glass shelves and black-and-purple tiles complete the look. Quite classy; would give any star hotel a run for its money.
All rooms offer the usual amenities of coffee/tea maker (although the expresso pods are charged extra) mini bar, two complimentary bottles of drinking water, umbrella, bath robes and electronic safe. Wifi is free throughout the property.
What I have particularly liked is the personal attention given to guest comfort. The L Resort deserves kudos for standing out as one of the very few family driven hotels to cater for the physically challenged and will provide a room for the disabled as well, complete with a ramp leading right into the room. Stefan also plans to have a wash-and-change room downstairs which will be offered for free to guests who need to release their room by the check-out time but who still have a few hours to wait before their flight.
The current pool is laguna-shaped with an over bridge, and surrounded by accommodation wings. A fitness centre and spa is in the pipeline for next year and so is another swimming pool. The management of the spa will probably be outsourced to a local operator. A meeting room is also planned in the massive overhaul, that will seat 50-pax theatre style.
Currently there is only one restaurant, the 60-seater Wanna’s Place, although an open-air rooftop restaurant is in the works. With a high, vaulted wooden ceiling that is very old-style Thai and wooden slatted windows overlooking the street, the speciality at Wanna’s Place is steaks on hot stone, although it must be said that the food here is generally of a good quality. (Do bear in mind that south Thailand is a mainly Muslim population and so pork is not likely to be served in most restaurants.)
There is a computer and printer available in the lobby for guest use. Bike rentals are possible and guests can also book tours through an outsourced operator used regularly by the hotel. Rather innovatively and thinking well ahead of the times – in Krabi at least – the L Resort offers iPads in all the rooms with its own hotel app, through which guests can order food or concierge service as also book tours.
Currently, the L Resort is definitely open for business, with rooms as well as suites that were renovated three years earlier, many of which offer sea views. Although the owner Stefan is optimistic that the new wings will be ready to welcome guests this Christmas, it would be more realistic to say that the L will be fully operational by January 2016.
As mentioned earlier, the location is unbeatable. Yes, it is a little noisy, but one can’t have everything; the L Resort is surrounded by shops, the nightlife and the beach. Just out of the hotel and to your left is the boat office to get a longtail boat to Railay island and the Phrang Nga cave with its absolutely spectacular lagoon (200 THB for the return trip, 20-minutes away.) There isn’t much to see in Krabi town itself, however the island is ideally suited to visit Koh Lanta, Phi Phi, or Phuket.
Krabi is easily accessible by air as well as rail. If you have the time and an adventurous spirit, I would recommend taking the comfortable overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani (THB 750, 2nd class AC sleeper.) An additional THB 250 gets you the combo bus/van ticket that takes you to Krabi town. From there, take a songtaew from the 7Eleven for a mere THB50 per head, to Ao Nang beach – or get a taxi. If you would like to be spared the hassle, fly into Krabi’s small but efficient airport (approximately 90-minutes from Bangkok.) Krabi is also close to the islands of Phuket (three hours) Phi Phi (roughly two hours) Koh Lanta (two hours) and Koh Lipe (about four hours.)
THE L RESORT KRABI
TEL: +66 7563 7484-6
FAX: +66 75 63 7322