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“Tranquil beach break”
Review of Baan Mai Cottages

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Baan Mai Cottages
Ranked #35 of 43 Hotels in Rawai
Reviewed 19 July 2012

This resort was just what we were looking for. A feeling of getting away from it all without actually having to travel that far or rough it!

We stayed at Bann Mai for 4 nights during low/rainy season. We booked a garden bungalow but were upgraded to a sea-view less than 3 meters from the beach. There is not a lot to do on the island which was exactly what we wanted however if you are looking for activities be aware you will have to book tours/go to Phuket.

The restaurant was very good- really tasty, big portions, beautiful views and the kitchen will teach you how to cook it all at no extra cost! Staff were friendly and helpful - provided torch, umbrella, padlock for door and snorkeling equipment free of charge. Airport transfers are an additional cost but very well managed. Garden pool was clean and of a good size. Beach is beautiful and good for swimming at high tide. Rooms were a little small but beds were comfy and there was a fridge, tea/coffee and ample space for belongings. Outdoor bathroom was not the nightmare I had feared - pleasantly surprised.

This was a great place to come and unwind. I would recommend it to couples looking for a place to do as little as possible. It is probably less suited to those wishing to meet other travelers, party or keep busy with activities.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank simbelina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 43 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2012

What a wonderfully rustic resort. We were upgraded to Seaview Cottages. There was only a few cottages full while we were there, but that made it all the more peaceful. Our cottage was only a few steps from the water and everynight we sat on our deck watching all the crabs scuttle across the beach at sunset. The food and the service provided were fantastic and I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to get away from it all for a couple of days. There is no jetty at the resort so I would recommend that only people agile enough to jump in and out of longboats which are grounded on the sand try out this place. The outdoor bathrooms were spectacular and we outsmarted the mozzies by bringing our own inroom plugin zapper - highly recommended along with spray on insect repellant. We stayed here for the last three days of our holiday before flying home and it ensured that we arrived home fully relaxed rather than frazzled as often happens after having a busy holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Sharon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2012

We stayed at Baan Mai and found some good and some bad things about it :

Pick up from airport :
- the service was great : we were picked up in a very nice aircon taxi (even though we had a 7hr delay the driver was still there, waiting for us) and brought to the Pier. The longtail was there waiting for us and it was really one of the smootest transfers one can imagine.
(small advice if you go there straight from the airport : make sure to wear shoes that an become wet because you have to walk through the water to get in & out the boat when it's low tide)

The bungalow :
- Upon arrival we were given a welcome drink whilst our luggage was brought to the bungalow.
We booked a garden sea view but i think we got a beach sea view hut, which was nice from them.
- the room/hut itself was very basic, remembered me of some of the backpack places I stayed in when travelling through indonesia when I was much younger.
The 3 biggest issues I had with the hut were :
* light : you could hardly see something inside, it was so dark. When I wanted to choose a tshirt or pair of shorts I had to take my suitcase outside in order to have enough light to see what I was grabbing.
* the bathroom : outside as said before in other posts and I personally did not mind that much that the toilet was next to the shower but what I did mind was that the walls surrounding the bathroom are quite low. I'm not extremely tall (1m75) but I was feeling very uncomfortable whilst showering. Somehow they must have realised it after building because on the walls they put all pots with plants but still it did not help, from one bathroom you look straight into the other one.
* the absence of a lock or key : now that for me is a big point. We travelled with a macbook, 2 iphones and quite some cash since it was the beginning of the holiday. At no point at all I felt comfortable about leaving it in the room when we went for breakfast, lunch or dinner...

The food :
- the first night we decided to eat in the restaurant, jet lag & a long trip behind us : very basic Thai dishes but since I love those I found the taste & choice good. Yes, it's not the cheapest around but you eat practically on the beach so in most places you pay a bit more when you're so close to the sea.
- the breakfast is the kidn of backpack breakfast : white toast with jam, coffee (horrible taste but that goes for most places in asia as far as i'm concerned) and scrambled eggs which were only half cooked; followed by some fresh fruit. The second day I asked for a pancake but something very strange (middle between an omelette & a cake) came out of the kitchen.

