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“There is only one place to stay in Koh Samui.”

Shambala Beach Bungalows
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Shambala Beach Bungalows
Ranked #224 of 315 Hotels in Ko Samui
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“There is only one place to stay in Koh Samui.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2009

There is only one place to stay in Koh Samui and it’s a little place called Shambala. Not just because, quite frankly, it’s the only affordable place on the island, but because it’s LOVELY.

Owned by the sweetest Franag couple and the Kitchen by a soulful Thai family. They will point you in the direction of mopeds, scuba, elephant treks, yoga…. There is even an immigration office to too far away if you want to extend your stay. (I did).

Let’s talk food for a moment. You can have a killer egg sald, toasty or French fries when it’s sunny but I recommend the Pad Thai and/or fresh coconut. Drinks under their little straw huts is blissful and chilled out Thai cushions a bonus.

There are also plenty of movies, books, board games and other such treats geared towards any homesick traveler.

Be careful though because the time will fly by. But for 500 Baht a night (800 Hot shower) WHY NOT? Oh- don’t do your laundry across the street. Trust me on that one.

P.S I saw a guy walking his Water Buffalo on the beach from my ocean view the morning I left. If you can get it, Grab #6. Best Bungalow in the house.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AmbreIris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Thailand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2009

I was travelling with a group of 10 friends and my partner, we took up the majority of the bungalows. I really enjoyed my stay.

We are all teachers in Thailand and it was the perfect 4 days get away. Its cheap and cheerful. The rooms were basic which is what you are paying in the price. 500 baht for 2 ppl per night its really reasonable. Double room with fan, bathroom, balcony with a awesome hammock and right on the beach. Lets face it your not going to spend your time sitting in your room, you'll be having a cold drink in their beach garden, chilling in the hammock or exploring the island.

The food, is the best food i have had in Thailand since i have been here, 3 months now. I would recommend their massaman curry and there French fries which comes with freshly made mayonnaise ( which is refreshing from the stupidly sweet, practically salad cream, Mayo you get everywhere else in Thailand) . Everything was made from fresh and very reasonably priced. The beer was also very reasonably priced and the service was great. The staff all speak good English, which is a shame if your trying to speak a bit of Thai. There is a 7/11 just across the road for water stock up ect.

The staff were lovely, although i would agree the English lady running it isn't the smilest of ladies but i think what you have to remember is that it is her job and she has been doing it for nearly 16 odd years. Im sure you have off days, she was extremely helpful and help organise our day trip to the national park and mini buses to the bars ect. She seemed to warm up on the last night an joined us for a drink. She had two lovely dogs which roam around and a absolutely massive cat which i though was just awesome. Gives it a very homely feeling which was refreshing when working away from home can make you very home sick.

I would recommend when on Koh Samui , the Marine National Park tour which was a whole day spent kayaking, walking to some amazing view points, lagoons, and snorkeling with amazing food included :)

Also for a bit a freedom to view the island we hired a Jeep for the girls for 900 baht and the lads hired motors bikes for 150 baht from the reception for 24 hours. Just spent the day going to waterfalls and sightseeing.

The is my first review sorry if its rubbish O_o Enjoy

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MegPeg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2009

We stayed here in August and although it was cheap, we were very disappointed. We weren't expecting much - just a basic bungalow next to the beach with no frills was what we were after.

Well we got that, but the least we expected was that it would be clean. I can't understand some of the rave reviews because even though I agree that it is cheap I'v estayed in places for much less in Thailand and got much better value.

Agree with other posters on here that we should have known better than to stay in a place with English owners....go for Thai every time who know much more about hospitaity and keeping somewhere clean! The owners were miserable as well. The lady just seemed to sit around all the evening talking to her mates and drinking - didn't even say hello when we went up for dinner...that doesn't cost anything.

The biggest gripe was the cleanliness, everything was just a bit battered. The bungalow had stains all over the chairs, just very unappealing, and they only cleaned your bungalow (we found out) when you asked. So that used toilet paper was sitting in the bin for a day....that should be cleaned without needing to ask.
They also had a poor flea bitten dog that went around scratching iself around the dining area (and probably the kitchen) including right next to us when we were eating. As well as all over the sofas hat guests were supposed to sit on. I've nothing against dogs, but should keep them away from dining areas when they're scratching with fleas!

A week earlier we stayed in a very simple place in Laos for $US5 and that was 100% cleaner than Shambala - and have stayed in amny places around the world cheaper and better than this.

Maybe we made a mistake and were looking for something in Koh Samui that no longer exitsts, a local beach bunaglow place. If going to Samui I would just recommend staying in a resort, where you can get decent deals. There were some nice places just along the same road as Shambala, for similar prices. The beach around here is quite nice, with beautiful sunsets (although not great for swimming) we just didn;t feel like we could relax at Shambala.

