Baan Ploy Resort Koh Samed – A Review By Punam Mohandas
Baan Ploy Samed is a small, cosy property situated on Ao Noina beach of Koh Samed island. With just 16 rooms, it is quite easy to get friendly with the rest of the guests and mealtimes can be one happy picnic, if one so chooses.
An open-air lobby cheerfully decorated with coloured hanging lamps, sets the mood. The hotel aims for a rustic look and therefore, the wooden floors are left unpolished, while the seating is of rough-hewn wooden benches and tables. Orange is the signature colour at this resort and is reflected in the interior furnishings as well as the staff uniforms.
The rooms are divided into three categories: Deluxe, Deluxe Sea View and Beach Front Suite. There are only two Deluxe rooms, both twin-bedded and both do not offer sea views. There are 12 Deluxe Sea View rooms distributed between the first and second floors, all with sea vistas. All the rooms come with patios or balconies.
There are two Beach Front Suites that offer full frontal sea panoramas, with French doors and gauzy curtains that don’t obstruct the view. These rooms also have spacious outdoor seating that can easily seat four people, with the same rough-hewn tables and benches.
All rooms come with comfortable settees, tea/coffee maker, electronic safe, TV, mini fridge, two complimentary bottles of drinking water, umbrellas and beach slippers. Cane dustbins and orange, Thai silk covered hanging lamps on either side of the bed complement the unpolished wooden flooring. A suggestion here would be to provide brighter lighting as the rooms are rather dimly lit. It would also be nice to have a table or two to place one’s belongings on.
The bathrooms are small and functional, with rain showers. Towel and clothes hooks are needed here, as the space is rather cramped.
Baan Ploy Samed offers one all-day dining option – a large, 100-covers, open-air restaurant that gives on to a magnificent, all-embracing sea view. It has the traditional vaulted wooden ceiling and the seating is typical Thai style of low tables and the triangular Thai cushions in blue. The food is mostly Thai although some western dishes are available. The novelty is, of course, the fresh catch of the day. The chef is extremely versatile in seafood dishes and I highly recommend the crab and prawn options. Apart from this restaurant and its bar, there is a small bar – Ploy Sea Bar – between the lobby and the pool.
Recreation includes an orange-tiled swimming pool that overlooks the sea, with a very small kiddy pool beside the main one. Apart from this, the hotel is happy to organize speedboat trips around the island, leisurely sailing cruises, or sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
There is also a small meeting room on the premises that can accommodate 20-pax.
As with most island folk, the staff here are very friendly, despite the drawback of most of the junior members not speaking English.
Unfortunately, Ao Noina does not have much of a beach and the hotel is further burdened by having two local piers on either side. However, the Baan Ploy location is good; just across the hotel is a reasonably priced massage parlour. Beside the hotel is a motorbike rent shop that charges a nominal 300baht as an all-day fee, with free fuel. There are plenty of cafes, small restaurants and shops as you walk down the road from the hotel and the popular Sai Kaew beach with its powder soft white sands is only a 20-minute walk away, although the hotel can organise a songtaew taxi for you, at 200-baht per trip.
Koh Samet is 45-minutes away from Pattaya by speedboat. While Pattaya does have its own airport, there are many more inexpensive options to travel to this island. Buses from Ekkamai in Bangkok leave every hour and the cost is 155 baht per person; travel time to Ban Phe pier is about three hours by car, from where you take the speedboat or ferry (cheaper option) to Samet. The hotel group also has its own private speedboats. You can also do the minivan from Ekkamai to Ban Phe which costs 200baht per person; the van load is 14-pax.
It should be noted that visitors to Koh Samet National Park who do not hold a valid Thai work permit are required to pay 200 baht per head, while Thai nationals and holders of Thai work permits pay 40 baht per head.
BAAN PLOY RESORT KOH SAMED
TEL: +66 38-644 355-57
FAX: +66 38-644-188
Punam Mohandas asserts her right to be identified as the author of this work. Any views or opinions expressed in this review is that of the author.