For a long time, Baan Phu Lae was the only place to stay on Ao Mai Pai, and it remains a favourite despite the formidable competition that has moved in nearby.
The first thing you notice is the idyllic beachfront setting, followed by the helpful young staff who often rock dark shades, and finally the high standard of accommodation. Settle into a yellow concrete bungalow just back from the beach, or save some cash by taking one further up the hill with great views from the front porches. Though lacking energy-consuming extras like fridges and hot-water heaters, the bungalows are tastefully decorated with silk throws, wooden furnishings, polished concrete floors, paintings of Thai boats, safes, soft beds and several windows. The restaurant serves excellent and authentic Thai food to go with creative smoothies and cocktails. The staff "get" the whole chilled-out beach traveller thing, striking an agreeable balance between laid back and service minded.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 700 baht, high season 1,000 baht. Notes: 1,300 for second row, 1,700 for beachfront
Room: Bungalow air-con private bathroom, low season: 1,500 baht, high season 2,500 baht. Notes: