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“Perfect, chilled, friendly beach-bum retreat” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Monkey Island Resort

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Monkey Island Resort
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Ko Mak
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Perfect, chilled, friendly beach-bum retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2009

Had to write a review after reading the negative feedback left by others - really felt that Monkey Island was getting a bad rap. Koh Mak is the kind of place many travellers plan to spend a day or to on, but wind up extending their stay. We were no different, and in the end passed up the chance to travel on to Koh Kood, prefering to stay in the perfect beach-side hostel we'd found.

First things first - Monkey Island is a hostel, not a hotel. If you're expecting to be waited on by sychophantic lackeys, have your room cleaned every day, then go to a five star place and pay five star prices. If you have realistic expectations of what a hostel does and does not provide, then you will be very, very impressed with Monkey Island.

We arrived at the pier on Koh Mak, having come from Koh Chang. We had not booked anywhere, so listening to some recommendations from a few folks from the local dive shops, chose to jump on the Monkey Island fun-bus (a very colourful open-top camper van). When we arrived, we requested the cheapest room, and although we were checking in after the traditional start of high-season (November), were offered a room with fan and shared bathroom for 350 baht. Having already looked at their website, we were expecting to pay 600, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Totally disagree with other reviewers who say that their rooms were dirty and open to the elements. We had stayed the previous two nights in a place at Bang Bao, Koh Chang. For 50 baht less that the price at Monkey Island, we got a rickety wooden shack, huge holes between the boards, a terrible bed and a mozzie net holier than the pope himself! Our accommodation at Monkey was fantastic in comparison - solid concrete, gauze guards over the windows, and a decent net covering a large, solid bed. Could not ask for more. If you wanted your bedding changed, bin emptying, clean towels, etc, then all you had to do was ask.

The monkey bar is quiet during the day, but drink and food are readily available at any time. In the evenings, and especially on Saturdays, the place comes alive. Mr Tea is the resident music-man, and after the cheap, tasty buffet dinner, he entertains guests with some great live music, both western and thai. Anyone is welcome to have a go, and playing a bit of guitar myself, I was dragged up to play a few songs most nights. It was a great atmosphere - really friendly.

There's a beautiful beach only a few footsteps away from your room or if you're not a fan of salt-water there's a small pool next to the bar (which for a hostel I thought was a fantastic added bonus). Koh Mak itself is a great little island. A decent amount of bars, restaurants and guesthouse eateries to give your evening exploits some variety, but not too many that it's over-run and over-populated. A definite problem with some of Thailands' other island resorts.

In short, if you're a budget traveller, with realistic expectations of hostel life, then Monkey Island will definitely impress.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank damianandjojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
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Kent
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2009

Myself and my girlfriend recently stayed one night at Monkey Island resort. Now having spent six months or so travelling through Asia in 2008 i'm pretty used to basic.
We turned up via the ferry and walked about 100 metres to what was a tourist info point. The guys there were very friendly and they had a variety of bungalows on offer ranging from about 600baht to 2500 baht. Although we did come to Ko Mak for a rest we still wanted to have the choice to go to a few bars and restaurants. The chap advised us to go to Monkey island resort which was lively. Lively perhaps if you have been six foot under for many years! we checked in and we were shown our hut with bathroom which I was not entirely happy with but the last one they had. The greeting was far from friendly by the staff who seemed very lazy. The room looked unclean and there were a large variety of bugs and rat droppings to be clearly seen over and above Thai head height. We stayed in the huts a bit away from the beach and backs onto the road. Once getting our banana key which was comical we unpacked and found the room and towels/bedlinen to be dirty. The Mozzie net was ripped in several places and you just knew insects were all around you. Sure enough within some 5 mins a giant spider was crawling over the Mozzie net which I managed to pick up and let outside. The huts sthemselves are very small and very open to the outside.You really feel your in the middle of the jungle! Having booked for two nights i quickly changed my mind and knew we would be moving the next day. The 1000 baht per night seemed extraordinarily expensive compared to what i've paid recently.
The bar area was deserted apart from some drifters playing guitar and high as heaven. This place has a commune feel and you are an unwelcomed visitor. There is nothing to do on Ko Mak. Two maybe three bars with two maybe three people in. The beach however is paradise and stunningly beautifull. All in all though Monkey island spoilt our brief stay and we left for Koh Chang by speedboat the next day. Unless your a devoted hippie who is coming to find yourself in your hut listening to Bob Marley this place isnt for you. We wont be back.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank roadrunnergiddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Ko Mak hotels

