Coconut Beach Bungalows

BOOK COCONUT BEACH BUNGALOWS

There is a little confusion as to the location of Coconut Beach Bungalows. It is often designated as belonging to Bottle Beach. It is actually on a smaller beach on the other side of the head land to the west. It could be considered as part of Haad Khom or Chaloklum accommodation. However for the sake of inclusivity, I have included it in this website.

Coconut Beach Bungalows has a very small section of beach frontage so it is easy to miss. This is the most tucked away of the Bottle Beach Bungalows; it offers guests the chance to stay in traditional bungalows in the jungle or on the beach. The resort has a restaurant and reception area. The resort runs off solar power, except for the internet connection. The restaurant serves organic, locally sourced food. The management discourages ‘groups of guys and gals’ looking to party.

Accommodation Options

Fan Bungalow – from 300 Thai Baht

There are a string of delightful wooden bungalows on stilts dotted around in the jungle behind Bottle Beach. These bungalows are nicely spaced apart and in a very quiet location. Some of the bungalows are located up a hill.

The bungalows are well made. Inside there is a double bed with mosquito net. There is also a fan and light. Each bungalow also has a separate room with toilet and shower. A lot of love has been put into the decor of the bungalows. Woven baskets on shelves provide space for belongings. There are outdoor areas with reed mating and cushions. These are luxury but basic bungalows.

Electricity comes from solar panels. It is sometimes turned off during the day.

The bungalows only have cold water showers. This is not usually a problem since the water warms up in the tank and by mid-day is pleasantly warm.

Beach Bungalow – from 550 Thai Baht

The Beach Bungalows are traditional bungalows next to the beach. They feature small balcony, double bed, mosquito net, fan and light. They also have en-suite bathrooms with toilet and cold water shower. As with the fan bungalows the bungalows have been lovingly designed for guest comfort. The furnishings have a colour code. The woven baskets, the outdoor areas, the attention to detail is remarkable.

There are only a few beach bungalows available at Coconut Beach Bungalows so it is advisable to book in advance if you have your heart set on a beach location.

Reviews

Trip Advisor has eventually noticed this resort. All the reviews are positive barring one.  They main selling point of the beach is its peaceful, remote and idyllic location. On Booking.com, Coconut Beach Bungalows scores an aggregate score of 8.6 out of 10 at the time of writing (February 2021). This resort is mentioned by the Guardian (back then it was called ‘Friendly Bungalows’). The Guardian reviewer wrote:

The staff are lovely and will make you feel like part of the family immediately. The huts are also great – they back right on to the jungle and are so peaceful. Each one is different and they keep them immaculately clean.

Coconut Beach Bungalows is very much a boutique style Koh Phangan business – the focus is on being kind to the environment and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Location

Botte Beach 2 Resort

BOOK BOTTLE BEACH 2 RESORT

Bottle Beach 2 Resort is located at the east end of the beach. It has a collection of bungalows on the beach as well as others set back from the beach. It is a popular option with backpackers as it is has cheap and traditional accommodation. The resort also has a restaurant. Bottle Beach 2 has a minimal internet presence and is geared towards people who like to turn up at a beach and find a bungalow rather than book online.

The resort is owned by the same family as Bottle Beach 1. It has 31 bungalows available to rent. Prices for bungalows start at as little as 450 Thai Baht. If you plan to stay a week or longer you have room for negotiation over the rental price. Since Bottle Beach is remote and without shops guests tend to spend most of their money in one place. Indeed Bottle Beach resorts make more money by supplying food, drink and other sundries than they do on accommodation.

Accommodation

All the bungalows at Bottle Beach 2 are fairly basic, typical of the old school Koh Phangan style. They are on stilts with wooden walls and corrugated metal roofs.

Beachfront Bungalow

beachfront bungalows

There are 18 beachfront bungalows. Each has a fan, double bed, light and power point. They have tiled bathrooms with sit down toilet and cold water shower. The bungalows all have small balconies that look on to the sand. The balconies have plastic outdoor chairs to sit on. Lots of people sling up a hammock to get really comfy.

