At the very end of Thailand, on Malaysia’s border lies the tropical island of Koh Lipe. Far from the main tourist hubs of the country, Lipe offers visitors a chance to see an as yet still relatively undeveloped island.
Up until a few years ago the main accommodation type on offer were beach / jungle huts until the owner of Idyllic Concept Resort; Hotelier Network came across the site and fell in love with its romance and the panoramic sunrise the apptly named sunrise beach offers and the ‘calming sounds of gently lapping waves.’
The operators concept was a simple one, let the location create the extraordinary experience while the hotel provides modern facilities and creature comforts for the guests.
The stepped site itself transverses in a series of terraces from the sea and sandy beach, through tropical jungle and into a lush but rocky outcrop. To this end the resort has been designed with a series of specific room types that populate each defined area.
Each specific type (there are 12) has its own modern architectural style and individual interior design representative of its terrain.
I-beach fronts form looks to take advantage of sea breezes and panoramic views with large areas of covered glazing. Interiors have a contemporary Asian feel with low teak beds & furniture, rattan lamp shades, and ocean inspired wall art.
The I-garden are single villas, that sit sensitively between lush ferns and palms. The low rise dwellings each have a timber brise soleil sun terraces, mono pitched tiled roof and punctured rectilinear fenestration. The interiors tend to have more earthly tones that compliment the external greenery.
The I-comfy is a more typical hotel complex arrangement around a central pool. Stone like render goal posts frame each apartment reflecting the more mountainous surroundings of the middle terrace, with more intricate touches like timber shutters that balance the elevations with a more tradional hand made feel. The interior design of this type uses darker stained woods, bark coloured textiles to reflect the richer forest at this terrace, while the upper halves of the rooms are light and airy to mirror the closeness to the sky at this level on the site.
The success of the scheme is certainly how the designers create a journey through the resort by siting specific types in different areas. The materiality and forms not only adapt to their location but also assist with guest way finding. However the architecture can be a little too fiddly at times, the better types being simpler in aesthetic.
Interiors are crisp and modern and definitely give of a contemporary Thai feel if a little ‘ikea‘ at times, again the success of the interiors is achieved by mirroring each terrain with colour palette & materials. The 3D wall art is also a nice touch.
It’s not ground breaking but for a midrange Boutique resort it provides a modern perspective on how a hotel can react to its site context. You can really see it being replicated across multiple sites but changing the ratios of types depending on the differeing terrain.