W Koh Samui Experience?

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by drdubs, Apr 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. drdubs
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    drdubs Silver Member

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    Has anyone stayed at the W Koh Samui Resort yet? I see some mixed reviews on Trip Advisor, but would be interested to hear from others on this board with personal experience.

    SPG raised the redemption rate for stays with points quite significantly this year, which leads me to believe demand is high. I'm not confident whether this demand is all based on expectations or reports stellar experiences at the hotel.
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Presumably it's based on expected revenue over the coming year. That's how categories are assigned.

    Screwy thing is that those revenues are driven by the fact that it's an all suite property. But since it's an all suite property they then also charge double the points, penalizing members twice. :(
     
  3. heakja

    heakja Silver Member

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    Had a short stay at this hotel a few weeks ago with my partner. A brief report:

    Check-in went smooth, and we were greeted by both the GM and the reservation manager. Had emailend them about an early check-in (1pm), which had been granted.

    We had booked a Jungle oasis suite, but "as a one time special" they had upgraded us to a Ocean view escape suite. They were pretty clear that they usually do not provide any upgrades for platinum at all. Plat amenity presented quickly.

    The suite is great, with every thinkable (and unthinkable) amenity.

    -Positives: Reasonably large suite, two aircon zones, both indoor and outdoor shower, very nice ocean view. Fantastic private ininity pool. Separate wine fridge.

    - Negatives: Too many switches and gadgets IMHO (used 30 minutes before bedtime to turn everything off), but I guess that is the W brand. As earlier mentioned in this thread, you do not have complete privacy outside. Skinny dipping is e.g. easy to see from the bar (however it IS quite a distance). Not sure about the wood panels used in the suite (floor, doors, closets) - they actually seem a bit worn already (IKEAish comes to mind). Same goes with the common areas, by the way.

    There seems to be a strikingly low occupancy (15%?) at the resort. Most bars/restaurants/common areas are empty. Beach is also empty. The emptiness makes it very quiet and secluded - but also a tad boring.

    Some small construction is still being done here and there. No biggie, but certainly not something to expect from a luxury retreat.

    The four sweet spots at the resort with free icecream and sodas is a nice touch.

    Service: The low point at this resort.

    - As mentioned, a great welcoming. But then it stopped.

    - Roomservice was fast and very friendly, but they did not keep their promise to come and clean up the plates in 45 minutes (had to call to get them removed twice). Trying to order off the script was difficult. Tried to get a sandwhich with fruit salad instead of fries - got both and were charged accordingly. (Fixed after a phone call).

    - We were promised a "whimsical gift" and chocolate fondue upon arrival - but had to phone to get one of those items (the chocolate - never got any gift). No newspaper in the morning (but one was in the room the day we arrived).

    - Breakfast buffet had a nice variety of food and drinks, but we both had to ask for refill of coffee twice. Not shown any a la carte menu, do not know if they have any. Clearing the plates took its time.

    - Since the property is somewhat spread out and hilly, you will often need a cart to get around. But we had to go into the reception and ask for a cart every time, as there were no staff/drivers visible in the cart area outside the reception.

    Gym looked nice, but did not try it.

    Check-out: Asked for a late check out, which was (like check in) granted without difficulties. Very nice.

    All in all a nice resort (retreat) with potential, but without the upgrade and the early checkin/late checkout, we would probably have felt that the price (close to 600 dollars) we paid did not match the product completely. Biggest problem: Service. Maybe they will be better trained in some time and/or improve with higher occupancy?(Understaffed at low season?)
     
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  4. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for this interesting insights into this new resort // W Retreat! Occupancy at 15% this seems low, should a new W Retreat not excite people and have a stay early here, this is what we thought! Value-wise, oh! Seems a tad expensive and we are concerned about the IKEA style furniture at times at this hotel in your experience! Already looks used? Despite being new! Thanks again, we look always a W Hotels // Retreats as fantastic and different hotels, your insights help a great deal in how a new retreat works out in the beginning, we give them time as always with new hotels and will see further on the progress. Cheers!:)
     
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  5. heakja

    heakja Silver Member

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    I can see that the review may look a bit negative. I would therefore like to stress that the resort of course is very nice. But with such high rates, it is IMO not that easy too overlook all the small glitches and negatives.
     