These bungalows are very close to the water. There is a small wall used as protection against the high tides of the monsoon. Being at the end of the beach there is very little passing traffic so you feel like you have your own little patch of beach to yourself.

For those who just like to chill on the beach. These bungalows are ideal. Prices for beachfront bungalows at Bottle Beach 2 start at 500 Thai Baht for the low season and go up to 700 Thai Baht for the high season.

Family Bungalow

There are 4 family bungalows near the centre of the beach. They are set back a little from the beach, but are still close enough to get to the water in just a few seconds.

The family bungalows are the same design as the other bungalows but just slightly bigger. They contain 2 double beds and so are suitable for a couple with a child. The bungalows have a fan, light and en-suite shower and toilet. Again the shower is cold water.

The price for a family bungalow at Bottle Beach 2 starts at 750 Thai Baht and rises to 1,100 Thai Baht.

Sea View Bungalow

There are 8 sea view bungalows. They are on slightly elevated land behind the row of beachfront bungalows. These bungalows are traditional style with double bed, fan, light and attached toilet and cold water shower. These bungalows cost between 450 and 600 Thai Baht. They are slightly cheaper because they are further from the beach. For those on a budget they are good value for money.

Viewpoint Bungalow

Bottle Beach 2 has one ‘viewpoint’ bungalow that is up a small hill. The views from the bungalow are great and for some the privacy is welcome. This bungalow has 2 bedrooms. Each bedroom has a fan and light. There is one attached toilet and shower with cold water. Again the bungalow is built in traditional style with mostly local materials.

The cost to rent the viewpoint bungalow is 600 Thai Baht low season and 800 Thai Baht high season.

Standard Bungalow

There are a few standard bungalows to the right of the reception and restaurant. These are the oldest bungalows. They are made of local materials with metal roofs. They have a fan, light and double bed. They don’t have a bathroom. People using the standard bungalows have to use shared bathroom facilities nearby. People are generally discouraged from staying in these cheapies, and it looks like they are in the process of being knocked down or up graded to bungalows with attached toilets.

Facilities

restaurant at Bottle Beach 2 Resort

To the right of the beachfront bungalows at Bottle Beach 2 Resort is the main reception and restaurant building. It is a covered building with open sides. It is a pleasant building with great views over the sands and ocean.

There is a counter for guests to check in and check out. At the counter they sell cigarettes, drinks and snacks. The restaurant has table service. The menu has a selection of dishes on offer at reasonable prices. The dishes range from Thai classics such as phad Thai, green curry and red curry to Western standards such as burgers, fries and spaghetti.

The menu also includes a variety of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. You can get smoothies, fruit juice, coke cola as well as Thai beer, Thai spirits and other Western spirits.

There is a TV with DVD player for guests to enjoy movies. In line with the ethos of Bottle Beach the restaurant and communal area is a place to relax, eat and drink; not really a place to party hard into the night.

The resort has a laundry service, a left luggage room and a safety deposit box. They also run a morning taxi service that goes via Thong Nai Pan to Thongsala. They can also arrange boat taxis.

Bottle Beach 2 is closed from 1st November to 15th December for the monsoon.

Location

A Brief History of Bottle Beach

Bottle Beach

Bottle Beach, like the other beaches on Koh Phangan, doesn’t really have any written history. Prior to the internet, information about Koh Phangan was severely limited. Even today the older generations on the island are reluctant to commit their memories to digital posterity. Even something as fundamental as when and where the first Full Moon Party was held in Haad Rin is very much open to debate.

Up to the late 1970s the infrastructure on Koh Phangan was basic. The power grid was old and patchy as were the roads. Locals had a long and gruelling walk to get over the hills and into Thong Nai Pan from Baan Tai. Chaloklum was easier to reach thanks a flat road and the importance of the squid industry to the local economy.

