We are starting our third week in Thailand and overall the experience is great! We love the beaches, the people and the opportunity to get away from the winter.
I just wanted to comment on two polar experiences that I had in Koh Phangan with accomodation.
I am comparing Baan Panburi Village resort in Thong Nai Pan Noi and Green papaya resort in Had Salad.
The latter was a disaster. I am writing this review from the Green Papaya resort right now, because I am fuming with disappointment at the huge gap between the price and the value offered. We have paid top dollars for this place and received very bad, incomparable gratification for our money. 200 dollars per night bought us irritation, stinky bungalow, forgetful room service, and the worst of all - sea-doo rental right on the hotel's beach, riding back and forth over the heads of swimmers. When we advised multiple times the owner, the staff, the manager about the dangers of allowing sea-doo riding (some of the riders smoking dope before getting on the sea-doo) among beach swimmers (which included little children doing snorkeling) the hotel owners didn't do anything to fix the problem. As we realized later, the old thai guy working here simply arranged it with the sea-doo guys to run their business on the hotel's beach and the owner is just too scared/ignorant/reckelss of the local thai people to do anyhting about it. Anyways, if there were no sea-doo issue (from 10 AM to 4 PM) the beach IS beautiful and snorkeling IS fun. However, there still remains negligence and reckelssness from the owners (french family) that you cannot expect after paying 4 times more than on any other neighbouring resort. Our mistake - we didn't read comments before booking with Green Papaya...
On the other hand for the price 6 times less!!! in Baan Panburi Village you get caring, lovely staff (also the owners I assume, but thai, local people), almost the same bungalow, which was renovated and redecorated during our stay without any disturbance to us. We had a little accident with exploded pipes, which was resolved very quickly - you could see that the owners are really doing their best to keep the customers happy. The only problem in Thong Nai Pan was high waves because of the season we were in - however, we were told that it lasts only two months - December, January. Overall, in Thong Noi Pan there are lots of choices for cheap restaurants, massage, hotels, basic shops. If you have any back problems I recommend "Friendly Massage" place (in TNP Noi, near Baan Panburi Village resort) - the lady there has massage therapist certificates and she does wonders with all that office-worker-problematic backs.
Anyways, you have to have some negative experiences o understand how good things really are good.