When I originally composed this review it was heavily laden with a complaint against the management. However, the management has finally been in touch and offered a resolution to my complaint which my wife and I are happy with.
I will briefly outline my complaint that it serves a lesson to be heeded. In summary, on checkout day we had arranged with the Hotel a bus reservation to Saigon. When I booked the tickets through the desk they clearly told me the bus would collect us from the hotel at 8.00 a.m on departure day. I requested tickets but was informed that the tickets were not necessary, I did not quibble because after all the bus was going from the Hotel.
On departure day my wife went ahead to settle our bill. Imagine my surprise when the desk called my room to tell me the bus would be here at 7.30a.m. Giving me ten minutes to pack and rush to reception. It was while my wife was dealing with the bill that her card was rejected, so I took over with my card whilst she spoke to the bus driver. My card was also rejected, so I offered to pay in Pound Sterling. The receptionist said I could, and I was told the amount was £76.05. I paid £80.00, and the receptionist asked me if I wanted change. Thinking it was an amount of £3.95 I answered she could keep the change. It was only once we departed the Hotel that I discovered that the bill had been in American Dollars and based on current exchange rates I had over paid by approximately $51.00
Naturally we were very disappointed the way that it had unfolded. It could have been a genuine mistake but we feel that the receptionist could have corrected the situation once she realised the massive difference between Dollars and Pounds. Also during this checkout procedure we were accused of breaking a glass in our room. We had to reject this accusation twice and were irritated by the threat of being charged for this nonsense.
We e-mailed the management who were apologetic, and offered to refund the difference. We have let them know that our wish is that the money should be shared between the staff who worked so hard during the New Year gala dinner. Matter closed, however I would strongly advise international exchange rates should be carefully checked by Staff and customer.
Regarding the bus tickets. We were given tickets on the day before departure stapled together in a small envelope. I did not open it because I had already been told of the 8.00 a.m departure. When I looked at the tickets on the way to Saigon the time stated 7.30 a.m.
Another lesson, cross reference tickets, despite the times given by staff.
Next an appraisal of Pandanus Resort
First of all the Resort location: Beautifully layed out in splendidly maintained gardens that stretch right down to the beach. The beach itself I’ve heard described as mud flats, it is not, but it is not the most scenic beach you will ever see. In fact in most other South East Asian countries, developers would definitely pass over this one if they were looking for beaches to develop. It has a very windy aspect, with crashing breakers, which makes it treacherous for swimmers but a magnet location for Kite Surfers which can be observed from the hotel most days. As sun bathing on the beach goes? I ran the beach full length [approx7 kilom] twice and I only spotted a handful of sunbathers along its entire length.
Next location: in relation to the ‘action’. Most of what people would describe as the action occurs on Ham Thien Beach on the other side of the peninsular. I have to say you do have to rely on transport to get there. You can book a free shuttle bus from the Hotel [limited spaces and times] available, or taxi metered approx 200.000 dong £6.00. The local walk up restaurants Mr. Raymond refers to are in fact ‘cafeteria’ plastic table and chaired establishments serving mediocre bland tourist food free from any spices (not a chilli in sight)
Room location: We booked a semi-detached bungalow in the gardens, and that’s what we got; prime position over looking pool and gardens. Room 123 if readers are interested. There are block style accommodation and Bungalow semi’s spread right across the grounds.
The room was well equipped. If you’ve come to watch satellite TV the channel reception is a little hazy from time to time.
The swimming pool was a more than decent size, dumb bell shaped with an Island in the middle. 0.3 to 1.5 depth. Free of debris, there is a strong cross wind, so good maintenance on that score. I have some experience in swimming pool maintenance and I have to say the water clarity is not great. The filtration pumps appear to be working strongly [don’t get your hand near the outlet valves located around the pool just below the water line, they provide a powerful vacuum, these really should be fitted with specialised cowling to prevent hands coming into contact with these powerful out take valves. And I would suggest the Chlorine levels and PH levels need attention, especially with people walking off the beach trailing in potential contamination. I may have missed it but there did not appear to be ‘moat pools’ for washing sand away before entering the pool, certainly wasn’t on our pool entry point, I asked the gardeners to hose my feet of before entering the pool. There is always plenty around wielding hose pipes.
