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“Miserable staff, poor access, unclean beach huts”

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West Coast Beach Resort
Ranked #62 of 91 Hotels in Ko Pha Ngan
Reviewed 14 March 2012

As a couple travelling we were keen to find a nice beach hut when we went to Koh Phangan. En route to the boat at the Surat Thani bus station we were approached by a nice, Thai man who assured us he was not on commission and we were given a deal on Haad Gruad. We took it as it sounded very nice and the pictures in the leaflet were ok and thought it would save time on arrival to the island.
When we arrived the beach hut was pretty basic but we thought this was perhaps the local standard. The roof was open at the sides and we had a mosquito net over the bed with a few holes in it and a very basic and not so clean bathroom and a bad shower. The private beach seemed nice and has soft, yellow sand and seating areas. There is a nice swimming pool at the resort. The manager seemed nice also and he speaks several languages.

The first thing we noticed was that the staff in the resort do not smile, are discourteous and seem to hate tourists. I mean politeness costs nothing! The resort claims to do everything for the tourist so you don't have to go anywhere else, which we found very restricting - all the advice is centred on the resort. The access road is a bumpy dirt track down a hill and hard to navigate, even with a moped, hired for an expensive rate (250 Baht per day) from the resort. It is also a long walk from any shops. Its like we were trapped! The sea itself requires you to wear sandals in it as the bottom is covered in sharp coral and stones.
In the evening we could not sleep for the noise of annoying, drunken laughter from tourists who seemed only interested in drinking and smoking - perhaps that was their only way to cope with the resort?
They have wired internet access (no wifi) but its not free (!!) and they do not even have Skype headsets. A few couples there found this very annoying and the staff do not attempt to help and have zero sympathy.

When we finally escaped and went next door to visit Haad Yao we found a much more open, white sandy beach with lovely water. I wish we had started our trip there instead.
We decided to move south to Haad Rin after that.
I would really not recommend anyone to start their holiday at Haad Gruad. It has potential but needs a lot of work to improve itself before being suitable in our view. There are many other resorts on the Island which are much better quality and definitely better value for money.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank J_L0nd0n2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 - 72 of 169 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2012

I think the reviews for this place are a little unfair and over the top, either people are exagerating are more than likely the resort has improved a lot! In which case I think it deserves a more positive review.
We did pay 800baht a night and stayed for 5 nights this was an air con room overlooking the pool and beach (room pool 2) the view was absolutely incredible!! So beautiful. The room was airconditioned and clean. The bathroom was the worst part for me, the door didn't close and we had alsorts of creatures in there, a huge geko (15 inches long) in the middle of the night, giant snails and big spiders. However we backed onto the jungle so it was to be expected, luckily none of these creatures made it into the room!
Food was fine, not too overpriced and tasted great, service was lovely and eating next to the beautiful beach was great.
I can agree with the reviews about the manager, he was an idiot, he just seemed lazy he didn't want to help you with anything, I can see how people are really offended by his humour as well.
Pool was beautiful and the beach was incredible, must have been the time of year but it wasn't rocky as the tide was much further in then the pictures, so we did lots of snorkeling and even swam round to the other coves.
I did get so many insect bites, even with the mosquito net, i did wonder if there was bed bugs, didn't want to think to much about that though!
All in all, for the absolute beauty of the area this place is worth a visit, I'd say bring your own mosquito net and be willing to slum it a little with the bathroom. And just don't bother with the manager, chat to the thai staff or the english bar man.

