Firstly, if you book on their website they expect $280-$500 a night, we booked last minute and negotiated it down a bit, in any case, it is vastly overpriced.
What you get is a very basic bungalow, with air-con (only from 6pm-8am), hot water (supposedly only from 6pm-8am, we only managed to get hot water once), TV (14 Thai channels, 1 English channel, in spite of the fact that none of the other customers were Thai), no fridge, a very basic 'wardrobe' made of cloth and no telephone. All of these things would totally be understandable had this place cost $50-60 a night but I wonder how they can justify charging $300 a night.
When we arrived the staff just watched us carry our luggage in the rain from their pier without coming to help. Not $300 a night service.
The Ocean View bungalows are very small, with around 50cm between the bed and wall on one side and 1m on the other side and very low ceilings. Everything is tatty and worn out, the bed linen and towels are all stained. mosquito net has holes in. The rooms smell very, very musty and mouldy. Again, this wouldn't be a problem at a much cheaper resort, I'm used to staying in these kind of bungalows in Thailand, but would pay $40 or so and sometimes even get a bit more.
The fact that the air-con and hot water are only on from 6pm-8am is not mentioned on the website, at $300 a night I would and did make the assumption that these would be available 24 hours a day. It's not the end of the world as we were rarely in the room at these times but on principal it should be mentioned and is misleading.
The website states "Wi-Fi Internet Available Throughout the Resort" which is not true. In our experiences, It was available only in one part of the restaurant, as soon as you step out of the covered area of the restaurant the signal deteriorates rapidly even at the reception there is only a weak signal. As soon as you get to the area where the accommodation is, there is no signal whatsoever. This was tested on a laptop, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S. Again, not the end of the world, but the claim that Wifi is available throughout the resort on the website is misleading and at $300 a night, I would expect better. For the internet, I bought a Thai 3.5G sim card from True Moves H and shared the connection to my laptop, for the technically minded: it was very fast at about 6Mb/s with a 35ms ping to Bangkok with good coverage over the Island. It was almost as good as my internet at home for work, emails and browsing, even YouTube videos can be streamed.
Some of the areas of the resort look good but some parts of the resort are a bit of a building site, there are lots of random palets of bricks, buckets tied to trees, tires and so on scattered over the resort.
The other customers of the resort tend to be nice, decent, amiable people.
Our safe didn't work and the back door didn't lock properly. Ko Kood is a very safe island so these things aren't huge issues but at this price I would expect better maintenance.
The fact that there is no phone means you have to walk around 200m round-trip to the reception even for the smallest of issues, and in a hotel with so many issues, this gets boring quite quickly.
The breakfast selection is woefully inadequate for a hotel of this price, 2 types of fruit, sausages, bacon, wafles, corn flakes, chocolate flakes, roast potatoes, 2 types of juice, bread, decent coffee and a good selection of tea. I really think that no cheese, no healthy cereals, no pastries, such a limited selection of fruit would be perfectly acceptable at $60 a night but at $300 I would expect much more. The island is fairly remote but I've been to more remote places, paid less and got a far better breakfast. We're both vegetarians so our breakfast was limited to potatoes and bread which was fine but on the last two nights the potatoes were substituted for pork for Chinese new year. On those days we just had bread, watermelon and coffee for our $300 a night breakfast.
The restaurant is expensive, a Masaman curry is 280THB ($10). If you want something local, I'd recommend going to View Point Cafe, around 50m down the road. The Australian owner is very friendly and the prices are reasonable.
The hotel often doesn't have things in stock, they never had ice cream the whole time we were there meaning most of the deserts were redundant or cut down as they featured ice cream. Not really a problem as there is lots of ice cream available elsewhere but could be indicative of logistical ineptitude; not managing to procure ice cream on an island where ice cream is stocked in every shop that sells food.
When we rented a scooter at a very pricey 400THB a night, we were told there were they had no helmets, which is illegal and dangerous, The roads are very hilly and bendy in Ko Kood, please wear a helmet at all times. We wanted helmets so went to the restaurant around 400m south, just around the corner from "Nine Shop" just before the bridge and rented one for 300THB a night, we'd highly recommend it.
The location is very good, it overlooks one of the best beaches on the Island, it isn't directly accessible, but you can access it by using their free kayaks and paddling over a very small 5m river which was fun.
They have their own artificial beach which isn't bad at all it has a swing which is really nice to swing over the sea on at high-tide.
The pool on the other hand is not very nice, the photos on the website flatter it, it is tiny, around 4m x 3m and doesn't look appealing at all. It is always empty.
To sum up:
• Good location
* Impressive selection of tea
* Good clientele
• Everything expensive; rooms. scooter rental, restaurant, drinks etc.
* Poor breakfast
* Photos on website don't accurately represent the resort
* No helmets for scooters
* Small rooms
* Rooms badly made, large gaps under doors letting in insects.
* Many food items out of stock
* All bed linen and towels stained
* Room poorly equipped (no fridge, no dressing-gowns)
* Air-con and Hot Water only 6pm-9am
* Rarely any hot water even when it is supposedly on
* Internet slow and doesn't work in rooms.
* TV 95% Thai
* Poor maintenance (in-room safe not working, back door doesn't lock, rust, mould etc).
To labour the point: most of these issues would be an irrelevance at a cheaper resort but at this price-point, these issues are unforgivable. $300 a night (the rack rate is up to $580) would be a lot of money for a room anywhere in the world. I expect more than a shoddy shed where 75% of the features in the room don't function.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Away Resorts on Koh Kood is the epitome of an island hideaway. The resort features spacious luxury bungalow villas, with private terraces and sea views from almost every room. The resort has the largest activity and dive centre on the island, so guests can enjoy not only the beauty and peacefulness of the resort, but also everything the island has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Away Koh Kood Hotel Koh Kood
- Away Hotel Trat
- Away Resort Trat