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  6. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  7. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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  8. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    You are very welcome uggboy ... here is a clip of the Retreat type of accommodations at this W Koh Samui by Juliane Diesner.
     
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  9. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for sharing Kalboz!:) Excellent video, supreme airy accomodation and that bathtub and pool are gorgeous and is the red teddybear on every bed at the W? I mean every room type? Does someone know??:)
     
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  10. heakja

    heakja Silver Member

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    I think they are in every room - and they put a little bathrobe on the bear at turn down service. :)
     
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  11. drdubs
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    drdubs Silver Member

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    We just wrapped up a stay at the W Retreat Samui and had a really nice experience overall. I concur with most of the points in previous posts about the hotel and would recommend for anyone who enjoys the W vibe and is looking for a beach vacation. A couple of points to note:

    • The pool is far nicer than the beach at this property. While the beach is physically stunning, it's not well staffed or manicured so I'd recommend spending time at the very well staffed and taken care of pool.
    • The staff was generally very helpful. It's clear that that is a wide variation in English language skills, but everyone was eager to be helpful. If you run into any problems at all, I'd recommend contacting Luck, the Welcome Manager. She was really responsive to our requests, spoke excellent English and was all around a pleasant person to meet at the hotel. She made up for any shortcomings with the rest of the team.
    • Both restaurants at the hotel were outstanding. There is a Japanese restaurant and a more traditional restaurant, both of which had great food on multiple occasions and staff that was very attentive. We ventured out to the rest of the island for a few meals, but had our best experience in the hotel restaurants.
    • The jungle oasis to which we were assigned was extremely spacious. There were two separate air-con zones, a flat screen TV, iPod dock, outdoor deck, private pool, indoor and outdoor shower, double sink vanity and a nice wide desk. The room was well kept up inside, but the outdoor areas could have been better maintained with a little attention to detail.
    • There is a hotel shuttle from the hotel to Chaweng Beach that runs 3 times per day in each direction. It ran reliably throughout our stay and was a nice way to get around.
    • The bar setup just outside the lobby in the evening was a fun addition to the food and beverage scene at the hotel. They provided "tom-yum" popcorn with our drinks, which was surprisingly tasty and attentive service.
    • The sweetspots, as noted elsewhere, are well stocked and a nice treat for guests.
    Overall it's a great hotel if you like the W. It's not at the standards of the Four Seasons either in terms of facilities or service, but is reasonably priced for an upper-end luxury beach resort. For the right customer on the right vacation, it's a great choice.
     
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  12. Stealth Traveler
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    drdubs, thanks for the good report! The US Grand Slam promo has me thinking of many different warm weather properties to escape to in the winter months, and this is one of them. :)
     
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  13. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    Slightly OT, but be sure to check out "Dining on the Rocks" in the Five (six?) Senses resort. It has an awesome view! Make sure to get there at least 30 mins before sundown so you can enjoy it.
     
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  14. drdubs
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    drdubs Silver Member

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    I would also suggest making a reservation in advance. We assumed it would be relatively easy to get a table so tried to make reservations on Friday morning for either Friday or Saturday night and it was already full for both nights. We went to The Cliff as an alternative and the food was OK, not great, not terrible, but fantastic views of the water.
     
  15. TRAVELSIG
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    Excellent suggestion to reserve in advance. The good restaurants in Samui, especially during peak season, are fully booked a few days in advance.
     
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  16. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    The W Retreat Koh Samui Celebrates 1st Birthday with a Special Offer
    [​IMG]

     
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  17. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  18. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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