Finding accommodation can be one difficult task. It’s even more difficult when pictures online are out of date, showing resorts in their prime, and reviews of places are as different as black is from white. We had a couple of really nice experiences with our Koh Phi Phi accommodation, and would recommend them both to people traveling there!
We booked through Agoda and found that the map of the island offered on their app really helped with understanding where we should stay. To give you more of an idea of which part of the island is best for you, be sure to check out the accommodation section of Koh Phi Phi, Know Before You Go.
GYPSY SEA VIEW RESORT:
Recommended for: Families or people who want to be near the night life, but still have a quiet place to sleep at night.
Pool: Yes; Open 8-8.
Beach Access: 5-10 minute walk to harbor beaches. 20 minute walk to Long Beach.
Contrary to what you may believe from the name of this resort, there is actually no sea view from the resort grounds. With that said, we still had a great time at this resort and would recommend staying here. Gypsy Sea View offers clean, quiet rooms, a large well-kept pool, and a great central location to many of Koh Phi Phi attractions.
The hotel style Deluxe Double or Deluxe Twin rooms are highly recommended. They are a much nicer than the bungalows, offer a bit more space, and even have mini fridges. If you stay on the top floor, you have a balcony overlooking the pool, while the bottom floor offers easy access to the pool directly outside your sliding doors. The bungalows offer more of an island feel, but are a bit run down making that island feel not really worth it.
Pass on the breakfast offer here. You’re given a breakfast voucher and then have to walk to a restaurant nearby for dining. If the hotel isn’t fully booked, the breakfast is a set plate, while full booking of the hotel leads to buffet style breakfast. The set plate and buffet breakfast offer the same meals, the only difference is one is made to order while the buffet is set out and, in our experience, cold. You can get a much better breakfast at any of the nearby restaurants for about the same price you pay to add breakfast to your stay.
Room cleaning occurs only if requested, and you can swap out your pool towels daily! The day time staff here is very accommodating, while the night time staff would rather you not bother them 😉 Although you may not get the island feel you’re looking for at this resort, the value of room for your money is one not to be passed up.
BAY VIEW RESORT:
Recommended for: Get away in a relaxing, peaceful environment.
Pool: Yes; Open until 5:00.
Beach Access: Ocean Views with most bungalows! Beach access with lounge chairs from hotel lobby. 10 minute walk to Long Beach.
Bay View Resort is a bit of a dicey resort, and we recommend it with a bit of hesitation. It seems as if everyone has either the best stay of all their travels or the worst, nothing in the middle. The pictures online are a bit deceiving, as the room photos aren’t accurate with with rooms they actually are. Our overall recommendation for this place is to stay there if you can get in early enough to go through and choose which bungalow you want as each one differs tremendously.
Regardless of which bungalow you choose (Deluxe, Superior, New Wing) you’re not guaranteed to have the best view/room/stay. As not all in the deluxe category are better than the superior, and although the deluxe rooms are the front row of the bungalows, some of the superior rooms have better views. The bungalows with ocean views are absolutely stunning, but some have views of only the bungalow ahead of it. Not all bungalows are private, meaning in some cases, you have a joining wall with the people next to you. (This is great for people who have large parties, but not so great for people wanting some privacy.) And lastly, the bungalows are built up a hill. To get to the Superior New Wing you have to climb literally about 10 flights of stairs/pathways. They do run a shuttle, but it doesn’t seem very reliable.
With all that said, we had a great stay at the Bay View Resort. After dealing with the staff and finding a room that suited us well, the views from the bungalow and relaxing atmosphere of the resort grounds made for a great 3-night stay!
If you’re staying for a couple of nights, it’s worth the hassle of viewing the rooms first and choosing exactly which bungalow you want. Examine the different rooms, make sure the bathroom is clean and doesn’t smell sour, check to see the bungalow you want has a good view and doesn’t share a wall with another bungalow, and then tell the staff exactly which room you want. Check prices online first, and then show them the online price, ask if they will honor that price in person, or which room you need to book online to get the room you just viewed. We found booking through Agoda gave us the best prices. The staff are not the nicest to deal with, but if you’re planning on staying for multiple nights, it truly is worth going through this whole process and dealing with their unhappy faces!
Remember that regardless of where you stay or the price you pay for accommodation on Koh Phi Phi, it’s still Thailand. You can’t expect five-star resorts or spotless rooms, and keep in mind that for the most part staff at resorts on Koh Phi Phi aren’t very friendly. Whether you stay at one of these two resorts or elsewhere, be sure to go into it with an open mind, and remember you’re lucky to be in Thailand, even if your room isn’t the nicest!!
If you’ve stayed on Koh Phi Phi, please share your experience at either of these places or other resorts on the island below!