The location of Blue Haven Bay is superb, just 5 minutes from the mainland ferry. Just cross one hill and the entrance is on the right so your holiday can start immediately.
The Blue Haven Bay resort complex occupies a large piece of land and almost an entire bay, making it one of the best places to spend a vacation on Koh Chang. Klong Son Bay is a picture-postcard tropical beach with the white sands of Chang Noi Beach lined by palm trees. The water is calm, clear and shallow making it very safe for families. There is the kilometre long natural beach and the artistically made, artificial rocks on the northern end. All allow easy access into the clear waters of the bay. Uniquely the property also has access to a smaller beach overlooking the Koh Chang Strait.
As you are located on the northern end of the island, it is the quieter and less commercialised part. A challenging climb over a mountain pass leads to White Sand Beach and the rest of the island whilst a relaxing drive along the north of the island will take you down the eastern coast to the ecological areas of the Mangrove Forests.
2. The Resort
The total resort area is vast, so it can be slightly confusing when you first arrive as this multi-functional resort offers a range of accommodation possibilities with 3 resorts and private villas. There is a slight feeling of ‘development in progress’ but in a most positive way as the current buildings allow a great deal of space. There are many plots for sale, so if you are looking for a lovely home for own use or rental in a premier resort, this could be for you.
The Marina Sands resort is located by the small marina on the Klong Song River. Just 4 stories high, the rooms are very large(ideal for families) and comfortably equipped with good sized balconies. There is a pool deck in this part of the complex but, at the time of our visit, the restaurant and bar were not operating. An on-demand shuttle will take you to the reception or the main resort area.
3. Relaxed comfort rather than suffocating luxury
Don’t take this as a criticism, rather as a complement. Many resorts have over excelled in their levels of luxury excessively pampering guests at every corner. One of the greatest features of the Siam Royal Bay is its level of relaxed comfort. You can be who you want to be and as there is no formal restaurant the dress code is extremely relaxed and truly, beach mode. Guests spread out through the resort, some in their villas, some in front of their rooms at the Peninsula Resort, others in the Beach Club infinity pool and others in the nooks and crannies scattered around the resort. It never feels busy or crowded.
It is the choice of locations and facilities dotted around the vast grounds that make the Blue Haven Bay quite unique. There are 2 main swimming pools, the extensive beach, kayaking, spa, pitch & putt golf, disc golf, jungle gym and even just exploring this vast space. Breakfast and easy dining is to be found in the Beach Bistro with the waves lapping at your feet. Additionally, there are two other dining options, the Laguna Beach house which we tried and the Café De Soleil which we only discovered after our departure.
5. Lack of distractions
When people vacation in a new place there is an urge to see everything which often results in an exasperating race against time. Initially it may appear that the facilities are lacking but once in island mode, you will find that everything you need is actually here. You can take long sunrise or sunset strolls along the beach, swim in the pools, try the pitch and putt course, outdoor cinema and so much more. Excursions are available as is motorbike or car rental if you want to venture out. Out of season, which is most of the year(!) the island is not busy and if you are looking for some nightlife the overrated offer of White Sands Bay with its commercial beach side restaurants or mostly deserted bars will soon have you scuttling back to the quiet sanctuary of the resort!
6. Limited sightseeing
Again not a criticism rather a great advantage in not having to make decisions. If you are only going to make 2 excursions, I highly recommend a leisurely drive down the east side of the island to the enchanting Salat Khok boat tour through the mangrove forests. A small village sustainable project the boats are similar to punts relying only on man-power to preserve the serenity of this ecological area. Lunch on fresh fish at the restaurant and enjoy the un-spoilt scenery of the less commercialised side of the island.
Another lovely excursion is to the Klong Son Elephant Camp. A very basic camp with many very relaxed and happy looking elephants and their mahouts. Whilst some may not agree with this animal usage, it is a way of providing a life for these magnificent beasts whose work in the jungle has largely been replaced by machinery. We were assured that a 100 kg Farang is merely a speck of dust to these powerful animals and whilst the ‘jungle’ walk is not over-inspiring, one can wonder at the dexterity of these elephants as they pick their way daintily through rocks and trees. You will also be rewarded with some lovely photos and the fact that your ‘donation’ provides food.
As mentioned, it takes at least 24 hours to start to acclimatise to Beach Time. Breakfast is very relaxed with the doors of the Beach Bistro wide open to avail you of the sea breeze. Alternatively, you can sit outside at the edge of the water and see the fish hoping for some crumbs to come their way. The bar at the Infinity Pool is another popular spot for cold drinks or refreshing cocktails. We did not try the Café De Soleil or Little Sunshine Resort but did treat ourselves of the very quiet Shambhala Beach Bar and Restaurant. Whilst not connected to the main resort, as long as you take a drink or order some food you are invited to use their pool and relaxed garden. Another relaxed and very informal atmosphere with great ambience both in the day and evening.
The main resort offers 3 main types of accommodation; the comfortable and quiet Marina Sands Resort with their oversized and comfortable rooms. The Peninsula Beach Resort offers generously sized suites with beach side gardens or the impressive Siam Royal Collection villas for the vacation of your dreams. We stayed in the Marina Sands Resort; the room was vast and comfortable with fully equipped bathroom and large balcony. At the time of our stay occupancy was at about 50% but the style of the resort provides privacy and minimal contact. It also has the great advantage to being extremely quiet with no traffic, just the sound of the local wildlife in the Mangrove Forrest opposite.
9. Peace and Quiet
As the resort is by not fully completed with many building plots available and selective accommodation, the resort hardly feels busy and retains its relaxed informality. High Season in Koh Chang is from October to February. The island does become busier at weekends and especially over Thai holidays. At the rest of the time Peace and Quiet prevails especially at the Siam Royal Bay with no discos or loud music to spoil the ambience. Some nightlife is available over the hill but again generally just a relaxed tropical atmosphere. If you are looking for peace and quiet for an island getaway, then I can highly recommend the Siam Royal Bay but if you are looking for luxury and nightlife another island may suit your requirements better!
The entire resort area is well kept, free of litter and the beaches clean. Whilst you are free to drive around the resort there is little traffic with most guests preferring the shuttles. Whilst not promoted the resort does appear to be following a Sustainability approach to environmental issues.
There are no annoying Jet skis for machos to display their skills at the annoyance of all that are enjoying natural peace and quiet. Super-fast/loud speed boats are also absent from this delightful bay so you can swim or kayak as far as you wish without the worry of a humongous boat bearing down at you at excessive speed. The sea remains tranquil and if you crave the smell of kerosene infused water you will not find it here. It appears that environmental and sustainability issues are being takes care of seriously. Just one more reason to love the Blue Haven Bay at Siam Royal View!
Kim Waddoup enjoyed a lifetime in the tourism business and is an active ‘Silver-Ager” living in Thailand. He writes for his age group with high varied articles covering subjects relevant to retirees living in, or visiting Thailand. Any questions or comments on this post? Please do feel free to contact me through our ‘Contact Form’ or directly [email protected]