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“Good guesthouse on the beach”

Shambala Beach Bungalows
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Shambala Beach Bungalows
Ranked #223 of 316 Hotels in Ko Samui
Cumbria
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good guesthouse on the beach”
Reviewed January 24, 2010

We stayed here initially for one night after flying in from Chiangmai.

We decided to stay and do our Padi Open Water at the on site five centre - 100 degrees east.

Accomodation was included with the course and we had a beach front bungalow. It was a pleasant room with hot water shower. We gad a few visiting lizards during the stay, but it is perfectly normal and they won't harm you!

Food was great, still talk about it now! Especially the milkshakes and the chicken satay.

7/11 across the road along with street vendors selling fruits and pancakes. Petrol station across road do laundry, we had no problems with them.

Make sure you request a room near beach, our first night was in a room backing onto the road and it wad noisey beyond belief.

Will definately stay here again, if you get a chance I recommend the on site dive team too.

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1 Thank Sammy0585
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Witham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2010

We arrived at big buddha beach after flying in from bangkok,we just wanted somewhere for the night as we were off to koh tao the next morninh,and all i can say is i,m glad it was only one night,we paid 800 baht for the night and i,d booked the room from the uk online.The bungalows are situated in a garden area just off the beach.The reception area and beach bar are acceptable and typically thai with a nice relaxed feel but i cant say the same about accomodation,they are little thai style bungalows but are badly in need of a bit of money spent,it would have been more comfortable sleeping on the floor as the mattress was about 2 inch thick on solid boards.my back was killing in the morning!the bathroom was filthy and i,m sure david attenborough could have found some new undiscovered funghi in there!we didnt complain as it was only one night so we headed off out for dinner and drinks,we arrived back about 11.30 and went to bed,but the noise from a nearby bar was horrendous,the base speaker sounded like it was outside the room and it wemt on till 3 am,so with very little sleep we gladly checked out and headed off on the ferry to koh tao,I have to say its a great shame because it probably wouldnt cost a fortune to make a big difference and after now returning from 3 weeks travelling all over thailand we ahd far better accomodation for half the price!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank simon1009h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 11, 2009

There is only one place to stay in Koh Samui and it’s a little place called Shambala. Not just because, quite frankly, it’s the only affordable place on the island, but because it’s LOVELY.

Owned by the sweetest Franag couple and the Kitchen by a soulful Thai family. They will point you in the direction of mopeds, scuba, elephant treks, yoga…. There is even an immigration office to too far away if you want to extend your stay. (I did).

Let’s talk food for a moment. You can have a killer egg sald, toasty or French fries when it’s sunny but I recommend the Pad Thai and/or fresh coconut. Drinks under their little straw huts is blissful and chilled out Thai cushions a bonus.

There are also plenty of movies, books, board games and other such treats geared towards any homesick traveler.

Be careful though because the time will fly by. But for 500 Baht a night (800 Hot shower) WHY NOT? Oh- don’t do your laundry across the street. Trust me on that one.

P.S I saw a guy walking his Water Buffalo on the beach from my ocean view the morning I left. If you can get it, Grab #6. Best Bungalow in the house.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank AmbreIris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thailand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2009

I was travelling with a group of 10 friends and my partner, we took up the majority of the bungalows. I really enjoyed my stay.

We are all teachers in Thailand and it was the perfect 4 days get away. Its cheap and cheerful. The rooms were basic which is what you are paying in the price. 500 baht for 2 ppl per night its really reasonable. Double room with fan, bathroom, balcony with a awesome hammock and right on the beach. Lets face it your not going to spend your time sitting in your room, you'll be having a cold drink in their beach garden, chilling in the hammock or exploring the island.

The food, is the best food i have had in Thailand since i have been here, 3 months now. I would recommend their massaman curry and there French fries which comes with freshly made mayonnaise ( which is refreshing from the stupidly sweet, practically salad cream, Mayo you get everywhere else in Thailand) . Everything was made from fresh and very reasonably priced. The beer was also very reasonably priced and the service was great. The staff all speak good English, which is a shame if your trying to speak a bit of Thai. There is a 7/11 just across the road for water stock up ect.

The staff were lovely, although i would agree the English lady running it isn't the smilest of ladies but i think what you have to remember is that it is her job and she has been doing it for nearly 16 odd years. Im sure you have off days, she was extremely helpful and help organise our day trip to the national park and mini buses to the bars ect. She seemed to warm up on the last night an joined us for a drink. She had two lovely dogs which roam around and a absolutely massive cat which i though was just awesome. Gives it a very homely feeling which was refreshing when working away from home can make you very home sick.

I would recommend when on Koh Samui , the Marine National Park tour which was a whole day spent kayaking, walking to some amazing view points, lagoons, and snorkeling with amazing food included :)

Also for a bit a freedom to view the island we hired a Jeep for the girls for 900 baht and the lads hired motors bikes for 150 baht from the reception for 24 hours. Just spent the day going to waterfalls and sightseeing.

