My wife and I stayed at The Big Easy a few weeks ago now. My wife had previously stayed with some friends there and loved it - so we went back, this time just the two of us.
Getting to Koh Mak is a bit of a challenge. You can get there using bus and speedboat from BKK, but we chose to fly to Trat from BKK and then had a connecting taxi ride and speedboat journey (all in all a good 5 hour trip to get there including waiting around at the airport etc).
There are two main reasons why the Big Easy is a great place to stay. First is the relative isolation accompanied by the peace and quiet. The beach is just beautiful, even with the preponderance of sandflies and I have a hard time beleiving anyone wouldn't enjoy staying here. The second reason is the friendliness of the staff and owners. It really is a pleasure to stay at the Big Easy and all the staff go out of their way to make your stay as good as possible.
Having said that it was a pleasure, there are a few warning notes I would like to add which although they didn't worry me too much (hence my "5" rating), they may well be something other people wouldn't like.
First is the friendliness of the owners - something at least one other reviewer has mentioned on TA. They love chatting to people and everyone who was there (the resort was full on our visit) received lots of attention from the staff and owners. They would often sit with you and talk about life where you live, how life here was different and giving advice and tips from your health problems to how to counteract the burning effects of the sun. I personally found the level of interaction delightful and non-intrusive, but if you are more of a private individual, it might come across as slightly overbearing I suppose.
Second is the air-conditioning in the room we stayed (House No 2 I think it was). A fact of life on these small islands is the occasional blip in electricity supply. This isn't too much of a worry for lighting (the lights flicker, almost romantically, nearly the entire time) but it can be a problem with the air conditioning units in the houses, which shut off occasionally. I live in Singapore where the temperature never dips below 25 degrees and where it is always humid, so to a certain degree I am used to the heat. However, at temperatures approaching 37 degrees in the day (though we were there in the cool season so at night the temperatures probably dipped to about 28) sleep is massively improved by air-conditioning. We found it frustrating that the aircon did not work that efficiently, and I think if you have problems sleeping in higher temperatures, then you may have issues at times.
Having said that, on my wife's first visit there were no aircon problems at all, so she was surprised to find that we were affected in this way.
Now, in summary this is a superbly secluded, beautiful, and personalised place to stay. It is truly relaxing and the food served (though not all menu items are available all the time) is some of the best we've tasted in Thailand (and we've spent a considerable time thereover the years). Of course, the aircon was an issue, but I dont feel ti detracts from the place, and it definitely deserves a score of 5 overall. To add to the experience, the value of this place is incredible. We never ate anywhere else in the three days we were there, and all in the cost of 100 SGD a night for all food and drink was really very good value.
I would definitely return. Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A small, Family run Resort on the beach with a relaxed, "Old Style" Thai island atmosphere. Huge wooden Bungalows built in a Traditional Thai design with high ceilings, sexy bathroom and large deck with hammock. All 7 Bungalows are within 70 meters of the pristine beach and are generously spaced out to ensure privacy from other guests. The Restaurant serves excellent Thai/European cuisine at fair value prices with friendly and helpful service from the family of staff. Big Easy is within walking distance to local shops, restaurants and bars. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Big Easy Hotel Koh Mak
- Big Easy Koh Mak