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“Just superb”

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Mai Pen Rai Bungalows
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Just superb”
Reviewed 2 September 2012

Mai Pen Rai exceeded all my expectations. Yes it's basic, but that is the whole point! If you want A/C, marble fittings, pool side service etc.. then there are plenty of very expensive 'resorts' on the islands which will meet all these needs - and they are largely identical to resorts all over the world! Mai Pen Rai captures the pre-development essence of the Gulf Islands. It massages the senses. You wake to the sound of the sea lapping gently against the sand and a sun rise which must be seen to be believed.. You cool down and go to sleep by opening the shutters and letting the sea breeze waft through your bungalow. You sit on your balcony in the evening and absorb the rhythmic sound of the rain forest which lies all around you. This little place is S. E. Asia at its very best. At $200 U.S. for 7 nights - it is beyond good value. Enjoy.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank JamesK595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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371 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2012

I spent several wonderful days during January 2012 enjoying my third visit to the glorious low impact, micro resort of "Mai Pen Rai", situated on idylic Than Sadet Beach, to the East side of Koh Phangan Island. The beach facing bungalows exude charm, are cosy within and my comfy bed encouraged sleep the moment my head hit the pillow. Hammocks hang enticingly outside each bungalow and the isolated bay has the sort of charm that those from the cold northern climes of Europe, dream of during our long winter months. "Mai Pen Rai" is owned by hard working Scot, Fiona Shaw of Tordarroch, and her charming Thai husband. They are always willing to help their guests in anyway possible and the constant stream of food coming out of their busy kitchen is mouth wateringly delicious and inexpensive to the budget traveller's purse. I thoroughly recomend a stay with Fiona Shaw at "Mai Pen Rai" and I cant wait to get back there next winter.
Best wishes to my fellow traveller's,
Andrew Bruce
Dumfriesshire
Scotland

Room Tip: "Mai Pen Rai" is VERY popular so book well in advance if you possibly can.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
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1 Thank andrewbruce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
queenstown
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2012

This quaint collection of hillside and beachfront huts are perfectly located in a gorgeous boulder fringed white sand beach.....

The huts themselves are basic, made of natural traditional materials. Sadly however they were made a good few years ago and very little if any attempt at maintenance has been made.

Rotting timbers, exposed nails heads, water leaks, and rusty fittings all point toward a couldn't care less attitude by the owners.

There are waterfalls a short walk away, once a favorite of the Thai kings, now however a collection point for months worth of plastic and glass bottles and accumulated rubbish.

Think twice before booking here, there are many other simple resorts on equally good beaches where it is obvious that a load more care and attention is shown by the owners... so reward them with your money and booking, and perhaps Mai Pen Rai will get the message and improve their act.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank rawene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norway
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2012

We stayed at Mai Pen Pai in a family bungalow on the rocks for 2 nights. Bungalows are basic, but of course we knew thar from other reviews here. The kids slept upstairs - more airy than downstairs. Of course, we slept with all windows fully opened. No worries, all safe. Hot without AC :)

The beach, WOW, really stunning. We had a great time jumping into the sea from the rocks - really fun!

Cheap and good food in the restaurant.

We'd love to come back!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank CoctailsAndDreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2012

If you want to travel a place were you can relax a 100% and see some amazing scenery you most likely wont have seen before. Mai Pen Rai is the place. Choose if you want a hut by the beach with a 30 m walk directly from the door to the water or for a little more peace and quiet, in the rock bungalows with an amazing view. I Myself stayed in a beach and a rock hut, would definately recommend to go for one out on the rocks, as there usually arent as many people staying there. The Nature around the resort is beautiful, the thick jungles, bumpy dirt roads and the huge river running down from the mountains. The river is definately worth checking out, a perfect place to start the day with a refreshing swim. Tip! Be careful riding scooters on the roads, so slippery! The accomodation is very nice, the thin plank walls make the bungalows less stuffy and leaves you falling asleep to the sound of the see. Beds are pretty comfortable and the bathrooms are nice but nothing for a person used to staying at penthouse suites. If you are a naturelover and like to be outdoors you will love this place. The Food is fantastic, a little of everything. Sometimes a little more spicy than expected but thats Thailand. The staff were very friendly and helpful, very fast with the laundry too. The beach is located around 30 min from the town Thong Sala, bumpy dirt roads through the jungle make this trip pretty nice! In the town you can check out the Thaiboxing matches and the bars. If you really want a fun night out i would recommend to travel a little further out to Haadrin, more of a party place. This is were the fullmoon party is held. All in all i had a great stay, for the 4-5 weeks i was there.
Jan - Feb 2012.

Room Tip: Rooms on the rocks are worth a look. Beautiful view and quiet. A little cooler too.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012 via mobile

Recently stayed here for 4 nights. Accommodation is very basic and pretty uncomfortable. No electricity overnight so fans don't work, doesn't make for a good nights sleep. As is very secluded you need to eat in attached restaurant, food is pretty bland by thai standards and overpriced. Staff friendly and welcoming but wouldn't visit again.

  • Stayed July 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jamesthescot71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2012

We have stayed at Mai Pen Rai five diferent times now- and it has never been better. With so much overdevelopment in the islands actually detracting from Thailand's natural beauty, THIS place remains unspoiled and so respectful of the natural location and setting. The food at Mai Pen Rai was consistently great and not overpriced despite its remote location. The family bungalows are worth the extra little bit of money as they are huge, have an upstairs, and stay cooler because they ate more open. This a place for nature lovers and artists- not people who need to be pampered or treated like kings and queens. There is a great relaxing energy here that is harder and harder to find. Highly recommended!
Travel tip: Take the longtail boat from Maenam Pier in Samui to get here- don't take the big boat to Thang Sala and then the taxi. You will enjoy both your arrival and departure much more this way.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank boneplay
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 #49 of 372 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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