The Pimalai Resort & Spa is the most spectacular property on Koh Lanta. Located halfway down the west coast of the island, the Pimalai blends into the tropical rain forest on a hillside, and offers stunning views of a beautiful white sand beach, the Andaman sea and Koh Haa on the horizon.
From start to finish, the Pimalai goes above and beyond for its guests. To get to the resort the Pimalai has its own private speedboat, and this is a great chance to glimpse the east coast of Koh Lanta, from small fishing towns to the rolling mountains of the island, and the protected Mu Koh Lanta National Park’s Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Talabeng. The scenery on the way to the Pimalai is the start of a luxurious journey into nature. After the hour’s speedboat ride, guests arrive on the pristine beach and Pimalai staff greet you with a floral garland and a smile, then whisk you away to check into paradise.
The meaning of the resort reflects its philosophy, both to nature and to its community. ‘Pimalai’ is a Sanskrit word translating into ‘little patch of heaven’, and the Pimalai strives to provide guests with the most unforgettable and relaxing experience. From the award winning Pimalai Spa to the fine dining options, plush rooms with unparalleled views and complimentary activities, the resort caters for guests’ every need, while ensuring rest, solitude and good health.The Pimalai Resort & Spa has been built with nature in mind, and as such everything has been built to compliment and protect the natural environment around the resort. Over 90% of the flora and fauna is indigenous to the area, with the small exceptions being in the local kitchen gardens, planted to avoid transportation miles. Since the habitat is as it once was, the resort is filled with birdsong – a bird watchers paradise.
As well as being part of the Small Luxury Hotels group and Green Globe, the Pimalai is also a member of Green Pearls, which is a collection of unique and sustainable hotels focusing on environmental initiatives. Unlike most of Thailand, the Pimalai has taken the time to rid the resort of unnecessary plastic and waste, ensure spa and bathroom products are sourced from natural ingredients, and minimises noise pollution by restricting vehicles and using electrically powered vehicles within the resort instead of cars. The Pimalai was also the first hotel in Thailand to use a floating jetty instead of a permanent pier to reduce their impact on the ocean environment.
Caring for the nature within the resort is not enough for them and the Pimalai also looks after the local community. The resort has been active in training and hiring the local residents of Koh Lanta to offer stable employment. Around half of the workforce at the Pimalai is from the area and the hotel is the largest employer on the island. Since the hotel staff have such a connection to the local community the hotel often helps out with a range of issues. For Koh Lanta hospital and local schools, the Pimalai has donated various pieces of equipment over the years, including a dialysis machine, a dozen PCs and regularly host exclusive evenings at the resort to raise money for smaller items in need. The resort has organised countless clean ups of local beaches and the sea bed at Koh Haa dive site, and also sponsors a yearly repopulation of clown fish into their local sea spots.
Beyond caring for nature and the local community, the Pimalai dedicates all their energy to the guests of the hotel and ensuring every aspect of their stay is extraordinary. The different room types ensure that there is an abode to suite anyone. The Deluxes are private little hideaways with garden views and the Bayfront Deluxe rooms allow guests to be a stone’s throw from the beach and views of the bay and gardens from the outdoor verandah. The Pavilion suites come with one or two bedrooms, a living and dining area, bathroom with outdoor shower and a large outdoor terrace with partial sea views. For those who love the beach, the Beachside Villas are located where the beach ends and the resort begins. There is a range of one, two or three bedroom villas with private infinity edge pools to enjoy the beach in privacy.
Half of the Pimalai’s rooms are close to the beach, but as the resort retreats further north and up the mountain the deluxe rooms end and the area is populated by stunning pool villas with incredible views. Also coming in one, two or three bedroom varieties, the ocean view pool villas are encompassed by nature and ensure privacy and serenity. Since the hillside is steep, the motorised buggies are on call to drive guests around the Pimalai, and for those looking for seclusion and solitude, these are the ideal villas. Each villa comes in two sections; the living, dining and kitchen area, and the bedroom and bathroom area, and the two sections are separated by an infinity edged swimming pool. The villas have been designed in traditional Thai style, including a small Sala area to relax and admire the bay views. The rooms have been furnished to perfection, with spacious bathrooms that include strategically placed windows to ensure the bay views extend into the bed and bathroom. With luxury within and nature around, guests staying in the pool villas are unlikely to want to leave their rooms.
If guests do feel like exploring then the Pimalai Resort & Spa offers countless activities and day trips, a dive shop within the resort and countless experiences from yoga and muay Thai classes to shopping tours or elephant safaris. For those looking to relax or indulge then a trip to Pimalai Spa is a must. The three restaurants on site offer a journey into Thai cuisine and the lobby lounge has a daily happy hour and a rainbow of cocktails. The Pimalai also arranges unforgettable beach weddings, honeymoons and secret sanctuary packages, and for Thai residents they also offer special packages to ensure the Pimalai is loved by everyone, not just international guests.