Parama Koh Chang
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes daily breakfast and two spa treatments per person, per stay (until March 31, 2014)
- Nearby private island with its own white sand beach
- Three outdoor ponds filled with more than 3,000 tropical fish
- Free activities include meditation and tai chi classes
- Wellness and rejuvenation are the focus here
What To Know
- A 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- The land journey from Bangkok takes five hours; it's best to fly to Trat and take the ferry to Koh Chang
- It's a 30-minute drive from the ferry terminal; private speedboat transfers are available
- This is a rural area; there are no facilities or restaurants within walking distance
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Once a private residence, the Parama Koh Chang Resort has the feel of a hunting lodge high in the mountains. It’s astonishing that the property is actually at sea level, on a jade-green slice of the Gulf of Thailand. Inside the main building, rich finished woods and polished natural timbers feature in the two-story structure, which is anchored by massive teak slabs fashioned into gorgeous dining tables overlooking the ocean. The emphasis here is on wellness, and a soothing aquatic soundtrack permeates the resort, from the water that tumbles into the curved swimming pool surrounding the open-sided restaurant on three sides, to the trickling waterfalls in the spa treatment rooms.
Bed and Bath
Dark chocolate teak floors and sleek wooden furniture are complemented by a blend of traditional and modern Thai artworks. Antique ceiling fans and individually controlled air conditioners keep things cool, while a variety of relaxing scents dispensed from diffusers create a relaxing vibe. Beds come with an extra-comfy layer of goosedown, and guests can choose from a variety of pillow scents to enhance sleep. There are also blackout curtains to keep out the tropical sun. Deluxe Rooms and Suites have large Jacuzzis, and all rooms are stocked with upscale products from Thai brand Harnn. Spacious terra-cotta-tile decks overlook the ocean or the resort’s largest pond, which boasts turtles, sharks (harmless ones) and other kinds of marine life.
The restaurant focuses on meals made with locally produced ingredients; there are no printed menus, as the dishes change frequently depending on the season. Excursions to the market with the resident chef can be arranged. Hammocks strung between palm trees dot the resort, and the sandy area by the swimming pool feels like a private beach. The compact spa is home to a Vichy shower, saunas and indulgent treatment rooms, and the daily activities (which can be offered as private sessions) include yoga, tai chi and meditation classes. Escape to the resort’s private island, a five-minute boat ride away, to soak up the rays on a white sand beach. Water sports including snorkeling and sea kayaking are also available, or rent a speedboat from Parama’s fleet for a sunset cruise around the islands, sipping champagne along the way.
In the Area
Learn to be a mahout (an elephant wrangler) for a day at Bangchangthai (chang means elephant in Thai). Join a private boat tour to explore villages across the bay where you can feast on fresh seafood. Visit Klong Plu Waterfalls on the island’s southwestern side, reached by a quarter-mile hike. Or rent a car to take you to Lonely Beach on Koh Chang’s western edge, where palms line the white sand.
How to Get There
Before booking Parama, we were already aware of its secluded location and had already planned to spend our time just chilling and enjoying slow breakfasts, watching aquatic life swim around the restaurant, the beautiful view from our room, the private island, gym and sauna facilities to recharge ourselves. What we did not anticipate was having the run of the whole resort to ourselves as we were the only guests on site, allowing us full enjoyment of these luxuries- this isolation mostly made up for the negatives.
The resort has the infrastructure of a 5star resort but is worn and in desperate need of maintenance- our safety box worked intermittently, the tap was broken and one bedside lamp didn’t switch on. There is an annoying high pitch trill from the powerlines. The private island has one beautiful sandy cove, yet abundant litter washed ashore everywhere else. However the staff really do try their hardest and it is quite obvious that they are keen to please and attract returning customers. We got around communication by downloading the “Line” app (like Whatsapp) and could directly message the manager who has adequate English. We ate offsite at Cafe 62 and Happy Cafe so can’t really comment on the restaurant, but did enjoy their Thai breakfast options over their western ones.
Return trip from Parama to our next hotel on Klong Prao Beach was quoted THB 1500 by Parama, but we managed to engage a private driver for THB 1300 instead.
Venus flytrap is the first thing that came to my mind. After driving a hour to get our to this very remote location. I made the reservations 30 minutes before arriving without looking very closely at the reviews. First time to Koh Chang. 5000 plus hotels in my life and I have never seen a bait and switch like this place. They are desperate and lack honesty. Their photos and reality and two different things. Poor staff, the location is 1 hour from ANYTHING . You are held captive here. I like quiet I like peace, but this joint is creepy far from anything except millions of mosquitoes. Hotel is old, not well taken care of. No security, poor wifi, bad food. Whatever the staff tells you is the exact opposite of truth. Bad hard bed, paper thin walls, dark cave rooms. Musty smelly, bad water pressure, budget soap amd shampoo, no phones in the rooms, you have to use your cell phone to call the front desk. Hot with poor A/C and ventilation. Crappy tv with no English channels. Staff hammers to sell you tours constantly. Dirty rooms and poorly maintained grounds.
We left the first second we had a chance. They said they would give us a refund, all the had to go is call Hotels.com. We did and then they fought hotels.com and kept our money. These people are desperate and pathetic. Don't ruin your vacation at this hotel.
You have been warned!!
We chose to stay here in full knowledge of its location far from any action, but we haf hired a car and so not a problem.
The hotel is set in beautifully managed grounds and had wondrous sea views. Apart from the annoying MTV music that accompanies dinner, Parama is delightfully peaceful and naturalistic.
We stayed in a budget room (about 300metres from the main compound) and found it to be very good value and comfortable (excepting the ubiquitous hard mattress and lumpy pillow).
Staff were gracious and food good.
This is no standard hotel and, for the best reasons, was very memorable and I will return in the next year or two.