Deciding where to stay in Krabi is not as easy as it sounds. The province is in the southwest of Thailand and includes a big peninsula and several islands. However, when we say Krabi, we mean the area next to the city of Krabi, Ao Nang, Railay, Klong Muang, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
We believe that Krabi has the best beaches in Thailand. We’ve been to the country several times and plan on coming back many more. Every time we discover new places but always go back to Krabi. What can we say? We love the area’s karst mountains, crystal waters, and sandy beaches.
The first time we visited was over 20 years ago. Things have changed a lot! Krabi is a big place now and has hotels for every taste and budget. However, and fortunately, the areas we recommend keep their natural feel. We’ve moved a lot around Krabi, and have selected the best hotels just for you!
The Best Places to Stay in Krabi
Ao Nang is the best place to stay in Krabi for the first timers. Every time we are in South East Asia, we spend at least a couple of weeks here. Ao Nang is where the karst mountains reach the sea. Thus, it offers some of the best views in Thailand.
We like to swim and spend a lot of time in the sea. In Ao Nang, there are no rocks in the sea! Thus, you can swim and float in the ocean for hours without any risks. Besides, since the beaches are big and wide, you will always find the spot that’s right for you, even in peak season.
Krabi has grown a lot over the past years. However, it has escaped the fate of other places in Thailand and still offers the real thing. You get a lot of nature, pristine beaches, and some urban life. In fact, Krabi has some of the best resorts in the country. Find out more below!
We Recommend These Hotels in Ao Nang:
The best hotel in Ao Nang is the Krabi Resort. The hotel features one of the biggest and most splendid gardens in the country. It’s so big that you feel in the jungle. The hotel is directly on the beach, next to a small hill. Book one of the new premium rooms, and you won’t want to leave.
Centara Grand Beach Resort
The Centara Grand Beach Resort is on the opposite side of the beach, after the Monkey Trail. Again, the hotel is in a huge and gorgeous garden directly on the beach. The scenery will take your breath away. It has two pools, a spa, a gym, and restaurants. The deluxe rooms are some of the biggest in Thailand.
The best luxury hotels in Krabi are in Railay. We discovered the place 8 years ago and it was love at first sight. In fact, Railay is our favorite beach in the country! The views are straight out of a movie. Everywhere you look, you see nature at its best.
Though it feels isolated, Railay is not an island. The tallest karst mountains you will ever see cut the peninsula from the rest of Krabi. That’s why the views are epic. You have karst mountains everywhere! The sea is calm, and there are hardly any rocks. Perfect for swimming!
Railay has changed a lot. Today, you have a commercial street and new hotels all around the area. However and to our delight, it has kept its laid-back atmosphere and low density. You won’t be crowded here. There still are no cars! Since most tourists leave in the late afternoon, the nights in Railay are pure joy.
We Recommend These Hotels in Railay:
Sand Sea Resort
Our favorite hotel in Railay is the Sand Sea Resort. The last time in Thailand, we spent 15 days here! The hotel is directly on the beach, close to the commercial street. However, it’s very quiet. It has two pools, big rooms, and super comfy bungalows. We loved the monkeys playing in the fabulous garden!
If you have money to spend, splash it at the Rayavadee. The hotel is a dream set in the biggest garden in the area. You feel and breathe nature here! The rooms are extra luxurious and the service superb. Without a doubt, one of the best hotels in the world.
Klong Muang Beach
Klong Muang Beach is to the west of Krabi town. The area faces Koh Yao Noi, our favorite island in the country. Therefore, the views from Klong Muang will leave you speechless. Besides, it is less populated and dense than Ao Nang. You feel and are a bit more isolated.
That said, you can reach the airport and the rest of Krabi in an inexpensive tuk-tuk in no time. The beaches in Klong Muang are sandy and very long, but narrower than in Ao Nang. The area is perfect for swimming in the sea. The water is always calm, and there are no rocks.
Klong Muang has some of the best 5 star hotels in Krabi. The place is perfect for families that want a grand resort on a quiet safe beach near the town. Likewise, it is perfect if you want some alone time with your significant other. Everything is laid back and easygoing here.
We Recommend These Hotels on Klong Muang Beach:
Considering its class and location, the Dusit Thani Krabi is great value for money. The hotel occupies a huge lot directly on the beach. It has two pools in the middle of tropical gardens, tennis courts, restaurants, a gym, and a fantastic spa. Book a room facing the sea to enjoy the views.
Sofitel Krabi Resort
We spent a weekend here and had a blast. The Sofitel Krabi Resort was one of the first international grand hotels to open in the area. Hence, it has a humongous garden, golf court, tennis courts, and several pools. One is over 75000 sq feet (7000 sq m) big! There’s a kids club and very private areas for couples.
In all honesty, we don’t recommend staying in Krabi Town. Don’t get us wrong. The area is safe and features good hotels. You will have a good time! However, it isn’t that interesting. Besides, Ao Nang is so close that we strongly recommend going there if you have the time.