Room Tip: If you aren't on a budget, stay in the pool villa's otherwise they are all similar.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank kathryn333w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2012

What can I say - a place more deserving of a good review, alas there is nothing good to say about it except the location (a private beach on the quiet side of Koh Phangan). The good part ends there. I was approached at the bus station in Surat Thani by a friendly, approachable Thai man who represented the hotel. Exhausted after a long bus trip, I paid for one night, as the brochure looked great. 400 Baht for a beach bungalow seemed fair, and we had the option of staying one night and leaving if not satisfied. Upon arrival I had an instantly bad feeling about the place. The manager, Jaco, was flippant and dismissive, only wanting to look at our receipts to see what we paid for the room and then sending us off to our respective rooms with a wave of his hand. My bungalow was FILTHY -- soiled curtains, holes in the ceiling, and stains on the walls. The toilet hose had a hole in it, and every time I used it I had to bend it in two so it wouldn't spray water everywhere.
The food was hideously over-priced, and not very tasty at all. The receptionist was rude and abrupt, and the manager (Jaco) - who according to the hotel brochure has years of experience in travel management (not sure how he got it, with that bad attitude) - was extremely unhelpful and unfriendly. I promptly checked out the following day and ventured elsewhere.

The only way this hotel is going to survive is if they get rid of Jaco and hire better management. It's a real shame, as the place is absolutely beautiful. It has a private beach, a gorgeous swimming pool and private bungalows, right on the beachfront. It has potential to be a really great resort, however the atmosphere of the place and the rudeness of the staff is reason to remain well away. Most of the people, who like me, paid for one night at Surat Thani, checked out with me the following day, so I was definitely not alone my opinion of the place.

Don't waste your time with Haad Gruad - there are much better places to stay in Koh Phangan.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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12  Thank EtainVeronique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

If you like being treated like absolutely crap, then this is the place for you! After a change of plans (we were originally meant to be going to Krabi!), we came to ko phangan after 17 hours of travelling due to delays because of the floods in BKK. Anyway, some people we befriended on the journey said this is where they were staying and seeing as we didn't know where to stay we decided to go along with then (they've never been before either and were expecting a paty beach!) We were greeted by Jacko (more like wacko) and were offered a few options price-wise. We said we'd pay 500B for a seaview bungalow with hot water, and agreed before we saw the room! The room didnt have a sea view at all, well the trees were covering it! The room itself is a horrid little shack with a bed and a mosquito net (which didnt work as I was covered in bites!) the bathroom was the worst I've ever seen, it wasnt secure and I was terrified of all sorts of things that could come in through the gaps and our sink was leaking. We thought, oh well its an experience we'll stay the night and find somewhere better tomorrow!
So we ordered some food and began a night drinking with our new friends, and had a really fun night up to a point, with no thanks to the staff or Jacko though. There was no-one else at the resort so we asked for the music to be louder and requested a few songs to the staff and they just pointed to Jacko, on his little laptop (I think hes actually attached to the thing), so I asked him nicely and he said "I dont do requests" I was like come on, one song you've got your itunes right there I can see it! He repeated so I gave up. After a few more drinks I pestered the staff enough and they gave in and let us have our requests and the volume up! We then went to the pool (which isnt lit at night) to talk but I went to the toilet in my room and after using the sink, the whole thing collapsed and narrowly avoided my foot, but a massive bit chipped off and deeply scratched my leg. There was a lot of blood and irrationally, I went to a member of staff for help, who shrugged and again pointed at Jacko. I told him what happened and he said "I'm off duty", I said your sink just fell on me I didnt do anything and he accused me of drinking too much and said it was my own fault. I said whatever just please can I have a plaster or bandage as I'm losing a lot of blood and he laughed and said "not my problem". I got very upset and this ruined what was a really good night and I just wanted to leave. Ofcourse the place is in the middle of NOWHERE and you cant leave, you are stranded on a little rocky beach with unhelpful staff. In the morning we left quickly and surprisingly werent charged for the sink, and after going through trip advisor it seems like this isnt the first time their sink has collapsed! AVOID AVOID AVOID. They charge you 200B each to get to haad rin aswell, a small price to pay to get out of the hell hole. If it wasnt for the company we had and the alcohol, it could have been the worst night ever! Jacko, get off facebook and sort your resort out! Or are you not 'on duty?'

