After arriving to find Jungle Hill full, we ended up staying at Sun Smile and had a fine experience.
The family-run spot lacks the WiFi and service-minded staff of its more popular neighbour, but makes up for it with a location slap bang on the centre of Ao Si beach. The sky-blue concrete bungalows are "naked" as one guest put it, with fluorescent lights, fairly comfortable beds, mosquito nets, patterned plastic sheets over cement floors, cold-water bathrooms with a faint scent of sewage and large porches with great views. Cheaper rooms are also available in the main building, but the one we saw only had one window facing a drab hallway. Still, rooms are cleaned often and sheets are fresh. Front-row bungalows are set just back from the beach on almost-flat ground, making this a much better family choice than either of Ao Si's other options. The restaurant serves decent Thai food to semi-private bamboo salas that sit on the sand, even if the menu fails to inspire.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Dbl fan private bathroom, low season: 300 baht, high season 400 baht. Notes:
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 500 baht, high season 600 baht. Notes:
Room: Beachfront bungalow, low season: 600 baht, high season 700 baht. Notes:
Ao Si, Ko Jum
T: (086) 280 4811
(084) 440 5449
Room rates: Under 600B