Bottle beach is beautiful and just the right combination of isolated and yet convenient.
Beautiful white sands, palm trees, clear water that is perfect for swimming. It's only accessible by boat or dirt track (though I think a road is planned) which means that it's just hard enough to get to to put off the crowds who would flock here otherwise.
There are several bungalows/cafe/bar places right on the beach and even a resort now with a pool. This means you can have a choice of places to eat and chill out (although the menus are all pretty similar). However, to sleep, you should choose the bungalowss which are at the far right of the beach as you stand with the sea behind you. I think these were called 'Friendly bungaloew' or something like that. The staff are lovely and will make you feel like part of the family immediately. They have a number of long-term residents who are always on the look out for new people to play chess/backgammon/cards with. The internet is decent (intermittently when there is electricity), they do a book-swap, you can hire snorkels, and they will arrange taxis/boats and dispense travel advice quite happily. The huts themselves are also lovely - they back right onto the jungle and are so peaceful. Each one is different and they keep them immaculately clean.
We stayed for five days but I didn't want to leave and we had already met so many people on the beach that we felt like a little village.
Its very family-friendly if that is important to you although families were in the minority and most of the people here were chilling out as part of a longer backpacking trip or working holiday.
Bottle Beach (Haad Khuat), Koh Phangan
It’s got to be Bottle Beach on Koh Phangan in Thailand. It's got all the qualities – isolated (access to the beach is only possible by boat), superb beaches, good food, jungle to explore, very hospitable hosts, great swimming and snorkelling opportunities. Enough said.
With a prime location on one of the best beaches in Koh Phangan, the Rasananda is pure class. The rooms all have private gardens with outside showers, the food is amazing and there's a nice spa. Intimate enough for a honeymoon, but it's not cut off from the rest of the island. You can wander next door or up the road to find cool bars and cheap eats. Getting there is a bit of a nightmare if you have to take the minibus across the island's interior, but the hotel has its own speedboat which can do transfers from Samui. Classy way to arrive!
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com