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“The true Spirit of Thailand” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smile Bungalow

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Smile Bungalow
74 / 9 Moo 7, Bottle Beach, Ko Phangan 84280, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The true Spirit of Thailand”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

I was at Smile for the first time on 2004 and i am about to make my 5th appearance next February. Bottle beach and smile bungalow are the very gist of your travelling dream if you look or that sense of remoteness and true spirit of thailand. If you look for super luxury non-senses jog on this is not place for you. But if you look for an amazing beach, well made old style bungalow thai-style, great food and an amazing bar location overlooking the beach smile bungalow it's the place for you. The place it's run by two cousins which have been there form day 1, great people. Bottle beach it's one of the few places which managed to escape from the disgusting development that the island saw in the last 10 years, probably because o it's natural position. In fact the best way to reach the beach it's still by taxi boat as the road through the hill it's very nasty. Smile bungalow forever!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
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5
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5
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
nice
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

Lots of mosquitos , very poor service provided , horrible staff , very expensive food for what you get ( tiny portion and not good at all ).
Just a good advice , stay away from this place ( king of tourist trap ).

Room Tip: Other hostels on the beach where you might get a better service / staff / price ;)
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Arriving here after a long ferry, then truck then boat -very tired, it was not the paradise I had hoped for. I had a small bungalow, it was dark, smelt of mice or worse and was filthy. Quite simply I wouldn't be able to sleep in here.
Your standards have to be pretty low to feel ok here. Mine aren't. I paid almost double to get a bungalow up the back. These are much better in design and look cleaner, but still I could only handle one night here anyway. The previous occupants had left a whole lot of trash which sat outside my font door. I asked for reception to remove it but they said tomorrrow! No wonder there is a noticable vermin problem. Everytime i left the room and came back there were new mouse droppings on the bed. The rooms are not sealed so anything outside can have access. I had to leave the next day to somewhere more relaxing. Bottle beach is accessible mainly by boat so you have to get on well with the management to be able to get out!

Room Tip: Upgrade to the 2 story bungalows up the back
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Our family of four, (kids aged 10 and 14) spent 5 days here in June/July. It might not be connected by road from Chaloklum, but that's part of the beauty, isolated relaxation.

We stayed in 2 of the double storey bungalows. The bathrooms are terrific. The only thing the bungalows could use are perhaps a cupboard each, even if a quaint bamboo one such as the tables and chairs in the restaurant. There is a fan and mosquito net over the bed, although we did not see or hear a single mosquito all week. The restaurant has western as well as Thai food. Try the Thai food, terrific! The staff are helpful, arranging long tail water taxis for trips to Chaloklum.

We stayed at Ocean View on Had Khom a few years ago, which was just as nice, but the tide is too low for the time of year we travelled this time.
Bottle beach is stunning. A long wide expanse of sand and warm waters.
If you enjoy beach football, look out for the staff from all the resorts on Bottle Beach meeting mid to late afternoon in front of Smile Bungalows for a kick around, great fun.

If you enjoy snorkelling, swim across to the rocks on the right hand side. (right hand side when you're looking out to sea).
There are often long tails which bring day time guests to enjoy the terrific beach, which tells you good the beach is.

If you're looking for Air-conditioned luxury this is not for you. If you're looking for a laid back, island experience, this is it!
Thanks Smile, had a terrific time, we will be back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

An amazing slice of Paradise,old school Koh Phangnan at it's finest with it's lush tropical setting overlooking delightful Bottle Beach.The bungalows are basic but very adequate and the price is very good for such an amazing tranquil location.

It is a special place that always leaves me with fond memories,lying back on the cushions eating and drinking,swimming,just generally lazing about,yaah.After my third trip back to Smile Bungalows,nothing has changed ,the staff are fantastic,food is very good and the setting is amazing.

Don't go changing Smile Bungalows,your rustic charm is hard to find,miss you already,should start planning my next trip!!!

Kia Kaha
Mark

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Aachen
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

Backpacker feeling as 25 years ago !!!
Simple, but nice bungalows for an excellent price.
Beside this an outstanding location at the best beach of Ko Phangan.
Mr. San and his staff have been very helpful and always friendly.
The restaurant has a very relaxed atmosphere, food , specially the Thai food is very nice at very reasonable prices.
Thanks a lot for a wonderfull stay!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

The bungalows are simple fan only and either on one or two levels. The gardens are amazing and monkeys have been introduced.
The beach is fantastic.
Smile is by far and away the best resort on the beach, which has an island feel to itself as you enter the beach via longtail boat.
The food is good but limited. Both western and thai.
The staff at Smile are some of the best I have encountered.
The beach is very 'chilled'.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Smile Bungalow

Address: 74 / 9 Moo 7, Bottle Beach, Ko Phangan 84280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Phangan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #71 of 226 Specialty Lodging in Ko Phangan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
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