Where to stay on Koh Lanta (with or without kids)

Last updated on November 24, 2023

Oasis Yoga Bungalows Koh Lanta

We fell head over heels for Koh Lanta, Thailand’s laidback island in the Andaman Sea where it often feels like time’s stood still. Unlike Phuket, it’s not wildly developed and you’ll only find a handful of big resorts while the rest are smaller, family-run places. There are Koh Lanta hotel options for all budgets from backpacker up to luxury.

When choosing where to stay in Koh Lanta, you’ll need to consider the different beach areas and their facilities, and then the type of place you’d like to stay. We’ve made it easier for you by taking a look at the most popular areas and explaining the pros and cons of each one. We’ve also suggested Koh Lanta hotels and guesthouses for each area.

We went to Koh Lanta as a family with our two kids, aged 2 and 5, so we’ve highlighted the pros and cons for families too.

Personally, our favourite is Long Beach. And we loved Khlong Dao and Kantiang Bay too, but you might prefer something different. It all depends on your priorities and the type of vibe you’re drawn to. They’re fall fairly close to each other, so you could try a few different places.

We stayed in or looked around nearly all of the Koh Lanta accommodation in this post, and the others were recommended by friends.

Just let me know if you have any questions.

And don’t miss our post on visiting Koh Lanta with kids, and our guide to how to get to Koh Lanta.

The best areas to stay in Koh Lanta

Khlong Dao

Khlong Dao beach

Khlong Dao is the most popular place for families in Koh Lanta. The 3km sandy beach is lined with guesthouses, restaurants, bars, massage huts and shops. And the water is calm, perfect for swimming.

The beach is wide so there’s plenty of sand to run around on and we found some fabulous shells while there. The kids loved all the patterns made by the crabs in the sand.

Khlong Dao is also the beach where we found the most restaurants with boxes of toys and play areas for kids. It’s overtly geared towards families. That said, we also saw plenty of couple and solo travellers too.

Indian Bar, Koh Lanta

Khlong Dao is a horseshoe bay, so you can see the whole beach, which makes it feel less secluded than some of the spots on Long Beach. And the width of the beach means there are fewer shady spots. Properties put sun loungers and umbrellas on the sand, but they can’t go beyond a few metres of their resort, so much of the beach is open and free. In some ways this is wonderful as it feels so spacious, but with little kids, we found it easier on Long Beach where we could set ourselves up with a palapa and still be close to them playing in the sea.

Because of the amount of restaurants and bars, Khlong Dao feels more lively than Long Beach, but it’s still a very laidback place. Some of the bars hold regular fire shows around 8pm each night (check the signs along the sand), including the excellent Indian Bar.

We had some great evenings in Khlong Dao hanging out at the restaurants while the kids played, and then enjoying a fire show later on.

Khlong Dao is the closest beach to Saladan Pier where you arrive on Koh Lanta, so it’s also the easiest to get to. It’s about 5-10 minutes from the pier, depending on where you stay.

Some of our favourite spots in Khlong Dao:

  • Oasis Yoga for classes in an open-air studio surrounded by lush gardens
  • Lanta Cinema – open-air cinema showing nightly films in the high season
  • Thai’ce – excellent ice cream at Boogie Bay Bar
  • Indian Bar – classic Thai beach shack bar with a nightly fire show
  • Heama – the best Indian food on Koh Lanta
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Long Beach (Pra -Ae)

Long Beach Koh Lanta

Long Beach is our personal favourite place to stay in Koh Lanta. While it’s not quite as well set up for kids as Khlong Dao in terms of all the play areas and toys, we found the beach to be better suited to our needs. And it’s just as good for couples and solo travellers as it is for families.

Long Beach is a really long stretch of sand at 4km, but it’s much narrower than Khlong Dao, so you can easily nip between the restaurants, sun loungers and sea. We were able to set ourselves up with a palapa/beach lounger and still be close to the water where the kids were playing.

Long Beach, Koh Lanta

It’s also edged by beautiful casuarina trees that provide much-needed shade. Plus, because its narrower, the resort’s umbrellas, palapas etc are close to the water anyway.

Because Long Beach is linear rather than curved, many spots along the beach feel quite secluded, which creates a lovely desert island vibe (albeit one with excellent coffee!). And it feels much quieter than Khlong Dao.

Most of the restaurants and massage spots along Khlong Dao are attached to a resort/hotel, but are open to non-guests too. To get to a 7/11 or convenience store, you’ll normally need to go up to the main road (about a 5-10 minute walk, depending on where you are).

That said, the northern end of Long Beach is slightly different and has a bigger cluster of restaurants, bars and shops. This is a section that’s popular with backpackers and the road leading down to it has even been named ‘Traveller Lane’. This road is lined with cheap guesthouses and is home to the popular Aleena’s Minimart with Mr Pad Thai outside (a street food vendor selling the island’s best pad thai).

