Good value midrange rooms
Secret Garden has for decades been a mainstay of Bang Rak's accommodation and entertainment scene. Following a change in ownership and a complete redevelopment, they now offer excellent beachside accommodation at a midrange pricepoint.
Very smart modern rooms come in two primary flavours, freestanding cottages towards the beach and by the small swimming pool, and more hotel-style rooms at the rear of the resort in a single-storey longhouse building. We were shown one of the cottages towards the beach and it struck us as very good midrange value. The rounded bungalows are spacious and comfortable with good beds sporting real linen – and towels simply rolled rather than tortured into some animal caricature – plus art on the walls and spotless modern hot-water bathrooms. Rooms are air-con with free WiFi throughout. Compact decks out front have a wooden table and chair to enjoy the seabreeze on, though only those close to the beach have much of an ocean view.
The perfectly round pool is at the centre of the lawn grounds, with the large and very good, Western-orientated restaurant and bar to one side, and the rooms on the other. The pool struck us as a bit small, but there are plenty of orange deckchairs with umbrellas to relax on, and the beach is just a few steps away.
Secret Garden is best known for its bar, which for many years has been a focal point of Bangrak's entertainment scene, has daily happy hours and, on Sundays, hosts the Secret Garden Sunday Sessions which feature live music. The resort is also a popular venue for weddings; a photo shoot for one was taking place while we were having lunch.
The rooms here are of a very good standard, but they are limited in number. If you can't get in, consider Samui Pier Resort, which is just a short walk from here, while those on a tighter budget, but wanting to stay right on the beach, should take a look at nearby Kinnaree, which has tightly configured, but well kept air-con rooms from 900 baht. Recommended.
Address: 22/1 Moo 4, Bang Rak Beach
T: (077) 245 255; F: (077) 245 253
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º3'18.4" E, 9º33'26.72" 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||1,600 baht||1,800 baht|
|Deluxe double room||2,400 baht||2,800 baht|
|2,650 baht||3,050 baht|
|3,250 baht||3,750 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.
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