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“Off the chart!”
Review of The Theatre Villa

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The Theatre Villa
Helsinki, Finland
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Off the chart!”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

The headline here has a deliberate double meaning. Bang Saphan is somehow off the beaten track and "undiscovered", even "wild". The hospitality of Ray and his charming wife, meanwhile, is beyond anything we have experienced in years of travelling. This is a little TREASURE of a place, and should be cherished.

We drove up to Bang Saphan from Krabi, though unlike a more daring previous poster, we were actually in a CAR, rather than on a small motorcycle. All the same, it was some hike, and we arrived quite late in the evening (helped by friendly locals for the last kilometre), to the delight and considerable surprise of our hosts, who had probably given up on us as a "no-show". We were royally welcomed, as if we were old family chums who had just dropped in unexpectedly, and to cut a long story short, things only got better and more cordial during the three nights we stayed at Theatre Villa. We were genuinely sad to leave.

Although I would question the use of the rather vague "Prachuap Khiri Khan" in the TA listing (it's actually in Bang Saphan Yai, right on the beach at Suan Luang), the "#1 in specialty lodging" description is spot-on, as this is very very special indeed - way more than a hotel and more like staying with extraordinarily generous friends. We have been fortunate (and also careful and thorough) in our choices of places to stay in the recent past, but I can honestly say that the service here went right off the scale - at the top end.

I am delighted to see from other reviews that ours was not an isolated experience. I can only echo and underline everything that the others have written, and say a heartfelt THANK YOU to the owners for allowing us to share a few days with them.

We never saw a menu, by the way, but were fed like kings throughout. Some of the best dinners we had during five weeks in Thailand, and some of the best coffee, too.

We also had a similar experience to that of the previous poster, with a trip down to the sand-dunes at Bang Berd and the Red Cliffs and to an offshore fish farm, and even to a large Buddha being erected close to the Chinese Temple in Pak Lhlong. Ray stubbornly refused to accept any payment - and we fought bravely and long before we surrendered - for giving up six hours of his time and for guiding us around a good many places we would never in a million years have got to see otherwise. I hope his Isuzu survived the experience.

Bang Saphan itself is something else - a side of Thailand we had not seen before. The weather was fine but quite windy while we were there, and down at Bang Berd the scenery takes on an impressive wildness you do not find on the "deserted but immaculate" smaller islands of the south. Few tourists to be seen, but rather more long-term ex-pats of mature years who have settled into a life revolving around convivial games of petanque in the local bars. They clearly are drawn by something, and we could quite understand the attraction.

The Theatre Villa comes with the highest possible recommendation. Six, even seven stars would not be out of place. Quite magical. Do not expect hectic nightlife, and do not expect warp-speed Wi-Fi. Simply enjoy it for what it is. Please just make sure that if you follow in our footsteps you do not break the spell.

I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Boutique Villa is set back a few metres from the sea, but has the advantage of more privacy.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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6 Thank Otyikondo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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weymouth dorset
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2012

We decided to travel for a couple of days to Ban Saphan and after looking for somewhere to stay online opted for this little gem. So often we have been disappointed, but this was an absolute dream .We traveled from Hua Hin on our Fino.. yes that's right 260kms and got to the Town where we called into a Motorcycle shop for directions, but they instead telephoned and the Owner, Mr. Ley escorted us to this delightful little hideaway. Beautiful as new beach front room, with lounge. Spotless and very well equipped. A lovely secluded beach. The Owners are extremely accommodating and nothing was too much trouble. In fact Mr. Lee took us out for half a day including the Sand Dunes, the only ones in Thailand. He only asked for 300 baht, we gave him more, but he was really offended, but we insisted and said we would not return, BUT WE WILL and next time we will travel by train. So popular and I'm sure eventually it will be difficult to get a reservation, so go now. Some bigger Hotel chains could take a leaf out of the Owners book.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank trunkybucket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalmar, Sverige
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This place is an absolute gem and we would have liked to keep it a secret but due to the fantastic owners we choose to let the secret out...

We started out with a reservation for two nights but ended up staying six nights and would have stayed longer if we could. The location is wonderful, right on the beach which at the time we visited (September) was empty, no people just miles of miles of deserted beaches.
Rooms are great with everything you need at unbeatable prices.

The owners just can´t do enough for you. For us, as very independent travelers it took a few days to communicate the need of independency but we are sure that most guests will enjoy their very high degree of service;).

In house restaurant has a small and very inexpensive menu, mealprices starting at 35 baht, large beer at 65, we have´nt seen this in years in Thailand.

Hotel has a massage lady they call on request, 200 baht for 1,5h. Massage is also available (in high season) at a few of the hotels walking south on the beach as well as some beach bars and restaurants.

Bike rental is available and we truely recommend this to explore the beautiful area of Ban Saphan.

We are returning with a large group and since The Theatre only has 4 rooms we are renting the entire place and adding some extra beds to fit everybody in.

Don´t miss out on this boutique hotel at budget price. Anywhere else roomrates would be around 3000 baht/night and restaurant prices tripled.

Note: Nearest train station is Ban Saphan, the owners will pick you up free of charge if you just let them know your time of arrival. It will save you the hassle in first finding a rarely seen taxi in town and if you´re lucky, a taxi that knows this place;).

If you decide to go, please say hello to our new friend Mr. Andy, a German guy who comes to The Villa for his afternoon beers everyday:)!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Granefalts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We was taking a road trip with my family to Phuket.

We decided on this hotel because of its perfect almost half-way point on route to Phuket. We thought 2 days rest half way through the journey would be a perfect start to our holiday.

Finding the resort was a little bit of a problem at first and I did notice other small hotels that I thought on passing could have worked for our 2 day trip. But after calling the resort I was enthusiastically directed to a meeting point where I was met by the owner who escorted us to the resort.

When we arrived, I must say I was totally surprised. In a good way. This place is like a little home from home nestled away on it's own very private and peaceful stretch of beach. We stayed in the 2 bedroom family room and we were literally 10 metres from the beach.

They have a small bar and outside seating area leading onto the beach which is just a really pleasant place to be.

Not only that, the couple that run this place are genuinely lovely people who bend over backwards to help make you feel welcome, ensure you are comfortable and even offer to take you to see local attractions such as the biggest sand dune in Thailand. When we arrived there, I noted that this beach is probably the most unspoilt beach I have seen in Thailand for many years. So much so, apparently, the King of Thailand is building a palace retreat there and soon it will become a national park. Amazing place!

In summary, we would definitely stay at the Theatre again. Due to the way it's run by it's owners, it feels like a comfortable home away from home in location that is pleasantly surprising (once you get there).

Room Tip: Beachfront connecting rooms are ideal for the family, its big with a living room too.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank aprelled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Theatre Villa

Property: The Theatre Villa
Address: 94/3 Moo 1 Pongpasard Province, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77140, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Prachuap Khiri Khan Province > Prachuap Khiri Khan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 48 Specialty Lodging in Prachuap Khiri Khan
Hotel Class:3 star — The Theatre Villa 3*
Number of rooms: 4
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