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“Very Overrated! Checked out after one night!” 1 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 #19 of 175 Hotels in Bophut
Adelaide
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Very Overrated! Checked out after one night!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2007

I had booked into the Waterfront Bohput based on it's #1 status in Koh Samui, and was sorely dissapointed. I wasn't expecting luxury by any means, at only $70 per night, but given the standard I of accommodation and service it wasn't even worth this much. As soon as I had put my bags down, we hired a jeep to drive around the island and find a better spot. We ended up checking in at the Buri Rasa (for just over double the price of the Waterfront and was worth much more than the extra $$) for the rest of our stay, even though we lost all our money we spent on the Waterfront Bophut because they make you pay upfront on arrival.

As I saw the place it looked exactly like the pictures, but 100 times worse. The hotel was more like a cabin park and the beach was absolutely terrible!! The tide was out all day, and you can not walk on the sand without shoes as it is too course. We saw a little girl with blood running down her legs because she had gone into the water with protective shoes on, but slipped over and cut her knees on the coral. If you are planning a trip to Thailand to see the stunning white beaches it is famous for....you will definitely not be satisfied with the Watefront Bophut.

The swimming pool looked as though it had been built in the 70's and was big enough to have about 2 children swimming in it.

The room was tiny and the shower had no water pressure. The bed was the most uncomfortable sleep I have ever had...and I am taking into account that the previous week I was sleeping on bamboo floors in a hut!

The place did not have a nice feel to it as it felt like you were just staying at somebody's holiday shack and that the guests were there more for the owners entertanment than their own. We heard the owner give every guest that arrived the same story about how they are "very cool and relaxed here" but I think he is getting that confused with being unprofessionally run.

We did see one staff member blow his nose into his hand and wipe it on his shorts as we were eating our breakfast which also did not fill us with confidence about the hygiene levels.

We ended up staying in Chaweng, where the beach was stunning and hotel was gorgeous! There were no problems about it being to rowdy as there were mainly families & people on romantic holidays (I didn't see any footy trips or loud groups of young people around)

There is absolutely no way this place should even be in the top 50% of hotels in Koh Samui, and I am astounded that it has been at #1 for so long. I felt as though I had been mislead by the other reviews, so if you are after something more than an overpriced cabin park on a rock filled dirty beach please look elsewhere.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Pool, Beach, Room, Staff, Everything Else!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WordsKohSamui, Co-Owner at The Waterfront, responded to this review, July 27, 2007
This will be brief as we have had 3 similar rewiews in the last month and all came from Australia.

We have no record of anyone checking in out in June and also asking for any refund. The only comment about the review I would make is that the reviewer says he stayed one night but seemed to know everything about the resort .

Also the same phrase has been used before about very cool and relaxed. This is not in olur vocabulary.

We have updated our website to deal with these reviews (see news).

Robin Worden
The Waterfront 27.07 .07
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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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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

We were excited to be staying in the hotel presently rated # 1 in TripAdvisor for Koh Samui. Perhaps we just hit a bad few days for Robin. Sue had left for the UK, and he seemed quite tense at times. First impression was not favorable. A dog was sleeping on the floor in the reception area of the hotel ("Honey" - not a stray - belonged to someone there). Robin wanted it to move and the dog was not moving
quickly enough for him. I was in the process of telling Robin just to leave him - I didn't mind the dog laying there when I heard Robin's son call out "Dad - don't kick the dog!" Being an animal lover, I was not impressed with this at all. (I don't believe in taking frustrations out on animals). At other times during our stay, our questions were sometimes met with an impatient reply on Robin's part. Maybe he just had too much on his mind right then? This was a place of pros and cons for us. There are really lovely things about the hotel. The welcome drinks were wonderful, and Robin taking a few moments to chat with us was nice. Our rooms, while not fancy were very adequate and comfortable. Nice little touches like flowers on the bed and toiletries in the bathroom. There is a little coffee maker with supplies included too. Our bathroom itself is in need of some renovation. The little spray hose near the toilet was leaking so our floor was constantly wet. The toilet looked like it had been the victim of some major repair attempts and there was a slight sewage smell in the bathroom.

We were a little curious as to the room assignments. My brother stayed there as well and paid 300 THB less per night than us, yet was given a room facing the ocean head on, with a little porch and hammock and garden in front, and a completely renovated bathroom. The downside of their room was that it backed on to a road which can be noisy. I did think that Robin was quite gracious in arranging an extra mattress for my nieces who joined us unexpectedly. Given that the hotel was full and he had no advance warning, this was greatly appreciated. (There was an extra fee, but it was reasonable).

The pool is very small, but refreshing. There are ample poolside chairs with some really comfy chair cushions. There are more chairs on the beachside. The beach in front of the hotel is not swimmable, but is just a bit further down the beach. The beach is quiet and not crowded at all.

