Visited here for a romantic getaway for two in February 2013. This place definitely looked better in the photos but I'll say this straight away, you get what you pay for. As the title states, if you want something very basic, have a fantasy about a secluded bungalow on the beach in a tropical paradise (with all the bad points that go along with that) then this is your place. For the money it was good, although I will say, the bungalows are really REALLY hit and miss. The first one we got was terrible, really small and the whole thing flooded everytime one of us had a shower. After a day we were able to move to a better and bigger bungalow which interestingly enough was the same price as the matchbox we slept in the night before.
Heres the golden tip with the bungalows: Bungalows B7, B8, B9 are good. A5 really small and floods, do not stay in this one!!!. More than likely, if you book off a discount website they will try and give you the less quality options, stay firm on check in, they know how bad they are too!
The location at Ao Pudsa is fantastic if you want a little seclusion, its only a 10 minute walk across a small headland to get to Ao Phai (second largest beach area on Samet). or for the more adventurous you could walk to Sai Kaew in about an hour. There are plenty of watering holes along the way to stop at though.
Facilities are very basic, a small restaurant and bar (with disinterested staff). We preferred to sample the different options on offer at Ao Phai which were plentiful and awesome! The rooms themselves have basic thai hotwater showers, a small bar fridge and no in room safe. There is a "safety deposit" box at reception which we opted to store our passports, phones and tablets in but when i went to retrieve the items the alleged safe was a zip up sports bag under the counter.
Beach is great, very clean with a swim out sundeck about 50 metres from shore.
Be aware that getting dropped at Ao Pudsa is a little more expensive than Sai Keaw by speedboat and they will normally only sell you a return speedboat ticket wich is the way to go. Other reviews state buying a one way ticket but you will get ripped off if you're stranded on the island with nothing but a thai hotel employee finding a speed boat for you.
The prices are:
- 800 baht return speed boat from Rayong.
- 300 baht taxi each way to sai keaow.
- scooter hire 100 baht per hour or 400 baht 24hrs.
I didnt witness any scooter or jet ski scams on the island, the scooter rentals at the bungalows seemed legit, my opinion is as long as you're staying there you'd be safe to rent a scooter without being ripped off.
Overall a good experience but I can see how alot of people would be greatly disappointed with this run down place. Like I said, If you want 4 walls and running water at a semi secluded place and not much else you will just be satisfied here.
I enjoyed my escape here on Koh samet.
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