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“A taste of paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Waterfront

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The Waterfront
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   71/2 Moo1, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 52 hotels in Bophut
canterbury UK
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A taste of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

Well we have finally got round to writing a review and am really glad to as this is definitely the best hotel we have ever stayed at!
It is everything that all the ‘nice,honest’ reviewers have already said!
Friendly, welcomed by Michael at the airport, by Sue on arrival and then by all the staff , all the time you are there. Nothing is too much trouble for them, whether it is helping you book day trips, to making the bed more comfortable for someone who likes a ‘softee’ mattress!
The staff are as they say , really friendly and this helped make our holiday even more special, whether chatting with Carol about the worry of her son going off to Uni or learning Thai with Pla!.
We had picked The Waterfront based on the reviews we had seen. Please note these reviews only get written like that because the guests really have a great time at the Waterfront, this is a one off place in paradise, and any negative comments made should be viewed in that light i.e. the persons writing those kind of negative comments are simply impossible to please and would be unhappy wherever they stayed or they are actually just small minded vindictive idiots who shouldn’t have the privilege of being able to stay at such a wonderful place as The Waterfront. The comment about the alleged theft made by ToreGluppenhavna is particularly irksome because not only would this not have happened at the Waterfront but I know we left money , jewellery and other valuables out and nothing went missing – everything just got tidied up- Im sure their comments will have upset the staff and that is unforgiveable as Im sure that any ‘missing’ money is likely down to their own kids and no one else!
Enough about them and back to this wonderful place. We met up with our son who has been in Australia for the last 8 months and meeting him here made it all just perfect!
The pool is small , but certainly big enough for toddlers to learn to swim in which many do it seems , and just right for cooling off. But also being small means its ideal opportunity to talk with other guests and many friendships are started here before moving onto the cosy beach bar – that never closes (Joe will keep pouring all the time you want to keep drinking!) You can keep yourself to yourself if you wish, but it is great to get chatting to other guests and Sue and Robin have certainly created a place where this can happen very easily, and most often does, with Sue ensuring that all new guests are introduced to those already there so everyone feels welcome, and I like many others before me wonder how she manages to remember everyones name! This does , as other reviewers have said before, make you feel more like a house guest then a hotel guest.
Our youngest son, Cameron, enjoyed playing table tennis with Michael (and beating him!) and working for the railway I realised that Michael knows far more about railways then I do!
The beach is rocky , particularly as it is at its lowest at the moment, but then you could happily sunbathe on this part of the beach without getting constantly interrupted by beach sellers which occurs often further along the beach as we found out.
It is these little touches that make the place special, like the complimentary cool towels and pineapple on sticks that the staff bring out to everyone at the hotel around lunchtime, or the free mineral water in the rooms, or the very reasonably priced drinks and massages which are available. There is never the need to go out early morning and ‘reserve’ your sunbed as often happens in larger hotels as there are more than enough to go around and lots of choices of where they are, from the pool, to the beach, to under the palm trees or even hammocks!
All the so called ‘negatives’ are made abundantly clear from their website and so why anyone should even comment on them is beyond me as in reality they aren’t ‘negatives’ anyway as I have pointed out they just help add to the ambiance of the hotel and ensure that everyone has a peaceful and friendly time.
We spent 9 days at the Waterfront and cant wait to go back, which we are planning to next year, maybe even spending Christmas and New Year there as I cant think of a hotel in the world that would make you more welcome for the festivities!
We miss the lovely view with our lovely breakfast, beautifully cooked by ‘cooking’ and Carols dulcet tones as she asked’ More coffee for madam, more coffeeeee’
Well done to Robin and Sue for creating a little bit of heaven on earth and well done to all the staff (and Michael) for making it happen everyday for everyone!
To misquote Arnie

‘We’ll be back!’

