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“Terrible... Over priced, filthy, terrible service. Beware!!”
Review of Smile Bungalow

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Smile Bungalow
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We had heard about Smile bungalows and thought it might nice to stay there while we were in Bottle Beach. We were taken to our Bungalow, it was absolutely filthy, there was a shattered vase in the bathroom that we cleaned up, mouse, rat and gecko poo all over everything, including the bed!! We live in the Australian bush and are in no way adverse to gecko's and native bugs and little creatures being around, but this was the bed we were expected to sleep in, covered in poo!

After spending approx 30 mins cleaning everything, we decided we just couldn't stay there, It was 750 baht, for a mouldy room filled with mouse poo, no internet, no electricity all day, no air con, no breakfast... We went back down to the restaurant/reception with our bags to pay for the transfer service they had provided from Thong Sala, only to have them try and charge us for a full nights accommodation as well... Apparently as soon as you have opened the door you are obligated to pay! After quite a battle, we left having paid for our transfer which we were always intending to pay and nothing else.

We then later heard 2 other horror stories from people who had had really really bad experiences staying there and had then moved to other accommodation on the beach. One couple were charged triple what they should have paid to their credit card, when they tried to dispute it, the bills were all in Thai and they would not refund anything to their card.

Another person had been staying there for quite some time, had met the girl of his dreams and was wanting to celebrate, he went out into a village, bought an entire pick and vegetables and rice and put on a huge spit roast feast for all the guests and staff that he had made friends with in his time there. The following day he asked for some of the pork for his lunch and was told there was none left, that it had all been eaten. Not believing that could have been possible, he went and looked in the kitchen himself and found more than half the pig, stacked up in their fridge... He had paid a solid amount of money to put on a feast for them, they had then put it all away and lied to him about any being left. He was furious and left straight away... To go to so much trouble to put on a feast as a gesture of thanks only to be lied to! The staff had stashed it away for themselves!

If you are going to bottle beach, do yourself a favour and go to one of the other bungalow/resorts on the beach, they are cleaner and much much better value!!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Melissa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 - 60 of 102 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2013

We arrived at bottle beach and found smile bungalow! we had booked this before we left the uk. It was easy to get to having arrived at the main pier we got a taxi to another pier where we then got a taxi boat. It cost us £10 to get there, 400 baht.
The rooms were very large having the two storey room.
There is a lovely balcony which looks out onto the sea.
The bed is cosy.
The bathroom down stairs is very cool! The only downside was arriving and finding poo in the bathroom, which we soon worked out to be from large gekos! we found a family living behind the mirror in the bathroom.
We went down to the reception and a guy soon came and helped us and got rid of them.
The only problem was they kept returning, if your a bit squimish then this place is not for you.
The bathroom has windows/holes which is where they get in and the bungalow itself is not joined in all corners so they can also get in from the roof.
We was right at the back of the complex but still not far from the beach at all, the beach itself is lovely, however we stayed for 3 nights and we found there is such little choice of places to eat as there is only four hotels on this beach.
I would recommend to go and would recommend this place to stay if you dont mind the gekos!
The people at the hotel were very nice, and the food is nice to:)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank emilyh1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

We had come for the full moon party and had not meant to book somewhere so far away- now so glad we did! We were offered transport into full moon by the manager so that solved that problem.
Now this beach is a real gem- it's clean, quiet and the water is beautiful- you will not spend much time in your bungalows.
Restaurant was really yummy and not hugely overpriced considering there's not much point in leaving the beach once you're there.
The bungalows were big enough for all of us and nice and cheap, mozzie nets and fans did the job and electricity comes on at 6. My only issue was that our sheets weren't changed and nothing was cleaned until we left- this may be backpacker priced accommodation but it shouldn't sacrifice clean bedding in my opinion.
However I would stay here again if I was on a budget and will definatly be returning to bottle beach.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank nmlk54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

I was in charge of booking accommodation for my group, we came to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party and my only guideline given to my friends is that is must be cheap! So, I wasn't sure what to expect when I booked our stay at Smile Bungalows. When we arrived at the ferry, we were told the resort wasn't accessible by land and that we would have to take a 25 minute taxi, then a 20 minute water ferry. My friends were not amused and during the journey I could feel the concentrated hatred upon me.

