After much intensive searching, we decided on Sayang Beach Bungalows based on website photos and traveler reviews. I must admit that when we first arrived, we were not wholly satisfied with the bungalow. We were given an old superior aircon bungalow ( "old" being the staff's description) and it was, indeed, old and rickety, with the light of day visible through wall and floorboard cracks, an ancient, clogged showerhead, and a building that shook with every step we took. Let me say that I have stayed in many such places during my various travels, and I have no problems with it except that I've never had to pay so much for what is really a very simple bamboo hut. There are other, newer bungalows on the property that are more solid, I m sure, but this was the only one available to us as a family of 4 in need of the bunkbed it contained. (side note: I understand that construction of many new bungalows is in Sayang's master plan.) ANYWAY, we did do some scouting of other establishments on the same beach, but decided to stay at Sayang because of its strengths, and here they are:
1. The beach scene is wonderful. Big, tall, shady trees to lounge under, a volleyball net where we enjoyed watching pick-up games involving staff and guests every afternoon, a massage hut for those so inclined, and a smooth, sandy beach, not rocky even at low tide.
2. Good food at the restaurant. Both the Thai and Indian dishes were excellent. Our children were great fans of all the fruit lassis on the menu and we were spoiled for choice. The restaurant staff were unfailingly friendly and polite, as were the bar staff. The restaurant is a popular one on this beach, serving guests from many different establishments in addition to the bungalows own customers. DOWNSIDE -- service was excruciatingly slow. The first night we seated ourselves a bit late -- 7 p.m. -- and waited almost 2 hours to receive our food. We are ok with beach time , but our hungry kids had a hard time waiting so long for dinner. We worked around that by seating ourselves earlier and sometimes leaving one parent to order dinner and sip a drink while the other parent showered the kids and cleaned up, coming to the table just as the food was served. We also tried other good restaurants on the beach.
3. Breakfast buffet good. I have read other reviews that complained about the buffet, but we always turned up right as the food was being served and were always satisfied. I don t know what it s like for later risers, but there was a lot of good fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, different styles of eggs, toast, muffins, pancakes, french toast, and several Thai dishes such as fried rice and noodles. Fruit juices, tea, coffee, and milk were also included. No complaints about that.
4. Great place for families -- we met many other families staying here, with children of all sorts of ages, ranging from babies up to early teens. Our children really enjoyed the atmosphere here and made many new friends from all over the world.
5. Clean bungalows: despite its shortcomings, our bungalow was kept very clean, with clean sheets and towels every day, by the very friendly and hardworking housekeeping staff. They promptly installed mosquito nets on the bunkbed when asked to do so, and just generally did a very good, efficient job.
One last point -- like most establishments, Sayang Beach Bungalows will book whatever services or excursions you wish to take part in right from their reception desk, but after some shopping around, we found their prices a bit expensive. For example, they were charging 1500 baht per person for a day trip to Koh Rok, but we found an agent in town who sold it to us for 1250 baht per person. For a family of 4 it meant a significant savings and was worth the trip to town. Another example was that their charge for laundry was 90 baht per kilo whereas on the road into town there were places advertising laundry service for 30 baht per kilo. Of course there is the CONVENIENCE factor, so we went ahead and paid the 90 baht, but if you are going into town anyway, it is something you might consider. Overall, despite some negative aspects, we were very satisfied with our stay at Sayang bungalows and recommend it as a good place to stay on Phra Ae beach, especially for families.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape from your busy life back home: Our 26 carefully designed, cosy bungalows sit within lush tropical gardens, just a few steps from the beautiful powder-white sands of Long Beach, providing a sanctuary of peace and calm. Our Thai-Indian restaurant sits directly on the beach with fantastic views of Phi Phi island and some of the most spectacular sunsets on the Andaman Sea. A perfect setting for those wishing to relax, we also offer beach massage and spa, scuba diving, snorkeling trips, elephant trekking, Thai cooking lessons, mangrove kayaking, game fishing and many other activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sayang Beach Bungalows Hotel Ko Lanta