After much debating about where to stay, we finally decided on the Dreamlands Resort. I think it was the swimming pool that swung the vote! :o)
There were quite a few family members going so we had to book a number of rooms. After emailing the hotel, we quickly received a response to say our rooms were booked and payment wasn't required until we checked out, which was handy. We then decided to email the hotel and ask for a air conditioning room with a sea view. Again, we got a fast response to say our room had been upgraded. So far, an excellent level of service.
When we arrived at Thong Sala pier, we were picked up by the hotel taxi. This costs around 200THB per person which is the going rate on the island. The resort itself is nestled in a lovely bay called Thong Nai Pan Yai which is in the north east of the island, around 30 minutes in a taxi to get to. When we arrived, check in was really quick and a member of the hotel staff kindly showed us to our room and helped with the luggage. The staff in general were always so friendly and polite and helped us with our Thai.
The hotel did exactly as we had requested and put us right next to the beach with a fantastic view of the sea as well as the hotel pool (we stayed in room 101). As many people have said, the rooms are quite dated but you don't spend much time in them to worry about it. We're also definitely glad we paid the extra for air conditioning as it was very hot at night but being next to the sea and listening to the sound of the waves was really relaxing. I do think though that the price difference between a fan and air conditioning room is quite steep considering that is the only difference. Maybe the cost of running the air con unit is quite expensive.
Please be advised that if you do want your room cleaning, you must ask Reception and leave your key with them. They don't clean every day and will only do this on request.
The resort itself has a lot of facilities to offer - swimming pool, pool bar, reading area, shop and terrace to eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner. The beds around the pool are good quality in my opinion and I have stayed in many 4 and 5 star resorts and the beds at those resorts were very flimsy. The pool is very clean and the general upkeep of the hotel is very good. The plants and bushes could do with a good trim but it's not something I would complain about and I don't envy the hotel staff working in the heat. The hotel is also located close to the main town where there is a 7/11 store, cash machine, pharmacy, clinic and a few restaurants. However, we mainly visited restaurants on the beach when eating dinner as the setting was much prettier. The food in all the restaurants we tried was very good quality and reasonably priced. You must visit a bar called The End as it does fantastic pizzas (I know you're in Thailand and should be eating Thai food) and they have Happy Hour every day from 3pm - 7pm where all the cocktails are 120THB. If you do eat and drink at the hotel, I would enourage you to settle your bills every time rather than add to your room as you never know how much you've spent and I've heard people say they tend to add other things onto your bill which you may not have ordered. At least then at the end of your stay, you know you only have to pay for your room.
It is also worth mentioning that there are a lot of stray and pet dogs and cats that roam around the hotels / restaurants so you may just need to shoo them away if they bother you.
As I mentioned previously, the resort is in a lovely bay around and located right next to the beach so you haven't got to go far if you prefer sun bathing on the beach. The snorkelling isn't very good as the water is too murky so you will probably have to go on an excursion to the marine park or do a snorkelling lesson to see the fish. There are Taxi Boats which can take you to the smaller bay next door which is called Thong Nai Pan Noi. They cost around 100THB per person and welll worth the experience. In Thong Nai Pan Noi, you can lay around the beach for a change of scenery or go to a nice restaurant. However many of the restaurants aren't located along the beach so the setting isn't as nice, however they may be cheaper if you're on a budget. You can walk back to your resort from Thong Nai Pan Noi but it is up and down hills, along the main road and in blistering heat. But if you're up for the challenge and again on a budget it may be something worth considering.
As far as the excursions go, we did the 1 day Eco Adventure Tour where you get to ride on an elephant, visit a waterfall, a chinese temple and go snorkelling. This was a really good tour which was well thought out and reasonably priced in my opinion (around 1400THB per person). However, in order to get to the waterfalls, you have to walk up steep steps which are normally made from the tree roots. If you have walking difficulties or just generally don't like walking up steep cliffs, this part of the tour is not for you. You must also wear good walking shoes or trainers. Do not wear flip flops as these will be really uncomfortable and won't get any grip. Other family members went to the Marine Park and they said their trip was also amazing so if you do have a few days in Koh Phangan, it might be worth considering booking a trip.
So, overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel for the price. There are many others on the island where the beaches aren't as great, there is no pool (and I love a pool, especially with a pool bar) and the location isn't as good.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.