We got handed a flyer for Chaluklom Bay Resort as we arrived in Koh Pha Ngan off the ferry. After a few days in the excellent Lime N Soda, we decided to try the north of the island and moved to CBR. This was a mistake.
The "resort" is a series of bungalows with a largish swimming pool in the centre connected by a wooden bridge/platform thing, and a whole heap of grass in between. I had rung up to book some bungalows as the flyer said they were 500 baht. When we arrived, we were provided keys to our rooms, were asked for the cash up front, and then told the rooms were around the corner. Alarm bells started ringing - these were rooms, not bungalows. Things went from bad to worse when we got into the rooms. They were pretty diabolical. The walls were covered in peeling plaster and damp, the bathroom was dirty and the metal fittings rusting (and there was exposed wiring), the bed had springs pushing up through the mattress and we had been provided a sheet that didn't even cover the bed, and the whole room was just plain grotty.
I queried the room, and showed the manager the flyer which clearly stated that they were offering bungalows for 500 and rooms for 350. We had paid 500 - where were the bungalows? She gave me a patronising smile and said the flyer was not valid. My mistake - I should have seen the rooms before handing over the cash. We were now tied into this "resort" run by a grasping, uncaring woman who couldn't care less about the guests there and instead spent her time putting on make-up or fiddling with her smartphone.
Which brings me on to another point - the wi-fi is not free here. They have a system in place which charges 60 baht for 30 MINUTES! An obscene price - again, not mentioned on the flyer. I queried with the manager and she claimed that even she has to purchase the wi-fi from the 3rd party company they use. I checked the network connections and - surprise! - along with the paid-for networks, there was one called CBR. I suspect this is reserved for people in the "luxury" bungalows, and the staff. If she is paying 120 baht an hour for the wi-fi then she is either getting paid far too much or she is lying out of her over-powdered face.
The swimming pool was OK but it had a salty tang to it. We soon found out why - there are packs of feral dogs wandering the beach, who swim in the sea and then come and drink from the pool...and occasionally take a dip in it. Lovely.
The food was edible but overpriced, and we only had breakfast there. As for the customer service overall, I asked for a blanket for us to lie on as the mattress was too uncomfortable. The manager was on the phone and waved me upstairs saying that there were staff there who could help. The only person upstairs in the restaurant was a waiter who told me he would get me something shortly, after taking my room number, as he was too busy serving food. Couldn't I speak to the manager? No, I'd just been sent up to see him BY the manager. OK, he'd sort it soon. I went downstairs and waited. 20 minutes later, no movement. I went back - everyone had food, but he was ambling around. He saw me and marched off, returning with a sheet. I told him I'd asked for a blanket. He stormed away again, muttering under his breath, this time returning with a large bath towel. I gave up, and left.
That afternoon, I saw another couple being shown around some rooms. They had the exact same flyer as we had, and were apparently using it to get cheap rooms. So, the manager had lied again to us.
Here's the thing - the resort COULD have been excellent. With some care to the surroundings e.g. getting rid of the dogs, opening the beach bar next to the pool (the flyer shows it full of glasses and drinks, but this is not the case), replacing the awful pool table, cleaning up the beach (broken glass was everywhere near the entrance to it from the resort) making some effort in the rooms to make them comfortable, and firing the horrendous manager who really didn't care about the comfort of the people paying her wages, CBR could have been a great place to stay. I can't comment on the bungalows, they may be fantastic. The rooms are not. They are also below the restaurant, and cockerels roam about outside, so don't expect a lie-in. I've put some photos up...judge the room for yourself. Two other couples with us had similar rooms, with the bonus of cockroaches in one of them. The bathroom had open concrete vents which looked out onto some sort of garage and it was perfectly possible for people to see into the bathroom from outside as the vents were at eye level...enjoy those showers, ladies.
As it is, I can only suggest staying far, far away from Chaloklum Bay Resort and spending your time elsewhere - the people here really couldn't care less for guests.
- Also Known As:
- Chaloklum Bay Hotel
- Chaloklum Bay Resort Koh Phangan, Thailand
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