Hotel Review: The Houben Hotel, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Have you ever seen a striking lodge perched high on a cliff or mountain and wondered what it would be like to stay there? How incredible must be the views? How pleasant it must be to dip in the pool and wander on the grounds? We recently had an opportunity to answer our questions about place like that and were very pleased with the answers.
The Houben Hotel is located on a cliff top overlooking the Andaman Sea on the southern part of Koh Lanta just a short walk away from Kantiang Bay which is a picturesque arc of the sea that’s regularly voted as “one of the best beaches in Thailand” . However, even in the high season, you will probably only find yourself sharing the beach with a handful of others. There are a few wonderful bars, restaurants and mini-marts all within five minutes walking distance of the hotel but Kantiang Bay is not as touristy as other beaches on the island and still retains that intimate small town feeling. It is only about a 30 minute taxi ride from the main pier at Saladan.
All of the 15 rooms at the Houben Hotel have a great sea view which can either be enjoyed from a comfy chair on the balcony or even relaxing on the comfortable king size bed. The bathroom was modern, large and even offered a big bathtub where you could relax and look, through your room, out to the sea. The toiletries were all locally produced and I especially liked the aromatic shampoo that was made from rice. The room had all the amenities you would hope to find in a top scale place including plenty of storage space, a mini bar, safe, flat screen TV and plenty of DVD to borrow from the library.
One of the unique features at the Houben Hotel is the red infinity pool and Jacuzzi. Located beside the pool is the Red Alert Bar and Restaurant which offers many imported Belgian beers and delicious food. A very generous serving of breakfast which is included in the room price is served here. A spa and fitness center is also available onsite.
The staff at the Houben was friendly but very discreet. Our room was beautifully made up in the morning and refreshed in the evening, which was nice because we had an unseasonable amount of rain during our visit. The front desk helped us with our reservations for the ferry and efficiently coordinated transfers.
The Houben has managed to strike that tricky balance between a place that is ultra-modern yet very comfortable. The views are large, but there are places available for solitude and intimate conversations. The hotel is run by a Belgian family that seems to anticipate the needs of their guests and takes customer service personally. It is an inviting place for serious people looking to get away from it all – including children – so there is a strict no children policy as well!