We had stayed one night at Samed Cabana nearby, but figured we could find something cheaper so we walked along the beach and checked. We talked to the man at the desk here (who seems to be an owner or manager), and he quoted us 1,500THB/night and showed us a room. It looked good, so we came back the next morning to check in.
By morning, the signage had changed and the price was listed at 2,500THB for the same room. But the same man was there and honored the rate he had quoted. (He seemed eager for me to be quiet so he could charge some other people the higher rate).
The room was nice enough -- quiet with a comfortable queen bed and shockingly reasonably-priced minibar. The bathroom was nice enough, with a shower partitioned from the rest of the bathroom (not a given in Thailand). We soon discovered that there were a lot of tiny ants and lizards that lived behind some of the panels in the bathroom. They proved innocuous, though unwelcome, company. Probably hard to avoid in the jungle...
There are a lot of semi-stray dogs and a few cats around the beach and property, which is true at most resorts on this beach. (They seem to live outdoors but get fed by locals). They're not the cleanest, but if you keep your distance or approach with care/respect, they don't seem threatening. Some were even nice. Just remember they're not your family's Golden Retriever.
The restaurant on the property is great, especially for the included breakfast. Also included is in-room wifi, which is very slow, but worked okay for our needs.
The beach area is fine, as long as the resort is not fully booked. I could see it getting very crowded otherwise, and there are too few lie-down chairs as it is. Yes, there is some boat traffic, but we didn't feel it was dangerous or obtrusive at all. But probably not a good place to let kids play by themselves in the surf. Also, there's not much beach left when the tide comes all the way up, though this was at night when we were there.
The biggest negative was the staff (excluding the restaurant staff, who were fine). There are no "do not disturb" signs, though the staff usually notice you leave for breakfast and service the room then. But one morning we slept in and got a knock on the door around 10am. We told the housekeeper we would be gone in a half hour and asked her to return then, but she said she had to "check" the room right away and said "5 minutes." In 5 minutes, she was back to check the minibar with no apologies. The room was later cleaned once we left. I'm not sure why she was so urgent to check the room, and it's pretty obnoxious for a housekeeper to insist on entering at a certain time, in my opinion.
Also on the service front, you must sign out towels. After other (rude) guests removed our towels from beach chairs (as mentioned, there aren't enough chairs) while we ate, we explained and tried to get replacement towels, but the staff refused since we hadn't signed the others back in. (We stole the chair-thieving family's towels to resolve the situation, but still, why hassle us over some not-so-nice beach towels?)
The resort runs its own boat to the mainland twice daily directly from Ao Vongduern, which saves a bumpy songthaew trip to the main pier.
Despite the grumpy staff on the property and ant/lizard presence in our bungalow, the resort was a decent value and none of the small annoyances prevented us from having a good time. This place definitely seems like the best option on Ao Vongduern.
- Also Known As:
- Vongdeuan Hotel
- Vongdeuan Hotel Koh Samet
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