Maehaad Bay Resort is an excellent resort and base for exploring around Koh Phangan especially the NW area. Beautiful rooms and grounds, clean, quiet, all well maintained, massive amazing pool which runs nearly the full length of the gardens with the villas and rooms facing onto it, just as it looks in all the pictures (so I have not added more) - you can do full laps in this pool if you desire.
Super friendly and responsive staff, and pretty good English skills, great team on reception who seemed to juggle a lot of balls to keep everyone happy. You can book ferries and trips through the hotel also transfers to the ferry or other places on the island at reasonable cost and short notice if the truck/van is available. The best bit was being picked up in the resort 4x4 truck from the ferry this was a lifesaver while the disembarking hoard figured out their transport in the rain - call ahead to the resort and they will look after you.
Breakfast ("American" focus) was excellent - seen some negative comments on this but I enjoyed it - eggs made well to order, bacon, pancakes, lovely fruit, cereal, toast etc. There is free wi-fi throughout also LAN in the room, though their internet provider was a little temperamental to keep logged into. The island itself is also subject to sporadic internet outages, it was down a couple of times but not too bad. Also the laundry service was excellent and cheap - done locally and priced by the pound not per sock.
The only disappointment for me was the resort is not directly located on Mae Haad beach, the length of the resort is parallel to the beach and ends onto the cove/harbor to the East of the sand bar linking Mae Haad and Koh Ma, on a small strip of artificial bank of sand with concrete barrels to form the beach - you can lie on a chair there, but it's a little dirty and you can't really swim off that bit of beach, and it's also where folks in the other resorts cut through to the proper beach so it's not private. But the other big problem is that this side of Mae Haad was dirty - at low tide there was a *lot* of trash washed up on the beach and up to the sand bar, also the water that side seems a little dirty in general, and there is old concrete and tile waste on the path to the beach and down in the water. The resort is a very quick walk to the main beach, but not a great path past the bungalows in the resort next door and you have to navigate the trash. The resorts and locals in the area need to figure out how to clean up this beach and keep it beautiful, for me it is reason enough not to return which is a shame, as all else with the resort was excellent and otherwise would be 5/5.
I did not eat in the resort except breakfast and fruity blended drinks by the pool - around the resort there are some small restaurants - Cabana was excellent and busy by day but dead at night (say hello to the talking bird out front), Rim Restaurant was popular at night, and Royal Orchid is basic on the outside but nice location by the water and good food. There are a couple of convenience stores and lots of places to hire scooters, jeeps, get a taxi or get laundry done or have a yoga class, all staffed by some of the friendliest and happiest people I have met during my stay in Thailand. Some reviews imply the hotel is cut off from all civilization this is not the case - sure there is no 7-11 (hoorah!) and the nightlife is very chilled but that is what you come here for, if you want to step out from the hotel straight onto a party strip this is not the right place for that.
During the day the beach is buzzing - it is a popular destination beach for folks staying at other places. Snorkeling is possible off the beach (a storm came through during my stay which churned up the water so I did not snorkel myself), and the beach is lined with excellent massage places. Between that and lying by the pool in the resort, the days will fly by - and did.
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