Goodtime Beach Backpackers at Charm Beach
The Goodtime Adventure crew from Ko Tao began sharing management of the long-running Charm Beach Resort in 2016, creating dorm rooms out of spacious beachside bungalows.
It still has the charm of the old Charm Resort, with an influx of fresh energy from the well-regarded folks at Goodtime.
They held on to most of what made the place popular many years ago, keeping the old “Charm Beach” signs up, but you’ll now find several dorms. The priciest four-bed rooms occupy dark-wood bungalows with pointed green metal roofs and large porches within steps of the sea. Another four-bed dorm overlooks the medium-size swimming pool in a corner of the property, while the cheapest bunks are set up close together in parallel rows in a larger room.
All dorms are mixed gender and come with air-con and ensuite hot-water bathroom – you may have to wait for a shower or go outside to use common facilities near the large restaurant. Private lockers and electrical outlets are included, but not reading lamps as of late 2016. The dorms are very clean, with several windows and thick mattresses on black or white frames.
Goodtime also offers private bungalows with choice of fan or air-con, but these were full when we passed through. Rates for air-con privates seemed expensive compared to nearby First Villa and Sabaii Bay, for example, but the thatch-roofed treehouse bungalow built high up into the trunk of a massive beachside banyan tree could be worth an extra few hundred baht.
The transformation was ongoing as of late 2016: flashy “Goodtime” banners looked out of place among the well-worn wood bungalows. Charm Beach Resort was popular among travellers in their thirties and forties, especially British folks, and the clientele appeared to be a mix of younger backpackers and older guests opting for private bungalows. The beach bar stays mellow but active after dark – think soft reggae and conversation rather than thumping techno and dancing.
We sized up Goodtime as a relaxing spot with a beach bungalow vibe that differentiates it from Ko Pha Ngan’s many other hostels. The location down a seaside lane puts you within a 10-minute walk of Thong Sala town and closer to several pubs and eateries along the main road to Baan Tai.
Check out Infinity Beach Club if you want a dorm with a pool and beachfront location with more of a party atmosphere. There’s also At Beach Bed and Bar, which has a large fan dorm on the beach down in Baan Tai.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Dorm air-con, low season: 200 baht, high season 200 baht. Notes: 300 for poolside dorm; 350 for beachfront dorm.
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 750 baht, high season 750 baht. Notes: Up to 1,100 baht for a larger bungalow
Room: Bungalow air-con private bathroom, low season: 1,800 baht, high season 1,800 baht. Notes:
Ao Thong Sala, Ko Pha Ngan
T: (087) 275 3604
Room rates: Under 600B