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The fact that Castaway is a very well-run small resort becomes obvious from the moment you first step under the frangipani trees in the impeccably groomed grounds.
It's a small and charming spot with comfy tan villas and a few dark wood bungalows stretching back from a beachfront bar and massage area. The restaurant happens to do some of the best Mexican food we've tried anywhere in Southeast Asia, plus a good mix of Thai and Western. We could care less about the lack of a swimming pool after trying those delicious enchiladas. The mostly free-standing villas are immaculate and outfitted with one king-size or two double beds along with large windows, air-con, cable TVs and safes. The cheapest bungalows are cooled by ceiling fans and are perhaps a bit pricey for what you get, but they are tastefully done and come with personal safes and hot-water bathrooms. All rooms have sizeable front porches, and we found the staff to be among the most helpful on Haad Phra Ae. Rates jump by 300 to 700 baht from mid December to mid January, and Castaway closes from mid May to July 1 and again for all of September. Advanced bookings are a good idea in high season.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 6th June, 2014.