The addition of extra piers that could handle bigger boats in the 1980s was a major boost to the island. It increased ferry traffic and helped to promote tourism.

The only mention of the history of Bottle Beach is that it was settled 200 years ago by Chinese fishermen. This is plausible since there is a Chinese community scattered over the island, notably In Thongsala, Baan Tai and Chaloklum. The Chinese influence can be seen in the wooden fisherman’s houses still standing in Thongsala and Chaloklum.

In the 1980s Koh Samui became a popular backpacker destination. This opened up the islands for large scale tourism. Koh Phangan being just 30 minutes away by boat benefited from Koh Samui’s growing prominence as a tourist destination.

A trickle of hippies disillusioned with the growing commercialisation of Koh Samui made the move over to Koh Phangan as island of preference. While most gravitated towards Haad Rin, a few looked for more secluded, beautiful and cheaper beaches to stay.

Word got out that Bottle Beach, only accessible by boat or jungle trek,  was the perfect hippy hideaway. In the 1980s Bottle Beach witnessed their first ‘farang’ tourists. The locals built a few simple bungalows to meet the new demand for accommodation on Bottle Beach.

It is written that in the early days of Bottle Beach tourism there was no electricity, no shops, no road and no phone coverage. Ice the only luxury was bought in by foot every night in order to sell cold drinks to the hand full of tourists that were staying at any one time on Bottle Beach.

As with Thong Nai Pan, Bottle Beach was the reserve of the ‘in’ crowd of hardened Asia travellers spreading the lore of great and ‘unspoilt’ locations. This lasted until the late 1990s.

As the internet grew along with the fame of the Full Moon Party, Bottle Beach lost something of its hippy character. It became more mainstream; no longer was it the reserve of the hirsute few. It was part of the clichéd backpacker route of South East Asia. Bottle Beach devotees started sharing their beach with families and those on short stay trips.

Places move with the times. The crucial date was 2004 when a road was established between Bottle Beach and Thong Nai Pan Noi. For many it was a symbolic gesture that shattered the perfection of Bottle Beach. At that point Bottle Beach no longer felt ‘free’. The police could turn up, hotels could appear and prices would go up with better access.

These predictions have mostly come true. Prices have gone over. Bottle Beach 1 has been joined by 3 other resorts. A swimming pool has been built (pure sacrilege). The police probably make it to Bottle Beach no more than once a year, but victimless crimes are committed with far greater discretion.

The descendants of the Chinese fishermen that colonised Bottle Beach 200 years ago still own Bottle Beach. Their new-found comparative wealth has not blinded them to their responsibility to maintain the beauty of Bottle Beach – they modernise and improve. There are no plans for more resorts. So far outside developers seeking to re-brand Bottle Beach as a luxury enclave (like Thong Nai Pan Noi) have been resisted.

The good thing is that ice is much easier to come by in Bottle Beach.

Bottle Beach 1

BOOK BOTTLE BEACH 1

Bottle Beach 1 is the original resort on Bottle Beach and still a great favourite with both new visitors and returning friends to Bottle Beach. The resort offers a good range of accommodation that includes bungalows and dormitory beds as well as a popular restaurant communal swimming pool and bar. It is located at the northern end of the beach.

Bottle Beach 1

Accommodation Options

Standard Bungalow with Fan

Standard bungalow is set back from the beach in a pleasant garden environment. The bungalows are made in the traditional Koh Phangan style with wooden floors and walls and a corrugated roof. They all have a small balcony where you can hang a hammock.

The bungalows have 20 square meters of living space. The bungalows have a double bed, en-suite toilet and shower (cold water) and safety deposit box.

Standard Bungalow Beachfront with Fan

This is a standard wooden bungalow with corrugated roof built in the traditional Koh Phangan. Same as the standard bungalow it has 20 square meters of living space. The big plus is that it is beachfront with uninterrupted views of the ocean.

