Haad Salad is a small laid back beach in the North West of Koh Phangan. It’s really popular with families and people seeking a quieter beach with an old school feel.
The beach is small (only 600 metres long) and secluded in a sheltered bay. It used to be a smugglers haven, hence the name: Haad Salad means ‘pirate bay’ in Thai. It has a few beach front bars and restaurants, such as My Way, Jang’s Kitchen and Salad Hut. There is also a very small village with a few shops, a live music venue (Reggae Bar & Village) and a smart Italian restaurant (Jay Jay Pizza). Other than this, there isn’t much in the way of night life and the noise this attracts. This is not the place where party goers tend to stay. There is much more going on in nearby Haad Yao.
What Haad Salad does have is a beautiful palm fringed beach. If you can make the swim out there is a coral reef about 80 metres from the shoreline which attracts snorkellers and divers. Haad Salad also has a really good range of accommodation. There are no fewer than 11 places to stay in Haad Salad and they range in price and style from the cheap and basic Smile Beach Resort to the boutique Salad Buri Resort. This is our pick of the best four.
Salad Beach Resort # 1 Best Resort
Facilities: Restaurant Bar Swimming Pool WiFi Satellite TV Room Service
Superior Main Building 1,300 to 2,400 THB
Superior Seaview Hotel Room 1,500 to 2,800 THB
Super Garden View Bungalow 1,800 -3,300 THB
Superior Pool View Bungalow 2,200 to 4,000 THB
Superior Beach Front Bungalow 2,800 to 4,400 THB
Haad Salad’s most popular resort. It ranks alongside Candle Hut in Thong Nai Pan as one of the island’s best family resorts.
When we visited in June 2018, Salad Beach Resort was packed with families whilst the rest of the resorts in Haad Salad were virtually empty. Hotel owners take note it takes real skill to fill your resort in low season. They have a good formula here. It’s on the beach front with a well set out pool and beach front dining area. Adjacent to this is a sizeable restaurant built into the side of giant granite rocks. They serve good seafood like lobster and barracuda. The grounds are immaculately kept with lush tropical gardens, ornamental sala and sizeable water features. The accommodation, hotel rooms and stand alone bungalows are good quality and good value for money. All rooms have air-con, satellite TV, fridge, safety box and balcony or terrace. Salad Beach Resort is comfortable although not 5* in facilities or price. It ticks all the boxes and they get lots of repeat custom as a consequence.
One thing to note is that everything shuts down at this resort around 9 pm. Great if you want to put the kids to bed. This said you can also buy some drinks and snacks at the onsite supermarket if you would like to stay up a bit later with friends or family in the comfort of your own room.
Cookies Salad Resort # 2 Best Resort
Facilities: Restaurant Bar Swimming Pool WiFi Satellite TV
Sea View Hotel 850 to 2200 THB
Sea View Wooden Hotel 1,000 to 2,400 THB
Garden View Cottage 1,300 to 2,600 THB
Sea View Cottage 1,500 to 2,800 THB
Sea View Family Cottage 1,850 to 3,200 THB
Beach Front Pool Side Cottage 2,000 to 3,800 THB
Panorama Cottage 2,000 to 3,700 THB
Wooden Panoramic Cottage 2,000 to 3,900 THB
Sea View Hotel Top View 1,200 to 2,500 THB
Sea View Family Hotel Room 1,350 to 2,700 THB
Beach View Wooden Cottage 1,800 to 3,800 THB
Beach Front Cottage 2,500 to 4,800 THB
This is a hammock on the balcony kind of place which offers very good value for money.
This is Haad Salad’s best value for money option. It’s cheap for what you get, which in our opinion is pretty good. Built fairly recently (2007), this is a well designed resort. The accommodation is Balinese or modern Thai with a heavy emphasis on natural materials like wood and coconut weave giving Cookies Salad Resort an ‘old school’ Thai beach resort feel, albeit with air-con, fridge, satellite TV and hot water. It is just the ticket for all you ‘flashpackers’. All rooms and bungalows (there are 12 different room types) also have balconies and terraces with hammocks; an absolute necessity for a real Thai beach holiday.
