Ban Sainai – Krabi’s Hidden Gem below $150 (Must-Go!)

Ban Sainai –550, Soi Aonang 11/1, Moo 2, Aonang Beach, Krabi, Krabi, 81000, Thailand, ‏‎800 120 6467

Date of Visit: May 2016

During my last trip to Krabi, we needed a stopover place to stay before our flight home, as we were in Koh Lanta for the majority of the time (see my review on the gorgeous Atlanta Villa). Because it was only for a night, I was issued a strict budget and reminder to be practical haha!

I kept overlooking this particular hotel on Hotels.com since it looked rather “rustic” and “scruffy” from the first glance – no doubt it had a nice rustic charm, BUT I didn’t particularly want to sleep on wooden floors and straw cottages, so I never did any research on it.

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Looks charming but a tad too rustic right? (Pic from Hotels.com)

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Pic from Hotels.com

 

 

However, since the rooms started from $60+ a night (wow!) and had a great rating score of 4.8/5 on Hotels.com and was also listed as one of the top hotels on Tripadvisor, I did a closer look at it – and no regrets. Absolutely none.

LOCATION

We travelled from Koh Lanta directly to Ban Sainai, so that journey took us almost 4 excruciating hours. Once again, we used Ao Nang Travel at 075684664 for most of our travels (much cheaper than if you were to arrange for them via hotels).

However, it’s only like 30 minutes away from Krabi Airport (nearer than most other nice hotels) and 6 minutes away from Ao Nang Beach, which is a popular destination for tourists, and bound to have a lot of food (Macdonalds yo). In addition, they have daily free shuttles to Ao Nang Beach itself. (Another hotel I stayed at charged like almost SGD $30 for transport one way to Ao Nang Beach!!)

For transport to Krabi Airport the next day, I used Krabi Shuttle, which cost me like 600 baht (SGD $24), cheaper than via the hotel shuttle.

So thumbs up for this location, it’s definitely very convenient to travel for nightlife, night markets, food and shopping (and beach time!)

FOOD

In house food was not bad, their room service took awhile (we were starving from the 4 hour ride so perhaps we were biased with hunger) but it was nice and generously portioned. The cost was reasonable as well, SGD $10 – $20 for main courses. Breakfast buffet had a great variety, from asian food like porridge and rice, to western food like french toasts, omelettes, poached eggs and many more!

Because of such a short time at the hotel, we weren’t able to explore the food choices at Ao Nang Beach (we wanted to chill at the hotel since we paid for it haha), but I’m sure there’s plenty of delicious Thai food there, no problems at all!

ROOMS

Even though there were $60+ rooms available, the upgrades were too tempting to resist. I booked one of the poshest sounding room types available because it was so affordable!

The GRAND LAKE VIEW option featured a 60 sq meter room (the size of a 3 room HDB FLAT) with a King bed, a gorgeous balcony with a lake view. What killed me was that it came with a hammock. A HAMMOCK guys, how can you say no?

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King-sized bed woohoo

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THE Hammock at our balcony

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THE Hammock at sunset – so gorgeous!

It also had a jetted bathtub that comfortably fit 2 people in a bathroom which was very well designed. Oh, and free banana chips. Score!

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Jacuzzi jets for the sore backs – and you can look out at the lake while soaking!

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Sunset

Price: SGD $129 per night. Worth it? I think so.

 

SERVICE

Service was courteous and polite, but not exceptionally amazing (you could tell they were too used to tourists). But that being said, it was good enough to make you feel happy and relaxed. They had buggy services at certain times to drop you at your room, and are extremely professional.

WHAT TO DO THERE

Hop on the shuttle to Ao Nang Beach and eat your fill, shop and party if you’d like, or check out their swimming pool (which looked gorgeous). Or if you are like us, chill. Hang out on the hammock at the balcony, soak in the jetted bathtub and lie in bed watching Game of Thrones (It happened to be showing that night on TV, so why not?)

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Their outdoor pool -photo from hotels.com

 

CONCLUSION

Ban Sainai didn’t look like an obvious choice to soak up luxury, but this is really a hidden gem. If you are heading to Krabi anytime soon, book a stay here and you won’t regret it! It’s really affordable for the comforts provided, there’s plenty of things to do and hey, you get your own hammock!! #dealbreaker

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Love!

Where else can you find this for under $150/night? Spread the word and share this post!

Atlanta Villa – Koh Lanta, Thailand – Villa Paradise below $150 (Must-Go!)

