Eco Chic | Costa Lanta, Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand
“Boxy glam amid coconut grove”, best describes a jewel of a Costa Lanta boutique resort on Koh Lanta Yai (Lanta Yai Island) in the Andaman sea. The first project from Thai wunderkid architect Duangrit Bunnag that took a decidedly different route to tropical resort design, avoiding thatch roofs, frivolous ornaments and hideous poolside stone statues. Opting instead for simple geometry, clean lines and a modernist twist on resort design language.
Bunnag has gone on to design more sleek and eco-friendly hotels in Thailand, taking a modern twist on natural materials, with his X2 Resort in Koh Samui, X2 Resort in Kui Buri, and Alila Cha-Am in Hua Hin (which has now been reflagged as Cha-Am, as Alila is no longer managing the property.
A survivor of the devastating tsunami in December 2005, with a Costa Lanta’s Spanish-sounding name immediately demands attention to something out of the ordinary. In the interest of environmental preservation, bungalows are built away from immediate beachfront: they are cleverly sparsely tucked away across the coconut grove.
The 22 open-box style bungalows are minimalist luxury, with an oversized bed, a mosquito net, air conditioning, an indoor/outdoor bath, and direct access to the beach.
Made from concrete and from teak hardwood salvaged from old Colonial homes, creating an ensemble of hard-edged geometric forms, with wide windows overlooking the gardens and the beach.
Services are unobtrusive, with an infinity pool facing the beach, a waterfront restaurant and bar serving fresh and authentic Thai cuisine and sexy cocktails, and a host of leisure options, including traditional Thai massage and an extraordinarily mellow little lounge.
Keep this secret to yourself, for Costa Lanta is an intriguing find indeed. And we’ll surely see more of this laid-back style of resort design popping across the region in the near future.