Cute and cool

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Cute little i-Talay shares the same owner as container hotel Think Retro Cafe over on Lipa Noi and walking into the restaurant here you'll be greeted by the same fun and welcoming vibe as over in Think.

Travelfish says:

The cute little (we'll emphasise the word little here) white with blue details bungalows here were so new when we had a look in mid-2016 that the grass turf was still being laid around their base. Spic and span inside, there is just room for a queen-sized bed in the main room and that is it – no cat swinging or cartwheels here. There's a rail on the wall for hanging a towel and a flatscreen TV placed up in the top corner, but that really is it. There isn't room for anything else! The attached hot-water bathroom is equally small, but equally clean also.

Very simple rooms. : Stuart McDonald.
Very simple rooms. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The huts have a small veranda with a built-in lazy chair, but there is no room for a hammock – perhaps some will be slung around later on, or perhaps you'll just need to restrict yourself to the comfy restaurant right beside the huts. The ocean outlook here is excellent and the big selling point of staying here; you're paying a fraction of the guests at the nearby Sunset Beach Resort and an even smaller fraction than those at the Intercon, but you're all sharing largely the same beach and ocean views. Sure, they get lots of other facilities, but still, this struck us as great value ... just be prepared for the size of the room.

The attached restaurant has an identical menu to that of Think, with a mix of Thai and Western dishes and a sizeable drinks list. It has a large shaded deck well stocked with beanbags and other soft cushions, ideal for lounging around on through the midday heat, along with a few bamboo salas and bamboo seating down on the beach.

The attached cafe is far more spacious. : Stuart McDonald.
The attached cafe is far more spacious. Photo: Stuart McDonald

If we could get past the size of the bungalows, we preferred here to Think Retro Cafe, but it is a lineball call. This is quite an isolated location and you'll be well served by having your own transport if you make your base here.

Contact details for i-Talay

Address: 164/19 Moo 1 Taling Ngam Rd, Taling Ngam
T: (077) 423 950;  
Email: italay.beachbar@gmail.com
Web: https://www.facebook.com/I-Talay-Beach-Bar-Cottages-at-Taling-Ngam-Samui-183545478366985/#
Coordinates (for GPS): 99º55'58.98" E, 9º27'59.28" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Bungalow air-con private bathroom
Second row
800 baht 1,000 baht
Beachfront bungalow 1,000 baht 1,200 baht

Reviewed by

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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