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“Not according to our expectation - full moon suite is not a suite”
Review of The Small, Krabi

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The Small, Krabi
Ranked #32 of 111 Hotels in Ao Nang
Reviewed 21 November 2010

We booked a room at The Small hotel at Ao Nang (outside Krabi) as we got a pretty good deal (free nights at we were going to stay there for 10 days). Our other main criteria were to stay relatively close to Ao Nang beach as there are lots of restaurants and shops there. I booked the hotel at the hotel homepage and it was 4200 Baht per day (or 140 USD) for the room including taxes and breakfast and we went for the Moon deck suite as that seemed to be a large room – the rack rate for shorter stays were 9500 Baht! Keep in mind that this review is written after we came from a wonderful stay in a suite at Le Meridien in Bangkok. For the record I can also say that I travel quite a bit for business and pleasure and I have stayed at a lot of various hotels in Thailand.

We took a taxi from Krabi airport to the hotel and it cost 600 Baht and took 40 minutes. The hotel lobby is small but we were greeted with a glass of orange juice while we were being checked in. We got room 3012 located on the third floor and the receptionist took us to the room. The room was smaller than expected - one web page that we looked at indicated a room at about 80 square meters and that was clearly not the case.

The room was tiles with large white tiles and the walls were white painted concrete while one of the walls was painted in brown color. The room was average size and included a regular size twin bed, a small stereo, a Samsung flat screen TV, a small work desk where there was a fridge with a small selection of cold drinks and there was also a small bench and a stool/chair. The bed was rock hard and it was quite the opposite of what we had at Le Meridien in Bangkok. The sheets seemed to have some stains on it and that is never a good first impression when you look around the room.
The room had windows in two directions and it was nice to get some light in – one of the windows led out to a small balcony with two chairs and a table. There was also a window between the bathroom and bedroom (with a blinder).

The bathroom was also tiled and painted and included a shower corner, a bathtub and of course toilet and sink. There were some amenities and the shower stuff (shampoo, conditioner and shower gel) were in large containers in the shower – I’m not sure I would call this “indulgent amenities” as stated on the homepage. The door leading into the bathroom was a bit strange as it was not easy to close from the outside – not a good idea when you try to close of the room to let the air con do its business. Talking about air con: there was air con in the room but it was rather noisy even at the lowest speed. The room also included a wardrobe with a small safe, some hangers, a couple of robes, flip flops (for outside and inside) and a couple of umbrellas. After a few days we also got a wake up clock with an iPod docking station (that didn’t fit with our iPhones). There is no iron /ironing board in the room but it was quite cheap to get this done by room service.

The room also included a spiral staircase leading up to the rooftop terrace – I guess this is what is included in the room size presented on the one homepage. The terrace was big and included a couple of chairs and two sun beds and from the terrace it was possible to see to the ocean.

The breakfast was not that impressive and the restaurant area was very small compared to the number of rooms – but then again, when we had breakfast a bit after 9 one morning we were the only ones there. But when we came there before 8 am it was quite crowded as that is when most people get picked up for various tours. The breakfast included eggs to order, bread with toasting facilities, some sausages and ham, small pancakes and spread like jam and honey. There was also a bit of fruit on display and most things were covered by a net as the restaurant is semi outdoors and hence there are flies. The salad bar must be the saddest salad bar that I have ever seen and the coffee must be one of the worst coffees I have ever tasted at a hotel breakfast.

There are two pools at the hotel…one on the roof on 4th floor and one triangular pool by the rooms on the ground floor. Most of the rooms there had direct access to the pool from the room which is a pretty neat feature. On the first day when we were there, there were no sun beds by the triangular pool. It is also possible to use the pool at the resort across the road as it seems to have the same owner. There were facilities for a pool bar but it did not seem to be operational when we were there. So the phrases on the homepage “Two bars are available for your enjoyment “G BAR” our Swim Up Pool Bar on the ground floor” is actually just nonsense. When we asked if we could eat at the “hotel restaurant” when we arrived we were told that there was no restaurant but we could order room service – not sure I see the logic in that.

The hotel website also describes a library with a selection of books and DVDs etc. It just looked like a selection of books left by previous guests and there were books in Norwegian, Danish, German, English etc.

Location is not bad as you can walk down to Nopparat Thara Beach in like 5 minutes or you can walk to Ao Nang beach in about 10 minutes. There are also small mini markets nearby and you can also find pharmacies, restaurants and bars in the area. There are always tuk-tuks around and they only charge 20 Baht per person to drive to various locations on Ao Nang beach.

There were a few things that we were not that happy with. When we booked it said that it included Wi-Fi. There is Wi-Fi at the hotel but in our room the signal was very weak and it was difficult to pick it up on e.g. iPhone. On other days it seemed very unstable at best. After we checked in it didn’t take long before the room went all black as the power disappeared. We called the reception and they sent a repair man pretty fast and he climbed into the ceiling to fix something in the air con unit and then the power was back on. The power also went out for about 6 hours another day but that was the same for the entire Ao Nang area.

