Samui, Phi Phi, Cambodia Lodging

Feb 19th, 2004, 02:48 PM
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Samui, Phi Phi, Cambodia Lodging

We are heading to Phi Phi, Samui and Cambodia next week for a few weeks and have narrowed out lodging down to a few places. We would like somewhere that doesn't look like a standard hotel room, but more of a boutique style.

We would like a nice clean uncrowded beach, in front of the hotel if possible too. I know that might be asking alot

Here is what we have narrowed it down to:

Siem Reap:
Ankgor Village (Budget rooms were sold out)
Palm Village

Peace Resort (I hear there is construction next door)
Zazen Bungalows (Bophut Beach)
Coral Bay Resort

Phi Phi:
Phi Phi Princess (This hotel used to get only great reviews, now alot of people say it is overcrowded)

Another other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
brj8826 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 05:47 PM
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i stayed at angkor village two years looks very nice and has some very good qualities, but i would not stay there again....we stayed in the middle priced rooms....they were basic...period....but the bed was hard as rock and i developed a terrible back ache from it the first nite....i could hardly walk the next other fodors poster has mentioned the same thing....
I WOULD NOT STAY THERE was the most authentic looking place we saw in SR, however....the food was ok but not great...the breakfast was fine...

there are other medium priced places in town to choose from....i would go for comfort ---forget everything else as you are seldom in the hotel...except to sleep or snooze...i don't know the other two...sorry...i would go for the newest as it will have the best beds and facilities...sofitel is fabulous but expensive....

i am staying at peace resort in june...hope construction is gone by then?? it looks very nice...we have a beachfront place...there are only 4 i think....jamesA on fodors has strongly suggested this place and his suggestions are usually 100% correct...

haven't been to phi phi but have heard of princess....
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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On Phi Phi if you don't mind something more 'rustic', though with air-con, Charlies is great value, Phi Phi has some class resorts, even Holiday Inn/Travelodge, but if you are taking a few days at Phi Phi to experience what Phi Phi is 'all about', i.e small tropical island, then Charlie's "fits the bill", about $45 for an a/con bungalow, great tropical atmosphere, nice friendly service, and a chance to get close to your own beach hut (yet with a/con etc ), worth taking a look

Peace resort is great but I can't find out if the works nearby have finished yet, but it is possible these days to find works going on in a multipel number of places. Zazeen also a possibility.
JamesA is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 08:37 PM
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I stayed at the Angkor Village Resort, and unlike Bob, had a good experience. The higher priced rooms are on the second floor, and have lovely, soaring ceilings. I believe that the downstairs rooms are more prone to mildew. The beds are traditional, and therefore are very hard. I found I had no trouble getting up early in the morning to see sunrise at the wats because I woke up early because of the hard beds (how's that for a positive spin on the problem, Bob?).

We had excellent food at the restaurant there, and enjoyed the lovely small swimming pool.

One of the things I have learned about Cambodia is that restaurants and hotels are very inconsistent. So I had a good experience at the Angkor Village Resort, Bob had a bad experience. Some people love the Sofitel, and at least one poster ranted about how bad his experience was. I found the food at La Noria disappointing, while several other posters loved it.

Whatever you choose, my advice is to be flexible, go with the flow, and don't expect consistency in Cambodia.
Kathie is online now  
Feb 19th, 2004, 09:13 PM
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Here is another vote against Angkor Village. In addition to the rock hard beds and flat as a pancake pillows, we had streaks of mildew on the bathroom walls, raggedy towels, the aircon sounded like a plane taking off and only one lamp in the whole room worked. Worst night I have ever spent in a hotel. We could not get out of there fast enough.
I thought LaNoria's food and service were ok, but nothing special. Liked the Red Piano much more. The thing aggravating thing about LaNoria was the 5% surcharge they added when we paid by Visa card. We specifically asked before we were seated if they accepted credit cards and when they enthusiastically said yes, NO mention was made about a surcharge.
Other restaurants....for a nice splurge try the buffet at the Raffles Grand. Tables on the terrace overlooking the pool are very nice. For funky and fun, try Dead Fish Tower.
Lindsey is offline  
Feb 20th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for all the great info. We decided to go with Peace in Samui and Angkoriana in Cambodia.

The Angkoriana folks were really nice when making my reservation. All she required was my last name and flight information.

We decided to only book two nights of our 6 nights in Samui because of Peace's policy requiring the entire stay to be prepaid. We did not want to arrive and be in the middle of construction zone with our entire stay paid for already.

How hard should it be to find walkup rates this time of year? The Coral Bay and Phi Phi Princess claim to be sold out of all but the beachfront rooms. Angkor Village is also sold out of everything but there "high end" rooms.
brj8826 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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brj8826--would you please remember to post a report when you return home about the peace resort....i am interested in the beachside bungalows if you could get a look at them and any other info about favor...i have a medical condition which requires me to wear an electric device at night...could you find out if there is an electric outlet in the bedrooms of the beach side bungalows....i have asked them and they don't understand what i am asking...i really would appreciate it...thanks in advance...

i will be interested in what the condition of the construction will be for my june visit as well...

by the way they only required me to pay for 1/2 my visit in advance...which was months ago by the way.... i think you were smart...

rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 05:12 AM
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I sure will Bob. We get back on the 15th, so if I haven't posted one this time next month just shoot me an email at [email protected]
brj8826 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 05:44 AM
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We stayed at Coral Bay Resort (samui), it was fantastic, the staff were sooo friendly and helpful. This has to be one of the best places we have stayed in yet.