Justin, Dorothy Will and Cameron

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Tokyo, Japan
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

We stayed at the Waterfront for 3 nights. Is a great little hotel, the service was fantastic - the hotel staff couldn't have been more helpful and booked all our onwards ferry / taxi tickets for us. The owners, Sue and her husband, where lovely too - very personable, and recommended some great places to eat in town. Breakfast was nice, lots of fresh fruit and there is a nice little bar by the pool where we had lunch a few times for a reasonable price. The pool is quite small though, more of a place to dip into to cool off than actually swim (and the sea at this part of town isn't swimmable either as it's too rocky - you need to walk along into the centre of Bo Phut beach to be able to swim) Bo Phut is a great little town, very European feeling with a nice vibe and lots of nice resturants and bars.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Buckley Wales
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

The quality of the Waterfront Experience has been well documented on Tripadvisor and was the main reason we first stayed in 2007. This is a special place in terms of the diversity of experience(and food) in Bophut village, the relaxed ambience of the location and most of all in the character, personality and welcome of the management and staff.
Over the years we have been fortunate to travel to many wonderful places and have kept to our principle of never returning - but then we went to the Waterfront !
We have just returned from our third visit, this time without our 19 year old daughter (who herself has plans to return without her 'aged parents' as she thinks it is "just remarkable" !). It was like we had never been away - as a previous reviewer mentioned the atmosphere is more house guest than hotel guest - so more fun, laughter, relaxation and whatever you wish your holiday to be.
Interestingly most guests from all over the world .have read about the Waterfront on Tripadvisor so know what to expect and this adds to the bonhomie and friendly banter around the pool/bar.
Whatever your needs and interests rest assured Robin Sue and Michael will go out of their way to help - always professionally and most importantly with a sense of humour. Thanks again to all the team. From reading the reviews , if you think you will enjoy the Waterfont - you will , But beware this place is addictive . Yes we will return !

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights, and really enjoyed it. The place is located about a 5 minute walk from the main part of the village, and therefore has a nice secluded atmosphere. The beach by the hotel is nice and deserted, but unfortunately you can't really swim in the sea there....but the (small) pool is perfect for cooling off.

All of the staff were really friendly and made it feel more like you were guests at their house rather than customers.

Overall - great value, and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

We stayed at the Waterfront for a week, I travelled with 4 children aged between 18 and 12. On arrival we were greeted with complimentary drinks and cool cloths by Sue and Robin .Amazingly Sue memorised all of our names ( a mean feat as my children look so alike!) and both asked after our wellfare though out the stay. The bar was a lovely place to congregate in an evening overloooking the secluded beautiful beach. The lighting in the evening was just perfect and magical.To be able to walk 20 paces from our sea view rooms and be by the sea or on the decking for a sumptious breakfast was a real treat. The staff were wonderful and helpful and they ensured we had plenty of advice to keep teenagers busy including snorkelling, golf elephant treks etc. I had my bank card swallowed inadvertetly and Robin took me straight round to the bank with an assistant and rescued it, nothing was too much trouble. Michael their son was on hand to entertain and advise. My boys enjoyed his humour and watching his table tennis skills! You really did feel like part of a family (but if you wanted you could be completely anonymous) when we had returned from day trips they would ask how we enjoyed it and took time to sit and talk with us. We have been fortunate enough to stay in many places through out the world over the years and this is really honestly the only place my children have said they would wish to return, (if anyone has teenage boys in particular they will appreciate how hard to please they are!) I still miss having the beach to myself and enjoying my morning cuppa with an uninterrupted view of the sea. I would highly recommend this to people of all ages.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrikstad, Norway
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

I have used tripadvisor many times with great success. When looking for a place for my family to stay at Koh Samui I also checked tripadvisor. The Waterfront Hotel in Bo Phut seemed like something special with an overwhelming number of excellent reviews.

We were travelling as a family of four, my wife and me and two teenagers. I booked two rooms for nine nights at the waterfront. We stayed there for six nights. That was enough for us. Then we moved to another hotel in charming Bo Phut to get the best out of our holiday.

After staying at the Waterfront for 6 days we really cannot understand where or what all these good reviews comes from. We experienced The Waterfront Hotel as a descent but highly overpriced and overrated bed and breakfast place.

This is how we experienced the Waterfront Hotel.