Bophut is a cute little town. The restaurants were pricier than any other we experienced in Thailand on the whole. But there's a great little Thai restaurant - on the main road on the right hand side just before the 7-Eleven that was very tasty and reasonable. If you want to go explore the island, the hotel can arrange a vehicle and driver for you. Having driven through Chaweng, I'm glad we stayed in Bophut. For us, the trade-off of nicer sand wouldn't have been worth it for the crowds (even in low season), it would have meant.
Breakfast was delicious and very nicely done. My only suggestion to improve this would be to start serving it earlier, so that people catching the early flight out of Ko Samui can have their breakfast before they leave for the airport. Even if some fruit and coffee were ready earlier, that would have been appreciated.

We did not know ahead of time that there would be a 5% "Service Charge" added to our bill. We were told by Robin that this money is given directly to the employees as a bonus, so we were okay with paying that although it could perhaps be optional.

  • Stayed July 2007
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WordsKohSamui, Co-Owner at The Waterfront, responded to this review, July 27, 2007
Just for the animal lovers, the dog mentioned is (Honey) our resort dog who I love and certainly never kick.My son often shouts about this and it is a bit of a standard joke.

Also the 5% service charge has been on our website since May 2006 and is mentioned in all our replies to our customers.

Robin Worden
The Waterfront
27.07.07
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

We've just returned from 5 nights at the Waterfront. It was excellent, for all the reasons the previous reviews mention - great location (Bophut is a lovely, quiet part of Koh Samui with none of the brashness of Chaweng), free transfers to and from the airport, good accommodation, staff who go totally out of their way to help you, and the effort Robin and Sue make to ensure they meet and greet you, and make you feel very welcome. Cases were whisked away whilst we settled down to a welcome drink with Robin, which was indeed welcome after a long-haul flight!

The small size of the resort lends itself very well to a warm, friendly atmosphere where it's very easy to make friends (as we did) but where you can have ample privacy also. The best bit for me was sitting having breakfast looking out at that incredible view, which it was very, very hard to leave.

Thanks to all at the Waterfront for a lovely end to our holiday.

  • Liked — Personal touch - people really made an effort
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2007

Stayed 5 nights in a beachfront family bungalow and had a wonderful relaxing time. The bungalow was the perfect size for a family of four, consisting of 2 bedrooms, bathroom and a sitting area with a tv/dvd, fridge and tea/cofee making facilities. It also had air conditioning and was clean and well maintained during our stay.

The staff were friendly and very helpful and we were picked up and dropped off at the airport by Robyn the owner. The pool area is very small which maybe a problem during their peak season. You can not swim directly infront of the resort due to the rocks and coral however the beach is very clean and nice to walk along.

What we liked the most about our stay was the fact we could put the children to bed at night and sit outside around the bar talking and relaxing with the other guests while the children were only a step away and in view, sound asleep or watching dvds! As the resort is only small we felt very comfortable with the children walking and wondering around.

Bophut is a great quite location with many fabulous restaurants yet only a 15 minute taxi ride away from Chaweng.

  • Liked — the size of the family bungalow
  • Disliked — the pool area
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2007

We arrived at the hotel expecting it to be fairly basic but clean, given the reviews on Tripadvisor. I will try and give some fair and honest feedback to help those that might consider staying here.

On arrival we were asked to pay the full accommodation fee before seeing the room which was our first mistake. We would never have stayed if they didn't already have our money.

Directly behind the hotel, bungalows and rooms is a very busy bar/restaurant. Partygoers have a great deal of fun usually until 1.30am; then the motor bikes start up and people rev up and down the road for the best part of another hour. Thats fine if you want to stay up but on the days we wanted to go to bed before 2.30 am, it was impossible.

This is the worst room I have ever stayed in, and we have travelled (backpackers) throughout Africa and Asia. The room is very small with a double bed and single cupboard. The air-conditioner works poorly and we needed to have the fan on as well to get any decent airflow. Let me tell you we needed the airflow coz the room smelt so bad.

The bathroom drain has a foul (overpowering) smell which travels into the bedroom. Suffice to say we never ate in the room.

The shower did not drain properly. When we reported it to Robin, the lid of the drain was lifted so that water had an escape route ... the smell continued. The pool is a bit of a joke - more like a large bathtub.

There appears to be some unhealthy behaviour in the staff and guests which is totally accepted by the owners. A few 'long term' European residents/guests have their Thai girlfriends living with them. They spend a fair bit of time drinking at the bar and swearing to the amusement of the rest of the hotel staff. This is not the place to bring young children. One night they were letting off fireworks on the grounds and in front of the hotel. Great if you are part of the fun ... not if you are trying to sleep.

While the owners claim they promote a 'casual atmosphere' this actually translates to staff who are indifferent or rude, and indiscreet. The staff could do with some training ... the reception girl yells at the other staff in front of guests which was never very pleasant to hear.

