Beach Life

Review of Haad Salad Accommodation 2017

January 24th, 2017 | Posted by admin in Resorts - (Comments Off on Review of Haad Salad Accommodation 2017)

Haad Salad sunset

There are plenty of accommodation options for Haad Salad. Over the last few years the north west beach has built up a reputation as one of the best beaches in Koh Phangan. Moreover, its proximity to Srithanu and the New Age revival happening in this area has further increased visitor numbers to Haad Salad. Srithanu might have yoga but Haad Salad has a pristine beach. Below are a few notes about changes to Haad Salad resorts in terms of Trip Advisor reviews.

The Winners

Cookies Salad Resort are doing the basics of clean accommodation and friendly staff very well. They have jumped 10 places up the rankings on Trip Advisor from 30th best hotel to 20th best hotel on Koh Phangan.

Green Papaya Resort has the most expensive rooms in Haad Salad. Despite having a website that my computer reads as an attack page, the hotel goes up 3 places from 31st to 28th best hotel on the island.

The biggest winner in the battle of the Trip Advisor ratings is Haad Salad Villa that climbs from 7th to 1st in the speciality lodging category. Well done!

Salad Beach Resort clearly had a good year. They rise from 45th to 29th best hotel in Koh Phangan. It’s a tough Trip Advisor category and they are doing the right things to impress.

Similarly, Salad Buri Resort and Spa are on an upward trajectory. The hotel moved from 47th to 32nd in the TA rankings.

Smile Beach Resort doesn’t get many Trip Advisor reviews. It has nearly as many excellent as terrible reviews. However, it rises from 86 to 80 in the B&B list for Koh Phangan. It still has $10 rooms.

Salad Hut is showing the other traditional bungalow outfits how to do it. They climb from 11th to 5th best lodging spot on the island.

The Losers

Double Duke Bungalows opened in 2013. Often new bungalow resorts with new bungalows and new facilities score well on Trip Advisor. Not Double Duke – it falls from 56th best B&B to 79th best B&B on the island.

Asia Bungalows used to be the 13th best speciality lodging on the island. Standards have dropped and the numbers reversed. Now Asia Bungalows is the 31st best lodging on the island.

Haadlad Prestige Resort and Spa is a good mid-range accommodation option in Haad Salad with pool and air-con rooms. The resort is slightly separated from other businesses in the area and it feels like you have a private beach. A few poor reviews on Trip Advisor has seen this place drop from 54th best hotel to 61st. The staff could do better.

Phangan Natural Resort are typical of a certain type of Koh Phangan business – things are not going quite according to plan for this jungle retreat – they have dropped from 58th to 67th in the Koh Phangan B&B category. The economy rooms are not cheap enough to warrant the climb up from the beach. They have responded to the slump by putting a hold on bookings through room search engines. You don’t pay commissions but you don’t get the same volume of interest.

Salad Grand Bungalow with its traditional wooden bungalows and name change is slipping down the charts. The bungalow set up went from 216 to 250 in the speciality lodges category.

It is the same story for Sea Salad Resort – cheap rooms, few reviews and a falling ranking – it dropped in 2016/2017 from 130 in the speciality lodging category to 201. Not great.


While Trip Advisor rankings are far from perfect because of such things as false reviews and demographic behaviours we can see through this comparison between 2016 and 2017 rankings which of the resorts in Haad Salad are making an extra effort to make guests happy. This and price are surely the key determinates when it comes to many people’s accommodation choices.

Changes to Accommodation in Haad Salad 2014

January 26th, 2014 | Posted by Salad Daze in Resorts - (Comments Off on Changes to Accommodation in Haad Salad 2014)

We update prices and hotel ratings every January to keep accurate, and thus of practical use to our readers. There are two new bungalow resorts that have joined the booking engine. They are Double Duke Bungalow and Phangan Natural Resort. Double Duke Bungalow has rooms starting at 500 Thai Baht and Phangan Natural Resort has accommodation starting at 650 Thai Baht. We are currently researching these places and will soon add them to the main site.

The prices for accommodation in Koh Phangan tend to change every year. Many places raise their prices at the bottom end and, if things are slow, drop the cost of the best rooms and villas. Those places that don’t change prices are normally the most successful and have got their pricing just right.

Due to the on-going political problems in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand the pricing alterations have been further complicated. Fewer tourists are arriving in Thailand and lowering prices is the best way to keep up occupancy rates.

The good news is that Koh Phangan has its internal political scene but tends to adopt an isolationist attitude to what is happening on the mainland. In short, you don’t see clashes of red and yellow shirts on Koh Phangan.

Trip Advisor

As I have mentioned previously Trip Advisor is a very flawed rating system: resort owners write their own positive reviews and sometimes write damning reviews of their competition. Despite TA claiming they vet all reviews that is not the case. It still remains easy to write bogus reviews.

For those who give TA any credence, changes in ratings for Haad Salad resorts are as follows:

  1. Cookies Salad Resort – drop from 22nd to 27th best hotel in Koh Phangan
  2. Asia Bungalows – drop from 15th to 26th in speciality lodging in Koh Phangan
  3. Green Papaya Resort – up from 27th to 26th best hotel in Koh Phangan
  4. Haadlad Prestige Resort up from 59th to 54th best hotel in Koh Phangan
  5. Haad Salad Villa – drop from 3rd to 4th best speciality lodging in Suratthani
  6. Salad Beach Resort – remains the 35th best hotel in Koh Phangan
  7. Salad Buri Resort and Spa – drop from 46th to 51st best hotel in Koh Phangan
  8. Sea Salad Resort – up from 87th to 55th best speciality lodging in Koh Phangan
  9. Smile Beach Resort – remains 46th best B&B in Koh Phangan

So, most places have fallen in the Trip Advisor ratings. The most notable change is that Green Papaya Resort has replaced Cookies Salad Resort as the highest rated hotel on the beach. However, considering rooms are twice as expensive at Green Papaya as at Cookies this should not come as a surprise.

