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“Good value, and as hoped” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Khao Sok Smiley Bungalow

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Khao Sok Smiley Bungalow
3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   35/5 Moo 6 T. Klongsok, Phanom, Thailand   |  
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Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Good value, and as hoped”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

We were at Smiley the same time as the previous reviewer,and yes there was a group, and yes there was a party, and yes it was loud. We were faily close and still slept (knackered due to getting there) - and so missed the boob flashing. Not surprised though as they were loud!
Our room was in one of the newer brick bungalows. Yes lights were dim, but everything was clean enough. But yeah, far from spotless but this is Asia and £10 a night in a hot/humid place. We were satisfied. We got loo roll :)
Food okay too.
We took Smiley lake raft trip which was superb value for money - 2200 bhat (if 8+ go) - and had th night in their new (basic but okay) raft house. Boat trip, cave visit and trek were fine, cliff jump and kayaking also good. Food on raft was excellent. OK - trip wasn't exactly to how it wsa advertised, but we didnt read it anyway lol! Excellent value for money.
Staff great free wifi. and very helpful - we would recommend - but beware it is a budget place.
FWIW - some people came to Smileys and looked everywhere else, but came back as nothing touched it for the price.
Pics from trip and lake trip on our blog www.doyourdream.co.uk

Room Tip: Brick rooms are okay but not "special", but more sealed than the old trea houses
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2011

I booked Smiley due to its positive reviews on TripAdvisor, and its proximity to the park. It was reassuring to see on their website that the more expensive stone bungalows were rather new, so I was looking forward to a simple yet relaxing stay in nature. My expectation was for simple cabins with no frills, yet with basic comforts.

The experience, however, was not up to expectation. The owners picked me up a the bus stop (a two minute ride) at no charge, which was nice. They were very friendly, that I gotta give them. They showed me to my bungalow, which looks great from the outside. Once inside, however, I discovered that the cabin was missing basic necessities such as toilet paper, towels and any kind of blanket (what was on the bed barely qualified as a scarf, there wasn't even a sheet to cover up with). When I went to the reception to address these concerns, I was given a towel and a light cotton blanket, however was informed that they were out of toilet paper(!), so would I mind hosing down instead. That's a ludicrous request, as any place that caters to the Western farang knows that toilet paper is not optional in our culture. Once I made it clear that a hose won't do, the lady agreed to make a run to a store to pick up some toilet paper.

Besides above mentioned items, the room was extremely bare with very minimal electric light and one functional electric outlet, and no kind of table/night stand, so all of one's things had to be put on the floor. It did, however, possess some 'extras' that weren't listed on the website, namely animal feces in the bathroom, and filth in the sink. The owner, after shrugging her shoulders with "it's a jungle!" called the maids, who came with a cleaning kit, which they made absolutely no use of, and instead used the above mentioned bathroom hose to wash the feces onto the bathroom floor. They used it for the sink, too, which made no difference as previous guests's dirt was securely stuck to the surface of the sink. While they were there, I asked them to change the sheets, as they looked dirty and I was rather sure that they haven't been changed before I moved in. Well, the removal of the sheets revealed that the mattress was moldy, with multiple living mold stains. I found that rather distressing, as rubbing up against mold all night is hardly healthy. Well, when we tried to flip the mattress, I discovered that the other side of the mattress was covered in urine stains all over it. What a fine choice!

I should also mention that the night I got there, a large group of very young backpackers arrived. They absolutely took over the restaurant, with blasting music until midnight. The following evening, they asked me and a couple of people I was hanging out with to move to a different table so they could set up a beer pong table. Later, I observed a 'doubles tournament' where one of the rather drunk girls, teamed up with a hotel staff guy named Yaya, was flashing her bare breasts to make the opposing team lose concentration. I felt that I was at a frat party all over again.

What I found very discouraging is that other travelers staying in nearby budget bungalows seemed to think that this was actually nicer than what they had. However, institutionalizing poor quality does not make it ok. And the "it's the jungle!" excuse is rather lame, in my opinion. Having been to rainforest in other places around the world (several places in Latin America) I firmly believe that the experience doesn't have to come with animal feces in the bathroom, or moldy/urine-filled mattresses. What it looks like to me is that the bungalow managers attempt to get away with the bare minimum the tourists will tolerate, rather than attempt to uphold a certain standard of quality.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rotorua, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

Smiley Bungalows we stayed at the wooden bungalows at 300bt per night which was in very good order. Large bed with a mosquito net, hot shower, fan, and reasonably clean. There's reasonably good wifi in the bar area and you can manage to pick this up if you stay in the closest wooden bungalow to the bar, although it is switched off when they close the bar. The food was okay but id recommend heading down to the restaurant on your left just before the bridge.

Room Tip: You can manage to pick up wifi if you stay in the closest wooden bungalow to the bar.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spijkenisse, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at smiley bungalow en 1 night at smiley lake houses and had in both of the them a great time. The stone bungalows are in a good state, basic but for 600 bath really great. Yes you have to ask for new towels, but that's in many places in thailand normal.

The service of the owners Phaiwan and Bao is really amasing. Here some examples:
- Paiwan booked for us the transportation back to suratthani.
- Phaiwan helped us so much when we did forget a bag in the taxi back in surat thani. With a few calls she had the bag in 1 hour back at us in Don Sak!
- Bao provided free monkey feeding 5 minutes by car of the bungalows
- Normally the lake house trip (1 night, 2 days) starts when there are minimum 4 people, but we did it with Bao with only the 2 of us! I booked it 1 moth before arrival.
- When they have time, the love to talk with guest but only if your open for it!
- You can use free internet computers, free water/ coffee/ tea in the bar area.

Make sure you do the lake trip with smiley, because the lake houses are great. They are only 6 months old and have a fantastic view. We saw some other lake houses witch are made of bamboo. Those houses looks a little bit better, buth are in a bad state and not animal/ insect free. We did there a jungle hike, longtail trips to see animals, kayaking and swimming!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

Smiley Bungalows does live up to its name - the family that run it are lovely, helpful and .... smiley. We chose a stone bungalow at 600bt per night which was in very good order. Large, comfortable bed, hot shower, fan, and glass doors. There's reasonably good wifi in the bar area, although this is occasionally switched off. The food was great, and we weren't pushed to take tours from the bungalows (although we did as the prices and offering seemed fairly consistent in the area). I'd recommend this as a good option while in Khao Sok.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

I would not recommend a stay at smileys bungalows.
The owners are kind and the bar looks nice, but the bungalows are in a bad state and the service isn't good.
We had to ask for towels, clean pillows (those were mouldy), a lock for the room and a fan that works.
We didn't get breakfast although we ordered it the day before.
Better go to Nung House. They have good & cheap bungalow, a good restaurant and a nice crew.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2011

My girlfriend and I traveled for a year all over se asia and india and smileys was one of the best places we stayed the rooms were extra clean and the staff were more then friendly they truly treated us like family I would highly recommend staying with them if your in the area also make sure to check out the floating bungalows too

and make sure to say hello for Ezra and Lisa from Canada :)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Khao Sok Smiley Bungalow

Address: 35/5 Moo 6 T. Klongsok, Phanom, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Phanom
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Phanom
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Khao Sok Smiley Bungalow 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Khao Sok Smiley Bungalow Hotel Surat Thani
Khao Sok Smiley Bungalow Thailand/Phanom

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