The Mandalai is a very stylish hotel and looks just like the pictures. The rooms are great, lots of nice touches like lighting, dimmer controls for fan & lights, huge jacuzzi in the room. The hotel is probably one of the nicest on the island. However, the smell from the fish processing is pretty unpleasant. Every morning there are trays placed along the beach in front of the hotel and squid is placed on these trays to dry out. The smell can be very strong and there are a lot of flies due to the bits of fish lying about.
Some parts of the hotel are in need of maintenance although the rooms are very well maintained. The staff are very friendly but as they have no work to do (we were the only guests in the hotel) they tend to sit around doing things like doing each other's hair. We were in the pool one day and there were a lot of leaves in the pool (as it had been raining). One of the staff members started to remove the leaves but then stopped whilst he went to apply hair dye to another member of staff's hair and then came back to finish removing the leaves!
The freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee at breakfast are great but the eggs are almost inedible due to the herbs which the chef uses. Don't get the eggs benedict - the sauce is not hollandaise and is pretty horrible.
Chaloklum is a small village which has a few great little restaurants. It's very much diving-oriented and has a lot of dive shops offering equipment and trips. As it's a small village everyone is very friendly and you will see the same faces often. The World's End does great food and plays brilliant music. The italian restaurant near the hotel is amazing, best pasta & pizza anywhere! The restaurants don't look much from the street but they all have little areas on the beach front which look lovely at night with lots of little lights.
The beach in front of the hotel is very dirty (another example of lack of maintenance) with rubbish and bits of squid. The beach at the other end of Chaloklum is about 5 minutes walk away and is white sand/clear water so worth the walk. We went snorkelling at Mae Haad about 5 minutes away by taxi which was amazing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mandalai, under new management has re-opened and was the first hip boutique hotel on the Island. The hotel is located in the heart of Koh Phangan's fisherman village in Chaloklum Bay. Superbly situated on the beach front enjoying spectacular sea views and surrounded by the necklace of mountains. Many outdoor activities are available. Restaurant and cafes can be found in the village and all over the island. Mandalai is a room only hotel catering for the full moon party clients. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandalai Hotel Ko Phangan
- Mandalai Boutique Hotel