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“Calm during the storm!”

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Mai Pen Rai Bungalows
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Calm during the storm!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012


We stayed at Mai Pen Rai back in December 11, and although we were hit by the bad weather that came in over Christmas we still had a wonderful stay. 

We had a bungalow on the rocks - it was family sized/duplex so huge for the two of us! The build quality was amazing. Obviously we saw a few ants and the occasional spider, but they kept out of our way. This is built on the edge of a rainforest so is to be expected!

Getting through the cave to our bungalow was a challenge during the storm waves - suggest either wearing some waterproofs or travel up the cliff via Plaas and Silvercliff to avoid the cave route if the waves do get too big! Also a torch is essential for getting back at night.

We found the service to be friendly and the food great (particularly the breakfast). Did find the food and drinks a little pricey though, and found ourselves going to Silvercliff to eat most of the time (it was worth climbing the steps!)

Apart from the weather the only other downer was the Christmas buffet - very expensive for the food that was served and in retrospect we wish we hadn't signed up for it. Maybe if it had been better weather and there had been a BBQ/fire on the beach it would have been a different experience.

We wanted somewhere to stay for Christmas that was a bit cut off from the rest of the world and where we could relax, and Than Sadet/Mai Pen Rai was definitely just what we needed!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank HopperGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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364 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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English first
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2012

Well what can I say, this place was perfect from the time we set off on the 4wd jungle ride to just get there till the time we sadly had to say goodbye. The accommodation is exactly the relaxed traditional Thai bungalow on the beach that we needed after the full moon craziness. The staff were all very very friendly and great to joke around with. A very relaxing and not to mention picture perfect gorgeous place to stay. And on top of all of that it's soo cheap. Highly reccomend staying here to anyone and will most definitely be back again!!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kurtsofer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

Hi,
we stayed on Mai Pen Rai , in the beginning of Marts.
Being a family of 5, with children in the age from 6-13 it can be diffycult to make all of their wiches to a vacation come true.
But it succeded for us here, we all loved it, we where relaxed, the kids went on adventures on the rocks and beach. Swimming. Sailing in kajaks along the shore. Playing in the sand.
And just had a good family time, forgetting the time and place.
Fiona and her crew/family where very helpfull , like old friends and if you had a problem or a question they try to do everything to fixed it, for that we are also very thanksfull.
So if you want to go in another place that you are used to , go here, it is not materiel luxury, but it is luxury for the mind. There is no noise or turist traps , it is just relaxation to your body and soul and your beloved ones ... Go to Mai Pe Rai.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

These bungalows are some of the best value rooms on Koh Phangan. You can choose riverside, beachfront or ‘on the rocks’ – and each has it’s advantages. We chose to go up on the rocks again (our second stay here) as the views are great. We were lucky to get one of the newer rooms (43) which has a solid floor and a really nice bathroom – although take a torch because the power is on a generator and it goes off after midnight most nights. You’ll not want to navigate the bathroom floor in the dark I promise you as it is comprised of large loose pebbles and stones – some of which are quite sharp! Thansadet os somewhat off the beaten track – so don’t come here for nightlife. However it has peace and quite in abundance, and a nice walk up the waterfalls. When you arrive you’ll find the Mai Pen Rai bar and restaurant at the far right end of the beach (as you face the sea) – although a lot of people use the water taxis to get here, in which case its on your left. The staff are a real family, and you’ll get well looked after. They operate the normal system that is popular in a lot of Koh Phangan bungalows where you just get everything written down in your room book as you order food and drink so that you can pay at the end of your stay. Remember you can get cheap water refills here from the barrel in the bar. WiFi is available, but you pay for a password each day (150B). The power comes on around 10am each day and then goes off at about 4pm until around 6pm. Remember that this is the sunrise side of the island, not the sunset side – so take advantage of the sun at the start of the day before it drops behind the mountains. Try the prawn crackers and the Thai style cashew nuts – delicious!

Room Tip: If you opt for the rooms on the rocks then pack light - long steep steps and a bit of climbing invol...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JohnBownas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taichung, Taiwan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

I was looking for a quiet, unspoilt beach to unwind for a while, and this place ticked all the boxes! The bay is on the quieter part of Koh Phangan, away from all the craziness of Had Rin, so it's not the place to come if you're looking for buckets of booze and dodgy techno. Instead, what you'll get is a pristine beach, dawn swims, and the friendliest service ever. The staff were unbelievably kind - the ever-smiling Pen and the charismatic local massage guy, Mr Singh, as well as the beautiful Thai-English family who run it (complete with sleep red setter!). The proof of just how good it is, is the fact that most of the people I met were repeat returners, coming back year after year out of love for the place. The food is great, there's wifi, and they'll help with onward travel plans too. Crowning glory for me? I left a swimsuit in my hut, and they managed to send it on to my next guesthouse via boat, no drama, no cost. Go now and enjoy.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank theChaiGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

OK, so this should have been the holiday everyone here seems to go on about but our experience was underwhelming. The bungalows we saw and stayed in ranged from below average to average, such that we moved to Plaa's up the hill.

People talked about the bad weather over Xmas/New Year so I won't repeat it. But the overall impression was that the owners of Mai Pen Rai weren't taking as much care of their bungalows as the rave reviews would suggest. Maybe there are too many to take proper care of, or they are onto a formula so why fix it. But for the same price you can get better.

The food at the restaurant and the staff are all very nice though, but it is just a shame that there isn't more care put into the actual accommodation itself. Beds and sheets were extremely basic, pillows smelt like other people's greasy hair, no change of bins/rubbish for your entire stay... you get the picture.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tattooboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

We are a family of ten ranging in age from 10 - 72. We all enjoyed our six days at this location. It was a lovely place to relax. The journey in and out was an experience which the kids loved and we greyheads were glad to be in the cab of the truck. The rooms were basic but had all we needed. Take a torch (headset) and plenty of reading material. The food in the restaurant was very good value and tasty. The staff were helpful, courteous and friendly. Every day was sunny but we were surprised by the rough sea some days. The children were able to amuse themselves by the river, paddling and swimming. It was a nice walk to the waterfall. A couple of the family couldn't sleep very well because of the roar of the sea. Take earplugs! We would all like to go back one day.

Room Tip: Leave the bungalows on the rocks to the youngsters. Choose your room according to your mobility - on...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sylkenUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mai Pen Rai Bungalows

Property: Mai Pen Rai Bungalows
Address: Than Sadet Beach, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 355 Speciality Lodging in Ko Pha Ngan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Mai Pen Rai Bungalows 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Mai Pen Rai Bungalows, one of the oldest resorts on Koh Phangan - the place of pleasure for nature lovers and Artists. For an experience of the old Koh Phangan, this is the place to come away and forget all the stresses of the outside world. Mai Pen Rai is situated in a paradise infringed with swaying palms, and green turquoise waters. Here at Than Sadet the bungalows are built in harmony with the nature around with prices to suit travellers and back packers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mai Pen Rai Bungalows Hotel Koh Phangan

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