However, we we pulled up to the resort, the hatred disappeared and everyone was just amazed. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

The bungalows themselves were basic, which was expected. We stayed in the double story units, everything you need is there, but it would be great if the electricity stayed on all day because it does get hot.

The restaurant was really good and not too expensive considering where they were located. The staff were excellent and really helpful. They helped us book our speedboat to the Full Moon Party and our return travel to Samui.

The only issue we faced was the lack of mobile phone reception and expensive slow wifi. This was important as we needed to contact other friends on the island, which we weren't able to do.

I will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Get a double story room
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank TravelmodeEngaged
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

Smile Bungalows are located on the stunning bottle beach on the far right hand side.

The bungalows are built in gardens with a restaurant at the front.

We had room S12 which was at the back of the resort but high enough to have a sea view off the balcony.

The rooms have solid wood floors with woven bamboo walls and fibro ceilings. The ceilings and walls have a gap between them to allow air flow. The beds have big mosquito nets over them and a fan. Bathrooms are located on a lower level.

Overall the bungalow was very clean, the bathroom spotless. The bedding was clean but has seen better days.

Reasonable value for money.

The cons of the room. The bathroom being on a lower level is located down some very steep stairs and the balcony railings come to knee level.

S12 is definitely not kid or drunk friendly.
One too many sherries and you could go down the stairs or over the balcony.

Pros reasonable value for money and clean.

We ate in the restaurant a couple of times. The food was fantastic, can recommend the fish cakes but while the service was quick and efficient sadly no smile. I often put this down to a lack of confidence with the Smile team and their ability to talk another language other than Thai.

They were always helpful when they could be.

Well worth a stay if you are on a budget.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank MHJ1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed in one of the two-storey bungalows for 5 nights in mind-February. This was my first trip to Thailand and I had a vision of the perfect beach and Bottle Beach certainly lived up to it. Beautiful soft sand, warm ocean to swim in and not too many people.
The bungalows at Smile lived up to out expectations. Comfortable bed, brilliant view from the balcony. Can't fault the staff - they were very friendly and generally helpful. Sometimes it got a bit disorganised in the restaurant/bar, but we were there to relax so who cares if it took a bit longer to get a drink. One thing that would have been good is a top sheet as it wasn't that hot while we were there and we hadn't thought to bring a cover or similar.
We arrived by boat, which has to be done as seeing Bottle Beach from the sea for the first time is a real treat. Although the hotel will come and pick you up for a fee from the pier. We got them to drive us on the day we left as we wanted to see the legendary "road" up from the beach. We didn't leave the beach for 5 days once we arrived, but that was just what we needed.
Don't go to Bottle Beach if you want to spend your time on Koh Phangan partying, but do go if you want to relax and forget about the world. We'd recommend Smile Bungalows if you want simple, comfortable accommodation without too many bells and whistles.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Juneh55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for one night, but had originally planned for 3. It wasn't that it was terrible, but I think we've just got a little older and want a little more comfort - it was pretty surprising to us!

A year or two ago it would have been perfect for us, but I admit that we wanted a little more comfort. The bungalow was very cute, the view from the balcony was out to the beach, and t had a really pretty bathroom, covered in shells. But the four walls and ceiling didn't meet, as is the case with a typical bungalow, so geckos and ants were in all their glory. Not so bad, but the gecko poo on the bed was a bit much. The bed also smelled of sweat - must have been pretty old. When we checked in the guy wasn't exactly the most friendly dude either, and the food in the restaurant wasn't all that, although that didn't seem to be a problem for the millions of flies that homed in when we tried to eat.

The same evening we checked in we walked down the beach and found somewhere else - more expensive, yes, but like I said, we were willing to pay for a bit more comfort. If you're looking for a cheap place, then this is fine. You get what you pay for.

The location is great. Bottle Beach is gorgeous, and very remote.

We ended up at Bottle Beach Resort 1, if you're interested.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smile Bungalow

Address: 74 / 9 Moo 7, Bottle Beach, Ko Pha Ngan 84280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 380 Specialty Lodging in Ko Pha Ngan
Price Range: $11 - $22 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Smile Bungalow 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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