- use of the longtail :
now to me that one was realy a disappointment !! on the website they mention they have a boat from 7 am to 11 pm. So i figured we would be able to hang around, then take a boat around 6pm, have dinner in Chalong or equal and come back around 11PM.
The first night we saw a schedule which mentioned the boat was going at 7/9/11etc and coming back at 8/10/12 etc. With last service at 8 PM ! Now, that is really early because then you get to the bungalow at 8.15 and what can you do in that dark place without space and without internet in the room itself ?
Since you're in the middle of the nature sitting on the terrace was not an option because of the insects that are part of being in the middle of the nature.
We ended up eating at the restaurant on the island the second evening as well.
On day Nr 3 we were planning to leave in the morning with the longtail and then come back at the end of the day to spend our last night there.
Turned out the longtail was not going every hour but only on request and you cannot decide at 2 pm that you wanna go at 3 pm...

- insects
an open bathroom is romantic during the daytime but at night i can assure you it's not that charming anymore. Unfortunately for me, during our second night I did not sleap for 1 minute : I heard animals in the bathroom, and i'm not talking gecko's here. I was horrified. At a certain point I really had to go for a pee and when coming back in the room I saw several kind of cockroaches crawling over the floor. They were much bigger than a cockroach but had the same colour although they were a bit more slow. Not one but several...
So that was it for me, I did not want to stay anymore, eventhough I paid for 3 nights.
We got up in the morning, looked for a new hotel on the ultra slooooow internet (so it took us an hour to manage to book something) and then we told them we were leaving.

- the staff : they are friendly but the woman who is at the reception/bar/restaurant is always trying to sell you something àll the time : do you want a massage (yes, and it was good but it was also 600 bht per person !!!!) do you want a tour, do you want to buy mosquito repellent, etc etc.


  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Brenda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

I stayed in this hotel in January 2012 for a week. Overall I have the following comments:


- Tranquil settings, beautiful surroundings, simple but charming huts. This is an ideal place for those who wish to stay somewhere secluded (but not too far away) from the buzz of Phuket.

- Interesting wildlife on the beach. (But please note that the beach/sea is not enitrely suitable for swimming because of the sharp corals, unless it's high tide.)


- Whilst it may not be an issue to some people, it is worth pointing out that the huts do not have locks on them (no keys, no inside lock either). Whilst I should stress that it feels safe (to me) on the island, some of the huts are actually very close to the village - in fact much closer in distance than to the reception area (the hotel is not in an enclosed compound) and there is nothing to stop anyone from walking in the hotel grounds (no security cameras, no walls separating the hotel from the rest of the island/village houses, does not appear to have night patrolling staff, no room telephone, no room safe). I have in fact seen villagers walk through the hotel grounds. There is also nothing to stop any villagers (or anyone from further afield) easily landing on the far end of the beach and walking straight into the beach front huts at night.

- There is only one longtail boat which transports guests to and from the island and the last boat back from Phuket main island departs from Chalong Pier in Phuket at 8.00pm. The wait for an available boat could be long. What's worse, the boat service isn't actually available every day (despite what I was led to believe when I made the booking). During my week's stay there, there were 2 days when the boat was either not available all day or that the service was disrupted (e.g. on our last day there when we had made a booking to a special seafood restaurant in Phuket main island, we were bluntly told that the last service for the boat back to the island was at 5.30pm. In the end we had to call the owner of the hotel and make a big fuss before they finally arranged transport for us).

- The food in the hotel restaurant is mediocre and also very expensive, when compared to the restaurants in Phuket. For the same price you can get top quality seafood in Chalong Bay (but please note the point above re: limited boat transfers).

- The service levels vary amongst the staff (ranging from very good to poor). The matron who was in charge of the place whilst the owner/manager was away was rather unhelpful and also kept pestering us to go on certain day tours (on the last day she even suggested the amount we should tip her when we were settling the hotel bill). But the owner (Daeng), who was there for half of the time during our stay, was very friendly and extremely helpful and so are some other members of staff.

Some other points to note:

- The beach huts are charming but may not appeal to everyone. They are very simple (I would say international standard 2-star perhaps) and the open-air Balinese style bathroom attracts all sorts of insects (including mosquitoes). The shower is right next to the toilet seat with nothing separating the two.

- What makes this hotel special is its peaceful and unique setting. I think that perhaps this hotel is a bit over-priced for what it offers and that you are paying a premium for its unique tranquil setting. If you are looking for a hotel with all the mod-cons and comforts that you would expect in a 4-star+ hotel, then Baan Mai is probably not for you.

