A Beach Paradise awardA Romantic Escape awardAffordable Luxury awardBoutique-Design Hotel awardExceptional Food awardOff The Tourist Track award

What amazed us most?

The inspiring, and the special, story of how and why this Resort was built.

Why should you come here?

To experience 9 km of pristine beach for yourself, to taste exceptional thai-european cuisine, and to see the rare pink Dolphins.

special thing about the resort

The Aava Resort and Spa is an amazingly affordable luxury hotel built in a remote area off the tourists' radars, in Khanom in South West Thailand. But when we sat at a dinner table by the beach with its owner, a young and pretty Finnish lady called Kate, we suddenly became overwhelmed by the place. The story of the resort is truly amazing and inspiring.

Kate, with her husband Atte, came to Khanom 7 years ago. "We were two 24 year-old backpackers and it was our second time in Thailand. To tell you the truth, the first time didn't leave much of an impression on us. So this time we wanted to pay a very short visit and move forward to Malaysia and other countries. We were on Koh Samui, when our friend called and asked us if we'd like to come to Khanom to see an absolutely stunning beach. We said ".. why not.." as we were already halfway there.

“We came at night and couldn't see anything. Next morning I opened the front door of our bungalow and was speechless.... the long beach stretching out in front of us (and just for us) was so beautiful..... I had the feeling that 'I'd come home'!. ‘What if we buy some land here?’ I asked my husband, and saw that he'd had the exact same thought."

They rented a motorbike and went along the beach asking locals if they knew of any land for sale. They found some land but the prices were twice as much as they actually had (Atte is from a family of entrepreneurs. A few months ago their business went on the stock market and he got some money from this). They told the owner of the land that if he halved the price they'd buy it.... and then went away. They were not hoping for the best and continued their journey.

How to make

the most of your stay

  • Book a Poolside Villa, with its ladder access to the pool and private sun-deck with a sun bed if you want to be right on the beach.
  • Or opt for a family villa; an amazing two storey villa with jacuzzi on a terrace overlooking the sea.
  • Dine at the hotel's open-air restaurant, Aalto, by the beach. It takes food pretty seriously: the hotel used to have a 'visiting chefs' program to teach Aava's staff their art and refresh the menus every year. We would highly recommend you to try their fresh seafood soup in a rich coconut milk which is like Tom Kha.... only better.
  • Stay fit doing Tai Chi or Muay Tai sessions... or by doing yoga on a deserted beach where you might only have the odd fisherman for company. If you are into total relaxation then a Thai, or oil, massage in the hotel's small spa is a great option.

to see

There is so much to see and enjoy near to the hotel: waterfalls in the hills, mountains pocketed with mossy caves, and a vast national park.

You can’t go home without seeing a pink dolphin. Head out in a longtail boat with a local fisherman and keep your eyes peeled for baby-pink fins. While you have the boat, and your captain at your disposal, stop off at the sacred island to see the statue of the famous Buddhist monk Luang Por Tuad. You can also go on a trip to visit the fish spa, in a beautiful mountain river. Expect the best natural pedicure of your life.

How to

get here

Though Khanom feels remote, it’s pretty easily accessible by boat or plane from the mainland, or from Koh Samui. Surat Thani Airport is an hour and a half away by car. From Koh Samui, you can hop across to Khanom in a ferry.