Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cliff Cottages


Did we like it? Evidently: we planned to stay for 4 nights, but kept extending to end up staying seven nights. At 300 bhat/night (~C$10) it was certainly not a budget breaker.

The staff were very friendly; bathrooms were clean; the food (cooked by a local) was fresh and excellent; views were great; the snorkelling in a clear bay absolutely superb…

But? Well, it is pretty basic. The cottages have thin walls with large gaps between the boards; the floors are not completely level; most of the room is a bed with a fairly basic firm mattress (albeit quite comfortable). A mosquito net is installed above the bed, and although we did use it, there were very few bugs evident. We had a padlock for the door (they will supply them too) but after a day or so, we felt that theft was not so much of an issue and the real purpose of the padlock was simply to show that a cottage was being occupied.

IMG_1099Would we recommend the place? Absolutely—but with qualifications, and only to those who understand that it isn’t trying to be more than a rustic place. One morning we witnessed a couple yelling at the gracious staff about how much they disliked the place: too quiet (no parties!) and too basic. Later on, owner Ewen McPhee told us he gets discouraged because although his web site is very clear regarding how remote and rustic it is, some people fail to read his frank cautions.

IMG_1107There are lots of alternative lodgings in Bang Bao, and most seemed to have rooms available. We had dinner with a honeymoon couple staying at The Nirvana next door, and their room was spacious with an en suite bathroom—but also cost 2,600 bhat/night. It had a pool, and the food was good but by no means outstanding. The view was of the Bang Bao pier, and swimming in that obviously-polluted bay was out of the question.

For us, Cliff Cottages was a relaxing, laid-back place to get into the rhythm of Thailand. We were sad to leave.