When travelling I always like to go to at least one place I haven’t been before. For the Thailand leg of the trip it was Aonang, located about 45 mins drive from Krabi Airport. Krabi is the gateway to Thailand’s southern islands that aren’t accessible by air. Aonang is a great place to explore Railay Beach and Koh Phi Phi. You can also get a boat transfer from Aonang to Phuket if you wanted to visit both.
We only had a short visit to Aonang and unfortunately we didn’t get to explore as much as we would have liked. Alannah got an ear infection and we spent one morning at the doctors getting it seen to. She was in a pretty bad way for a while there but once the medication kicked in she started to come good. The medical clinic was great and its in the main street of Aonang, only 2 minutes walk from our hotel the Aonang Cliff Beach Resort. I believe Aonang Cliff Beach Resort is the best place to stay in Aonang with kids, read on to see why.
Aonang Cliff Beach Resort is located on the main drag of Aonang. The street is full of accommodation of all standards with quite a number of restaurants and souvenir shops. Diving is the main attraction here so many of the stores sell swimmers, sarongs, waterproof diving bags, iPhone water proof covers and of course elephant pants and usual array of clothing. The Aonang Cliff Beach Resort is about half way up the main road and is 8 floors are built into the cliff. We were on the 8th floor in a room looking straight out to sea with the limestone karsts in the background.
We had the best view from our room, it looked straight out to the ocean and we could see all the long boats coming and going with tourists from the islands and Railay Beach day tours. The balcony had an outdoor bath tub that the kids thought was pretty cool.
Inside there were 2 king single beds and a fold out single bed, Keira slept on the day bed in the corner as she is the smallest and didn’t want to share with her sister. There was a flat screen TV on the wall and a long desk attached to the wall with plenty of space for charging all our toys. The rooms look to have been recently renovated and were very clean, crisp and new.
The bathroom had a nice big window looking out across the room and out the glass door at the amazing view. I love how these rooms are designed for maximum advantage of soaking up the view. The bathroom was also recently renovated and was very functional and used the space well. There was a privacy shutter for those not wanting to view the room while showering and the rain shower head had great pressure. I liked that there was an extra bench opposite the vanity as it allowed 2 people to get ready at once.
Further up the hill from our room there was some construction underway of what looks like private plunge pool villas. There were a few that may have been finished with people staying in them and they look like they are going to be amazing when complete. I can just imagine the view from right up there and your own plunge pool as well, now that’s special.
Aonang Cliff Beach Resort has the best view from an infinity pool anywhere in Thailand, the Pano Pool! Big statement but check out that view! The water was warm and there was the Pano Pool Bar for refreshments. We spent the afternoon here lapping up the amazing view. The Resort has another pool, the Orchid Pool, down on one of the lower levels beside reception but with a view like this I wasn’t going down there!
The Resort is built up the side of the cliff and parts of it were very steep, unlike their sister hotel in Koh Lanta, the Crown Lanta Resort and Spa which uses golf buggy’s and converted trucks to get around the resort, Aonang Cliff Beach Resort had a series of lifts to get you up to your room. It takes a while to get the hang of it but once you have, you will be zipping between the levels in no time. From ground to our room took a series of 3 lifts. If you had luggage the reception organised these little Nissans with no doors to get you up and down, the kids loved the Mr Bean car with no doors!
The breakfast buffet was located in the Pano Cafe on the floor below the infinity pool and incorporated a feature water wall from the pool into the restaurant. The restaurant was all open and airy and those on the outer tables had the same amazing view as the infinity pool. The buffet was great, eggs cooked to order, Asian noodles and rice dishes as well as fresh fruit and yogurt which is Keira’s favourite. Alannah particularly likes the pastries and Caelan well, he eats nearly everything but goes to the pancakes first. He makes at least 10 trips to the buffet each morning and it’s usually the first thing he asks when we say we are going on holiday. It amazes me what that boy puts away at breakfast.
The Aonang Buffet Restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and a buffet dinner. Dinner was fantastic with a seafood BBQ and entertainment including fire dancers. The buffet is really extensive, I can’t think of anything that wasn’t on the menu here. The restaurant is located on the ground floor next to the lobby and at dinner time they move the tables out onto the street for alfresco dining.
On our second day we had a late lunch at the Andamana Beach Restaurant, about a 10 minute drive away and part of the Alisea Boutique Hotel. The Aonang Cliff Beach Resort offers a free shuttle every 2 hours between the resort and the Andamana. The club is on a private beach and has a rustic open hut feel to it, we loved it there. The menu consists of traditional Thai food here, I had an amazing Pad Thai with chicken and it really was the best I’ve ever had. Craig loved the chicken Thai Green Curry and the kids had some fried rice. Alannah was really sick at this stage so we just had her lying down for a little while. It was lovely to have our own little slice of paradise for the afternoon and the kids played happily in the water while Craig and I enjoyed some ‘refreshments’.
I always suggest that you check the hotel online reservation price before checking other booking sites, it can be found here, Aonang Cliff Beach Resort. After that I would compare the pricing with agoda.com as this is my ‘go to’ site for Asia. I find their prices fairly reasonable, doesn’t hurt to check a few others as well.
I loved Aonang, there was so much to do. Even though we lost half a day to Alannah being sick we still managed to all go together for a 30 min foot massage, Caelan was in heaven and has asked 100 times since can he go for another massage! The girls also had their hair braided at the same place which took 3 hours so I snuck in another 1 hour foot massage!!
We visited Railay Beach for a morning of fun on the beach. I loved Railay but it sure does get very busy. It was our last morning before heading to Crown Lanta so we only had a couple of hours to enjoy it (post coming). The kids didn’t like the long boat ride out to Railay though!! You can also organise day trips out to the islands from Aonang Beach.
If I was staying at Aonang, I would not stay anywhere else. I think Aonang Cliff Beach Resort is the best there is and certainly has the best views and infinity pool. It’s handy being right on the main strip and having plenty of food options if you don’t want to eat in the resort. It also has a 7/11 right next to the resort for if you need anything, not to mention the medical clinic down the road that was pretty busy with foreigners.
I feel like we need to go back to Aonang, we didn’t get to see it all and there was plenty more I would have liked to explore. There were also a few dresses I wanted to get but ran out of time to go back to the shop with the best price. I don’t know why I don’t just buy things when I see them! Do you do that? Have you been to Aonang? What did you think? Leave your message in the comments below, I would love to hear.
After our visit to Aonang we moved on to the Crown Lanta on Koh Lanta Island which was also fantastic. Click the link to read about our perfect island getaway.
Sal & Co
Disclaimer: We had a mutually beneficial arrangement with Aonang Cliff Beach Resort & Spa, as always our opinion is our own.