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“Hotel is closed” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Mandalai Hotel

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Mandalai Hotel
3.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   61/1 Moo 7 Chaloklum Road, Ko Phangan 84280, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 90 Hotels in Ko Phangan
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Hotel is closed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012 via mobile

Just writing to warn people the hotel is closed. We went past the hotel late April and it nas a for sale sign on it 50-60 million baht I think is the asking price. It is a great location right on the beachfront of a beautiful fishing village. hopefully someone will buy it and do the necessary repairs.

Stayed April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2010

I wouldn't book Mandalai...
We had our resevations for this hotel 3 months before our trip and 2 weeks before arrive to the place they contact us saying that the hotel is overbooked for the period that we pay.
Now we can't book other place because all of them are completely full in Ko Phangan.
Sooooo desapointed!!

Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2010

really enjoyed our 2 nights here. felt v indulgent place to stay, cool, calm yet central.

great deck from which to watch the comings a going at the pier and the women drying out the squid.

the rooms were spacious, never used the bath but lovely position overlooking the sea. and good walk in shower. very clean and simple style - though apart from the small buddhas on a shelf above the bed and the view there wasn't much to make you feel you were in thailand

also don't really see the point of a mosquito net that is not quite long enough!!

friendly staff though our email requesting a transfer went unanswered.

didn;t have breakfast in so can't comment

if you want modern stylish then great. if you want ore thai go get a bungalow!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2010

This hotel looks nice, great location and funky interiors however its the worst hotel in the world. We had no safe in our room, completely unheard of abroad. We asked at reception to be moved or have one installed that day however they said we could not move rooms unless we paid more. We didn't see why we should have to pay more when the room we booked promised to have a safe. We asked to see a manager but they never appeared and whenever we tried to speak with reception they were either nowhere to be seen or conveniently didn’t understand. We took our passports and money out with us whenever we left, however on our last day when we returned 2 rings and a bracelet were missing from my bag. Although the jewellery was costume jewellery it had sentimental value. The hotel were so unhelpful, I would never recommend staying here unless you want bad service, your belongings to be stolen and decor that seriously needs attention. Not to mention a drunken security guard supposedly keeping the place safe at night.....joke.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2010

I first booked this hotel at the end of December for the beginning of February, staying for 4 nights. Mid way through January I was contacted by the reservations manager explaining that the reception team had put my booking in the wrong month and subsequently I had received a cancellation charge for a no show. The reservations manager offered to refund the charge to my card or I could leave the charge to go against my actual stay. I opted for the later. Shortly after this my plans changed and we reduced our booking from 4 nights to 2 nights, this was confirmed with the reservations manager and we looked forward to our visit. From this point forward our experience of the Mandalai hotel went dramatically downhill.
On the day of arrival we were taxied to the hotel to be met with a very cross reception, I presented my paper work showing our booking for 2 nights, but the reception team still had us booked in for 4 nights and therefore when we had not arrived 2 days before had charged me another 2 nights cancellation. The reception team presented me with their paperwork showing 4 nights booking, but then I went through the pile to find an updated booking confirmation of 2 nights in their pile. Unfortunately this was not enough for them and they would have to check with management and get back to us later in our stay. For the next 2 days each time we went by reception to check on the progress, the reception team would say that they had not been able to get hold of anyone yet.
On the night before our departure I thought it best to settle our bill as we had an early ish departure after breakfast the next morning. After a lengthy conversation with the young man on reception he agreed that our booking was only for 2 nights, but the charge from January still stood. I explained that this had been their mistake and I was due a refund for this. Reception could not do anything with this and I was told that a manager would be on duty the next morning to sort the problem.
As you can image the next morning I made sure that I was at reception at the agreed time to meet with the manager to get my refund and get on my way to my next destination. What I wasn’t expecting was to be faced with the same receptionist from my arrival date, once again saying that I could not be refunded for the January charge as it was a cancelled booking. This argument went on for the full half an hour before my pick up with no result. So I left the hotel after stay for 2 nights, and paying for 3 nights, one of which was charged above the agreed per night rate!?
Once I got to my next destination I called the contact numbers on the confirmation in the hope of speaking to the reservations manager to action my refund. After several tries I got though to another receptionist of the hotel who said that my refund had been given and I should check my bank account for confirmation. This call cost me £15 from my mobile. And so I did kept checking my bank account from my phone and 2 days later another 1 night charge was taken from my account! I both emailed and called the hotel demanding the correct refund to be given, reception assured me that it had been given, and I told them that I had been charged, not refunded. Nat on reception said that a refund for 2 nights had been given after the charge for 1 night had been made. Later I did see the refund for the cheaper nights refunded, leaving the hotel with 1 night at over the per night rate and another at the standard.
Since returning home I have had the chance to total the costs to me with the extra cancellation charges made, bank transaction charges, my phone bill for calls and data and I am at a financial loss of over £100, or 5000 baht.
I have tried to contact the reservations manager, by several emails explaining my complaint and the fact that I am at financial loss through no fault of my own, but it has fallen on deaf ears. Added to this our whole experience of this island was ruined with the concern over how much money they were going to take from us even though we had complete and correct paperwork.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2010

The Mandalai is a beautiful building (by Stem Architects, I believe) with clever little design motifs peppered throughout. The rooms surround a small but elegant plunge pool in the courtyard.

