Sea cottage theme
A cool mix of pastel blue and white welcome you to Chan Cha Lay, which remains one of the cleanest, comfiest and most professionally run of Krabi’s budget spots. From the front it looks like a tiny guesthouse but the property extends to the rear and includes three different buildings.
At the high end of the price scale, our favourite rooms front a white-pebble courtyard out back and come with plenty of space along with desk, comfy bed and decoration that makes them feel like part of a seaside cottage. The spacious brushed-concrete bathrooms sport paintings of sunsets and partially open-air rain showers with hot water. You also get concertina doors opening to a private balcony with a couple of wooden deck chairs.
In the main building above reception, the many budget rooms get the job done with a firm bed on tile floors, small desk and air-con, which can be shut off if you’re paying the fan rate. These are small and have the same soothing blue and white paint job to go with one small window, some facing a wall that results in a dimmer atmosphere than in the pricier rooms. These rely on an ample supply of shared bathrooms with hot water.
In the newest building, smart double and triple rooms come with ensuite bathrooms, wall-mounted flatscreen TVs, lots of space and brushed concrete walls broken up by floor-to-ceiling windows—a major step up from the older budget rooms. There’s also at least one quad room set up like a small dorm, with two bunkbeds and a larger ensuite bathroom with shower set behind concrete partition. All rooms are very well kept.
Laidback yet helpful staffers stand ready to arrange transport bookings, rent motorbikes and offer travel advice in a cute cafe overlooking the street. Free WiFi covers the whole property. Chan Cha Lay consisted only of this original building when we first inspected it many years ago, and we like how it has retained the feel of a small budget guesthouse while adding the two newer buildings for families and flashpackers.
It’s a good example of an older property that has been savvy enough to stay relevant in an evolving traveller scene. In fact, “relevant” is an understatement for a property that remains one of the most popular and highly regarded out of Krabi town’s many places to stay. Whether going for a budget room or one of the cushier options, the value is excellent.
If you prefer a smaller guesthouse, neighbouring Mr Clean is another good option with only small budget rooms and an owner who is friendly and helpful. Those looking for an older-style spot with dirt-cheap rooms should check out nearby Cha Guesthouse, which has changed very little over the years, or head over to K Guesthouse.
Address: 55 Uttarakit Rd, Krabi
T: (075) 620 952;
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º55'5.45" E, 8º3'41.89" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan share bathroom||350 baht||400 baht|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||500 baht||550 baht|
|Dbl fan private bathroom||650 baht||700 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||800 baht||900 baht|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||1,200 baht||1,250 baht|
|Quad air-con private bathroom||1,400 baht||1,450 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.
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