The hotel has a pickup service at the airport. When we arrived at the meeting point (was described in email I got from hotel) there was no one there to pick us up. No car, no driver, no message - nothing. After 20 minutes waiting I called the hotel. After another 15 minutes the pickup car shows up. I should also say that our flight was rescheduled so we arrived earlier than what was stated in our booking to the hotel. But the rescheduling of flight was also both emailed and phoned in to hotel reception. The hotel reception even confirmed our changed pick up time. Well – everybody can make a mistake, we were on holiday and had plenty of time, no big deal for us.

The pickup service also included a guided tour around the village where the hotel is located. The fishermans village is a charming holiday place with many restaurants and some shops mostly directed against tourists. For a relaxing holiday place we found the fisherman village a perfect place to stay.

The hotel is located in one end of the fishermans village in Bo Phut. Unfortunately this is in the end where the beach is at its worst and useless for water activity. A lot of corals that is only visible at low tide makes it dangerous to walk or swim in. It was said that you can walk 70 meters up the beach from the hotel and then you find a nice beach for swimming. We disagree. It is possible that it can be used for swimming but during the six days we stayed there we saw nobody doing that. It is nothing like the pictures you see of beaches in Thailand with white sand and clear blue water. The water was muddy and the sand is not really good walking at barefoot. The restaurants in this area often have a terrace fronting the (quite narrow) beach. And in the water many parked boats. And mind your step when walking on the beach here, dogs and cats poop everywhere.


The Waterfront Hotel has a tiny pool right next to an outdoor bar. The pool is more like a jacuzzi without the jacuzzi. You can dip your body on a hot day but it is not the place for swimming.

The hotel has a kitchen that makes breakfast and other choices from menu up to around 6 pm. The village have plenty of dinner restaurants within walking distance so no problem that kitchen closes early at the hotel. We had breakfast at the hotel all days we were staying there. It was acceptable but nothing more than that. The waitresses are smiling and are friendly but not very trained in their profession. Our orders were mixed up a number of times during our stay.

We had two identical rooms. Bright room and cleaned to our satisfaction every day. The AC is old and noisy. The shower has some kind of old water heater system on each shower. Every morning a terrible smell met the first one that took a shower. I am not sure where the smell came from. Either from the water itself or the draining system. The only door to the room is a wide glass door facing the hotel garden. It gives a nice view from the room to the garden, but unfortunately also from the garden into the room. To have some privacy you need to use the curtains. Other hotel guests (and others) walking in the garden see right into the rooms, especially in the evening/night when lights are on. The beds are hard and not comfortable.

One evening when we came home the doors to our room was wide open. Not only unlocked, but wide open. Nothing was missing from the room but I am not comfortable with service personnel leaving with doors open like this. From the other room 1000 baht disappeared from the table one day when we were out. It can have been mistaken as a tip to the cleaning personnel? We never asked to get it back, but kept our valuables at a safer place in the future.

We had booked nine nights but moved out after six nights because this was not like the expectations we had. We never understood the magic of the Waterfront Hotel.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire UK
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2010

We (me, wife, 2 girls (11 and 15)) travel around Thailand and surrounding countries each year. We always finish our trip (last 4 years) at The Waterfront. Somehow Robin and Sue have got the balance just right. I normally can't sit still and I am always looking for the next thing to do - not here. I can sit and sit and sit - just what I need after working hard and travelling around. The hotel website explains everything - Sue and Robin don't hide anything. Some of the negative reviews are absurd, in our opinion. We are already planning next year - this time celebrating our daughters 16th birthday. Sue and Robin have helped us celebrate the last 4 birthdays - thanks Sue!! She loved the fireworks and cake.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Waterfront

Address: 71/2 Moo1, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
#7 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#11 Family Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Waterfront 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family run, small, select and peaceful, yet only steps away from excellent restaurants, bars and boutiques.All rooms are beachfront and the view of the sea and outlying islands is spectacular. Many guests extend their stay, recommend us to others or return themselves, often to meet other guests who have now become friends. Its like coming home, they say. Lots of little touches to make you feel welcome including free pick-up and free internet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Waterfront Hotel Bophut
Waterfront Hotel Bophut
Waterfront Bophut
The Waterfront Ko Samui/Bophut

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