Most of the accommodation on Koh Mak is located on, or very near, the island’s two main beaches. Ao Suan Yai beach on the northwest coast and Ao Pra beach on the southwest coast.
Overall, Koh Mak has a very good standard of resorts and bungalows. The relatively short high season and low number of visitors (compared to Koh Chang and Koh Kood) means that owners seem to offer better value for money that you might find elsewhere and also with friendlier service.
Whilst there aren’t any large 3 star hotels on Koh Mak, the number of boutique resorts, bungalows and guesthouses is growing every year. Likewise there are now quite a few Airbnb rentals on the island, ranging from basic bungalows to luxury villas.
As Koh Mak is a relatively small island, only 16Sqkm, so most resorts offer a free pick up service from one of the three piers – at Koh Mak Resort, Makathanee Resort or Ao Nid pier. You just have to call them a day or two in advance to let them know which boat you are arriving on. If they are unable to collect you, just take a shared pick-up truck taxi (songtaew) from the pier to your resort. There’s a fixed charge of 50 Baht/person for this.
Recommended Accommodation on Koh Mak
The Best Resorts and Bungalows on Ao Suan Yai beach
Ao Suan Yai is a long, sweeping beach on the northwest coast of Koh Chang. It has great views north towards the nearby island of Koh Kham and to Koh Wai and Koh Chang in the far distance. The pier at the largest resort on the beach, Koh Mak Resort, is used by speedboats coming from the mainland and Koh Chang. This is one of the three piers on the island that are used by tourists.
Koh Mak Resort occupies a long stretch of prime beachfront in the centre of Ao Suan Yai. It is one of the oldest resorts on the island and until a few years ago was showing it’s age. However, thanks to a makeover it’s now back to it’s best and offers a good standard of mid range bungalows. Adjacent the the much trendier and more stylish Seavana Resort. This is owned by a younger generation of islander and it shows in the design. Seavana Resort is one of the top rated resorts on the island and features extra large rooms and suites. Even the cheapest Superior rooms, which are from around 3,000 Baht upwards are 60sqm in size. Definitely recommended.
The headland to the south is home to Cococape Resort. This offers and array of accommodation form around 2,000 Baht/night upwards. There isn’t much of a beach at the resort, but guests can walk to the adjacent Ao Pra beach easily. The highlight is their wooden pier that snakes 100 metres into the sea and features a small cocktail bar which is a great spot to watch the sunset.
There are a couple of places to stay on the hillside overlooking Cococape Resort. Thaidaho Vista, which was the best guesthouse on Koh Mak, unfortunately closed in mid 2020. But adjacent lies Islanda Resort, with modern, but quite pricey hotel rooms, although the swimming pool does have with amazing views. And nearby Goodtime Resort offers a range of teak wood bungalows and villas in a lush tropical garden setting. These don’t have sea views. But it’s under 10 minutes walk to Ao Suan Yai beach to the north or Ao Kao beach to the south. accommodation here is also better value than many beach resorts.
Around the corner from Cococape, on Ao Pra beach is where you’ll find the new Mira Montra Resort. This 4 star boutique resort features bright and airy beachfront villas, from 4,500 Baht/night, and a large swimming pool. The sea here is very shallow, so expect a long walk at low tide if you want to swim in the sea.
Back on Ao Suan Yai beach, on the opposite side of Koh Mak Resort are three cheaper options. Prompakdee Kohmak Resort offers modern air-conditioned bungalows by the sand for around 2,500 – 3,000 Baht/night. Each bungalow has a spacious terrace with a couple of beanbags where you can chill out and read, enjoy the views and generally do nothing. There’s also an inexpensive beach restaurant.
Happy Days lies a couple of minutes walk north. The wood and concrete bungalows are built in the garden of the oldest house on the island (which unfortunately hasn’t been restored very sympathetically.) They are more basic but cost a similar price to Prompakdee.
The Best Resorts and Bungalows on Ao Kao beach
Ao Kao is the busiest beach on the island and is home to numerous small resorts. The main road which runs behind the central stretch of beach is lined with restaurants and small shops plus a few budget bungalows and guesthouses.
The busiest area is centered around Makathanee Resort. This beachfront resort has it’s own pier which is used by speedboats from Koh Chang, Koh Kood and the mainland. The resort is in need of some renovations now but has decent hotel rooms and a handful of beach villas from 3,000 Baht/night upwards. Many smaller resorts are within easy walking distance. Just hop off the speedboat, walk down the pier and a few minutes later you’re at your bungalow.
The beach to the west (on your left hand side if you arrive by speedboat) has quite a few large rocks in the water near the pier, but is much nicer 200 metres further on. This is where you will find Big Easy, a small family run beach resort with just seven bungalows. Adjacent, Holiday Beach Resort is a longstanding favourite of mine. The bungalows are basic and are built around a large garden area by the beach. Rooms from around 1,200 Baht and up. The fan and air-con rooms are actually the same room. The only difference is that if you pay for air-con, they give you the remote control. :-)
Heading the opposite direction, from the pier towards the western end of the beach now. Baan Koh Mak is another old favourite, good value air-con bungalows and popular beachfront restaurant and bar. Next door lies By The Sea, an upmarket guesthouse which is a great mid range option. The German owners spent a couple of years designing and building this large guesthouse with rooms that face swimming pool and garden by the beach. The rear of the property is by the main road where the owners also run a popular cafe and bakery.