There’s also a beach club on Long Beach nearer to the middle called Pangea that hosts a popular club night on Tuesdays. This is an anomaly in the area, but be aware that if you stay nearby, it might be quite noisy.

We don’t particularly recommend the southern section of Long Beach as there are lots of rocks in the water making it unsafe for swimming. Particularly avoid this if you’re travelling with kids. But some of the accommodation is cheaper around here and it’s only about a 20-minute walk to some of the better sections of beach, so adults could do well to stay here and simply walk to their swimming spot.

Long Beach is the next beach along from Khlong Dao and about 10-15 minutes from Saladan pier, depending on where you stay.

Some of our favourite spots in Long Beach:

Khlong Khong

Khlong Khong beach bars

Koh Lanta isn’t a party island in the way that somewhere like Ko Phi Phi is famous for, but the closest it gets to that is in Khlong Kong. There are lots of bars and restaurants along the beach, many offering happy hours and fire shows. And it’s one of the most popular areas for backpackers (outside of Long Beach’s ‘Traveller Lane’).

It’s a narrow, rocky beach so not good for swimming, although you can swim at high tide. Because of the rocks, it’s less suitable for families.

Khlong Kong sunset, Koh Lanta

We had a good evening there, eating at Patty’s Secret Garden (which has a play area for kids) and taking a walk along the beach, enjoying the vibes from all the bars. But it definitely felt more backpacker-focused than Khlong Dao and Long Beach.

The accommodation around here is often a little cheaper than some of the other resorts, hence all the backpackers.

Khlong Kong is the next beach along from Long beach, and about 15-20 minutes from Saladan Pier.

Some highlights in Khlong Kong include:

  • Pattys Secret Garden – friendly restaurant and bar with a kids’ play area and perfect sunset views.
  • Frankie’s – popular spot for sundowners with lots of cushions on the sand
  • Mushroom Bar Koh Lanta – psychedelic party bar in Khlong Khong
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Kantiang Bay

Kantiang Bay

Ahh, Kantiang Bay will forever be for me the idyllic place where I saw two friends get married. It’s a dream of a beach, backed by jungle-covered mountains and with white powdery sand leading down to the calm waters, perfect for swimming.

Like Khlong Dao, it isn’t the best for kids due to the lack of shade, but it’s definitely one of the island’s most stunning beaches. It’s next to Nui Bay, which is also one of the island’s most gorgeous spots.

Kantiang Bay is home to The Pimalai, Koh Lanta’s most luxury resort (where we stayed for the wedding), but there are also some more budget-friendly options in the area. And the village itself has a handful of bars, restaurants and shops. The popular Why Not Bar hosts what is said to be the island’s best fire show (they did an incredible personalised one on our friends’ wedding night!).

Pimalai Koh Lanta

It’s about a 35-minute drive from Saladan pier. Or if you’re staying at the Pimalai, you get a free boat transfer to Hua Hin pier on the mainland (about 40 minutes’ by boat).

As a whole, this area isn’t particularly family-focussed, but if you’re looking for ease and luxury then the Pimalai is an incredible option. And they are welcoming to kids (they even have a kids club and babysitting service).

Khlong Nin

We didn’t make it to Khlong Nin, but we hear it offers a quiet place to stay with a laidback, hippy vibe. It’s inbetween Khlong Kong and Kantiang Bay, so about halfway down the island.

Koh Lanta Old Town

We also didn’t make it to Koh Lanta Old Town, only seeing if from the water when we passed by on a boat. It’s on the east coast where there are no beaches, but it’s a cute little spot where all the houses are on wooden stilts over the water.

Most people tend to visit as a day trip, or en route to one of the island’s boat excursions, but there are some fun places to stay too. We liked the look of the Sweet Life Community Guesthouse and Navareeya House Seaview.

It isn’t the most ideal place for kids because of the lack of beach.

The best Koh Lanta hotels and guesthouses

Khlong Dao hotels and guesthouses

Oasis Yoga Bungalows

Oasis Yoga is the island’s most popular spot for yoga and they have a lovely collection of bungalows for rental too. The cute wooden bungalows are set around a neatly landscaped jungle garden and swimming pool with a serene, wellbeing vibe.

Although it might not sound like a family destination, kids are welcome and there were plenty there during our stay. As well as the bungalows, there’s a larger two-bedroom villa for hire too.

The onsite restaurant has a deliciously healthy menu and the buffet breakfast is fantastic. Being able to do yoga each morning was a wonderful treat (it reminded me of my training in San Pancho). It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the beach.

Check the latest deals here.

