Finding a room on Koh Chang is not difficult, I have made the journey 5 or 6 times now, and I have never pre-booked, but I will say that finding a room that suits you perfectly can be another matter altogether. In my case, I have a family of 4, me, my wife and 2 young boys, every time I visit Koh Chang I have a picture of the ideal room in my mind, it’s on the beach, the beach should be large and safe for children, the room price should be between 1000 and 1500 baht, and the resort should have a restaurant. I know that’s asking a lot, and to be honest I found it only once when a group of us needing 5 rooms got a good deal at the Banpu Resort on White Sands Beach, I should add that was low season. Obviously, I am prepared to rough it a little, squeeze 4 of us in the bed, or if you’re lucky you get a double and a single bed in the room.
I thought I got lucky last time (March 2013) when we got a room at Ban Thai Resort on White Sands Beach (the most popular beach on Koh Chang), Ban Thai is only a small resort but it backs right on to the beach. Cost of the room was 1,300 baht, spacious but tired room with 2 single beds, never mind, like I said, I don’t mind roughing it a little. After the first night the air conditioning ceased to work, after making my complaint, one of the staff informed me that he had a look at it and it was working again, needless to say it was not, and without the air conditioning it was unbearable.
Next morning we headed towards Bangbao Fisherman’s Village, stopping at various resorts and bungalow complexes along the way, still with the goal of finding a resort on the beach within my price range. I must say some of the locations were beautiful, but expensive, booked up, rocky beaches, wrong atmosphere. We drove all the way to Bangbao before turning back, tried one or 2 resorts which we missed along the way, eventually we were back in Klong Prao, unwilling to go back to White Sands Beach because we stay there every time we visit Koh Chang. Klong Prao Resort was our “last chance saloon”, Presto, it’s a beautiful resort, it ticks all the boxes (except price) and they have a room, at 2,400 it was over budget but what the heck, 2 night won’t break the bank.
I should add that Klong Prao Resort did redeem itself somewhat when it came to ticking the boxes, the price included breakfast for 3, the room was large, and “Wow” 2 double beds, absolute luxury for me, no children’s knees in the groin, or elbows in the ribs.
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Klong Prao Resort is “on the beach” but the rooms don’t actually sit on the beach, the pool overlooks the beach (sorry no photos), and the restaurant overlooks the beach. the rooms nestle in well manicured gardens, both single room and terraced rooms. A salt water tributary runs around the resort to form a lagoon, many of the rooms overlook it, it actually appears more like a lake (see photo above).
The photo (above) shows the “C class” rooms, our home for 2 nights, sorry I don’t have any photos of the interior, but I can tell you even with 2 large double beds there was enough room for 2 children to bounce around. the rooms are clean, have a small T.V, fridge, and a nice clean bathroom with toilet and shower. These rooms are terraced, overlooking the lagoon, and they are only a cock-stride away from the buffet breakfast. Let me stress this was a walk-in deal, these rooms are allotted as maximum 3 persons on internet hotel booking sites.
The restaurant (photo above) is large and spacious, has a great view of the beach and the service is excellent, the food is reasonably priced and drinks are average price for anywhere on the beach, large Singha 130 baht, large Chang 120 baht.
This photo (above) shows the restaurant in proximity to the beach, don’t be decieved by the narrow appearance of the beach, this was high tide.
For me, Klong Prao Beach is a perfect example of what a beach should be, there may be more picturesque beaches in Thailand, but not many, Klong Prao beach is large, spacious, the sand is soft and fine, the water is clean and shallow, and it doesn’t get crowded.
Booking one room on-line for 4 people is often difficult, they stipulate a maximum 3 persons per room, whereas walking in will often allow you to get the deal for 4 persons. Family rooms are often available but they are comparatively expensive and not necessary. My advice would be browse on-line until you find a room that suits you, telephone the hotel or resort and ask if the room can cater for 4 persons, don’t forget to ask if it will incur any cost, and that you are willing to share the same bedding. It may be worth asking the hotel or resort if you can go ahead and book on-line using the stipulated maximum persons per room, and turn up with one extra person.