More about Ancient Realm Resort and Spa
Delightful Ancient Realm
How could you possibly say anything bad about this resort. My girlfriend and I looked for ages and stumbled upon this beautiful resort and booked 5 nights directly through the website. We had seen plenty of reviews which had all said how good this place was and we were not disappointed it was fantastic.
On arrival we met Suki who was the manager of the resort and was extremely helpful all the way through our stay (Suki if your reading this then hi, we will aim to come out again in 2009).
The accommodation is basically beach huts and they have about 20 of them and they are all within a 20 yard walk of the beach which is fantastic. The beach huts have a fridge, TV, wardrobes and a huge bed along with other decorative items which make the huts look and feel extremely romantic. The toilet and shower is outside, through a back door (but don't worry there is a big wall so that nobody can see you). It is amazing to shower looking upto the stars.
Every morning we put our breakfast order in and the staff would serve us as we sat on the beach and enjoyed the morning sun. For evening meals we stayed in our resort a few nights but also ventured down the beach to other places to try out there cuisine. The food all round was awesome, really could not complain at all. One particular night the fishermen came in on the boats and dropped off the fresh fish and prawns directly to the resort and these were cooked up in front of us whilst being marinated in various sauces (Need I say it tasted delicious).
One particular place we went to was called time for lime where they served some excellent mojitos with the sun going down in the distance and then ate some excellent food. (This place also offers thai cooking lessons which are supposed to be great)
We did a few day trips which were excellent - snorkelling on Koh Rok was a very good day, the island is amazing with the best sand and the clearest of water, so that is an excellent recommendation. Also we hired a moped (and don't worry about traffic it really is not very busy on this island). We drove to a viewpoint which overlooked another side of the island, and then into Lanta Town which was very peaceful and quaint. We then went back on ourselves to get back to the main road and continued further south. The road leads onto a dirt track which will take you to a waterfall. The waterfall is signposted once you reach the dirt track and then you need to follow this for about half a mile and then park up. The waterfall is then a 25 minute walk on a small pathway which takes you upstream, but well worth it when you get there. We were lucky as we were the only people there which made it extra special and so quiet.
I really recommend Koh lanta as an island, it gets you away from the over commercial islands and offers beauty and tranquility, and I also recommend the ancient Realm as the resort was great and catered for everything we needed.
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Fastatic relaxation resort
We can´t say anything bad about this lovely resort, staff or service. We actually love the place so much that we went there for the second time in two years. We stayed there on December 2008 for 2,5 weeks, through Christmas. Resort has got a lots of good reviews, and really, for a reason!
It´s not a 5 star hotel, but all of those wooden, shabby bungalows that you can find in Thailand, this is totally different. We have travelled around Thailand six times in many different places, so compared to other places, this is absolutely the best!
So if you are looking for natural environment, great ocean view, a peaceful paradise surrounded with very idyllic “eco” bungalows with their own gardens, this is an excellent choice.
We stayed both times (dec2007, dec2008) on a beach hut. It includes a fridge, TV, wardrobes and a huge bed along with other decorative items which make the hut look and feel so romantic. Very nice place for a young couples, like us The toilet and shower is outside, through a back door. It is really amazing to shower looking up to the stars. Never seen anything like this before!
This place is totally something different than those boring concrete houses you can see everywhere, also in Koh Lanta. If you can´ t live with Thailand´ s natural animals or insects, maybe you should just spend your holiday at home! We didn’t have any problems with mosquitoes nor ants and you can protect yourself easily with mosquito repellent from 7-Eleven. Those little annoyances belongs to tropical islands, so you just have to deal with them.
Weather was windy for couple of days, but that was very welcoming after very hot days! Otherwise the weather was just perfect. But….weather is also one thing that is not up to us to decide.
The staff has always been more than friendly. Everyone remembered us from our last stay and they came to welcome us and to give us big hugs when we arrived! That warm welcome was something we don’t forget! I must say one phrase: the way you treat people is the way you are being treated.
It was really sad to hear people complaining about really insignificant matters. Staff does everything to make sure that resort surroundings and service is good all the time.
There was little noise coming from the construction next door. In our holiday the noisy construction work was finished and they started to work with decorative stuff. So, I think there is no more that disturbing noise!
Ancient Realm Resort is a great place to relax and forget work! We spend many days relaxing on the beach or by having different massages (great by the way). You can have your massage also next to beach on a comfortable base so you can here and see the sea at the same time. What else can you ask for! Every morning we had breakfast next to the beach tables and enjoyed the rising morning sun.
I think the best time we had on Christmas. We went “food shopping” with Suki and Clinton and made Christmas B.B.Q. on the beach! That was a really nice experience and very different Christmas than we are used to have in Finland.
We recommend this place for everyone and we definitely are coming back next year (or this year)! Suki, Clinton, “mum” and everyone else: We miss You already!