We booked a Beach View Suite (although the term "suite" is misleading though because there is no separate seating area). Terminology aside, the room itself was very well appointed with a jacuzzi, and separate shower and toilet. However, the quality of workmanship was little uneven throughout (squeaking doors, bath paneling not quite flush) which lends an overall sense that the architectural concept outstripped the capability of the builders and fitters that delivered the project.

The view was very beautiful but unfortunately opening the windows invited a strong stench of drying fish. Chaloklum is a working fishing village so this should perhaps not be unexpected but equally the Mandalai was the only place along the beach where we could smell it.

The inclusive breakfast was taken at the sister restaurant Sheesha next door to the Mandalai. The continental breakfast was very good; the American breakfast was slightly unsettling.

The Thai staff were very friendly but slightly inexperienced and gawkish; the reception was staffed sporadically which would be out of keeping for a true 4-star hotel.

Chaloklum itself is charming and unspoiled with a small, chilled crew of mostly French visitors. We came from Bo Phut, Ko Samui, a former fishing village destroyed by an influx of foreign package tourists. I suspect Chaloklum will ultimately go the same way. The Mandalai is the first of what will probably be a slow trickle and then a steady stream of boutique hotels.

Go soon if you want to catch it before it slides.

Would I recommend the Mandalai? Sadly, probably not. It was very beautiful and comfortable but the hotel is really a 3-star with 4-star prices; and ultimately the smell of fish really detracted from our enjoyment.

I have three specific issues that require management attention if anybody from the Mandalai wishes to act on this review.

- The windows were covered in bird droppings and this was not cleaned during the 3 days that we stayed.

- The safe was broken in our room (Room 7) which was not a problem for us because we carry a travel safe but it will probably be a problem for future guests.

- Describing the rooms as Suites is misleading and this should be corrected on advertising literature.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2010

I stayed here for 3 nights during the New Year's eve period (as its one of the few hotels that doesnt require a min 5 nights stay) and if accessibility to the full moon party is crucial for you, this is probably not the place to be, as it is close to 45mins away from Haad Rin where the full moon party is held. However, if being away from the crowd is your thing, this is definitely it - a small boutique hotel right in the middle of a lazy fishing village, where Internet cafe, laundry services, restaurants and massages are extremely closeby.

We were told by some of the local that we were lucky that we have stayed here during the time when the peak season is over - that is when the fishermen laid all the fishes to dry under the sun, causing unbearable smell which some have already commented here. So no uncomfortable fishy smell for us throughout - what a breeze!

In terms of the hotel, while the services are generally acceptable, there was this episode upon our arrival from Samui airport, which was quite upsetting. We have purchased the wrong ferry ticket to Koh Phangan at the Samui airport , where we should be getting the one that bring us to the Thong Sala Pier, which is the closest pier to Mandalai, and not Haad Rin pier. While the manager of the hotel insisted that he had advised me in the email correspondence months prior to my arrival that someone would pick us up at Thong Sala, it was still unacceptable as we waited for hours at the wrong pier for their driver and during this time, we called up 3x and never once were we informed that we are at the wrong pier. We were just repeatedly assured that the driver is coming and it was extremely upsetting and fustrating.

When the driver finally did arrive, only then did we realise we are at the wrong pier and the driver was actually there to pick up another guests who were arriving later - and not us! We were then told that either we wait for another hour or more for the other guests to arrive, or we can make our own way there and of course on our own cost! Totally ridiculous! We ended up waiting for the other guests again as we dont want to have to pay extra - the price we paid for the room already cost heaps. Anyway, the driver - a very young and helpful guy ,was extremely nice though and actually make the extra effort to get us all to the hotel faster as he knows we have been waiting for hours and have missed our dinner.

Other than this, the house keeping did not make up our room on one of the days, even after I have reminded the staff to do so - imagine coming back to the room after a long day outside and seeing all the mess around with no clean towels etc - not nice! For the price we paid, the services provided are just not up to par. The only highlight is our room which offer a superb sea view right from our bed, and the breakfast in bed which we have requested. They should also consider getting a better van or something as the one they used to ferry us (to the full moon party and pier) was a pickup truck and everyone was packed like some goods at the back of the truck. Not a nice way to treat your guests eh?

It is good to explore the island after the full moon party and we have some enjoyable time cruising around on our bike. However, getting out of Koh Phangan to Samui at the Thong Sala pier on the 2nd was horrifying, with tons of tourists all waiting to leave. There was limited shelter at the pier and everyone have to stand under the pouring rain while waiting for the ferry to arrive. I heard that the situation at Thong Sala was still bearable though, as it was even worst and chaotic at Haad Rin pier, where people actually falls into the sea! The Thai authority should really improve this, in view that thousands of people are expected at each full moon and new year party. I also noticed that no communication nor annoucement was made by all the ferry operator and people are left wondering each time we docked at some pier, not realising if we are at the right place.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Mandalai Hotel

Address: 61/1 Moo 7 Chaloklum Road, Ko Phangan 84280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Phangan
Bar / Lounge Beach
Hotel Style:
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Phangan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Mandalai Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mandalai is the first hip boutique hotel on the Island. The hotel is located in the heart of Koh Phangan's fisherman village in Chaloklum Bay. Superbly situated on the beach front enjoying spectacular sea views and surrounded by the necklace of mountains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandalai Hotel Ko Phangan
Mandalai Boutique Hotel

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