The door leading out to the balcony was not completely sealed and hence there was a big gap where mosquitoes, geckos and various insects could enter. The bathroom interior seemed a bit flimsy – the handles in the shower seemed a bit loose and actually came of when my wife took a shower, the sink didn’t seem to be in level and there was a hole in the wall next to the toilet with a typical phone connection was hanging from a wire – I guess they never got around to mounting the phone in the bathroom. The roof top terrace that we had was nice but one drawback is that it lets in a lot of light and there are no curtains for this area.

Conclusion
Calling the room a “suite” is pushing it in my opinion – it is a room with a large roof top terrace. The breakfast was quite sad and the coffee must be one of the worst coffees that I have tasted at a hotel. I also think it is a bit unethical of the hotel to promote services on the hotel homepage that does not exist. Maybe they have plans for some of the things in the future but at the moment, some of the issues are not true. It also strange to see that there were hardly any chairs and no sun beds around the pool on the ground floor – the pool at the top floor is nice but there is no shower there in order for people to rinse of before jumping in the pool. There are also roof top terraces next to the pool that are empty at the moment and maybe the hotel has plans for these areas in the future but at the moment they are empty.

The hotel service was very inconsistent and there is not a lot of focus on details. I can’t understand why you have a sink where there is no place to put a bar of soap. And why choose a tap where the hot/cold knobs are totally slick? At a beach destination people will most likely put on sun screen while you are in the room - with sun screen lotion on the hands it was almost impossible to turn on/off water. We also ran out of toilet paper one day as there was not an extra one as a backup.

Communication with the hotel staff was a challenge – one example is when I called room service on the last day to ask if I had to pre-book a taxi to the airport but I had to give up on the conversation as I couldn’t understand the feedback I was getting.
Thumbs up to the hotel for using energy saving light bulbs at the hotel and for promoting towels to be re-used in order to save water and energy.

Bottom line: The hotel and room was not bad but it is absolutely not worth the rack rate of 9500 Baht. At 4200 Baht the value was not bad but as you have seen from this review, there are some issues with the hotel that should be addressed. My score of the hotel might seem very harsh but this is when taking into account the expectations that we had, the fact that the hotel is promoting services that they don’t have and that our room was not a suite at all.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank gardkarlsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 October 2010

I visited The Small Krabi on my daughter's birthday for 4 days 3 nights. First, I am a bit worried and try to selected the best place fit into our budget and surely need to be nice place since it is our special trip and safe enough for a single mom and 11 year old girl. Found The Small Krabi via internet and decided to be there. We booked pool access room because my daughter loves swimming. Since arrived, we got the warm welcome at the hotel and starting our 4 days trip with smile from staffs there. The hotel is very nice and not too large. The room decoration is quite hip and nice. Breakfast is good eventhough my daughter woke up late and be there for breakfast when it almost closed but the staffs were very kind and offer her the service as usual. The cleanliness is very good. The location is convenience and not too busy. You can walked 5 mins to be at the beach and shopping street. Its location is not too close too the busy shopping street that gave us some privacy :) The pool for pool access guests is very nice and private, not too big and not too large as their name "The Small". I can work on my notebook and can see my daughter swimming in the same time. I really like this hotel and so does my daughter who was a birthday girl and enjoyed herself very much. On her birthday, the staffs greeted her happy birthday and sang the song for her. She was a bit shy but we have to admit that it made us felt as home and felt great that they remembered and recognized her birthday. The Spa in the hotel offered a reasonable price and professional service in the relaxing atmosphere. We did a few treatments and they were great, no need to walk outside just right near our room. We had a fantastic trip on my daughter's birthday trip at The Small Krabi. Thanks for make it happened and be good memory for both of us. I made the right choice for this memorable trip.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Nikki1810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2010

This is not something i normally do... my mother told me that if i don't have anything nice to say then i shouldn't say anything at all. However this place was so badly lacking that it should be avoided. Bad service was only compounded by bad breakfast, no hot water and undrinkable coffee. I COULD GO ON AND ON, but i will leave it at that. Just avoid this place, the rooms were nice but other than that it was unpleasant to say the least.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank iDeeAl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2010

I have booked two studio rooms via AirAsiago two months ago, the deal was so good that I believed that the website might have make a mistake, its too good to be true and they have changed the price by additional US$40 immediately after I have booked.
The studio room is spacious, new and clean, but there’s no bathtub. Staff is friendly and helpful.
They have two swimming pools in the hotel, we can also use the bigger pool at Krabi La Playa, their sister hotel within a short walking distance. We have tried all the pools, pool at the rooftop is warm, and the one near the reception area is cold due to limited sunlight.
Distance wise, it is quite far away from the shops and restaurant, about 10-15 mins walk, you can always travel by tuk tuk at THB20 per person.
I have traveled during the low reason, there are pros n cons:
Pros –
1. Very cheap hotel room (about 50%-70% off from peak season)
2. Discounted tour (easily obtain 40%- 50% off the normal rate)
3. Discount given by restaurant (10%-30% off)
4. Less tourist
Cons -
1. Its rainy season and you can expect rains almost 25 days out of 30 days of the month of September
2. Sea can be so rough that resulted in trip cancel or unpleasant journey

Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
1  Thank JennyJian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2010

My partner and I booked a pool access room for 4 nights and no regrets at all! We had a good night's sleep every single night as the hotel is nicely positioned in a corner where it's away (but not far) from all the hustle and bustle. Do pay a bit more and enjoy the pool access room where the JACUZZI pool is right outside your room, it appears that they clean the pool almost everyday I was there. It would have been perfect if it was a heated pool as the water is a bit cold, around 28 degree celsius. Room was very clean with cable tv and free wifi! The bathroom was relatively big as well. One minor issue I had was that there wasn't any thing I could place my wet bikini on to air-dry so I had to bring the coffee table out for that purpose like what everyone else did. Housekeeping is outsourced so after a certain hour, you had to wait till tomorrow. The frontdesk only have pool towels and not bath towels.

The free breakfast was served from 7-11AM, pretty decent I must say. You could request for freshly cooked eggs to your preference. There was either fried rice, noodles or pasta and a selection of bread and cereal with a few side dishes like fried hotdogs/potatoes and ham. Not forgetting sliced pineapples and watermelons, fruit juices(not freshly squeezed) and milk. But I must add that the bread wasn't fantastic, it didn't look fresh or appetizing.

Customer service was inconsistent, depending on which set of staff you got that day. Some were friendly and greeted us with warm smiles, but some just looked indifferent. When I checked in, staff was smiley but clueless and didn't know how to operate the credit card machine. Maybe she was new but isn't that the basic duty of a receptionist? The photocopier was down throughout my 4 nights stay so they had to copy down our details by hand and that took awhile.

All in all, we had a pleasant stay despite a few hiccups. But the rooms were fantastic! Customer service of the staff could be improved. Hotel location is good, very convenient. Just a short walk to the massage parlors, street food stalls and restaurants. I highly recommend SAWADEE massage as they were clean and professional although prices are slightly higher but worth every cent. Had seafood at both Ao Nang seafood and Tantas restaurant. Prices were similar, go to Ao Nang seafood for the beachfront view and Tantas for excellent sticky mango rice.

Last but not least, rent motorbikes yourself and not from the hotel as they outsource it so its more expensive. It's so easy to rent a motorbike yourself anyone. The tourist info centre on the right of the hotel offer bike rentals too and it's only a 3 minute walk from the hotel. Enjoy your stay in Krabi!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank theresatsx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2010

It was a relatively new boutique hotel, that is absolutely worth every cent!!

Me and my cousin, loved the pool access, though the water is a tad bit too cold. But no chlorine smell or taste. It is deep enough as well. It is near Ao Nang but not too close to get disturb by the hustle and bustle of Ao Nang Street.

Must do at Krabi are the Island Hopping. If u are there during weekends and happen to have time during the weekend. Go visit krabi Town and buy some handmade crafts and souvenirs and try the street food =)

The small hotel is great except for the choice of buffet breakfast in the morning. Variety is very limited. I also wished that the bar at the roof was open during low seasons. Also room service was a tad bit expensive. For cheap and fresh seafood, walk over to WangSai Seafood restaurant that is 3-5 minutes away from the hotel.

Recommend this hotel for couples, families and friends! Its that friendly =D

I'm definitely going back soon and do a scuba trip!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank tiggerlovesme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2010

We read about this hotel from Airasia magazine and decided to stay there when we had confirmed our trip to Krabi. We booked for studio room for 2 nights which is also inclusive of breakfast. On arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and they kindly guided us to our room. As soon as I opened our room's door, I was amazed by the room size as it was actually quite big and spacious. They had a nice rooftop swimming pool but the setback was the swimming pool was probably not routinely cleaned up as the pool water was quite dirty. The breakfast provided were really nice and with variety, but there was no enough seats for the hotel guests during full house. Another good point was the hotel provide free wi-fi access to all their in house guests, but the service maybe interrupted on and off. Generally, this hotel is conveniently located with good service and spacious contemporarily designed rooms.

Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank stellalittrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Small, Krabi

Address: 167 Moo 3 | Ao Nang, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Ao Nang
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Ao Nang
Price Range: £29 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Small, Krabi 3.5*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Asian Chic Hotel, Located on beach front road, a few steps to Noppharatthara beaches and 300 meters to Ao nang, the small hotel enveloped by the warm atmosphere of its Asian Chic architecture with a smooth blending of rustic simplicity of the furnishings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Small, Krabi Hotel Ao Nang
The Small, Krabi Ao Nang

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