Unfortunate stay - nice eco-resort
We stayed in Ancient Realm for two nights in December 2008. The Klong Dao Beach has mostly larger resorts with tourist groups so these kind of smaller resort are definitely welcomed addition to those.
We arrived with high expectations due to the earlier Tripadvisor comments and unfortunately we found ourselves a bit disappointed with our stay in the resort. We had some minor issues with ants in the bungalow, lizards in the ceiling, towels, construction site nearby etc. which added up so that we decided to complain to the management there.
After discussing these issues with the staff we heard of the unfortunate events they had gone just before we had arrived with heavy rains, wind and issues with the building site etc. So we soon realized that we had just been very unfortunate with our timing this time. Staff worked very hard to get everything in place again and the problems we faced were really minor considering the challenges they had faced.
We were also offered free spa treatment and voucher for 2 days with sincere apologizies because of the inconveniences we had gone through. We definitely appreciated this gesture from the hotel management.
So if we put aside our initial feelings of disappointment we can honestly say that Ancient Realm is great resort for everyone who wishes to stay in a smaller resort close to the beach, with very nice & helpful staff. Location is great and bungalows well above the average standard (we especially appreciated the dvd player and dvds). Extra value can be given for the eco approach they have - it's still quite rare in Thailand.
Don't expext the Ancient Realm to be a 5* resort but you can expect to have it there definitely better than in majority of the beach bungalow resorts in Thailand - with a reasonable price. Definitely worth to check this out if you stay in Klong Dao.
Loved the eco-friendly-style bungalows and the faboulous staff!!
We stayed at the Ancient Realm for 3 nights in December 2008 and we had a great time. The bungalows are very nicely decorated, clean and cosy, the bed is very big and comfortable (not too soft so even very healthy for your back ;-)), internet at the reception is free of use, you have the possibility of watching the latest dvd's at your own bungalow (dvd's you can get at the reception).
We were staying during Christmas time and at Christmas eve the owners Suki and Clinton invited us to join the Christmas-BBQ at the beach. It was fantastic and we had a great evening grilling fish, meet, drinking breezers and dancing on the beach with a mix of people from different nationalities.
One evening it started raining but hey, it's holiday, make the best of it, so we decided to get a SPA treatment at the Ancient Realm Spa which we highly can recommend! We hired a scooter via Suki and we discovered the island. Plenty of restaurants nearby, you can reach them by foot or scooter.
The staff was working very hard during our stay and we really enjoyed being here! We didn't have complaints about noise as some other people wrote about in some other reviews!
If you are looking for a more personal touch, a boutique hotel, definitely stay here!
Thanx SUKI and CLINTON and good luck with everything!!Hopefully you will be able to take a break yourself one of these days. When we (the Dutch ones :-)) come back to Ko Lanta, we definitely step by!!
P.S. I have some nice pictures from the Christmas eve BBQ party, so to all of the people who were attending that evening, please email me if you want me to send them to your private mail.
Not the same hotel as in the reviews
I am currently staying at the Ancient Realm and wonder if it is the same resort I've been reading about in previous reviews. Yes, there are the open-air bathrooms, the oceanfront small pool and spa and even the construction behind the resort, but where, oh where, is the helpful and considerate management and staff we've all read about? During the 4 days I’ve stayed here not one member of the management team has said “Hello” to me. I would understand this at a large hotel, but we’re talking about a place with less than two dozen rooms that bills itself as a boutique resort. With the reviews I had read I would have expected management to ensure that each guest was recognized and welcomed. When there was a small problem at check-in, management made no attempt to offer any token of good-will - maybe even the offer of a drink would have been nice, but by check-out the issue had still not been resolved, so it must have unimportant to them. At first even the staff seemed indifferent but I expect their hesitancy may well be due to the fact that most speak little or no English, but then I speak no Thai so I can’t fault them.
I don't know what breakfasts other guests are enjoying because after filling out my written breakfast request form, I was given coffee which tasted like it was out of a packet and white-bread styrofoam toast and a small portion of scambled eggs. I’ve had to supplement each breakfast with some of the delicious food at the friendly restaurant “Slow Down” which is right next door. They say they frequently have guests from Ancient Realm coming over to their restaurant for breakfast.
On the positive side, the rooms are comfortable with all the amenities listed. I've stayed in many, many resorts throughout Thailand and in most of the countries in South East Asia and honestly I am at a loss as to who is writing these "rave" reviews about a resort that in my opinion is adequate but certainly should not rate in the Top 5 of Trip Advisor's
Not what we expected
We stayed at Ancient Realm towards the end of November 2008 and have to say that we were disappointed considering the reviews we had read and the information/portrayal on the hotel's website.
The weather during our stay was not the best, to say the least, and whilst this is in no way the hotel's fault, it only helped to highlight some of the issues.
