Soothing eco-friendly retreat
An air of sophistication pervades The Mangrove Hideaway, a cushy upscale guesthouse fronting the river on the lane into Salak Phet village.
Covering a large two-storey house, the design relies on varnished teakwood floors along with touches of bamboo, rattan and olive-green silk. Throw in the many potted plants, scented candles, Buddha images, fountains—and the mangrove-lined river out back—and this is one soothing place.
The standard “mangrove garden” rooms overlook the road rather than the estuary and feature plenty of space to go with cream-coloured concrete walls and glass doors opening to furnished terraces draped in greenery—not bad at all. You’ll also at least one “mangrove gallery” room that’s a bit cheaper but set at the centre of the house with a view to a wall. We’d stick to the garden editions.
Larger rooms feature teak surfaces and larger terraces, but entrances to these open to the riverside restaurant so you’ll need to keep curtains drawn if you don’t want to be on display. Offering a lot more privacy, the real prize is the “mangrove duplex”, a suite with spiralling staircase connecting the master bedroom to a living room on the ground floor.
All rooms come with LCD TVs, fridges, safes, kettles, WiFi, tables and daybeds as well as hot-water showers behind partitions in large bathrooms—tiled in the cheaper rooms and stone walls in the higher-end digs. Rates also include breakfasts that we’ve heard are excellent. Though kids might get bored, the guesthouse is a great option for couples.
Beyond the restaurant, generous common spaces include an “attic relax zone” with woven-bamboo hammocks, tables and cushions; on rainy days it’s an ideal spot to play a board game or tuck into a book. You’ll also find a small spa and free kayaks. The Hideaway claims to use only natural soaps and cleaning products while being committed to environmental responsibility.
Even if you’re not up for a paddle, the open-sided lounge touches the river and is a terrific spot to soak in the tranquility that defines Salak Phet. Fishing boats putter past as sea eagles soar above and kids play in the stilted houses. The location places you within an easy walk of the rest of Salak Phet village, where you’ll find a few little eateries set out over the bay.
Be careful not to mix The Mangrove Hideaway up with The Mangrove, another stylish and relaxing spot over in Bailan. The Mangrove Hideaway closes each year for June and September.
Address: Baan Salak Phet, Ko Chang
T: (080) 133 6600;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º22'16.32" E, 11º59'53.85" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
|1,926 baht||2,354 baht|
|Deluxe double room|
|2,354 baht||2,675 baht|
Two floor suite
|3,200 baht||3,200 baht|
|3,424 baht||3,638 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Chang