Review of Star Huts on Thong Nai Pan Noi - Now re-opened as restaurant only next to Tanaporn Massage House
Star Huts is one of the longest running bungalow operations in Thong Nai Pan Noi. It's remained very much the same. Rumours of the Star Huts being 'bought out' or 'taken over' by the neighbouring Baan Panburi were fuelled in 2007 when Panburi took over a piece of beachfront formally used by Star Huts. Panburi used the newly acquired land to build a small plunge pool and decking. However, now it's 2009 and the Star Huts is still ticking along nicely with Pam and Sit at the healm. It seems that Panburi are no longer the big 'movers' on the beach. That accolade now goes to the ultra posh Ra Sa Nan Da.
Star Huts has some good value accommodation. All the bungalows are near the beach. The beachfront bungalows have air-con, glass windows and bathrooms. The best 2 bungalows have got a balcony on 2 sides.
As for the restaurant, although they have put in a new water/statue/flowers feature, another concrete path and bamboo fencing to separate the bungalows area from the restaurant, it's still very much the old Star Huts. Half the time you have to get your own menu or go up to the counter to pay. The 2 THB a minute computers still sluggishly surf the net. The staff are mostly Burmese and some have only started learning restaurant English; and the menu, although changed, is still voluminous with poor pictures. That's what I've come to love about the Star Huts. They've never managed to make superficial upgrades and go 'boutique' and charge more. They've firmly stuck to their original market position of 'cheaper' places on the beach.
Inevitably all the 100 THB shacks have gone, but the menu still contains a few bargains - American Fried Rice (80 THB), Scrambled Eggs Toast (55 THB), Phad Thai (70 THB). Plus they have a better happy hour than Panburi - from 5pm to 7pm (Panburi 5pm to 6.30pm) and the cocktails are 10 baht cheaper (90 THB at Star Huts and 100 THB at Panburi).
My wife really likes the Star Huts Mango Shake (55 THB) and Pineapple Shake (50 THB). The vegetarian recommendation is the Fried Tofu Vegetable (70 THB). I also found my happy hour Mojito more than passable. And of course the location, right on the beach as the sun is setting is just about perfect.
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