The bungalow was facing the beach, in beautifully landscaped gardens, surround by tall palm trees and tropical flowers. It was absolutely gorgeous.

The beach was virtually desserted. At most there were in total about 4 people (from Coral Bay) there. Other times we had it to our selves. Its a palm fringed beach (cove) and there are other desserted coves a couple of metres away.

If I can get my damn scanner to work I will post some pictures on the web.

One down-side to Coral Bay is that they have increased their price to almost double since we stayed there in May 2002. But they seem to have 're-vamped' the bungalows. So I guess its worth it.

I take it you've seen their website:

Also, they had this very friendly and helpful guard-come-taxi driver, who used to take us to the nightspot in Chaweng (2 min drive) for nothing.

This is the perfect place to solitude - but still being within 2 mins drive from the famous Chaweng - strip.

Have a fantastic trip.

PS make sure you visit the Angthong Marine Park, its pure paradise !
Dina_A is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 06:12 AM
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I got so carried away with Coral Bay, I forgot to mention a good hotel in near Angkor, its very popular and comes highly recommended. Don't get put off by the name!: Dead Fish Tower Inn.

The website:
Dina_A is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 09:40 PM
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brj, if the Angkoriana is the one on the road to Angkor, almost across from the Sofitel, we have stayed there and thought it was a great deal. Nice, roomy double, solid walls and furniture, everything worked well, about US$50 including breakfast. If you like it quiet, you might want a room that faces the back not the road. I will be very interested to hear how you like it. Please post a report.
Marilyn is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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Back from out trip and here is the mini-report.

Stayed at the Angkoriana in Siem Reap for $59US. Free airport pickup. We liked the driver so we used him as our driver for the day. This was his day off from the hotel front desk and he needed the extra money, so he drove us. He did not provide a guide service because he was not that familiar with the temples.

The hotel was nice, clean and I guess it was worth the $59 paid. We had just stayed at the Westin Bangkok for $60 so it skewed my sense of pricing. The bed was hard as a rock but the room was well appointed for that price. The desk staff was great and the location was convenient. Nice little pool and bar area filled with package tourists.

Ko Samui:

Booked two nights at the Peace Resort and planned on cruising the island to see if we wanted to stay somewhere else. For $100US we received a seaview bungalow. We arrived rather early at 9:00am and were directed to our room, which was Bungalow 101. It was right next to the reception and NOT a seaview. I asked for another bungalow and were told that it would be 1:00pm, which was fine with us because the hotel offered onsite motorbike rental for 200baht per day. The construction next door is relatively quiet. You can't really here it from the beach. If you are at the pool or have a bungalow near the office you will have a constant hammering sound that could get a bit irritating. There was no heavy equipment construction going on, just hammering.

We arrived back at 1:00 to get our room which was located on the opposite end of the resort and second row from the beach. The beds again were as hard as a rock. I am beginning to realize this is more the rule in Asia than the exception. We were fine with it though because the beds were comfortable.

The room was well appointed and had reading materials if you spoke German. This hotel is almost exclusively European tourists.

The breakfast was adequate. The minibar prices were very reasonable although we stopped at the market and filled the fridge ourselves, which was much more reasonable.

The beach was small and private, except that the hawkers were pretty annoying. Having been to Bali I was used to that, but wished it wasn't there.

We ended up checking out after or two nights and moving to the Samui Yacht Club which sits on a private bay just south of Chaweng. It was the first day of low-season and rates were $65. We found it MUCH nicer than the Peace. The beach was almost deserted, the water crystal clear and the sand like powder. There were absolutely NO hawkers, not one. The only people on the beach was a hotel sponsored massage stand.

The beach is shared with two other resorts and is VERY private. Another bonus is that is about a 5 minute drive to both Chaweng and Lamai.

We stayed at Phi Phi Charlie in Phi Phi. As alot of people on here warned, Phi Phi was a bit of a let down. It was great when all of the day tourists left, but between the hours of 10:30-5 it was AWFUL. WAY too crowded.

We dove with Phi Phi Princess Divers and cannot recommend them strongly enough. We had a GREAT two days of diving. All of the staff is great and the lunches provided were wonderful. Conditions were bad because of the full moon, but everything else was perfect.

The rooms at Charlie are what you would expect for $50 on Phi Phi. They are about the size of a large closet. My wife and I could barely move without running into each other. The only problem I had with it was that the pillows were made out of rubber. Yes rubber. They were hard as a rock and neither my wife or I could get much sleep. I wish I wasn't so spoiled on pillows because it makes it hard for me to travel nowadays. It won't stop us from coming back though.
brj8826 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Thanks for the report, brj. Our experience on Phi Phi was a lot like your second hotel on Koh Samui. Laem Tong Beach is shared by 3 hotels and is very private. No hawkers. We had a beachfront bungalow just steps away from the sand for $50/night during high season. It was larger and more comfortable than what you described at PP Charlie. However, since they are doing a major renovation on the Phi Phi Coral, I bet the rates will be a lot more.
Marilyn is offline  

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