Room Tip: DON'T GO HERE! Go to a less secluded area, where you can get cheap travel to nice beaches. We he...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank colourfulfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

Possibly the worst place I have ever stayed!! At first the hotel seemed okay and in a fairly nice hotel, however once we had arrived we realised we had made a mistake booking here. The hotel rooms, if you can even call them that are like shacks where nothing is safe, we found spiders and lizards all over our room, the shower/toilet is barely even attached to the main room along. Be very aware of staying at this hotel as it came across very deceptive, all may seem okay from the outset however we went out one night and had over 10000 baht stolen from our room and when we reported it no one seemed to care and the staff did nothing about it and were annoyed that we asked for a room change. Not sure who broke into our room however we are pretty sure it was a member of the staff. DO NOT STAY HERE!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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14  Thank UKtraveller89_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2011

First of all I would like to say that I have been travelling Asia for over a year and there for stayed in hundred different places but this really is by far the worst one.
The price do sound appealing but trust me you wouldn't want to stay there.
As already said by many others the food is disgusting, the staff is really unfriendly, the beach shouldn't be called a beach, you can't even swim in it, and last but not least Jaco the guy managin the resort is really rude, he's a thief two.
He tried to make me pay 1500 Baht for a damage on a motor bike that I didn't make, (forgot to mention the motorbikes are crap aswell, no breaks, no indicators, worn tires, misleading fuel idel, etc...). He also told me "all you ---- french froggies are the same ----"...
Jaco and his staff were phisicaly preventing me from leaving as I didn't wanted to pay for the damage. I litterally had to escape from the place, luckily they didn't have my passeport.
By the way the resort works with some corrupted police officers so don't even try to get them to bring the police in.
I wish I've had read reviews about this place before I went there and I hope you will read the many bad reviews that show how bad this place/people is before you go there.

Room Tip: go somewhere else, there are plenty nice places around 300 Baht in Koh Phangan
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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13  Thank pierredevers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

First let me say, I'm a perpetual traveler. I have stayed at hundreds of hostels, hotels, and fancy resorts too.

Haad Gruad Beach Resort & Spa was the absolute worst experience I have ever had! EVER!
Do not stay with them at any price!

For starters….

Jaco, the manager, is nothing short of guest repellant. How that guy ever got in the tourist business I will never know? If the owner only knew how must this guy is costing her.

A more rude, irrational, impulsive, immature human being I have yet to meet. Just having to deal with that human being would ruin even the nicest resort.

Once they get you there they will extort from you anyway they can. Because the "resort" if you could call it that, is located down a long-winding dirt road, once you're down their you are stuck. Forced to pay their exuberant fees for taxi service, food, and moped rental.

The place itself looks like it hasn't seen a handy man in years. Run down… run down… run down.

And last but not least, do not under any circumstances give these people your passport. They will use it to extort yet more money out of you any way they can.

They will lie. They will trump up fees. Then simply ignore you when you try to reason with them.

The owner is wife of the head of the police, so don't expect any sympathy from the cops when they extort from you.

It is too bad, because the cove where the "resort" is located hold a lot of potential. It could really be something nice.

But under the unethical business practices of the current owners I could not advise you more about staying away from this place.

Don't be fooled. They will try to sell you cheap when you arrive right off the boat.

Don't fall for it!

They will extort far more then you could possibly save with the "cheap" accommodations they initially promise.

Stay away, stay away! You'll thank me for it!

Room Tip: Find another place. What they will put you through in extortion tactics would not be worth it at an...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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12  Thank DavidY695
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about West Coast Beach Resort

Address: 59/7 Moo 8 | Salad Beach, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand (Formerly Haad Gruad Beach Resort & Spa)
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
#40 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
Price Range: £12 - £72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — West Coast Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
West Coast Beach Resort is fresh and ready to provide professional service. For travelers who want to take in the sights and sounds of Koh Phangan, this is the perfect choice. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Travel Republic (UK), Ebookers, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your West Coast Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Haad Gruad Beach Resort And Spa
Haad Gruad Beach Hotel Koh Phangan

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