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Golden Buddha Beach Resort
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Reviews (169)
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Reviewed 3 April 2018

I might attract the wrath of those liking this place but I will dare say I didn't really enjoy my stay.
I admit that I'm spoiled. Being lucky enough to have travelled and discovered other places, touristy or not, other beaches, unspoiled or not, etc.
Even if it was great and unusual to arrive by long tail boat right on the beach (a relatively expensive transfer from Ranong nevertheless) and be welcomed by one of the manager, I wasn't overly impressed by the beach itself and the overall location.
All afternoon my husband said to me "You're very quiet. That's unusual." Well... I was trying to find a reason to be here. A few months before, while preparing our winter holidays, we were looking for unspoiled Thailand islands/beaches which is relatively difficult nowadays. We found a blog on internet suggesting Kho Phayam and Kho Phratong. If we really enjoyed our stay on the first island (Kho Phayam is not developed, no ATM, no 7/11, just a few hotels and restaurants. Lovely crescent shaped beaches. Very few people), we didn't like this one.
If you can walk for miles without meeting anybody, the beach is lacking of charm. Just a long stretch of sand and dry vegetation. The island really bears well its nickname of savannah.
We learned that all the bungalows are different because owned by different people and that their properties are managed and rented by the resort. Golden Buddha is therefore more a real estate agent than an hotel. And you can feel it because there's no proper infrastructures/outdoor furnitures for guests/tourists.
Even if the bungalows are rather nicely scattered alongside a long sandy path (depending your location it's a long long walk to the restaurant and the wifi only available over there), the all place is missing something. It's pretentious but soulless. No heart. No vibe.
The main property manager, a French older lady, seems to greet only certain clients. During breakfast, for example, she had small talks with some guests but completely ignored the others, us included. Didn't we all pay? Weird. Not professional.
The lack of AC made it difficult to sleep in scorching March. Because of the monkeys, you have to keep the doors/windows shut and the fan is not enough to cool down the room.
Even if the water pressure was great, having a shower was not an enjoyable experience. The water stinks of rotten eggs! I don't really like the smell of sulphur in the morning... And a good advice, don't keep jewellery under the shower because the sulphur will tarnish them.
But the worst is probably the food. Especially in the evening. Our dinners here are now listed in our top 5 of the worst meals ever. And expensive too! The green curry was a tasteless liquid green broth. Same for the pork ribs. Etc. Far far from the explosion of flavours Thai cuisine is famous for. Very small portions too! We thus decided to walk (it's low tide in the evening and thus quite easy but still 20min walk) to a neighbouring resort where the food was lovely. And when we said where we stayed, we got a conniving wink from the waiters...
On the other side, we had very good salads by the beach shack and the waiter was very friendly.
I know that everything is relative and that the appreciation of a place, a restaurant, an hotel is somehow subjective. But if I put my previous experiences and this one into perspective, I didn't have a pleasant agreeable stay. Far far from it!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Aralya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018

Just found out that my review from my experience in February 2018 has been removed by the owners. I even attached pictures to the review, to show that I had actually been there.

Why do the owners not admit that the level of service was not acceptable during our visit, apologize and learn from their mistakes?

I will not write the whole review again, but a summary can be found below:

We came over for lunch in the restaurant. In the beach restaurant the staff was eating and did not get up when we arrived. Kept eating and did not greet us.

After a 10 minute walk we arrived at a beautiful looking colonial restaurant, however the staff there was also not interested, and did not even notice us entering the restaurant since he was busy on his phone, sitting behind the bar. He woke up from his game when I walked over and greeted him.

The lunch itself, one dish never showed up, the grilled pork was actually a stew, the catfish salad did contain almost no catfish and the Thai clear soup was just a stock which you normally get for free when ordering a rice dish. Portions in general are small, taste of the dishes was OK.

The foreign female owner never greeted us, nor thanked us for eating in her restaurant, while there was only 1 other table who were eating while we left.

You have missed an opportunity, since we have spend our money elsewhere.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank Mathieu S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2018

After spending a week at Golden Buddha, my greatest appreciation of the resort I can't emphasize enough (beyond the seclusion in a mesmerizing natural environment unparalleled in my experiences living in Thailand) is their mission to support the local community with true eco-tourism. I was amazed and overjoyed to learn all of the staff members, from the smiling and friendly faces behind the bar counter to the women working in the kitchen to the maintenance men who wave as you walk by, are all local people from the small fisherman village on the other side of the island.

I actually had the opportunity to visit the village, Tey Pey Yoi, through an eco-tour offered by the resort where guests have a chance to learn from local school children the art of batik painting while contributing positively to the community and school as guests. My experience with our tour guide Eak was absolutely AMAZING. His giant genuine smile and his passion and local expertise about the wildlife we saw as we crossed the savannah to reach the village was the highlight of my stay at Golden Buddha (listening to the whistles he knows by heart to communicate with different birds isn't something you easily forget). The village itself is incredibly humble and reflective of a very low standard of living, with stilted one room homes over the water or small concrete houses covered by tin roofs on the sand. While the village way of life is a beautiful culture to witness and set in an awe-inspiring backdrop of local fisherman boats, mangrove trees, and mountains from the mainland, it brings a reality to where Golden Buddha's staff come from, and made even more clear to me the dedication and mission of the resort to train and offer employment opportunities specifically to the inhabitants of the island. They even hire an English intern every season to provide free English language lessons to the staff, an opportunity I can now fully understand after visiting the humble and under-funded school where most of the staff recieved their education.

In a competitive tourist industry near places like Phuket and Khao Lak, Golden Buddha is true to the label "eco-tourism" by being an integral contributor to the local community. Knowing I am directly helping contribute to the livelihoods of the warm and beaming staff who made my stay so welcome gives me a feeling of pride as a traveler who is intentional about the footprint she leaves behind as a guest in a foreign country.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
8  Thank Sara R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
13
Reviewed 18 February 2018 via mobile

Me and my partner booked GBBR initially for only four days as we hadn't been to the island before but we got a recommendation from a local yoga teacher so we decided to give it a go.
After we took a long boat from Kuraburi, we arrived to a pristine little bay welcomed by Golden Buddha team who immediately made us feel at home and showed us around the absolutely stunning resort. It's paradise! We've never seen a beach so long, clean and empty and sea so beautiful! The sand may not be white but this definitely is the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. The resort is also absolutely stunning, with a beautiful restaurant and gorgeous breakfast every morning, drinking fresh coconut juice while overlooking the sea :) Saturday nights are magical, the resort organised a bonfire on the beach with cocktails and then the most delicious seafood BBQ.
The accommodation consists of different styled wooden houses, each of them with a unique design and hidden around so you always feel like you're alone in nature.
What makes the whole experience even more special is the whole team at the resort, and especially Massi and Teresa , who manage the resort and took care of absolutely every single request we had and always made us feel like special guests.
So the initial 4 days ended up being three weeks and we didn't want to leave even then.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2018 via mobile

We stayed at Golden Buddha Beach Resort for 3 Nights. The resort is surrounded by great nature and a beautiful, amazing Beach. It‘s very quiet except for all the great animal sound. Wild life nature
The staff was very nice and super helpful with everything.
Some sun beds on the big beach would have been nice since not every Bungalow is Beach front . Food was ok, small plates. If you need a Break from Thai food the beachbar serves Great Pizza. We definitely recommend this resort!

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
2  Thank 142magdalenap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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