It is better to view this hotel as a good 3 star rather than a poor 4 star hotel - if you can get a good deal then it might be ok but I will not be back. The location is very remote so if you want to go anywhere you need to get a taxi (400 baht one way to Chaweng) or catch the free hotel shutte (leaves at 4pm returning 9.30pm - too early both ways).
When I stayed the hotel was not full and hence there was no wait at the front desk on check in or check out or indeed at any other time. The service level was average. One time when the room was not made up we asked the front desk to sort it and were asked if we could call housekeeing ourselves - to be fair it only took the suggestion that maybe reception could do it for them to pick up the phone but it suggests limited training. The room was then promptly cleaned.
The room was a garden villa and was fairly typical of Thailand. The TV was new but the channels limited, the bed was comfortable, the a/c worked well, the bath was large (2 people) and the bathroom clean and comfortable. The connecting door provided no sound insulation to our neighbours with the sound of the a/c drowning the noise. If you get a noisy neigbour you will hate them! There was a safe and minibar. The room was generally cleaned well and felt clean. There was a balcony with 2 chairs. The rooms are on hills so if you tire easily do not come here.
This hotel seems to have a large Eastern European clientele. As a result you will be surrounded by smokers (in the UK we are finding this harder each year as less and less of us smoke) at the pool and in the restaurant. Not unique to this hotel of course but annoying of you want a healthy visit.
The pool and beach area is the major disappointment at this hotel. The pool is old and surrounded by ugly concrete. It always looks dirty (it is not as bad as it looks) and as a result it wil never feel luxurious. Sunbeds are comfortable but old and as the hotel was not full there were lots available. The poolside toilet is an absoulte disgrace with the hand basin being filthy and an old piece of soap sitting sadly by the sink. It looks like it is never cleaned - ridiculous! The pool bar is operated most of the day and is a swim up bar only. Staff are friendly enough but not that well trained. The staff at the pool multi task and i was rather put off by watching the maintenance being carried out by the people who would later serve at the bar. The pool itself felt a bit grubby and dirt would gather in the corner by the pool bar. The banana milkshakes were nice though to be fair. There is no beach - it is as simple as that. You can swim though. Walk to the left to get to a beach - see below.
The restaurant breakfast was pretty standard for a hotel mainly for foreigners producing one local dish a day and catering to the (strange) desire for visitors to eat food from their home country. Lunch and dinner was of a good standard. The restuarant overlooks the sea and is a nice setting as you dont have to look at the pool.
A walk up the beach to the left to Silent Bungalows will get you some nice local food at a fraction of the cost. There is also a massage place run by the brother of the Silent Bungalows owner just before it with a cheap bar. A far more relaxing place to sit than Fair House.
There are better places to stay. I hated the fact that there is nowhere to walk. This hotel will not ruin your holiday but it wont make it either. A little extra trainig and some serious spending on the pool area would help but with the low number of guests present I doubt that will happen. Maybe one to avoid.
Some people refused the rooms high up on the hill.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Michael P,
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Thank you for taking the time to write this long and insightful review of your stay with us. We appreciate that you have taken the time to provide us with your valuable feedback. Your points are noted and will help us move forward and improve various areas of our operation. I will attempt my best to answer the various points you have outline.
As you correctly mention, we are not located in a crowded area in the middle of town and our guests will not find numerous restaurants, bars or shopping opportunities within walking distance from the hotel. This comes with positives and negatives and it is important to us that we are open about this, so we avoid having guests arriving with false hopes and expectations. Maenam beach is generally not as developed and crowded as some of the other popular beaches on Koh Samui and guests hoping for extensive happening or night-life within walking distance are likely to be disappointed. However, the vast majority of our guests choose to stay with us for this particular reason and they see this as one the most positive aspects about our hotel, as they prefer to be away from the busiest tourism areas. Our target audiences are those who prefer having a relaxing home base and do not mind a short trip to reach the entertainment centres, as opposed to staying in the middle of town and having to travel out in order to find peace and relaxation. We obviously understand that travellers are all different and all come with different expectations for their holidays, and this is why it is important for us to be open about this to potential travellers. It is not our intention to disappoint anyone and we will not claim to be something that we are not. I appreciate that you bring this up, as I believe this is good for future potential travellers to be aware of.
That being said, the trip to central Chaweng is only 15 minutes and we do offer complimentary shuttle service for our guests three times every day (1pm, 4pm and 9pm). Smaller entertainment areas, such as Fisherman’s Village, are only five minutes away. We also offer motorbike rental for 300 baht per day directly at our front desk, which is the easiest way to travel freely around the island.
I believe our resort was not as empty as your impression was during your stay, as we have been running moderate to high occupancy all month. Even when full, our hotel does not appear too crowded. We have a big area for our 70 villas and rooms, with a lot of vegetation and garden areas. Even in periods such as now, when all our rooms are occupied, we do not have long lines for check in/out, our breakfast service is not chaotic and there is rarely any lack of space or sun beds for our guests around our pool/beach area. The atmosphere at Fair House Villas & Spa should always be relaxing and comfortable.
We enjoy a healthy mix of nationalities coming to stay in our hotel. Perhaps the majority of our guests come from Germany, France, the UK, Scandinavia and other Western European countries, but we also have many travellers from all corners of the world. In recent years, we are seeing more and more travellers from various Asian countries coming to stay with us, which we are very excited about. It is our ambition to have a great diversity of nationalities, as we believe this diversity contributes to the overall atmosphere at our resort. Different nationalities do however tend to travel in different periods and in certain periods our hotel can be primarily occupied by a certain market, but overall we do not have a particular market standing out.
Smoking is prohibited in our restaurant, lobby area as well as in our guest rooms. It is also discouraged throughout the property, but in respect of our smoking guests we cannot prohibit smoking completely.
I am saddened and disappointed to read that you were not happy with our service quality. Genuine, high level service is something we strive for and something we normally enjoy positive feedback on. It is very unfortunate that we were not able to provide you with this impression during your stay. The example you mention of being asked by front desk to contact housekeeping yourself does not represent the service we are aiming for and this case will be addressed internally. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I offer my sincere apologies for this incident.
I am also sorry that the pool area did not live up to your expectations. Last week we renovated the pool toilet and deep cleaned the floor around the pool. A smaller renovation of our main pool is scheduled for late February. Based on mostly positive feedback from other guests, I think the overall pool impression is a relatively subjective issue, so the best I can do is to provide photos and let future travellers decide for themselves. These were taken in November this year, just before your stay and also before our recent renovations: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lotvfrgfu5lmqh9/UcciIZftzE
I am not sure what you mean by maintenance, but the fact that our pool boys are cleaning and taking care of their working area on own initiative is not something I see as a big concern, assuming the level of service was not compromised. We always encourage our staff to take responsibility for the cleanliness, functionality and appearance of their work areas. Major renovations, dirty work and deep cleaning are always carried out by our engineering, gardening or housekeeping departments, but simple cleaning and day-to-day fixes can be handled by the concerned departments if they are able to.
Again many thanks for your valuable feedback, which will help us move forward and improve. We wish you a happy new year and hope to welcome you back some day in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.