Good-value and spunky
The first resort found on Baan Tai Beach if coming from Thong Sala, First Villa is a family-run spot with good-value air-con rooms, a swimming pool and one of the spunkiest managers on the island.
The seafront directly in front of the resort consists of a rocky break wall, but it takes very little effort to step down to the sand that stretches for miles to the east. The priciest freestanding concrete bungalows face a medium-size swimming pool and unexpected Jacuzzi, with the sea also visible from porches with wooden chairs.
We’d settle into a smaller bungalow set a little further back and offering excellent value for a comfortable bed, fridge, TV, safe and hot-water bathroom. Several family rooms are available further back on the property in two-storey buildings, and groups can rent out adjoining rooms in single-floor structures. While there’s little in the way of decor, the rooms are all well kept and comfy.
The family-run charm is most evident in the lone dark-wood bungalow set towards the rear of the property. Manager Bobo told us that her uncle sleeps here when arguing with her auntie about what to watch on TV.
Bobo is as affable as they come, always smiling and asking guests how they’re doing and if they need anything. Though she was busy taking a phone call and trying to check in guests when we arrived, she paused to ask a staffer to bring us a cold pineapple juice while we waited to see a room. Kids will have fun with her, and parents will appreciate how quiet the resort becomes after dark.
Other good and affordable air-con resorts with swimming pools on the south coast include Morning Star, Sabaii Bay and Milky Bay.
Address: 145/1 Moo 1, Baan Tai, Ko Pha Ngan
T: (077) 377 225; (081) 894 4364;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º0'15.83" E, 9º42'17.19" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
Plus 100 baht for larger bungalow
|790 baht||790 baht|
|Superior double room||1,200 baht||1,200 baht|
|Family room||1,300 baht||1,300 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 Pha Ngan