Banana Beach Bungalows

We didn’t stay at Banana Beach Resort, but we looked around and friends have recommended it too. It’s one of the most family-friendly budget resorts on Koh Lanta and is amazingly set up for kids with a fun playground right on the beach. The pool has a kid’s area and looks out onto the sea.

It’s also very close to lots of fun bars and restaurants with plenty of toys provided. And it’s next to the Indian Bar, which has a nightly fire show. The rooms are basic but comfy.

Check the latest deals here.

Long Beach hotels and guesthouses

Long Beach Chalet

Long Beach Chalet is a gorgeous beachfront resort with bungalows right on the sand as well as garden accommodation too. The pool (with a kids’ area too) looks out onto the beach. It’s also home to Element, which serves the best coffee in Koh Lanta (what a luxury to drink cold brew on the beach!).

We particularly loved all the palapas, sun loungers and cushions on the beach, which guests can use for free. The restaurant, Nim’s, serves good fit and has nightly entertainment.

Check the latest deals here.

Mook Lanta

Mook Lanta is a great budget option at the north end of Khlong Dao beach. It’s about a five-minute walk from the beach and close to the rocky end of Khlong Dao, which means it’s cheaper than some of the options directly on the sandy stretch of Long Beach.

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It’s an eco resort with a focus on sustainability, including planet-friendly products and practices, such as not washing towels every day.

Guests are free to use the pool at next door’s Lanta Lilly Resort. The pool is surrounded by trees, but also next to the roadside so not as idyllic as some of the other pools on Koh Lanta.

Breakfast is included, and features yummy homemade bread and jam.

The bungalows are connected by a raised path, which we found a little treacherous with toddlers.

Check availability and prices now.

Lanta Sand Resort and Spa

Lanta Sand Resort and Spa is really popular with families visiting Koh Lanta as it has lots of useful facilities like a kids’ playroom and pools.

But we had a look, and it felt a little charmless to us. It felt a little too polished and lacked that Thai beachside vibe that we love so much. That said, we’ve read many excellent reviews of the place, so it might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Check availability and prices now.

Khlong Kong Hotels and Restaurants

Coco Lanta Eco Resort

If we had stayed the night in Khlong Kong, we’d have chosen Coco Lanta Eco Resort because the prices were reasonable and we’d heard from friends that it’s family-friendly. It has that rustic, Thai island beach vibe that we covet while also being comfortable.

There’s a regular fire show at the onsite beach bar.

Check availability and prices now.

New Coconut Bungalow

Another option we considered on Khlong Khong is New Coconut Bungalow. It sounds like good budget option with a range of different rooms, ranging from simple wooden bungalows to less rustic, air-con options.  There’s also a kids playroom. The onsite restaurant is popular and there’s a fire show twice a week.

Check availability and prices now.

Kantiang Bay hotels and guesthouses

Pimalai

If you want to go all White Lotus for your holiday then The Pimalai is the place to be. The luxury five-star resort is truly stunning with exceptional views across Kantiang Bay, especially in the hillside area of the property.

It comes with all the luxuries you’d expect from a five-star hotel and is also well set up for families with a kids club and babysitting service. They even gave a teddy, milk and cookies as part of the turn-down service at night!

We loved being there for the wedding, but I’d recommend something more low key to experience the laidback beach vibes that made us fall in love with Koh Lanta.

Check the latest deals here.

Khlong Nin Hotels and Restaurants

Lanta Miami Resort

Lanta Miami Resort reminds us of Long Beach Chalet, but on Khlong Nin instead of Long Beach. It has a range of rooms, many with a sea view, and some with their own private splash pool. It’s family friendly, but would also suit couples or solo travellers too.

The food gets rave reviews too.

Check the latest prices and availability here.

Rawi Warin Hotel and Spa

The five-star Rawi Warin Hotel and Spa is one of the most luxurious resorts on Koh Lanta. It’s on Klong Toab Beach just next to Khlong Nin, and many of the rooms are built into the hillside with fabulous views across the bay.

It’s popular with couples, but also well set up for families with a kids club and kids pool, complete with a water slide.

Check the latest prices and availability here.

Koh Lanta Old Town hotels and guesthouses

Sweet Life Community Guesthouse

Sweet Life Community Guesthouse in Koh Lanta old town gets 5-star reviews for the hospitality of its hosts. The cute house is centered around community with commons areas, a café, and dorm beds available.

The same owners have other guesthouses on the island, including Green Pepper, which has a particularly lovely, boho décor. Green Pepper is inland so cheaper than many other places on the island. You’d need to hire a scooter if staying there.

Check availability and prices now.

Navareeya House Seaview

Navareeya House Seaview is a typical Lanta Old Town guesthouse with a big terrace overlooking the sea. Many of the room have a balcony and sea view, although you can get cheaper ones without.

Check availability and prices now.

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