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“Lovely bungalows on the beach”

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Buffalo Bay Vacation Club
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ko Phayam
Reviewed March 21, 2014

You have to get a motor bike taxi when you get off the ferry w2hich is very easy. Its quite a way to Buffalo Bay. You get dropped off at the gate and you have to walk to the reception all the way through the resort.We had a lovely room right at the front only yards from the beach. Food is fantastic. No coffee making facilities in the room and the restaurant closes in the afternoon until 6pm so no coffee! Great quiet resort.

Room Tip: We had a room at the front. The other rooms near the back may be able to hear the generator which g...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alison O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 79 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2014

OK, so the "resort" accommodation itself is quite basic and on the high side price-wise. We paid over 2,000 baht for a fan room with no breakfast included. ON THE OTHER HAND: it's probably one of the cleanest and more comfortable of all resorts and on the most beautiful stretch of beach on the island. Bonus points for a restaurant with an extremely plentiful menu that included freshly baked bread, Mexican and Mediterranean food, among others. The staff - especially Khun Mai - was pleasant, friendly and all smiles during our stay. Even the owner (a Russian? fearsome looking man) was friendly and forthcoming. Phayam itself is a beautiful, relaxed and almost untouched island with natural and friendly locals. I was so happy to see that places like these still exist in Thailand and I will go back when I next need an escape from civilization!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jan-Erik J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I have just returned from an amazing three days on Koh Phayam, enjoying the excellent food and hospitality of Buffalo Bay Vacation Club. Honestly, I think anyone giving poor reviews did not have the right expectations. I researched the property carefully before booking due to the poor reviews and found their Web site. Everything promised was delivered, and more.

And the beach. Unbelievable! Words cannot describe it, or the beauty that is the rest of Koh Phayam. If you have one place to visit before you die, consider going here.

First, my experience. The room was clean, everything worked, and although I will not say the fan rooms are comfortable if you are not used to the temperature in Thailand, the room was as comfortable as could be expected given the hot temperature. News flash, Thailand is hot! I had some insect issues because there are lots of insects in Koh Phayam and they are attracted to light at night. I asked for spray and blasted as needed. If you are in the Thai jungle or countryside there are many more insects than people. You are under constant attack so you deal with it as best you can. I understand where I was and what I was up against. Maybe others do not and they should maybe better understand they are visiting a very remote and largely untouched part of Thailand. If you want a hermetically sealed, aerially sprayed golf vacation you should not be on Koh Phayam.

Dmitri was friendly and helpful. He spent most of his time in the kitchen during my visit. Any free time he had was with his kids, who were there on vacation from the boarding school they attend. Anyone who thinks Buffalo Bay is not good for kids must have expectations totally out of touch with the reality, because from all I could see with the many families there it was as close to a perfect family vacation spot as you could probably imagine.

And finally the food! It was so amazing I kept trying to eat other places and could never bring myself to do it (except once, Phen's Motorbike Rental and Restaurant, which was also amazing). From real Mexican food (never had that before in Asia unless I cooked it) to some of the best and most well-presented breakfasts I could have enjoyed, everything I tried was a smash hit with five star presentation and quality.

In the end I was amazed how cheap everything was. Under 4000 baht for 3 nights and all but two meals on the property. I cannot think of any time I have received better value for money at a well maintained property with true and clear pride of ownership. Check out the web site before you book. There are different room types offering very different experiences for different budgets. There is even a comparison chart explaining exactly what you can expect to receive with each room type. If you have any questions email and ask, or pick up the phone and ask. I did, and got clear answers and no surprises. Just on't book the cheapest fan room and expect an oceanfront air conditioned bungalow as a free upgrade. That is not reasonable. Do not expect nature not to exist because you are on vacation. Maybe there will be a low tide which makes the beach bad for swimming (this happened today) but there are many other times the beach is totally amazing with the clearest warm water imaginable. And if you order the food, do expect large portions and quality ingredients.

Do not forget where you are, the kind of place you are staying, or what kind of room you booked. If your expectations are right I think you will agree that they will be exceeded in every respect. Check my other reviews. Top reviews from me are incredibly rare. Buffalo Bay gets mine without even a question, and with my sincere thanks for making this experience and incredibly special place available to the public and not just their members.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
7  Thank dialtone69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Nice clean well decorated bungalow with TV, minibar, fan or a/c, 2 bottles of water are free every day, hot water ( if it included in room rate), in any case there is warm water flows in the shower, the bathroom amenities ( liquid soap, air freshener). Comfortable bed and pillows. 24 hours of UNINTERRUPTED electricity ( unlike at other hotels ) that is important on island. A lot of hotels have only 4 hours of electricity per day . Mosquito nets on the windows and slided doors, chairs on balcony ( terrace). The room is cleaned every day imperceptibly for guests. Nice clean territory with different trees and flowers. Very good restaurant with delicious meals. I ate at different restaurants in different beaches of the island and I can say that the owner cooks much better than in other places. And prices for dishes are resonable compared to others. I can advice guests if you do not want to wait for cooking of ordered dish for long time you can order desirable dishes beforehand.
The owner works in kithen 12 hours a day! Also he has to check room bookings, check e-mails and take a shower eventually.
If the owner did nothing he would maybe be more friendly.
I recommend this place to everyone looking for a nice place to stay, nice beach, delicious meals. It is difficult to find the same hotel on island with such parity of the price and quality as at Buffalo Bay vacation club.
By the way during my staying at Buffalo Bay vacation club the hotel was fully booked like and during low season. Some guests wanted to extension of stay but couldn`t due to all rooms were fully booked .

