May 09 2012
From the streetfront, a modern glass, metal and wood building announces the entrance to the Marina Residence, Petcherat Pier and Marina Club Lounge in bold orange and yellow signage. Quite out of step with the bungalow-style resorts along this stretch of Bang Rak, the Petcherat complex is modern, and rather ‘un-Thai’ in design. Even the pier itself is concrete with orange painted metal railings, in contrast to the rickety wooden structures further along the beach.
Petcherat’s main business focus, and the drawcard for this accommodation, is the speedboat service on offer from the pier. Boats depart from here for tours to the Ang Thong Marine Park, Ko Tao and Ko Pha Ngan. On the eve of the monthly famous, or rather infamous full moon party, boats leave every 20 minutes from 17:00 until 08:00 the next morning and a return ticket will set party revellers back 1,000 baht.
Facilities include the Marina Club Lounge, which serves up a mighty full monty-type breakfast, and offers a good selection of Western food options for those Thai-d out. The home-style burgers and fall-off-the-bone ribs will satisfy the carnivores with insatiable appetites, but vegetarians will be equally as impressed with the selection on offer, and in particular the Mediterranean tapas plate. Meals may not be street café prices, but they are reasonable by Western food standards, with main courses averaging around 180-250 baht.
The rooms at Marina Residence are located above reception and the public area, and are basically wall-to-wall beds, offering air-con and TV. The look is minimalistic, with slate-grey walls, crisp white bedding, and splashes of red in the way of scatter cushions and red mosaic tiles in the open-plan modern bathrooms. The rooms, although comfortable, are small, and best suited to short stays — they’d be good in particular for travellers in transit either to Ko Pha Ngan, or for its close proximity to the airport, which is only a five-minute drive away.
There is a spacious communal chill lounge, with daybed couches and tables. Rooms one to three are not the best option, as this lounge looks directly into the rooms, although large blinds can be drawn to offer privacy from the communal area. While the rooms don’t offer much of a view other than the street or the rooftops of neighbouring buildings, the restaurant and bar area overlooks the pier and has views to Ko Pha Ngan.
Rooms are priced at a reasonable 1,000 baht per night, and if convenience is what you are after, then they are ideal. Those preferring something more island style should probably head to the neighbouring Samui Pier Resort, which offers seafront rooms set in a lawned area around a pool, or the nearby Dae Tong de Samui, bungalow-style accommodation — although both these alternatives will deprive your wallet of more baht.
Petcherat Pier, 4171 Road, central Bang Rak, Ko Samui
T: (077) 425 262
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