The food at the hotel was good, and the service and staff exceptionally accommodating.
The Hotels Smoking policy? There does not appear to be one. I saw tourists smoking just about everywhere around the Hotel. Dining Areas, Publicly, and around the pool. This is an area the management really needs to crack down on. Designating no smoking zones is an urgent priority. During the New year’s gala dinner we were unfortunately seated right next to a chain smoking pair who only refrained from smoking between mouthfuls of food. Yes the gala was outside, but with a strong cross wind my wife and I felt like we smoked every one of their cigarettes. All the more reason for restrictive smoking zones.
Which brings me onto The Compulsory New Years gala dinner. The food was not brilliant, but it was a buffet, and there was a good choice, and plenty of it, with unlimited drinks on request. The ‘entertainment’ alternated between a Pilipino band and traditional dancing. The Pilipino band performed a ‘tribute to world music’ which really was a toe curling cheese fest. But hey ho, most people loved it and guess what, the world music could have just stopped at South Korea which it did many times to beat out Gangam style at least a half a dozen times but the crowd and especially the kids loved it. Plus it was great to see the staff joining in the festivities.
But, the highlight of the evening and worth the Gala Dinner price on its own....... The amazing Dragon Dancers. Absolutely superb. The comedy gold moment of the evening was seeing 6 plastic flags unfurl to a fanfare revealing the nations that were represented by the guests....err ...That is Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Vietnam, Germany, Russia...err? And that was it. Despite the fact that there were no flags to represent the English speaking world, or the French for that matter. The manager was soon cringing at the mike apologising to.....well, just the Kiwi’s who objected the loudest.
In summary the resort is well worth visiting, good value and a great place to relax, but if you were coming to enjoy the beach, and I would even say the ‘night life’ at Ham Tien, I would just advise stay within the Resort and chill out until you arrive at a more appealing beach location.
Development is moving at a pace along the beach the Pandanus Resort lies on. I counted three half finished Hotel constructions, although well spaced apart, along the 7 kilometre
The Hotel clientele of the Pandanus is a good mix of nationalities. However, The Ham Tien Beach on the other side of the peninsular predominates with Russian tourists. The crowded 13 kilometre strip is bursting at the seams, there are better ‘beach scenes’ elsewhere in Vietnam.
All the more appeal of the Pandanus as a haven of peace.
Bungalow over looking pool. Bungalow 123 ideal.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you very much for your thorough and (generally) favorable review of the Pandanus Resort.
After the fact, we can only apologize for the manner in which your check-out and charges were handled. I'm sure that our service staff who worked on New Year's eve appreciate your kind gesture, even if it wasn't entirely voluntary.
As for the confusion about the bus departure time; the scheduled departure from the bus company's office in Ham Tien is 8:00 AM. The company obviously has to pick up passengers from the hotels earlier than that. Unfortunately, someone on our staff was not very diligent about relaying this information properly.
The reason that Mui Ne is one of the prime destinations in the world for kite surfers is our on-shore afternoon winds. This weather phenomenon occurs almost every day between November and April, although the strength of the winds varies from day to day.
You are correct about the ph level in the pool. We have had a problem with the machine that measures our ph level, so we end up putting in the incorrect amount of chlorine. We are trying to resolve the problem so that the water in the pool will always be clear in future.
We do have two 'moat pools' for foot washing, one located at the beach and the other located behind the pool bar. In addition, we have two outside showers between the beach and the pool with spigots at foot level for those who wish to clean the sand off their feet.
Personally, I couldn't agree with you more about the non-smoking areas. I also hate cigarette smoke. We do have one non smoking building, but whether we are able to create some smoke-free zones in our gardens depends on how many requests we receive from non-smoking guests such as yourselves. The resort owners are Vietnamese, some of whom smoke, so they don't have the same sensitivity about smoking that you and I do.
The country flags were actually placed by the band as their backdrop for their "tribute to world music... toe curling cheese fest". We did have guests from about twenty countries at our New Year's Eve party, but the band only wanted to put up six flags from those countries with the greatest number of guests. As you could tell by my apologies to those guests whose countries' flags were not displayed, you weren't the only person who felt 'left out'.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.