Wide variety of great value rooms
Crystal Bay Beach Resort sits at the northern end of Thong Ta Kien, perched up on the rocky headland, wedged between the quite busy road and the beautiful waters of the bay.
This location has definite pros and cons. The views from some of the rooms are among the best on the bay, as you’re elevated above the sand and so can enjoy a terrific outlook, however the location also backs right onto the road here and traffic can get quite heavy, so expect some noise.
Despite the quite snazzy appearance, Crystal Bay Beach Resort offers a range across a spread of budgets, and if you’re not fussed about not having a sea view, the economy and particularly the standard rooms here, while dated, are great value. Rooms get progressively more expensive the better the view and room placement gets and their best rooms can only be booked direct with the property.
The decor is simple but functional and the two rooms we looked in on were very clean and well looked after. Crystal Bay Beach Resort also has an elevated though fairly small swimming pool that also has decent views and a massage sala with terrific views tucked underneath it. However, and this is a common gripe on online reviews, the pool area is also a public walkway (all resorts are supposed to allow public access by law, and hat tip to Crystal Bay for allowing it), so you need to be prepared for some passing pedestrian traffic as you lounge by the pool – or just lay around down on the beach.
While the passing foot traffic may be annoying for some, the bigger issue is the traffic noise as, of the resorts on Thong Ta Kian, Crystal Bay is arguably the most exposed to it. It will die down into the evening, but light sleepers may find it to be a bit of an annoyance. A place down on the water like Promtsuk Buri or Thong Takien Resort, or at the far end of the beach, affiliated Crystal Bay Yacht Club, are all comfortable alternatives with less exposure to the traffic.
A final word though on Crystal Bay: We found the staff here to be especially friendly and helpful and they gave us the impression nothing would be too big an ask. Recommended.
Address: 205 Moo 4 Haag Thong Ta Kian
T: (093) 832 7229;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º3'57.49" E, 9º28'41.64" 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.
|Dbl air-con private bathroom|
|988 baht||1,146 baht|
|Standard double room||1,185 baht||1,343 baht|
|Superior double room||1,501 baht||1,580 baht|
|Deluxe double room||1,659 baht||1,975 baht|
|Deluxe Suite||2,607 baht||3,318 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 Samui