We stayed for almost a week with 4 friends at Mai Pen Rai.
The location is really beautiful, although not good for snorkelling as the water is quite mirky. The sand on the beach is quite rough but really clean. It is a 40 min taxi ride (200 Baht per person) from Thong Sala to get there and you are happy to survive it on the steap, bumpy roads and the dust.
We stayed at the bungalows on the rocks and our friends stayed on the river. They first tried to give every arriving person the bungalows furthest away from the beach and restaurant. You could clearly see they are not being used or serviced much The bedsheets were partly moldy, we had a bees nest in the room and the water in the toilet was brown. Summarized: they are not the nicest rooms of the resort.
To the person, who said the rooms are rustic and you just have to deal with that: rustic is ok, but ceartain things should be basic: no mold, running water, proper locks on doors and windows, lights and a general upkeep.
Our second bungalows were better but still lacked safety (tiny locks on doors and windows which could easily be broken with one push).
In the resort there is only elecricity from about 11am-1pm and 8pm-1am and this electricity is extremely unstable. DO NOT try to charge expensive electronis like smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. It will brake them. In our group an iPhone and a Mac Book got broken.
It is also hard to sleep without a fan in the hot nights (rooms do have fans, but as they also run on electricity they are useless).
The food here is good. Meal prices range from 80-250 Baht per dish, cocktail prices are 170 baht and a big chang was 80 or 90 I think. In our opinion it is slightly overpriced and the range of prices dont vary enough ( Pad Thai 90 Baht, Seafood Curry 110 Baht). Be careful when ordering a Bhang Lassi. Ask them first what it is.
The receptionist was a little unfriendly to us for the first few days after I asked to change to a room without wasps (as I am allergic to wasp and bee stings) But all the other staff was extremely friendly, probabaly the friendliest on our whole 3 week trip. Give them a good tip, they deserve it!
We can recommend this place to anybody who loves a beautiful location and doesnt mind the lack of luxury.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Mai Pen Rai Bungalows, one of the oldest resorts on Koh Phangan - the place of pleasure for nature lovers and Artists. For an experience of the old Koh Phangan, this is the place to come away and forget all the stresses of the outside world. Mai Pen Rai is situated in a paradise infringed with swaying palms, and green turquoise waters. Here at Than Sadet the bungalows are built in harmony with the nature around with prices to suit travellers and back packers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mai Pen Rai Bungalows Hotel Koh Phangan