In short, I think the hotel has been bought by these English owners who are just happy to take money from guests without trying to keep the place presentable and make it welcoming. They're really just lazy because with just a bit of work and not much money needing to be spent it would be so much better.
Avoid and go for Thai run places instead!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Crosbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Ko Samui hotels

Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2009

Me and my girlfriend stayed ay Shambala for four nights as part of our Thailand travels in February 2009, with the thought of staying at the beach bungalow would be one of the highlights on our trip.

When we were dropped off by our transport, for some reason I spotted that the Shambala flags had faded considerably by the sun in comparison to the colour of the flags on Shambala's website. Minor thing in isolation, but turned to be quite symbolic at the end of our stay...

Our bungalow was basic, which is what we wanted, looking onto Big Buddha Beach. Nicley positioned. After dumping backpacks on the bed, I looked in the bathroom and found a) Floor tiles right under shower were cracked, and b) the electrical isolator for shower had its cover missing, giving access to live terminations. I complained straight away, and to be fair within an hour an electrician had repaired the isolator and I was promised a discount on the room because of the broken tiles. But these things should have been picked up & sorted before we arrived!!!!

One highlight of staying at Shambala was the food. Choice was vast, priced very cheaply, and incredibly tasty. Local staff were friendly and helpful, as most Thais are. Auntie Deng's massage was an hour of pleasure and pain (!) but felt incredibly refreshed afterwards. The Eating area, sat right next to the beach, was nice, but looked very tired. Probably a shadow of its former self, which you can see examples of throughout the resort, wherever you look.

Location wise, Big Buddha Beach is quiet, approx 20min Songathew ride from Chaweng, and only 10mins from the airport. Very convinient if going onto Koh Phangan. Sea is a little bit turbid in comparison to the top Thai beaches, but thats probably down to the boat activity at the nearby pier. Lonley Planet didn't rate the beach at all in its guide, and although Thailand has a lot better beaches to offer, it was a nice beach just to sit down and relax, looking out to Koh Phangan.

My overall feeling after checking out was what this resort could do with some much need TLC, and an increase in customer care standards from the English owners. The local staff are an asset to Shambala - if they were not so good my rating of the place would have been a lot lower. Disappointed is the underlying feeling writing this review. It could have been so much better.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mellberg1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2009

The food at shambala has ruined Thai food for me. Honestly nearly every time I have Thai food now it is terrible compared to the fantastic food at Shambala.

*The beach is alright

*Bungalows are basic (and yeah not cleaned that often)

*We had a really noisy overhead fan which kept me awake

Overall though the staff were so great and the place was so relaxing I can't help but give it 5/5

  • Liked — the food
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank safeblad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2008

We stayed here 4 nights in September.
The room and bathroom were not cleaned once during this time . Our bungalow was dark and dingy with windows that could not be shut properly and the mozzie net was full of holes, so we were eaten alive at night.
On a positive note, the locally employed staff were very helpful and friendly and the bar was a nice place to have a 'sundowner'.
On the whole, I felt the place was run-down and needed a good clean up.

Stayed September 2008
Helpful?
Thank lindsand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2008

Myself and my boyfriend travelled throughout thailand for over a month staying in various places and this place was the one big disappointment of the trip. the people of thailand are amazing and we got such a lovely warm reception whereever we went - you can imagine our surpirse when we turned up in shambala to be ignored, rudely treated and barked by english owner. What an ignorant awful women. Should of known better then to stay in a english run place - you expect this kind of non-friendly attitude and rudeness in europe but certainly not in the land of smiles. Jess doesnt seem to know how to smile and she appeared to be the same with other guests there. The room was awful - filty and expensive compared to other places we had stayed which were a million times nicer and cleaner. The location isnt the best either - its seedy central so wudnt advise bringing kids to that beach. All the bars are seedy and full of go-go-girls. We stayed around the area the first night as we arrived late but we were soon quick in getting out of it the other days. We strongly considered getting accomodation elsewhere but since we paid already and transport out of buddha beach wasnt too expensive and it was close to airport we decided to stay on. Thai staff were very friendly and helpful there but the owners should take a leaf out of the thais book - dont bother staying here, you wont get truly thai experiance, only a scowling woman, the kind ul find at numerous run-down uk hotels - why bother going the whole way to thailand for that when the thai people have so much more to offer. my advise - keep well away!

  • Liked — Checking out
  • Disliked — Rude english owners
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank lalaland46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shambala Beach Bungalows

Property: Shambala Beach Bungalows
Address: 99 99 Moo 1 Bophut Bay, Koh Samui, 84320 | Big Buddha Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #224 of 315 Hotels in Ko Samui
Number of rooms: 311
Also Known As:
Shambala Beach Bungalows Hotel Koh Samui
Shambala Beach Hotel

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