Stayed here for one night as part of a sailing trip - and as it was unbearably hot on the boat we chose to stay for a night on Phi Phi Don. I knew what to expect from Phi Phi, and had an excellent time at Holiday Inn at a previous stay. We were 2 adults, and children.
The pro's of Island Cabana hotel
- Location, location, location: at the narrowest part of the Island, close to Pier, but far enough to be away from all the hustlers, and with sunrise- and sunset views over the sea
- Views from the rooms - we had a very nice view, overlooking the pool and the beach
- Spaciousness of the rooms (though they are tired etc - see below) - but in a triple room there was still ample space for a good, wooden old-fashioned baby bed and it was still not cramped, and there is a decent-sized balcony
- Contrary to many other reviewers we experienced quite friendly, and helpful staff (with the exception of the breakfast staff) - they set up our baby bed very speedily, good drink service at the pool, quick luggage service
- And: we did actually like the pool, it's quite large, reasonably deep, water quality seemed no worse than in many other 3-4* Thai hotels, with an external filtering unit. There's a kids part of the pool that is shallow, and views from the pool and surrounding sunbeds on sunset are very nice.
- The rooms are tired - doors are thin, and close only with a lot of noise. Beds are rock-hard (though this is a common problem in many Asian hotels...). Bathroom is old, and we had hot water only in the shower not the wash bassin - though there was an amply supply of towels, and OK amenities. Aircon worked fine - not cooling down to 17 or 18 deg C, but that's anyway both unhealthy and unecological: with 39 deg C outside, we had a comfortable 21 deg C in the room, and the Aircon was quiet
- The breakfast quality is POOR - there is actually plenty of choice, it's just the quality and presentation combined with a poor service attitude of the staff that makes it a really disappointing experience. E.g., there are many different kinds of bread, but all is pre-sliced apparently hours before, and thus either dry, or soggy from the humidity. The juices look OK, but once you taste your realize they're the cheap, powder- and chem flavor-based variant. Asian / Thai food selection was not much better, even the congee was really poor.
- The check-out process is cumbersome, slow and the 3% (Master / Visa) rsp 5% (Amex) credit card surcharge for such a hotel are totally inappropriate and ridicoulous.
So - overall we actually had a rather pleasant stay, with the exception of breakfast. Price / value has of course been terrible - but then I expected nothing else (and just for reference: I do stay 50+ nights / year in many of the best hotels of Europe and Asia - so I know what this hotel COULD be). This is certainly not a great place, but it's also not as terrible as some of the other reviewers suggest.
Rooms overlooking pool, 3rd floor (counting ground floor as 1st floor, ie 3rd floor is highest floor...
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