It is perhaps hoped that all the resorts with fallen ratings on Trip Advisor will perhaps try harder to provide efficient and friendly service. There are a few unpleasant reviews of avaricious owners cheating guests out of a few dollars by one means or another. They should be taken with a pinch of salt since we are only privy to one side of the argument, but it is worth noting what cons are being used in order to avoid them yourself.

Let’s not dwell on the doom and gloom. The weather has been excellent in January 2014. Haad Salad remains a place of timeless beauty, ideal as a place to unwind, rejuvenate and put the troubles of the world on hold.

Coral Beach Bungalows

December 30th, 2013 | Posted by Salad Daze in Resorts - (Comments Off on Coral Beach Bungalows)

Coral Beach Bungalows
Coral Beach Bungalows is one those Koh Phangan gems that tend to get overlooked by most visitors to the island because it is not currently available for online booking. While this might deter some people from considering this Haad Salad accommodation option, it means they often have a bungalow available for those willing to take the chance of just turning up and looking for a room.

The bungalows are beachfront located at the center of the beach. The simple bungalows are just a short walk from the sand. They are separated by walkways in a garden. The bungalows are basic with fan and shower room. They are Spartan – just a bed, mosquito net and fan. Each bungalow also has a balcony with a hammock to relax in and enjoy the sea views.

The staff at Coral Beach Bungalows are friendly and hardworking. They keep the bungalows clean and in a good state of repair. They also run a beachfront restaurant that serves delicious and reasonably priced Thai food as well as Western standards such as sandwiches and pasta.

While Koh Phangan changes quickly and owners seek to upgrade their rooms to capture the mid-range, short stay guests it is refreshing to see places like Coral Beach Bungalows sticking to the winning formula of cheap and basic wooden bungalows on the beach.

If you want to stay at Coral Beach Bungalows the best thing to do is just turn up and ask for a bungalow. Chances are you will get a great place next to the beach. If not there are plenty of other options within easy walking distance.

When we last asked a beachfront bungalow cost 400 Thai Baht a night in the low season and 500 Thai Baht in the high season. Non-beachfront fan bungalows cost 300 Thai Baht in the low season and 400 in the high season.

Best Haad Salad Resort

September 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Salad Daze in Resorts - (Comments Off on Best Haad Salad Resort)

Haad Salad is a fairly small beach not only for Koh Phangan but also for the west coast of Koh Phangan, yet it has a surprisingly wide selection of accommodation on offer. I suppose this is testament to how beautiful the beach is; and how this beauty translates into commercial viability.

As this is a blog post rather than the guide part of this website it is acceptable to state personal preferences in hotels and resorts.

The idea of the best resort is fraught with subjectivity – some people value style, others comfort, others location, others service and others price. And then there is the idea of value for money. So if you disagree with my choice, please forgive me – it’s just my opinion.

Haad Salad Villa

Haad Salad Villa
Although Trip Advisor gives Haad Salad Villa a high ranking it is in the category of ‘specialty lodging’ which only has 21 entries. It is also unclear how ‘specialty lodging’ is different to a typical Koh Phangan beach resort. What is clearer is that people really enjoy staying in this beach resort – it is friendly, the bungalows are in a great spot, the staff are friendly and the restaurant is reasonable. In the low season you can get an A/C bungalow for as little as 600 Thai Baht a night. That is good value for Haad Salad.
book Haad Salad Villa

Salad Beach Resort

Salad Beach Resort rates Salad Beach Resort as its pick of the Haad Salad Resorts. They rightly point out that this resort is often full while other places on the beach are empty. This is because the resort appeals to families on a mid-range budget.

Salad Beach Resort has bungalows and hotel style rooms. There is a well designed pool and restaurant area overlooking the white sands. The whole resort is well maintained. The rooms are spacious and include air-con, satellite TV, fridge and safety box.

For families it is no problem that everything shuts down at 9pm at this resort. It means that those seeking evening entertainment wander off to other parts of the beach.
book Salad Beach Resort

Salad Buri Resort

Salad Buri Resort
The most luxurious and most stylish rooms are to be found at Salad Buri Resort. This is the place that displays the most striking architecture and resort design. The rooms feature dark hardwood and are well appointed. Other than the cheapest Standard Room all the accommodation is of a decent size. The restaurant is in a striking location and the 3-level swimming pool is a cut above others on the beach. The only negative point for Salad Buri Resort, and it is a big negative point, is that the service is not very good. The staff are unhelpful and sometimes verge on the rude. Lots of reviews on the net concur with this opinion.
book Salad Buri Resort

Salad Hut

Salad Hut
Agoda particularly rates Salad Hut. And in this I agree. This is a great resort with beachfront bungalows. It is set in beautiful tropical gardens and has a popular restaurant and a medium-sized pool next to the beach.

The rooms feature hardwood floors, plenty of space, TV, air con and mini bar. They also have a large balcony with Bali style day bed and hammock. Accommodation is kept clean and the sheets are regularly washed.

However, the best thing about Salad Hut is the staff. They are friendly and happy to help guests. And since there are only 10 bungalows at this resort they can give plenty of attention to guests. This for me, along with the location and good rooms makes Salad Hut the best accommodation option in Haad Salad.