One morning there was a green snake sliding along the banister to reception . We told the hotel staff who ignored it. Eventually a gardener came along and said it was poisonous and killed it.

On the plus side there are lots of excellent restaurants and new boutique hotels in the same street as the Waterfront with reasonable prices and excellent food. They are far superior to this hotel and I would go stay there.

This is a very casual place. If you want to have a party it might be ok, but we were looking for a more relaxing time.

  • Liked — plenty of pool chairs
  • Disliked — the staff, the room, the smell
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WordsKohSamui, Co-Owner at The Waterfront, responded to this review, July 30, 2007
Firstly we have no knowledge of this reviewer mentioning any of these faults during his reported stay and as the review is anonymous we cannot recall the customer. I have showed it to our current guests who think the reviewer was at another hotel.

Well how do you respond to this review when it is so diametrically opposed to 49 out of our 51 reviews(the other freely admits he didn't stay here).The other 6 reviews for June don't mention any of the problems refered to.

We will try and answer the many complaints. Of course our views will be different and we have the support of 49 previous reviews on TA.

1) The reviewer states that they will try and give an honest feedback when some of the statments are totally opposed to all our other reviewers, were these not honest.

2)I agree that we ask for the balance of the booking money on arrival>We have a high occupancy rate and if a person makes a booking for 2 weeks we expect them to stay as we will have turned away other potential bookings.If the reviewer felt this was was a problem,as it is clearly pointed out in our letters and website why didn't they book for a shorter period. We have had many guests who book for a shorter period and want to extend and we are full.It has happened today actually and we are full.Reading the review there seems a very good chance there could be faults any where.

3)" Directly behind the hotel there is a very busy bar/restaurant"
Well this is a really a classic over statment.This is a small tapas bar which is nomally closed at 10 pm. In fact one of our current guests from Canada is in the bungalow directly oppopsite the bar and when I told him of this statment he said he didn't know the bar was there.
Also it is a hotel and their one review on TA makes no comment on noise and she was staying there! Nobody else , reviewers and guests have ever had a problem.I find it amazing that it is mentioned as very busy and noisy and no one else seems to notice it.As for motor bikes revving up I don't know from where.We lived on the resort for 3 years and never heard them.As most people know Bophut know Bophut is a quiet and sleepy village and we have a few passing motor bikes but it is not a very busy road.To say sleep was impossible until 2.30 am well we lived here and nobody else mentioned it..

4) "This is the worst room the reviewer has stayed in"

Well what can we say this is in complete contrast to all our reviewers>Of 51 reviews 41 gave 5 stars, 7 gave 4 stars,one 3 stars and 1 at 1 star.(the one who never stayed.

We pride ourselves on our rooms and their cleanlinessThis statment that is the most surprising!
The bungalows are not huge but contain a quuen sized bed,,wardrobe(with room safe and blanket if required), bedside table with bedside light, dressing table with mirror(we include torch,electric adaptor,hairdryer and laundry bag in the drawer),tv stand which incorporates tv,dvd and room fridge plus dressing gowns and fresh flowers.The bathrooms have a hot shower, sink plus mirror,, a seperate shaving/make up mirror and both pool and room towels.
A little more than the bed and cupboard referred too!

5) " The air conditioner worked poorly"
Well occaisionally we have problems but we have a resident engineer who normally fixes A/C immediately.In fact yesterday we had a motor fail.Our engineer repaired it in 3 hours.I hope the customer sends a review to confirm.Again this was not repoerted and the reviewer doesn't seem the sort to not mention it!

6) "The bathroom had a foul and overpowering smell"
I find it quite amazing the reviewer would just stay in this foul and overpowering smell for there stay and not complain!Obviously we would offer a full refund or another room if this was the case.Who would stay in this and suffer it!

We had a problem in May with a smelly room and again we were full.We paid for the guests to go to a nearby hotel and I slept in the room to establish the problem which we sorted out the next day. All our guests know we try to sort any problem out immediately.

7) " The shower didn't drain properly"

Yes we have sometimes had this problem but usually rectify it immediately.The smell continued apparently but we were never informed.

8) Our swimming pool is not huge and we have thought of extending but many customers like it as it is.

9)Now for this comment " Unhealthy behaviour between the staff and guests" this must be a first for any website.

Well most of our guests are very friendly and like to talk to our staff which we encourage and it makes for a lovely atmosphere.I am sorry if this offends the reviewer.
We have just had a family with a 12 year old daughter just leave having stayed for 2 weeks It was their 3rd stay and they are coming again at Christmas.Virtually all our staff were there with hugs and kisses-is this unhealthy?