- Finally, despite some of the negative points mentioned, overall I did enjoy my stay at Baan Mai.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank 825Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2010

Went last January to this lovely resort. The staff is friendly, the food is nice and the beach very pretty but full of sandflies! Please, if you are sensitive to insect bites take care or don't go. However lovely the resort was, the sandflies ruined my time there. Read up on sandflies (and how to repel them) before you go. It is more itchy than a mosquito bite, very painful and in some cases can be lethal. Lots of deet (minimum 60% is advisable), no perfume and no crawling around on the beach to take pictures of the hermit crabs.
Because I didn't know what to expect I ended up with 63 sandfly bites in 4 days. If you haven't got access to anti-itch cream treat them with toothpaste and hurry to the pharmacy when back on mainland.
I would recommend the resort, it's great for 'desert island pictures', discovering pretty birds, lizards and lots of fantastic hermit crabs.
Use common sense and be prepared.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank BirgitMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2010

Being the only guests we had this wonderful little resort which was in the process of being sold, all to ourselves.
The cottages had a comfortable bed with mosquito net, A/C and fridge.
The staff were charming and helpful and the food, as soon as they understood that we want tahi not european thai, was supurb. A masseuse is available from the mainland, the pool was a delight. Beach combing was top quality.
The Hotel boat can take guests to sandy beaches or to cral island (advised).
If you want action go somewhere else. If you want to unwind, walk the beach, doze in a hammock watching the sunset
or laze by the pool doing nothing slowly then this is the place for you

Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank adamvasco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2010

When we arrived on the island which was just before the new year, the tide was out so there was very little of the sandy beach visible, and it was mostly the exposed rocks and seabed which could be seen. To compound the problem there was a large group of family and friends celebrating a family wedding with young children which ruined the idyllic peaceful image that we were both looking for.

The room although it was overlooking the beach, it was dark and small with barely enough space to place our luggage and the restaurant menu was basic and limited in choice bearing in mind that this was the only place one could eat, I would have thought that the range should have been wider.

The only swimming pool was green with algae and as the tide was out during the daytime hours, it was not possible to swim.

It is evident that the place has been neglected for some time and there has been very little interest in maintaining a basic standard of accommodation bearing in mind that this is not a cheap place to stay in.

On a more positive side, on the second day, the large group left and we were the only guest on the island apart from one other couple, we were also told the pool will be cleaned and it will be available for use in a couple of days.

We also found out that we could use the hotel boat to take us to other parts of the island where there were larger sandy beaches which was a relief.

The staff were excellent and did what they could to help, it is a shame that there seem to be little interest from the owners to keep the place well maintained and professionally run.

Overall, I would say that we were not disappointed with the 5 days we spent on the island, but this was because we were fortunate enough to be the only couple on the island for some of the days we stayed there and not because of the standard of accommodation. One couple that arrived a few days after us and were booked for a week left after 2 days so be warned.

Food and beverage prices are a bit more expensive than on the mainland but this is understandable especially as everything has to be brought over on longboats, the trip to coral island was worth doing especially if you like snorkelling but the place was very busy with day trippers which seems to be a daily occurrence and a benefit of staying at Baan Mai.

My advice would be if you are looking for a peaceful location, Baan Mai could be the ideal place but check in advance if there are any large groups at the time staying over. Also do not expect that the daily rate you pay will in any way reflect the standard of accommodation, I think the main issue with the place is that our expectations were not met in terms of the standard of accommodation, I de believe if the price was substantially less and it was made clear that the accommodation is basic and functional, we would not have had the initial disappointment when we arrived.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Worldtravellerguru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Baan Mai Cottages

Address: 35 / 1 Moo 3 | Lone Island, Rawai, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Rawai
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Rawai
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Rawai
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Rawai
Price Range: £23 - £102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Baan Mai Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Baan Mai is located on the shore of Koh Lone Island, the Baan Mai Resort is hidden within a flourishing tropical garden, right on the beach shore. A unique boutique hotel with its beach front and garden bungalows, the superb Thai villa and the exotic sweet-water swimming-pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Baan Mai Cottages Hotel Rawai
Baan Mai Hotel
Baan Mai Resort
Baan Mai Cottages Phuket/Rawai

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