Ban Sai Nai is a new, and highly recommended resort, located at the foot of the famous Ao Nang cliffs. It can best be described as “rustic chic”, with sufficient mod cons (and sealed windows) to make it appealing to those who appreciate natural style, but don’t actually want to live with nature.
The 25 bungalows are spread out in a large garden of mature coconut palms – the land was once a farm – and well-tended tropical plants and lawn.
The former farmer, and now owner of Ban Sai Nai Resort is an Ao Nang native whose family has owned this land for generations (fun trivia fact: Ban Sai Nai is the original name of Ao Nang, before it was changed some 60 years ago), so they have not felt the obligation to use every single inch of space, as in some new hotels where the owners are paying off hefty bank loans! On the contrary, there is a huge amount of open space in the grounds, which allows guests to take in a range of panoramic cliff views, as well as enjoy an unusual degree of privacy in their bungalows. This privilege of space should not be underestimated in the increasingly built up beach area.
The rooms themselves are a generous 50sqm each, with plenty of storage space, and are divided into 2 main types: the first, closest to the reception area, is known as The Cliff; the second is called The Coconut. The Cliff cottages are the more private, with a rear-facing balcony – The Coconut cottages have a verandah in front. There are also 2 Pond Cottages and 3 Sainai Jacuzzi Cottages which are, respectively, Coconut Cottages with a lake view or with a Jacuzzi bathtub. The Coconut Cottages also come in connecting pairs known as Family Cottages, that can sleep a maximum of 6 pax with extra beds.
All room types offer a king size canopy bed and a day bed, which can double up as an extra bed for children, as well as large bathrooms. The Cliff cottages have a shower only, whereas The Coconut and its variations have both a bathtub and separate walk-in shower stall. Other than this, in terms of facilities, all room types are identical (see full list on this page); there are minor aesthetic differences, such as the tiled floor and (rather strange) blue recessed lighting around the bed in The Coconut, as opposed to polished concrete floors and more natural lighting in The Cliff.
Two family cottages are available, which are essentially connecting Coconut units; three other luxury rooms, to be known as Sainai Cottages, will open shortly, featuring a jacuzzi tub. Note: there are no twin-bedded (2 x single beds) rooms at this resort.
The hotel swimming pool deserves a special mention, as it is one of the most attractive features of the resort: large, with a sweeping curve, it is a saltwater treated pool and has been slightly raised to take advantage of the amazing cliff views. There is a small splash pool for toddlers.
Ban Sainai is located around 1.5km from the beach – it’s walkable, but most guests will want to take advantage of the free shuttle service provided by the hotel. Otherwise, there are quite a few restaurants, street stalls and convenience stores within walking distance in the village of Ao Nang, about 300m away. The small weekend night market is located right outside the entrance.
The resort is Muslim-owned; all food served is Halal and no alcohol is available for sale, though you may bring your own inside.
Last updated: July 1, 2014