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Koh Ngai is not a big place. In fact, it is one of the smaller islands in the area and all the Koh Ngai resorts can be found in a long line down the same beach. However, there is still a variety of options and some difficult decisions to be made.
With a wide range of accommodation from basic, budget Koh Ngai hotels to comfortable, luxurious Koh Ngai resorts with A/C and swimming pools, where you choose to stay on this gorgeous little Thai island will determine what your visit will be like.
First, though, we should probably address the tricky name. Us westerners tend to have trouble pronouncing the “Ng” sound properly. Luckily, however, that spelling seems to have little bearing on the pronunciation as everyone we met calls it “Koh Hai”. And even spells it that way sometimes. Not sure why but we weren’t about to complain.
As for the island itself, it certainly won’t be mistaken for any of the frantically touristy islands like Phuket or Koh Samui. Let’s face it, even tiny, nearby Koh Mook, with its village and handful of actual roads, looks like a bustling metropolis compared to Koh Ngai.
But that rustic peacefulness is exactly why people love Koh Ngai. With gorgeous beaches, great snorkelling and ever-present views of the amazing limestone karsts in the bay, there is plenty to love. Whatever your tastes and budget you should be able to find the perfect Koh Ngai resort to fit your travel style.
For a complete guide to Koh Ngai, check out Reasons to Visit Gorgeous Koh Ngai
So, here we have broken down all the best Koh Ngai resorts, complete with details and recommendations. Personally, we tend to book the majority of our hotels on Booking.com. With frequent stay discounts, thousands of reviews and free cancellation, it is very rare for us to have a bad hotel experience these days.
But, just so you know, we do receive a small commission if you use any of these links to book a Koh Ngai hotel. Which is greatly appreciated, although it doesn’t have any bearing on our recommendations. Happy trip planning!
Best Koh Ngai Resorts
These two Koh Ngai hotels stand slightly above the rest for overall quality and comfort.
1. Thanya Beach Resort
We stayed at Thanya Beach Resort and have nothing but good things to say. They were extremely friendly and helpful, always insisting they do everything for us, even calling ahead for updates on the speedboats. Plus, unlike many Koh Ngai resorts, they don’t charge a fee to pay with credit card.
There is a small shop where you can buy water, beer, snacks, etc. and a dive shop on site. The resort is quite large and there is a noticeable difference between the different sets of bungalows. We stayed in one of the ones up the hill and had amazing views from our deck (and a neighbourly monitor lizard, of course).
Meanwhile, the bungalows down by the swimming pool are popular with young families and are more convenient for the beach and restaurant. You can’t really go wrong either way, though.
You can choose between relaxing on the loungers by the pool or just up from the beach under the shady trees. We made the most of the free snorkelling gear and headed out to the reef every day.
We also ate most of our meals at the restaurant and it was consistently good. They had a good variety for the included buffet breakfast. Overall, just a very friendly, professional and comfortable place.
2. Thapwarin Resort
The Thapwarin Resort has 30 charming eco-friendly Thai-style cottages made of natural materials such as wood, bamboo and palm leaves that blend in with the surrounding nature. Yet, you will still appreciate the air-conditioning and king bed as well as the half open-air bathroom.
The beachfront cottages cost more than the garden view cottages but the amazing sea views might just be worth it! There are also some family bungalows with bunk beds for the kids.
Make sure to explore the bay and reef with the free kayaks and snorkelling gear. Thapwarin Resort does not have a pool but there are plenty of sunbeds overlooking the sea.
Best Pool at a Koh Ngai Hotel
3. CoCo Cottage Resort
In our opinion, CoCo Cottage Resort is also a contender for best Koh Ngai hotel, mainly because it has the best pool among the Koh Ngai resorts. It is elevated with comfortable loungers to take in the view of the palm trees and ocean over the infinity edge.
CoCo Cottage Resort also features a beautiful, quiet set of thatched bungalows in a lovely garden just back from the beach in behind the pool. The icing on the cake of these comfortable and stylish rooms is the nice, outdoor shower.
This popular Koh Ngai hotel is also extremely picturesque with quick access to the beachfront. If you are looking to enjoy the remoteness of a tropical paradise while still enjoying essential modern comforts, this resort is a perfect choice.
The fun Insta-worthy swings and floating swimming dock out in the bay are nice touches. The restaurant has great Thai and western food and they enjoy a very quiet location down at the far northern end of Koh Ngai Beach away from the day trippers.
Best Midrange Koh Ngai Bungalows
4. Mayalay Resort
The Mayalay Resort bungalows are also made from natural materials. though they are a bit more basic than those at Thapwarin Resort. There are plenty of deck chairs to relax in and the restaurant serves decent food.
They do not have a pool but the ocean is only steps away and they offer free kayaks.
Best Budget Koh Ngai Accommodation
Overall, Koh Ngai is a bit more expensive than some other islands with more infrastructure and accommodation options, but there are still a few excellent budget Koh Ngai resorts for those trying to keep costs down.
5. Koh Ngai Seafood Bungalows
Koh Ngai Seafood has old school Thai bungalows that are a bit basic but very good value. You can opt for sea view or pick a cheaper bungalow further back. However, in our opinion, the price for the sea view huts are well worth it and a very decent price to be so close to the water.
The mosquito nets will come in handy if you choose bungalow with no air-conditioning. These can be warm during the day but the sea breeze helps and there are always plenty of spots to hang out near the ocean.
Finally, you can’t go wrong with the on-site Koh Ngai Seafood restaurant. It has a very chilled atmosphere, friendly staff and excellent food.
6. Koh Ngai Kaimuk Thong Resort
A great choice for budget bungalows, Koh Ngai Kaimuk Thong Resort is perfect if you don’t need frills but want a spot right in the centre of this stunning beach. The bungalows are basic but have large beds and are very clean.
There is no hot water but when showering after being on the beach all day you will barely notice it. The restaurant isn’t one of the best on the island but it has some decent, basic options and there several other choices nearby. The friendly staff are very welcoming.
7. Koh Ngai Camping
The cheapest Koh Ngai resort is Koh Ngai Camping, where you can book large, permanent tents with mattresses and shared bathrooms right on the beach for less than 1,000 baht/night, including breakfast.
The restaurant is also one of the better value ones on the island.
Koh Ngai Resorts Map
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How to Get Around
Walking is definitely your main choice when getting to and from the different Koh Ngai resorts. Almost everything can be found along Koh Ngai Beach / Long Beach / Main Beach, which takes about 30 minutes to walk from end to end. However, if you’re looking to mix it up you can rent a kayak or paddleboard (some Koh Ngai resorts offer them for free) and explore farther around each end of the island.
Another option is to hire a private longtail boat to take you around to Paradise Beach and Koh Lanta National Park, although many people also choose to combine this with a tour of the surrounding islands.
Koh Ngai is a small, simple place with a beautiful beach, terrific scenery and limited accommodation choices. It is the perfect place to rest, relax and slow down. And even though it doesn’t have the huge range of hotels available on some of the other Thai islands, there is still enough variety that everyone should be able to find the ideal Koh Ngai resort to meet their needs.
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