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On the white sand strip of Ngapali, Laguna Lodge is an anomaly. Snuggled amongst expansive five star resorts, this hotel is stubbornly scruffy. Secluded behind a disorganised row of trees, the Lodge offers seclusion from the brighter lights of this part of Ngapali Beach. As well as massages, morning yoga is often on offer, and one may be allowed up into the attic to see the Lodge’s bee hives. This is not the place for those looking for barefoot luxury - or any kind of luxury - but for those keen to avoid hordes of tourists and anything that sounds like ‘resort.’
The grub is topnotch (both Rakhine and European) and the service, if sometimes slow and disorganised, comes with large dollops of raucous Burmese cheer. Cocktails can be scraped together; and the spicy omelette for breakfast is recommended. The rooms are big and comfortably and directly off the beach.
It is not for everyone. Indeed, regulars to Laguna (and many of the guests are regulars) tell us that there is only two types of people who arrive at Laguna Lodge - those who turn around straight away, and those who enter and never want to leave. You will probably know which one you are right away.
Laguna Lodge was alongside Sampan Travel in winning an award at the 2017 Myanmar Responsible Tourism Awards, being named the Most Sustainable Hotel.