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“Great beach, horrible service, poor amenities.”
Review of Smile Bungalow

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Smile Bungalow
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great beach, horrible service, poor amenities.”
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Great beach. Very nice vibe and bungalow layout is cool, however, takes expensive rip off taxi and water boat to get there, which was frustrating and a scary ride, because they need to make money, and make people wait while they find customers to fill the can with. Once we arrived, food kitchen was closed and they would not reopen or cook us anything, and we missed it by 30 mins only. Thus we had to eat chips and chocolate for dinner and the server said "you are lucky we have chips and chocolates, and not to eat to many bags!", with a snarky look upon his face. The breakfast was reheated food but once served ended up being cold. Seriously, room temperature. They appeared to not know my group was coming and tried to get my reservation of two rooms that were prepaid, reduced to one room, which was a turn off. The shower also is only cold water and there was no soap to wash our hands. Also the tap was basically broken. All in all a pretty crappy experience. Oh also the mosquito nets had holes in them they tried to patch with bandages and duct tape. Plus side; there are nicer hotels down the great beach that is often empty and the beach truly is unique.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Molivomoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2013

My partner and I stayed in a cabin at Smile bungalows which worked out around £20 a night. It is on the north of the island away from all the moon parties and more peaceful and remote. It is quite good to get a boat there as the road is a mass of potholes. The staff at Smile, mostly Burmese, were wonderful, so friendly and went out of their way to help us. The beach is beautiful and swimming great. The accomodation is basic but it is really worth it for the location and friendliness of Smile. The restaurant is a great place to hang out and food v good. They really do make you smile there.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank lizfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2013

This hotel provides huts near to the beach. Price was very good on booking.com we payed about 750 Baht per night to stay for 4 nights. Very close to the beach just a few steps away. Huts come with a veranda/balcony. They are not serviced on a daily basis but we found them to be reasonably clean on arrival and our family of 2 adults and 2 young children were able to fit in the hut ok as it had 2 double beds and was fairly roomy for the price. The restaurant is rather expensive (for example at time of writing a soft drink was 45Baht!) but there are other hotels on the beach of bottle beach and other restaurants so there is a choice of food and drinks. The beach is very good for swimming, several areas are deep enough and not too rocky so as to be able to go out and swim. Overall a very good value hotel in terms of the price of the rooms considering its location right on a beautiful beach. At the time of our stay the manager was away on holiday, and sometimes it showed. For example, we went to the bar to get a drink and there was no one there because the person on duty was playing football on the beach, and when he came up to the restaurant even though it was already 5pm he said no food yet available and made us feel rushed to order our drinks before returning to his football game !! The hotel did give us a good transfer in a jeep from the pier where we arrived on the boat to the hotel with a friendly member of staff.

Room Tip: Ask for a room as close as possible to the beach!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Daniel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
melbourne
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2013 via mobile

We just spent a week in one of the small bungalows and loved it! If you are looking for a lovely undeveloped (for thailand) beach to chill out on and do little more than read, sleep, swim and eat then this is the answer!!! The small bunglaow is basic but clean and comfortable, and also private as they are spaced out along the hillside rather than being side by side. All bungalows look out to the beach and we spent many hours on our deck just gazing out to sea. We tried the food at the other places on bottle beach but honestly the food at smile was the best. Their shakes are awesome!! Also the staff at Smile live up to the name of the resort, always friendly and showing real pride in their work. Thank you to everyone at Smile! We hope to be back one day.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fleurandben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2013

We decided to stay on Bottle Beach for a couple of nights. We taxi'd up from Haad Rin (where we'd been staying) to Chaloklum and then grabbed a water taxi round to the beach.

We'd already thought that Smile was the best place for us prior to getting to the beach and one look at the beach told us we were right.

We decided to book the standard bungalows / huts, which cost 450 baht a night, so between two of you it was £5 a night each.

Yes there's no air con, only a fan, the electricity goes off in the huts at 10am and doesn't come on until later that night, the room is basic but what more do you expect for a pretty much deserted beach? This is the beach hut experience many love in Thailand, and whilst I am a mod-con man it was nice to have no internet (or work emails more like) for a few days!

The beach is lovely and quiet, there are three dining and drinking options on the beach and all are decent value. All in all a great stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cookstardeluxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Byron Bay, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

We had heard about Smile bungalows and thought it might nice to stay there while we were in Bottle Beach. We were taken to our Bungalow, it was absolutely filthy, there was a shattered vase in the bathroom that we cleaned up, mouse, rat and gecko poo all over everything, including the bed!! We live in the Australian bush and are in no way adverse to gecko's and native bugs and little creatures being around, but this was the bed we were expected to sleep in, covered in poo!

After spending approx 30 mins cleaning everything, we decided we just couldn't stay there, It was 750 baht, for a mouldy room filled with mouse poo, no internet, no electricity all day, no air con, no breakfast... We went back down to the restaurant/reception with our bags to pay for the transfer service they had provided from Thong Sala, only to have them try and charge us for a full nights accommodation as well... Apparently as soon as you have opened the door you are obligated to pay! After quite a battle, we left having paid for our transfer which we were always intending to pay and nothing else.

We then later heard 2 other horror stories from people who had had really really bad experiences staying there and had then moved to other accommodation on the beach. One couple were charged triple what they should have paid to their credit card, when they tried to dispute it, the bills were all in Thai and they would not refund anything to their card.

Another person had been staying there for quite some time, had met the girl of his dreams and was wanting to celebrate, he went out into a village, bought an entire pick and vegetables and rice and put on a huge spit roast feast for all the guests and staff that he had made friends with in his time there. The following day he asked for some of the pork for his lunch and was told there was none left, that it had all been eaten. Not believing that could have been possible, he went and looked in the kitchen himself and found more than half the pig, stacked up in their fridge... He had paid a solid amount of money to put on a feast for them, they had then put it all away and lied to him about any being left. He was furious and left straight away... To go to so much trouble to put on a feast as a gesture of thanks only to be lied to! The staff had stashed it away for themselves!

If you are going to bottle beach, do yourself a favour and go to one of the other bungalow/resorts on the beach, they are cleaner and much much better value!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Melissa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2013

We arrived at bottle beach and found smile bungalow! we had booked this before we left the uk. It was easy to get to having arrived at the main pier we got a taxi to another pier where we then got a taxi boat. It cost us £10 to get there, 400 baht.
The rooms were very large having the two storey room.
There is a lovely balcony which looks out onto the sea.
The bed is cosy.
The bathroom down stairs is very cool! The only downside was arriving and finding poo in the bathroom, which we soon worked out to be from large gekos! we found a family living behind the mirror in the bathroom.
We went down to the reception and a guy soon came and helped us and got rid of them.
The only problem was they kept returning, if your a bit squimish then this place is not for you.
The bathroom has windows/holes which is where they get in and the bungalow itself is not joined in all corners so they can also get in from the roof.
We was right at the back of the complex but still not far from the beach at all, the beach itself is lovely, however we stayed for 3 nights and we found there is such little choice of places to eat as there is only four hotels on this beach.
I would recommend to go and would recommend this place to stay if you dont mind the gekos!
The people at the hotel were very nice, and the food is nice to:)

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank emilyh1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Smile Bungalow

Property: Smile Bungalow
Address: 74 / 9 Moo 7, Bottle Beach, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 356 Speciality Lodging in Ko Pha Ngan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Smile Bungalow 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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