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.

Resort Ratings in Haad Salad in 2016

January 12th, 2016 | Posted by Salad Daze in Comment - (Comments Off on Resort Ratings in Haad Salad in 2016)


Haad Salad has plenty of places to stay that range from basic bungalows on the beach to villas with private pools. When choosing where to stay many people consider the ratings resorts and hotels receive from such popular sites as Trip Advisor and Agoda. However, without knowing if a place has gone up or down in the ratings a vital piece of information is missed. Below are notes about how accommodation providers in Haad Salad fared on Trip Advisor and Agoda over the period 2015 to 2016.


It is slightly depressing to discover that not one resort in Haad Salad improved its Agoda rating over the year. Several places such as Double Duke Bungalow, Asia Bungalows and Salad Grand Bungalow don’t have an aggregate score out of 10 yet due to a lack of reviews. Green Papaya Resort went from no Agoda score to 8.2.

Sea Salad Resort maintained the score of 7.4. Salad Beach Resort likewise remained at 7.9. And Haad Salad Villa stayed at 7.8 over the year from 2015 to 2016.

Those places that lost ranking on Agoda are Smile Beach Resort (6.7 to 6.5), Cookies Salad Resort (8.1 to 7.9), Salad Hut (8.7 to 8.6) and Salad Buri Resort (7.8 to 7.7).

It would seem the places in the last list need to do more to maintain standards of service and quality of amenities and facilities.

Trip Advisor

The changes in the Trip Advisor rankings for Haad Salad resorts is more dramatic than for the equivalent Agoda rankings. The only thing that is a bit confusing with Trip Advisor is their decisions of whether to classify a place as a ‘hotel’, ‘lodge’ or ‘B&B’. There seems to be little consistency in their classification of places. What exactly is a ‘speciality lodging’ and how is that different to a typical Koh Phangan bungalow resort? Does any accommodation provider including breakfast in their rental deals deserve to be designated ‘Bed and Breakfast’?

Gripes aside, here are the changes for Haad Salad accommodation Trip Advisor rankings for 2015-2016

Double Duke made an impressive jump from 71 to 56 in the B&B category. Likewise Asia Bungalows went from 26th to 13th best lodge in Koh Phangan. A small gain was also registered for Salad Buri Resort (#51 to #47 in hotels).

On the other side of the coin, Salad Grand Bungalow did terrible dropping from 123rd to 216th out of 273 lodges in Koh Phangan. Similarly, Sea Salad Resort plummeted from 55th to 130th out of 273 lodges. Not much better was Smile Beach Resort that fell from 46th best B&B to 86th best B&B in Koh Phangan.

Others that had bad years on Trip Advisor were Haad Salad Villa (from 4th to 7th out of 50 speciality lodges in Suratthani); Phangan Natural Resort fell from 45th best B&B to 58th best; Cookies Salad Resort (from 27th to 30th best hotel); Salad Beach Resort (from 42nd to 45th best hotel); and Green Papaya Resort (from 26th to 31st best hotel).

While these ranking have to be taken with a pinch of salt, they do highlight the fact that some places in Haad Salad really need to improve their service and make their cleaning staff work a tad harder. The most common complaints about Koh Phangan accommodation are always that the room was dirty; that the linen was dirty and not changed; that there were insects in the room / bathroom; and that the staff were rude. If some resort owners focused on these things more than upgrading accommodation and facilities in order to charge customers more, they would no doubt benefit from improving Trip Advisor and Agoda ratings.

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.