One thing we should mention is that Cookies Salad Resort is built on a steep hillside. There are lots of steps to climb to many of the rooms. This could be a real downside if you have mobility difficulties. The upside is the excellent views you have over the bay. If you are fit, want an authentic beach bungalow experience with all the home comforts, and you have a mid range budget, then Cookies in Haad Salad could well be the place for you.
Haadlad Prestige Resort # 3 Best Resort
Facilities: Restaurant Bar Swimming Pool WiFi Satellite TV Room Service
Superior 1,300 to 4,100 THB
Deluxe 1,700 to 4,400 THB
Villa Superior 4,500 to 7,000 THB
Villa Deluxe Beach Front 5,400 to 8,000 THB
Penthouse 6,000 to 10,000 THB
Pool Villa Beach Front 7,000 to 11,000 THB
Good quality low key resort with large well appointed rooms.
Haadlad Prestige Resort is a step-up in comfort, and price, from Salad Beach Resort or Cookies. It doesn’t quite have as much character, but it is well run and very comfortable. The standard of service can be a real issue at Koh Phangan hotels. By comparison, this hotel is well kept and the staff are polite, efficient and helpful.
Haadlad Prestige Resort has some pretty good facilities. There are two restaurants, a large beach side swimming pool and spa, and they offer very popular cooking courses by the entertaining Chef Tummy. The real selling point of the hotel though is the accommodation. The rooms are large. The smallest is a respectable 34 sqm going up to a huge 146 sqm for the Beach Front Pool Villa – bear in mind that the average 2 bedroom flat in London is a mere 80 sqm. The Penthouse rooms (90 sqm) have two bedrooms making the resort one of the most comfortable accommodation options for families on the island. The villas have a real luxurious feel in terms of decoration and facilities: satellite TV, CD/DVD player, tea/coffee maker, safety box and hydro spa tub.
Book early as they get busy in high season.
Salad Buri Resort # 4 Best Resort
Facilities: Restaurant Bar Swimming Pool WiFi Satellite TV Spa Room Service
Standard Room 2,100 to 4,200 THB
Grand Deluxe Room 2,750 to 5,500 THB
Premier Room 2,940 to 6,300 THB
Family 2 Bedrooms 5,250 to 9,000 THB
Private Pool Villa 4,500 to 7,500 THB
Lagoon Pool Villa 2 Bedrooms 8,500 to 18,375 THB
The best designed and furnished resort in Haad Salad with lots of potential to become one of the island’s top resorts. Sadly let down by poor organisation and service issues.
Salad Buri Resort is very well designed and built. They got a professional, and highly skilled, designer in to oversee the construction in 2009. Bearing this in mind, it’s a shame they didn’t think to also hire an equally skilled hotel management company to run the resort. On the bright side, the owners have huge potential for improvement and we wouldn’t write this one off: hence its inclusion in our top 4 Best Haad Salad Resorts.
The resort is undoubtedly beautiful. There is a three level beach front swimming pool and the Paradise Restaurant is stunning both in terms of construction and sea views. The rooms are all good save for the Standard Room which is tiny: the main bedroom is a mere 15 sqm and not worth booking. The facilities are better than those in the neighbouring resort, with all the normal features you would expect from a 3* resort (air-con, satellite TV, fridge) and a few extra such as robe & slippers and large flat screen TVs. It’s not as good as Buri Rasa in Thong Nai Pan for instance, but it’s edging on the 4* star category. The two bedroom options are perhaps edging on the 5* category.
Bearing this in mind, it’s a shame the experience is ruined by the staff. When you pay these kinds of prices your expectations are high and you expect polite and efficient service. They can’t manage it here unfortunately. There are lots of reports of visitors receiving indifferent or downright rude treatment from the reception staff and even the management and our experience pretty much mirrors those concerns. Sorry to be so blunt, but what’s the value of a review if it doesn’t tell you the bad points and well as the good ones?
2021 UPDATE: For the sake of fairness, as of today Salad Buri Resort is ranked 45 out of 104 hotels in Koh Phangan according to Tripadvisor. The resort has had 138 ‘excellent’ reviews and 75 ‘terrible’ reviews.