Oslo
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2009

The best thing about this rather run down resort is the location. It sits right on the best part of the beach, with palmtrees sloping out over azur water.
The huts vary greatly in size and view, so make sure to get a nice one. Most of them are relatively well situated, close to the beach. Ok garden surrounds the huts. Breakfast was adeqate.

The main problem of this resort - if you can call it that - is the lack of maintenance. Things just fall apart, an few seem to care. What may have been a fun place, now only seems dated and hippie-like. The beach bar/cafe is best avoided, not least due to its not particularly friendly staff and the somewhat sloppy hygiene regime.
We were surprised to see so many guest children hanging around the beach cafe, in what looked like a stale old hippie-herbal environment, but children were well looked after, it appeared. There is a small pool for children nex to the bar.

After renting bikes and visiting some other resorts on this beautiful little island, we realised that there were several resorts which were much nicer options.
The lady that seems to run things on Monkey Island was very helpful and able, but she could benefit from some help in running things more up to date. Internet was free.

  • Liked — The location is lovely
  • Disliked — Lack of maintenance
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MisterCoconut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2009

- good location
- nice staff
- lovely beach
- good value
- nice bar with live music
- quit and peaceful
- clean huts with sea view
- not cheap

  • Liked — sea view, location, huts, bar
  • Disliked — it's not cheap for thai standards...
  • Stayed December 2008
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank basernst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
world
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2008

Monkey is the best resort in Koh Mak. We have been in the Chimpanzee Hut, which is definitely the best one offered by this resort. The bungalow is nice, clean and well located. The restaurant and the bar are average. The staff is friendly while the owner is quite rude. The island is nice, despite very difficult to reach. The negative point is the beach, which is very very dirty. If you want to go to Koh Mak, I suggest a tip. There is an english guy named Stuart who is living in a bungalow 300m from the Monkey resort. He is owing a small boat, and for small money he will bring you around the island letting you discover very nice and unspoiled places.

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — the dirty beach
  • Stayed March 2006, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank headaround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2008

Hi, Its not very often I even bother to write a review but thought I let people know a few things! T the barman is the best part of the resort and he's a great guy that sings most nights in the bar, Great guy.

The resort mind, has had better days, Its now very run down with the Monkey shack restuarant being a shack! With upstairs being done up down stairs is dirty and with poor Thai and European food being offered. There's a mini pool near the Bar on the resort which is nasty! Built for kids its a joke!

The islands not bad but better stuff on Koh Kood and the fishing village on Koh Chang is a real part of Thailand with good people and good food. Be quick mind as BIG plans for KOh Chang that will make it another Package tour nasty.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — The Bathroom
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank vernwilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London NW6
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2008

We had a very relaxing time at Monkey Island. We started off in a 2 bedroom aircon bungalow, but had to move due to an error in the booking to 2 smaller bunglaows. We then chose to have the whole family 2 adults and 2 kids under 7 in one of the smaller air con bungalows. The lack of space wasn't an issue as we were never inside other than to sleep. The bungalows are fine, not amazing, and a little dark, but as all our time was spent on the beach or on the small verandah in a hammock it really was rarely a problem. The beach was about 10 meters away with loads of palm trees for shade. We spent 2 great weeks doing very littlle. The food at Monkey Island was generally the best on Ao Kao beach, if you like Thai food, we tried everywhere several times. There is diving and snorkelling by boat, which is ok, but not the best in Thailand. The kids loved it and didn't miss any of the trappings of a more commerical resort or Island. We were looked after very well by the staff and would all love to return.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Dark Interior and bathroom
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Hugo_HA_HA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monkey Island Resort

Property: Monkey Island Resort
Address: 63/6 Tumbol, Ko Mak, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Trat Province > Ko Mak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Ko Mak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 285
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Monkey Island Hotel Koh Mak

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