These bungalows have a double bed, a fan, balcony and an en-suite shower and toilet. The shower is cold water. This is not a big deal for most people as the water warms up during the day; and in fact the weather is so hot in Thailand that a cool shower is actually refreshing.

Bottle Beach 1

Deluxe Bungalow A/C

The next step in terms of luxury is the Deluxe Bungalow A/C. It is a bigger bungalow, better made with 25 square meters of interior space. The bungalow has air-con that soon makes the place cool.

The bungalow has a tiled bathroom with shower and toilet. The room has a TV with a few English channels as well as DVD player. There is also a safety deposit in the room to store valuables and money.

The Deluxe Bungalows are in a pleasant garden setting, a short walk from the beach.

Double Deluxe Bungalow A/C

These are pretty bungalow with pebbles and plaster on the outer and inner walls. The interior design includes curves. They are cool bungalows with 30 square meters of space. The rooms have 2 double beds as well as air-con, TV, DVD player and safety deposit box.

They also have an en-suite bathroom that includes bathtub, shower and toilet. Hot water is available.

Double Deluxe Bungalows are comfortable accommodations ideal for families or groups. They are set in a garden setting near the beach.

Double Beachfront Bungalow A/C

These bungalows are modern in appearance with large windows and painted white. They have a large balcony from which guests can enjoy the beach and sea views.

Double Beachfront Bungalows have 2 double beds, air-con, TV, DVD player and safety deposit box. These bungalows have a generous 30 square meters of living space.

Grand Deluxe Triple Bungalow A/C

These are comfortable bungalows with double roof designs. The bungalows boast 35 square meters of internal space, as well as private balcony.

The main room has a line of 3 double beds, ideal for families and groups of friends. The room also contains TV, DVD player and safety deposit box. The TV has cable channels with a few English language channels.

The en-suite bathroom has an attractive corner bath as well as a shower and toilet. Guests have both hot water and cold water.

The Grand Deluxe Triple Bungalows are set in a garden environment near the beach.

Mixed Dorm

For budget conscious travellers there is a dorm. This has a collection of bunk beds for guests. The dorm has air-con as well as lockers to store valuables.

Guests are provided with sheets and towels. The dorm is mixed and fairly small by Koh Phangan standards. This means you don’t feel like you are sleeping in a train station.

The dorm has a pink theme.

Facilities and Service

Bottle Beach 1 Resort has an attractive beachfront restaurant and bar. It is a popular restaurant that serves delicious Thai food and the usual collection of Western dishes such as burgers, sandwiches and fries.

One of the big draws for people choosing Bottle Beach 1 is the communal swimming pool. The pool has an attractive triple circle shape. The pool is in a scenic jungle setting near the beach and has sun loungers for those who like to sip cold drinks, soak up the sun and col off in the pool.

It is a good meeting place and shady. Bottle Beach 1 restaurant is a good place to get out of the sun and refresh with a cold beer, fruit juice or shake.

There is a separate bar with bar stools for those who like to be sociable.

Other facilities include resort-wide wifi connectivity, a tour desk to book tickets, a taxi service, a laundry service and a left luggage facility.

The staff at Bottle Beach 1 are friendly and polite and more than happy to deal with guest requests and questions. The reception staff speak good English and welcoming. Bottle Beach 1 is the original Bottle Beach Resort and still the best.

Bottle Beach 1

Reviews

Bottle Beach 1 has plenty of good reviews on Trip Advisor, much more so than bad reviews. People mention the great location and beautiful beach. They also mention the delicious food at the restaurant and the great pool.

Negative comments mention that not all items for sale have displayed prices. This is Bottle Beach; there aren’t any shops and so guests buy cigarettes etc. at the reception.

Some people mention the noise of day trippers (hardly the fault of Bottle Beach 1). Others feel that the isolated setting and the lack of competition have made the owners less driven to improve customer service.

Location

BOOK BOTTLE BEACH 1