The outside bathrooms, whilst quirky and in keeping with the eco-style of the hotel, meant that if you were trying to take a hot shower when it was raining you got more cold than hot. The general decor of the bathroom was also rather shabby for a room costing over £50 a night. Also, the toilet did not flush properly and despite informing the staff on at least two occasions their response was not to fix the problem, but to leave a plunger in the bathroom.
We were also disappointed with some of the facilities. The pool is small, though we were aware of this, but was also rather shabby and not particularly inviting. On arrival, neither of the jacuzzis were working. When they did get them working, they were only filled with cold water, not exactly inviting when it is cloudy and cool. This being said, we were told that the owner is planning on installing heaters for the jacuzzis.
We had noise issues with construction work, boat builders and fisherman leaving early in the morning on their noisy longtails. Whilst these issues are in no way the fault of the management, I think it necessary that all potential guests be made aware of this.
Now for the good stuff. The room itself was lovely, with a comfortable bed, air conditioning, fridge, free water, cable TV and a DVD player.
The food in the restaurant was excellent and it was lovely to sit on the beach eating freshly-caught seafood.
The staff were very helpful, especially Suki who came to us personally to discuss all the problems and offered to upgrade our spa treatments (which were excellent) inlight of the issues. She was also very helpful in trying to sort out our flights after they closed the Bangkok airports. Having free internet and being able to hire scooters was also a great bonus.
The location of the hotel is also very good. It's at the southern end of Klong Dao which means you are slightly away from the majority of the other beachfront resorts. We did, however, find that due to the bad weather it was windier down there then further north up the beach. I don't know if this is the prevailing wind direction or just unfortunate, but if the weather is hot I'm sure any breeze would be welcome!
It's a shame that I'm not able to recommend Ancient Realm as it has a lot of potential. There are lots of excellent reviews on here, maybe we were just unlucky. Good luck Clinton and Suki!
Great stay (despite the weather)
We stayed at the Ancient Realm from 17th - 27th November and have to say it was one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in during our times in Thailand.
We booked directly through the hotel website and were very impressed with the service and response time from both Clinton and Suki, and also the offers available.
The bungalows themselves are lovely - simple in design but containing everything you need. The outside bathroom was great, although I think the showers could be a little more powerful - but do appreciate the eco-slant the hotel takes.
When the weather was bad - and unfortunately it wasn't the usual November weather when we stayed - we made full use of the DVD library and the TV and DVD in our room - very peaceful. We also used the spa - fantastic - and hired mopeds through the hotel and had a fantastic day exploring the island.
Suki was very friendly and helpful to talk to - especially with the problems with the airport - and the free internet was worth it's weight in gold - an absolute bonus that you don't even get in most resorts of a higher star rating.
Breakfast each morning was delicious and although we only ate a couple of times in the resort at night or lunch time, the food was very tasty.
There was some construction noise, but to be honest once we had "zoned out" collapsed on a deck chair and reading a book, it really didn't bother us.
One thing that could be improved though is the deckchairs/sun loungers - they really weren't that comfortable, apart from the handful of fabric loungers. The wooden ones were not great to lie on.
All in all, it was a fantastic location and place to chill out and switch off from the world.
Great for a short time
Although my judgment may be a little clouded due to the unbelievably bad weather. We arrived at the Ancient realm only to find our room was not ready so we had to sit in the no walled spa area where we could see people getting massaged (no privacy) , The rain was pouring in and it was so windy we were all getting wet.
After what seemed ages we were given our rooms. Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed as they were not to the expectation of what the website had led us to believe. The outdoor shower and toilet was novel but again due to the bad weather it was cold and unpleasant showering in the wind and rain.The lock on the bathroom was broken, the bin (toilet) hadn't been emptied from the previous guests and the sink hadn't been cleaned. No soap was provided but fortunately there is a supermarket close by. On saying that though Suki was very nice and helped us with booking a minibus and suggestions where to eat, places to visit etc.. The free dvds came in handy due to the weather. The kitchen staff spoke no english so when we ordered breakfast we never seemed to get what we requested.There were people still sleeping on the floor of the restaurant so had to sit outside again with the wind and rain blowing in the unwalled structure.Suki was having staff problems at the time so this may have been why kitchen staff were miserable and didnt seem to know what they were doing.
not up to website quality
After reading the reviews on Tripadvisor I was really looking forward to staying at this resort. When we arrived Suki and Clinton were away and found that the receptionist had little English. There is building work behind the resort which went on till 9.30pm whilst not the fault of Ancient Realms is an issue . The resort is mainly occuppied with Swedes and one family went early in the morning to reserve all the available deck chairs. The weather was windy but if you went to the next beach it was fine. We had food from the restaurant and found it very ordinary and after that occassion ate else where.The rooms were clean but thought that the raised decoration on the steps leading to the bathroom an issue as I was scared I might fall or slip on them.