The is my first review sorry if its rubbish O_o Enjoy

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank MegPeg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2009

We stayed here in August and although it was cheap, we were very disappointed. We weren't expecting much - just a basic bungalow next to the beach with no frills was what we were after.

Well we got that, but the least we expected was that it would be clean. I can't understand some of the rave reviews because even though I agree that it is cheap I'v estayed in places for much less in Thailand and got much better value.

Agree with other posters on here that we should have known better than to stay in a place with English owners....go for Thai every time who know much more about hospitaity and keeping somewhere clean! The owners were miserable as well. The lady just seemed to sit around all the evening talking to her mates and drinking - didn't even say hello when we went up for dinner...that doesn't cost anything.

The biggest gripe was the cleanliness, everything was just a bit battered. The bungalow had stains all over the chairs, just very unappealing, and they only cleaned your bungalow (we found out) when you asked. So that used toilet paper was sitting in the bin for a day....that should be cleaned without needing to ask.
They also had a poor flea bitten dog that went around scratching iself around the dining area (and probably the kitchen) including right next to us when we were eating. As well as all over the sofas hat guests were supposed to sit on. I've nothing against dogs, but should keep them away from dining areas when they're scratching with fleas!

A week earlier we stayed in a very simple place in Laos for $US5 and that was 100% cleaner than Shambala - and have stayed in amny places around the world cheaper and better than this.

Maybe we made a mistake and were looking for something in Koh Samui that no longer exitsts, a local beach bunaglow place. If going to Samui I would just recommend staying in a resort, where you can get decent deals. There were some nice places just along the same road as Shambala, for similar prices. The beach around here is quite nice, with beautiful sunsets (although not great for swimming) we just didn;t feel like we could relax at Shambala.

In short, I think the hotel has been bought by these English owners who are just happy to take money from guests without trying to keep the place presentable and make it welcoming. They're really just lazy because with just a bit of work and not much money needing to be spent it would be so much better.
Avoid and go for Thai run places instead!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Crosbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2009

Me and my girlfriend stayed ay Shambala for four nights as part of our Thailand travels in February 2009, with the thought of staying at the beach bungalow would be one of the highlights on our trip.

When we were dropped off by our transport, for some reason I spotted that the Shambala flags had faded considerably by the sun in comparison to the colour of the flags on Shambala's website. Minor thing in isolation, but turned to be quite symbolic at the end of our stay...

Our bungalow was basic, which is what we wanted, looking onto Big Buddha Beach. Nicley positioned. After dumping backpacks on the bed, I looked in the bathroom and found a) Floor tiles right under shower were cracked, and b) the electrical isolator for shower had its cover missing, giving access to live terminations. I complained straight away, and to be fair within an hour an electrician had repaired the isolator and I was promised a discount on the room because of the broken tiles. But these things should have been picked up & sorted before we arrived!!!!

One highlight of staying at Shambala was the food. Choice was vast, priced very cheaply, and incredibly tasty. Local staff were friendly and helpful, as most Thais are. Auntie Deng's massage was an hour of pleasure and pain (!) but felt incredibly refreshed afterwards. The Eating area, sat right next to the beach, was nice, but looked very tired. Probably a shadow of its former self, which you can see examples of throughout the resort, wherever you look.

Location wise, Big Buddha Beach is quiet, approx 20min Songathew ride from Chaweng, and only 10mins from the airport. Very convinient if going onto Koh Phangan. Sea is a little bit turbid in comparison to the top Thai beaches, but thats probably down to the boat activity at the nearby pier. Lonley Planet didn't rate the beach at all in its guide, and although Thailand has a lot better beaches to offer, it was a nice beach just to sit down and relax, looking out to Koh Phangan.

My overall feeling after checking out was what this resort could do with some much need TLC, and an increase in customer care standards from the English owners. The local staff are an asset to Shambala - if they were not so good my rating of the place would have been a lot lower. Disappointed is the underlying feeling writing this review. It could have been so much better.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mellberg1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
1 review
Reviewed February 9, 2009

The food at shambala has ruined Thai food for me. Honestly nearly every time I have Thai food now it is terrible compared to the fantastic food at Shambala.

*The beach is alright

*Bungalows are basic (and yeah not cleaned that often)

*We had a really noisy overhead fan which kept me awake

Overall though the staff were so great and the place was so relaxing I can't help but give it 5/5

  • Liked — the food
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank safeblad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shambala Beach Bungalows

Property: Shambala Beach Bungalows
Address: 99 99 Moo 1 Bophut Bay, Koh Samui, 84320 | Big Buddha Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #223 of 316 Hotels in Ko Samui
Number of rooms: 311
Also Known As:
Shambala Beach Bungalows Hotel Koh Samui
Shambala Beach Hotel

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