Atlanta Villa – 429 Moo 2 Saladan, Ko Lanta, Krabi, 81150, Thailand

Date of Visit: May 2016

Since we were visiting Krabi (for the first time) for about 6 days, we really wanted to stay on one of the islands nearby. I was torn between Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, and so I read reviews and blogs to decide.

Conclusion: Phi Phi Island is prettier, but wayyyyyy more touristy. Koh Lanta is apparently also pretty, but quieter and slower. So Koh Lanta it was, since I’m honestly not a fan of hordes of tourists shouting and being rude, and jacked up prices.

Accommodations weren’t hard to find, as Hotels.com had plenty of cheap and legit-looking hotel rooms starting from $24. However, I wanted something reallllly special and outstanding – and I found it!

Atlanta Villa was rated 5/5 on both Hotels.com AND Tripadvisor – despite the photos looking meh, when I read into the reviews, almost all mentioned how beautiful and awesome it was.

 Price: $147/night for 2 bedroom villa with a private pool. Oh, and a kitchen, plus a sitting area with a TV. How awesome does that sound?

So let’s get to business about how it was.

 LOCATION

To be honest, Koh Lanta looks like a very sketchy place. Especially since it was low-season, the area looked a little deserted and run-down, which made me worried. This place is ideal if you are looking to hide and chill, since there isn’t much to do there (no shopping too, girls!) The things on the island aren’t that cheap either – a massage costs THB400 (as compared to THB250 in Krabi Ao Nang).

Atlanta Villa was also not very easy to get to. We hired private transportation to take us from Krabi Ao Nang to our place in Koh Lanta, even they had trouble finding it. From the main road, the car would have to take a turn into a tiny dirt path 100-200m up to where the villas are. So if you are going there, keep your eyes open and the GPS working.

If you need transport from Krabi to Koh Lanta – contact Ao Nang Travel at 075684664 – it cost us about THB 500 per person for a shared van, 2-3hr journey.

 FOOD

There are plenty of food stalls near the villa, walkable distance. Nothing fancy though, mainly local fare. There are also 7-11s  (yay!) about a 10-15minute walk away, which we frequented to buy loads of snacks, haha!

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Local food after a scooter ride!

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Thai food! With yummy smoothies for the hot weather.

You can also call for room service from the villa, which is reasonably priced and delivered in lovely bento boxeshomemade, for sure.

 ROOMS

This place is amazing. The pictures on the internet does absolutely no justice to this place whatsoever. Each villa is spacious and tastefully designed, clean and beautiful. The kitchen was well-equipped with stoves, kettle, microwave, coffee machine and everything we needed, and the sitting area was so comfortable! I’m gushing now, but whatever..

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Sitting area, plushy couches with a TV!

Both bedrooms were air-conditioned, very very important since it got rather hot in the day, with open-aired bathrooms. It was quite cool to shower in there – made me feel close to nature!

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Our gorgeous bedroom ❤

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My favorite part of the villa.

The private pool was amazing, perfect to soak in and take a dip, or tan by the side. At night, there are lights in the pool, and the water is warm, so it’s super romantic to lie in the pool and look up at the stars!

 Everything is perfect about this place, you HAVE TO be there to enjoy it!

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Bring your float if you have one (:

 SERVICE

This was probably one of the best factors too – Aor (the villa manager) was very helpful from the very first minute. She was always on standby to assist us and went out of her way even. J had a scooter accident and she even negotiated with the scooter rental company to bring the cost down (we’ve all heard of such horror stories about rental companies scams, right?). From room service, to providing DVDs to watch, to checking up on us, we had nothing to worry about at all.

WHAT TO DO THERE

Hey, the best thing to do – is absolutely nothing. A whole day was spent just chilling at the pool, in the different rooms and watching TV (also because J was injured ugh). But the villa was so homely and beautiful that I wished I had a whole week to do nothing there.

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I could do this all day, like seriously

We also rented a scooter for a day (THB250 / SGD$10) and rode to Long Beach, which was known as the best place to catch a sunset. There were restaurants and massage places along the beach as well!

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Scooter time – wasn’t easy at all man!

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Sunset at Long Beach

Aor also mentioned a beautiful national park which you could get panoramic views of the island – if you decide to go, never ever rent a scooter and ride there yourself – apparently the roads are terrible and caused many accidents! (Don’t say I did not warn you!)

CONCLUSION

Heading to Krabi? Spend some time (or alot of time) here. The quiet island life and some downtime at this precious villa is really one of the best chill holidays I’ve had. This villa is awesome, with a touch of home – what’s more, it’s under $150/night! Seriously, what more can you ask for?

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Villa life!

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