Social setting, so so rooms
Malibu's primary selling point is the gorgeous white sand beach where the resort restaurant sits a short walk over a bridge from all the bungalows – even if you're not staying here, make the time to come and hangout at the beach bar and restaurant.
The resort describes the beach as being a "private beach" on an island, but it is more just cut off from the rest of Ko Pha Ngan by a tidal estuary. The restaurant centres around a large covered round affair, surrounded by trees and scrubs, with plenty of seating and hammocks dotted here and there. The sand is blisteringly white and extremely fine and the area is popular with kiteboarders in season (December and January). The vibe is fun and very backpacker.
Malibu's accommodation comes in two main flavours – typical, though large, beach bungalows and more unusually designed rattan, wood and concrete round rooms with both fan-cooled and air-con options available – free WiFi is standard. We were unable to see inside the latter (the guy who showed us around was abrupt to the point of rudeness) but the island bungalow was very aged and just adequate. Bouncy floored but oversized, the bungalow had plenty of room for an extra mattress and likewise plenty of balcony room for lounging around. The bathroom was tired, but, like the room, spacious.
Overall, the asking price struck us as high, but you do get a cool little freeform swimming pool, there is plenty of space to run around in (good for kids) and there is the beach out front by the restaurant which is just glorious. While we loved the beachside restaurant and bar, we found the numerous signs telling people what not to do tiresome and that combined with the room standard and the manner of the guy who showed us around was a bit off-putting.
That said, the beach is great and, truth be told, you'll be spending very little time in the room itself... The size of the rooms make Malibu worth a mention for travelling groups and families who want the space and are not so fussed about aged rooms.
Address: Eastern Chaloklum, Ko Pha Ngan
T: (077) 374 057; (081) 747 6603; F: (077) 374 055
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º0'2.58" E, 9º47'20.72" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
|1,200 baht||1,200 baht|
|Superior double room||2,000 baht||2,000 baht|
|Deluxe double room||3,000 baht||3,000 baht|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Ko Pha Ngan