Based on the number of positive reviews, I had high expectations for Cha Wan, but it inevitably, fell short. Cha Wan is a small hotel with 10 units. Odd numbered units are on the ground floor; even numbered, on the 2nd. We stayed in Unit #7. If possible, ask for an even numbered room.
First the pros: Large room and a bathroom w/ a shower and a separate tub-for-two. There's even a private patio where a delicious breakfast is delivered every morning at a time of your choice (try the Pad Thai). And they threw in a free dinner for two with our booking.
Now the cons: The room smelt a little musty and felt rundown. TV was sad with spotty reception and limited channels in English. Internet was also iffy (both of these wouldn't have mattered if we weren't there during the the rainy season). The hotel is about a 15-20 min walk from the beach. Also, hot water didn't work the first night and the a/c kept on freezing.
After learning about the idiosyncrasies of the a/c from the staff, we learnt to 1) turn it off whenever it froze, 2) blast it at 30 degrees centigrade for half an hour, before 3) turning it back down to 20 degrees centigrade. While this system worked, it really wasn't something we wanted to deal with on our holiday.
Also, if your balcony is on the ground floor, you might get amazing views of barb wire to accompany your daily breakfast (which may sometimes arrive cold).
For a hotel this small, the level of customer service should be high but it was sorely lacking. Noor (sp?) was lovely but I can't say the same for the other front desk lady. She always had this grumpy look on her face and didn't take a lot of initiative. One morning, a friend came by to take us to the Tiger Cave. He mentioned to the front desk we were staying in Unit #7. But instead of calling us and telling us he was here, the grumpy front desk didn't mention anything. We ended up missing him and only found out later that he was waiting for us!
Choose even numbered rooms away from the street. Try the drinks from "Take Away" bar, a co...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.