A little north of central Lamai T: (081) 476 1343, (077) 230 437
Despite the name, New Hut has been around forever and a day, and set more or less in the middle of Lamai Beach, still sets the benchmark for uber basic, absolute beachfront backpacker shacks.
Brightly coloured, we think it had just had a fresh coat of primary colours applied as the huts were positively luminescent, which helps to convey a fun, beachside feel – but there is no hiding the grungy interiors and take our word for it, you'll be spending as little time as humanly possible inside the rooms.
They come in two main configurations: the glowingly coloured A-frames and more typical (but equally brightly coloured) beach bungalows. The A-frames have shared bathroom facilities a short walk away and are probably some of the tiniest bungalows we've seen -- even R2D2 would find these to be a tight fit – but hey what do you expect for 300 baht right on the beach?
The larger rooms are, well, larger but only moderately so, have attached bathroom and have both air-con and two rotating ceiling fans – we reckon you'll be needing all three. Much more spacious than any of the rooms is the brightly decorated beachside restaurant, which is between the A-frames and the bungalows. Food is good and affordable, the drinks list is long and the staff, once they warmed up, were quite friendly and helpful. When the right crowd is staying, New Hut can be a fun place to stay and socialise, and is a good choice for single travellers.
New Hut is reached via (yes, you guessed it) a brightly painted bridge that crosses over a very festy canal that empties into the sea near here – expect mosquitoes. Also, thanks to this canal, you're best to walk down the beach a bit before having a swim. For budgeteers who don't mind close confines to save a few baht but want to be right on the beach, New Hut is a solid option. There are a few budgetish options to the east of here, including Sukkasem Bungalows and Samui Harmony, but this is the most backpackery place along this strip and we do like the restaurant here.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 20th September, 2016.