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Trahtur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

The owner’s (Demitri) gruff and negative attitude overshadowed the good time that we could have had at the resort. He was absolutely unhelpful and rude. The rooms are ok, bit hot if you’re just in a fan room- although, we did have an infestation of large centipedes in our bathroom… Renting snorkels, kayaks, etc is expensive and should just be included. You also have to pay for every meal at that time instead of just having a room tab, which gets to be annoying. I will say that the beach and the food are pretty good. We left after 2 nights and headed to a much friendlier place on Aow Yai beach.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank jkraska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

The internet site of Buffalo Bay Vacation Club is misleading. We expected a warm atmosphere including child facilities but we were received in a very formal way, with minimum of friendliness! There are NOT at all child activities in the resort as mentioned in the site! We noticed during our stay that when that especially Russian guests where warmly received. We wondered why?? we searched on the website in ABOUT US (what normally people don't pay much attention) and we realised that it is a MEMBERS CLUB, for guests mostly Russians. The owner kind of ignored us, the food is nothing but Thai food and the rest of our vacation with our daughter we spend next door at VIJIT bungalow: they have a great warm and friendly atmosphere, good Thai food and absolutely child friendly. Before booking Buffalo Bay we recommend you to read first the reviews and the website CAREFULLY. THe bungalow was good but still too expansive for what you get.

Room Tip: Next door Vijit Bungalow is recommended, great atmosfere and food
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank FJA365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dimas737, Owner at Buffalo Bay Vacation Club, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2013

In our website , on first page clearly state that this is private club, what rent bungalows for non-members if they not occupied by club members. Our club members what come every year on regular bases come form different countries and we not have priority or special attention to some nationality or country. Also it mention in our website that all activities in our club in pick season limited , because we not have enough staff and not pretend to be 5 star establishment. We provide good accommodation and food in our restaurant for all guests. We run 3 generators 24 hours per day and bungalows equipped with hot shower, clean filtered water in bathroom. TV, Personal safe, beach towels, bathrobes , shower gel ,shampoo, soap, daily room service, minibar, fan, air condition, free water etc... To compare our price to other - it should same facilities , but cannot compare price to "resorts" with 3 hours per day electricity , without any facilities mentioned above.
We not provide and not advertize that we have activities for kids 2 years old ( the age of kids guest writing this review ) and will take care small kids, while parents want to go dancing to night parties.. We always smile and talk politely with all guests if they respond same to us.
About the food - it strange to read that " food was nothing but Thai food " , because we almost have international food in our restaurant., but this guest not eat here,,, and also neighbor place mentioned in review, not have kids facility and playground as well..

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Reviewed January 16, 2013

This is such an amazing place. We stayed here last week for the 2nd time, last time was during low season, now in high season, but still it is amazingly beautiful, quiet and stunning. Just love the place, the beach and the hospitality! The tide changes are amazing, offering both a fresh blue sea to swim in and when withdrawn an out of this world landscape for long strolls and mud scrubs for your feet... The bungalows are well decorated either with fans or air conditioning, mini bar, TV and private bathroom. The restaurant offers a great variety of either Western (even with Mexican and Middle East dishes) as well as Thai and seafood dishes. I truly recommend this place to anyone looking for a great place to stay whilst discovering Thailand at its best. We surely will be back!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank FemkeBeekers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buffalo Bay Vacation Club

Address: 51/3 Ao Kao Kwai, Ko Phayam 85000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Ranong Province > Ko Phayam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ko Phayam
Price Range: $23 - $38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Buffalo Bay Vacation Club 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on the beach of Buffalo Bay at Koh Phayam island and open all the year, our club offers guests of all ages the perfect destination, with spacious, comfortable, modern bungalows at a very affordable price. From family escapes to long stay opportunity for your retirement, our resort suits most travel tastes. We provide the privacy, services and amenities associated only with luxury resorts at very moderate prices for guests seeking quiet and relaxing beach holidays. We are only a small resort, located on an island without electricity, a good source of fresh water and limited supply of staff and logistics, so please don’t expect Club Med , when everything is included or Marriott Club service. We are private club and in pick season or some weeks our activities or tours organised only for club members.Our bungalows offer some of the finest accommodation on Koh Phayam island. 24 hours electricity, only 22 bungalows, all are with own balcony with chairs, fully furnished with stylish wooden teak furniture, modern amenities and offering the comforts for all budgets. We provide different rental prices for our bungalows – with or without full amenities and discount for long stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buffalo Bay Vacation Club Hotel Koh Phayam

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