This is the best area to stay in Krabi if you are short of time or arrive late. The airport and a major bus station are here. Likewise, vans stop here on their way south or north. Boats to Koh Phi Phi depart from here too. There’s also an Immigration Office where you can extend your visa.
If you stay long enough in the country, chances are you will go past Krabi Town. What Krabi Town offers is an authentic experience. The vast majority of people that live here are Thais. Thus, the restaurants, bars, and shops are the real thing. You get to know people here and see another side of Thailand.
We Recommend These Hotels in Krabi Town:
River Front Hotel
Our favorite hotel in Krabi Town is the River Front. It’s a tall tower facing the river. Therefore, the deluxe rooms on the top floors offer fantastic views. The hotel has a pool with lounges, Jacuzzi, a garden, a spa, and a restaurant. The staff speaks perfect English and can help you organize whatever you need.
The Brown Hotel
The contemporary Brown Hotel is in the middle of Krabi Town, within walking distance of the coast, the night market, and the temples. The rooms are big, plush, and come with a balcony. Good breakfast included. One of the best budget accommodation options in Krabi.
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is one of the most popular islands in Thailand. Who hasn’t heard of it? We’ve seen the area change so much that we are at odds with what to say. Granted, it is still a beautiful island. No question about it. However, did we really have to do that to it?
We don’t like to judge and believe in total freedom. That’s probably Phi Phi’s biggest draw. This is the best place to stay in Krabi if you like to party. You will have all the western style fun you want. You can party in any of the bars that line its streets and main beaches.
That said, the island offers a lot of peace too. You can go for long walks, read, relax, and be alone. Koh Phi Phi offers all in different places. No wonder it is such a famous place. We’ve been a couple of times and were able to find the right spot for us.
We Recommend These Hotels in Koh Phi Phi:
Chaokoh Phi Phi Hotel And Resort
We stayed in Chaokoh Phi Phi Hotel once with friends and had a blast. The hotel is in the middle of all the action, directly on the small beach. However, since the rooms are perfectly isolated, it’s very quiet. It has a pool and a gym. The deluxe suites offer some of the best views in Koh Phi Phi.
Saii Phi Phi Island Village
The best hotel in Koh Phi Phi is the Saii Island Village. The luxurious property is in the northeast of the island. It’s directly on a long sandy beach. Besides, it has two massive pools and a lovely garden. The garden bungalows are nicely appointed, big, and come with an outdoor seating area.
Koh Lanta is constantly ranked as one of the nicest islands in Thailand. We love it! The island is some 60 miles (90 km) south of Krabi Town. It used to be off the beaten track, but now it’s starting to get popular. In any case, it’s still pretty authentic, and pretty.
If you’ve been to the most famous places in Krabi, Koh Lanta is where to stay. There aren’t many big hotels or malls. Most hotels are on a smaller scale and directly on the beach. On some beaches, it’s easy to swim, and on others, we don’t advise to.
Though the island is not that big, it’s very diverse. You have several beaches to choose from. Besides, since it’s next to a protected National Park, it offers pristine nature and lots of space. We wrote a detailed post on the best places to stay in Koh Lanta. Hope you like it.
We Recommend These Hotels in Koh Lanta:
Twin Bay Resort
Our favorite hotel on our favorite beach in Koh Lanta is the Twin Bay Resort, on Klong Dao Beach. The super comfy bungalows face two different shores! Hence, the killer sunsets. It’s a family-owned hotel with spotless facilities, a pool, and fantastic service. You won’t believe how inexpensive this jewel is.
Phurin Thara Resort
There are more than fabulous beaches in Koh Lanta. The Phurin Thara Resort is in the middle of the island. The modern rooms are set in a lovely garden next to a forest. If you want to experience a different side of Krabi, the Phurin Thara Resort is where to stay.
How Long to Stay in Krabi
If you are wondering how many days you should spend in Krabi, we have good news for you. As many as you can possibly stay! We are telling you, the best beaches in South East Asia are here. We consider them amongst the top beaches on the planet.
The last time we visited, we stayed a month and a half. Besides, you have a big area to cover. Some people find their favorite beach and stay for months. Some island hop all the time in search of the perfect beach. We are kind of in the middle.
We fell in love with Krabi a long time ago, so every time we are in South East Asia we spend time here. Then we move to new places but always come back. Once you meet locals you can’t help but stay longer. Thais are fantastic people. Clever and fun, they are the best in Thailand.
Krabi has a medium size airport with regular flights to Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other international cities. There are also flights to other parts in Thailand. You have to take a shared taxi or van to reach your hotel. Taxis and tuk tuks are pretty safe and inexpensive.
Before you complain, remember how much is a taxi back home, and enjoy your ride. The best way of moving around Ao Nang and Railay is walking. You can walk along the commercial street in Ao Nang. From Ao Nang to Railay you have to take a 15-minute boat.
There are boats from Ao Nang and Railay to Koh Phi Phi. You can walk in Koh Phi Phi, but some places are accessible only by boat. The best way to reach Koh Lanta is by shared van. Boats to Koh Yao Noi depart from Ao Thalane Pier near Klong Muang. Phuket is 3 hours west. With a private shared van, you can go everywhere from everywhere!