A couple of other small places that get great reviews are located close by on the roadside. Joe’s Corner has modern air-conditioned en-suite rooms with red brick and brushed concrete walls, fast internet and flatscreen TVs for under 2,000 Baht/night.
Ball Cafe is run by Ball and Oi. Two of the most helpful people you will meet on the island. The cafe has moved locations over the years, but is still one of the must go to places for a coffee, home made cake and to get information about what to see and do on the island. The rooms at the new location are very tastefully designed with blue grey tones and a super comfortable beds. From around 1,500 Baht/night in High Season. Both of these options are ideal if you want to avoid paying a premium for a beachfront room but be under 1 minute walk from the sand.
Back on the beach nearby are a couple of budget backpacker options. Monkey Island has a variety of primate themed bungalows from 500 Baht/night. And a few minutes walk further east on the beach will bring you to Island Huts. This is where you’ll find the cheapest beachfront accommodation on the island with fan rooms from 400 Baht/night and those with AC from 1,400 Baht. It’s been operating for 20 years and not much has changed during that time
The beach is quite narrow in this area and there’s very little development for the next few hundred metres until to reach the far eastern end of the beach. Here there are three very good mid-range options. Ao Kao White Sand Beach Resort. This is where you’ll find the island’s only indoor tennis and badminton courts. The resort likes to keep guests active, so throughout High Season, there are yoga sessions, Muay Thai classes, daily beach volleyball plus kayaks and bicycles for guests to use.
Adjacent lies Lazy Day Resort, just 12 clean, mid range bungalows set in a large garden by the sea. From 3,500 Baht/night. A great place to get away from it all if you enjoy peace and quiet. The beach ends here, but a little ways along the coast is Naivacha Luxury Tent Resort. As the name suggests it offers glamping by the sea. With accommodation in spacious air-conditioned tents and also normal bungalows. From 2,000 Baht/night.
Accommodation Elsewhere on Koh Mak
The two beach areas above are where the majority of visitors to Koh Mak will stay. Bu there are small resorts and bungalows dotted around other bays & beaches and also inland. Bear in mind that if you stay in an out of the way location you’ll need your own transport to get out and about. There is some great accommodation but if you can’t ride a scooter you might find it a hassle to get to eat outside your resort.
Staying in the south of the island, near the eastern end of Ao Kao beach. Banana Sunset is a wallet friendly small bungalow resort with a pool, more suited to younger travellers. It has an excellent cocktail bar. It’s another great spot for a sunset drink and attracts visitors from across the island for Happy Hour.
The southern tip of Koh Mak is where you’ll find a couple of other inexpensive resorts which are by the sea but not on sandy beaches. Pano Resort has been going for over a decade and has a handful of bungalows for under 1,000 Baht/night by the sea. Ta-lay Time Koh Mak has new concrete air-conditioned bungalows with views across the sea to Koh Kood for 1,800 Baht/night. If you stay down hear there’s nothing to disturb you apart from the sounds of the sea.
Ao Nid is the main commercial pier on Koh Mak, located in the southwest of the island. This is where supply boats, dive boats and Boonsiri Ferry ( bringing passengers from the mainland, Koh Chang and Koh Kood) will dock.
There’s no real beach here, just some rough red sand interspersed with rocks. But there are a couple of good places to stay in the vicinity. On the road from the pier inland lies Koh Mak Homestay. it has a handful of 1,000 Baht/night aircon rooms set in a garden just off the main road. Simple and clean with just the basics. One of the best budget options on the island. You’ll find local shops and restaurants in the vicinity but it’s 10 minutes by scooter to get to a nice beach.
On the hillside overlooking the bay you’ll find Koh Mak Buri Hut and Bamboo Hideaway. Which both offer flashpacker bungalows in the 1,500 Baht/night range.
For more comfort, head around the rugged east coast of the island to Plub Pla Resort. A boutique bungalow resort by the sea. The comfortable, spacious bungalows are connected by raised wooden walkways and are excellent. However, they are a bit pricey and judging by comments on booking sites, many guests don’t check the location before booking. You definitely need your own transport if you stay here. There’s nothing within easy walking distance.
Looping around to the north coast of the island now. This coast has shallow water and great views towards Koh Chang, but the shoreline is mostly a mix of mangroves and coarse red sand. Cinnamon Art Resort which has a swimming pool with great views and the longest pier on the island is located here. Unfortunately the resort isn’t well run and although prices are good, you will find better alternatives. If you’re keeping costs down then Green View Resort is located nearby. Rustic fan and AC bungalows in a small local community. A very different experience from staying on a touristy beach. And of course only recommended if you have your own transport.
Closeby, construction of the new Little Moon Villas is complete and the resort is waiting to open. Little Moon started out on the east coast back in 2009 and quickly got a reputation as one of the best small resorts on Koh Mak. It was a lively, chilled out spot that was popular with younger Thai and western couples. This new resort is larger but seems to have the same vibe. It will be interesting to see the reviews when it opens.
Finally, one new luxury resort to keep an eye on – The Mak Villas. This resort is also located on the north coast of the island and offers privacy and seclusion to guests. As of mid-2020, only the resort’s bakery is open. This has rapidly become a favourite of islanders and visitors, as it offers excellent quality and very reasonable prices. Hopefully the resort will follow the same recipe.