10) " A few long term European guests/ residents have their Thai girlfriends living with them'I would like a lot of people to answer that one.
Our most regular guest is a retired English gentleman who stays for 7 weeks at a time and has no Thai girlfriend. In the last 3 months we have one quite regular visitor who spends 3 or 4 weeks with his very charming Thai girlfriend of 3 years standing> A few others come into eat at the resort. This is a multicultural society and I certainly don't apologise for that. As for swearing we have heard a few profanities but very few.Yes many of our guests are very sociable and like to meet other sociable guests.Obviously the reviewer didn't join in or approve.

11) "This is not a place to bring young children"

Well last night we had 8 children of various ages staying and all the parents are delighted with the resort.Mostly they are staying for 10 days or more.Oh and apologies again as fireworks were let off last night for one of the childrens birthdays it was about 21 to 21.30 hours and about 20 sociable people joined in. Another guest thought they were old friends but they only meet 5 days before.

12) We have never claimed to bve casual that's not part of our vocabulary so I don't know where that came from.We try to promote a happy atmo sphere which seem to suit 99% of our guests. We hardly get miserable ones.

13) "The reception girl yells at the staff"

Well we have no manager here as Sue and I run the hotel;Our girls can be a little vociferous at times but most guests enjoy the friendly banter.

14)" The staff are indifferent, rude and indiscreet"

Another first.Well indiscreet is revealing secrets.Is the reviewer suggesting that the staff know their secrets?If secrets were discussed it would be in Thai. Rude and indifferenr, well just read the other reviews which are so complimentary. It must be thousands of times we have been complimented about the staff.Now we have found one who didn't like them!

46 reviews out of 51 gave 5 stars need we say anymore. My wife and I have been delighted by our staff and treat them as an extended family.

15)Neither the staff or I have any knowledge of a snake here in the last 2 years.Having seen the staff running when the last one came I can assure anybody it would not be ignored on the contary.

16) We are very aware that there are some nice hotels nearby they are our friends and we often book our overflow into them.

17) If the reviewer suggests we are the place to party he/she must have had a very sheltered life.


We are very disappointed and surprised to receive such a review which finds fault with virtually every thing and readers should draw their own conclusions.
So much wrong and nothing mentioned. I have never meet a customer before who would stay in a smelly room without complaint!

We have been virtually full for months and we have a lot of repeat business which shows we must be doing something right.We don't profess to be perfect but we do try very hard indeed to make our guests feel welcome and to make their stay enjoyable.
We are not a 5 star hotel, we are a boutique hotel that gives value for money.

What I find strange is that we always tell our guests that, if they need anything at all, not to hesitate to ask. Also if there is a problem to tell us immediately so we can rectify it.What went wrong here!

Robin Worden
]Co-Owner

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london
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2007

Firstly, it is not 5 star, so do not expect lavish spas and marble bathrooms. What you will get is a pleasant, tastefully decorated room and bathroom, with a good view of the sea. The pool is on the smallside and swimming on the beach adjoining is not the best
The real delight though is the vibe, really relaxing and friendly. This is created by Robin and is wife and their fantastic staff...and also in part by the wide variety of guests they seem to attract.

Would I stay here again..definitely. I felt at home straightaway and could relax, and it is located in a part of the island which still has some real charm.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2007

Wife and I spent three nights there as a part of our honeymoon and we are speechless!

From the very useful "insider info" from Robin to make sure we got off the plane first and through immigration as quickly as possible to the final hugs and smiles from the staff as we left, we had an immensely great time!

Robin is a charming chap who was very welcoming and even picked us up (and dropped us off) at the airport. Always happy to have a chat, advise on things to do and to help set the world right over a beer or 10! :)

The staff were exceptional, friendly and more than accommodating. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

The rooms were very clean, fitting and fixtures were well maintained and the room very comfortable and air-conditioned.

The food was of a high standard, freshly prepared and had a very nice home cooked feel about it.

The pool side bar was perfect! Always staffed, all the way till (at least) 4 am in the morning!

The whole place has a very nice boutique feel about it with a very personal touch. So much so that my wife and I rarely ventured away from the beach, poolside or bar.

My only regrets were that we missed meeting Robin's wife, who was away on leave and that we had not scheduled more time to spend there!

However, plans are underway to ditch our annual two weeks in Spain for two weeks at The Waterfront next year!

Do go there, kick back, soak in the pool, have a drink and let the world pass you by while you stop, for just a moment, and realise that life does not always have to be a race. And if you do feel guilty, there is always the free WiFi (at the bar!) to keep you in touch with the rest of the world and at the end of your stay, feel refreshed, invigorated and come away marveling at how thoroughly nice The Waterfront is and how reasonable the cost of your stay was!

  • Liked — Robin and his very friendly staff
  • Disliked — Having to carry on with the rest of our trip
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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:
#10 Family Hotel in Bophut
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
#14 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Waterfront 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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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