Oh my, this is a find!
There's not much to say wrong about this place although I'll add some constructive points in a moment. So much is fabulous. The location is idyllic, out of Lonely Beach resort. We took a jungle treehouse which still had gorgeous sea views. The restaurant was great value and the staff were generally just wonderful.
I came here to finish writing my book and would have happily stayed longer but it felt a bit selfish of me for my gf. It's quite isolated and quiet. It's very much couples too (straight and gay). The sea is wondrous although you do have to step on some stones to get out to the swim but everyone we saw did this and so I can't understand the reviewer who said you can't swim here: wtf!! Right next to the huts, like 20 metres, is a long sandy beach. There's no problem using that beach at all - we did it all the time. And we even spoke nicely to some staff further down and wangled free kayaking. We took one out to an island for best part of a day. Don't expect this to continue after this review ;)
OK so what could be improved? Well I guess wi-fi though it's sort of cute they don't have it. It's coming any day now (was due when we were there). The menu is very very long and mainly Thai. They could possibly trim it and bung a few more western dishes in just to break it up, but see below for where to go. The restaurant is really good and superb value. The sweet and sour fried rice at 60baht is a steal. OK if I was being really picky proper coffee would be a nice touch. That's about it really. Nothing else except enjoy it. It's such a gorgeous place, a real find, and the charm is the fact it's so unspoilt with such genuinely lovely people running it.
If you want a break from the cheap superb food Magic Garden in Lonely Beach does good food, although their wifi is worse than neighbouring cafes (it's intermittent). Check out their Hawaian burger (120baht with fries), coconut shake (gorgeous) and superb banana and chicken curry (80baht though bizarrely rice is an extra 30baht). Best food in Lonely Beach and a lovely relaxing vibe.
Finally watch out for the tour operator at "7 Days" just down from Magic Garden. The man's a nasty piece of work. Took money from us for return to Bangkok then reneged on it, and when we asked what was going on he proceeded to follow us on his moped shouting 'f you'. The most unpleasant man and experience in Thailand. Avoid.
Let's not end on a bad note though. Bai Lan Bay Resort is the most wonderful place - delightful setting and people. It's a gem of a place. Sigh. In some ways I wish I was still there ... maybe I will go back to put the finishing touches to my book :)
- Also Known As:
- Bai Lan Bay Hotel Koh Chang