Ill start this review by saying that we had high expectations based on the promising reviews. Our experiences overall did not live up to the reviews and I'm not sure how it gets the high ratings it does but based on our time there, we won't be returning.
We opted for one of the packages inc a five course dinner, fruits and flowers on arrival, welcome cold towel and drink at check in and a few other things. If you insist on staying here I would skip this and go for B and B only.
Check in was not impressive as the "lobby" is how one would expect a hostel lobby to be in Samui. A small room. We didn't not get the flowers or welcome drink or towels etc. either as per our package.
The resort I think is not too old but somehow it seemed run down to me on arrival. I thought that the expense and upkeep no doubt would be spent on the pool area but this is not the case.
There are two small pools and the loungers, while comfortable are all faded and look old. There is noticeable rust about and as someone else mentioned, broken or unsteady tiles about the pool in areas.
The beach to put it frankly, is gross and makes chaweng seem like paradise. There is a smell emanating from pipes there which makes you feel rather ill if you're in the wrong cross wind on the loungers and we noticed a pungent pipe leading out to sea which reminded me of the Erin brokervich movie with the stream with chemicals and so forth except -was this sewage? I think this is the culprate of the smell and must be attended to as it is so off putting.
The five course meal tries a little hard to be some kind of Michelin star food but falls massively short which is far more disappointing and confusing than if they just served a nice straight forward three course thai meal without the pretence.
The real issue was what we were presented with at desert which, for the chocolate fondant, turned out to be served up to me, a plate of raw, cold cake batter on a plate. My husband received a cheese cake which looked good and that's where it ended as one bite of it revealed it tasted of washing powder. As for my dessert- raw cake batter with eggs in it -really infuriated me as I am noticeably pregnant and this is simply dangerous to be serving such raw food up. Nonetheless I'd not even serve my friends this mess at a drunken dinner party so how this left the kitchen is beyond me. We left the food untouched and the waitress's response to our concerns was a nervouse giggle. - not acceptable. Needless to say, I felt rather uneasy all evening and we just felt we couldn't trust the food at the resort then on for freshness or quality. Earlier that morning I was also served completely raw eggs at breakfast with the egg white and all still gooey. A teenager could've figured out this was not cooked and would have done a better job so I had to send these back too. I am not sure there is any actual chef here rather than a bunch of willing young Thais trying their hand at cooking. While cooking omelettes etc doesn't require sous chef experience, I feel these people still need to be trained on what is acceptable to be sent out of the kitchen as there were issues we saw not just in our table.
We were there in low season but food often ran out and wasn't replaced- no bacon so had to wait for half hour to order eggs or just eat them separately and this kind of thing. One of the days was busy due to a wedding party which is when the place fell apart. No juices- no cups for the juice and so on. It just got boring in the end and I felt there was no point with the drama other than having some cereal.
As for the wedding we were told via newsletter that wedding night there was a wedding on. Lol gee thanks for letting us know after we watched the entire ceremony. Wouldn't it make sense to tell guests the day before so guests can go to lamai or something for dinner? A wedding means you can't eat at the hotel etc so you really need advanced warning - quite frankly before arriving at the hotel would be polite in case guests had strong objections to having to feel like they are encroaching on someone's wedding day.
I'm afraid I also echoe a previous reviewers thoughts on the spa and these issues have not been addressed. I was ushered into a room with two girls putting bits together while I stood in the dark confused about what was going on. I was then told to get on the bed and then the treatments started with no word about what the products were and what the process was. I expected to sit in the waiting area, to fill in forms and discuss any issues or concerns and then have the treatment as explained to me. None of this happened. No fault of the ladies who did the service but training must be given here. This is not a spa experience I'm afraid and felt rather unprofessional.
Overall the place is about a 2.5-3 star. The type of clientele who we observed there were also possibly more grateful than us -who knows but there were a lot of Russians and dare I say, a bit of a pool side chav atmosphere here with the types who went here and probably thought it was sheer luxury. This sound snobby I'm sure but just be prepared of you're expecting cool classy people- you won't be getting it.
They also give you little treats in the room at turn down which IS a nice touch but again guys, serving chocolate gloop in a shot glass (think an unset instant pudding or a ice chocolate that's too thick- not sure what that was supposed to be but essentially it wasn't edible and reminded us of the dessert debacle) and I just think sometimes, less is more. Better to to serve nothing than a Unidentifyable object.
Staff were very friendly but struggled with basic requests and there are a few ladies who seemed to stand about holding a clip board and smiling an adding zero value to the place than otherwise to confuse orders occasionally.
We didn't get a chance to discuss our concerns properly following the dinner as our server was away the following day and the next day was too preoccupied with the wedding so I was left to relay my concerns to a staff member and front desk when I left, although nothing was really offered other than an apology. Therefore we feel the right thing to do is to post our experiences and let people decide.
Please let me say on a positive note that the rooms are great. Spacious, clean and a big balcony so our first impressions where great but it all went down hill to the point we couldn't wait to get out of there.
BR tries hard but I think they all need some serious hospitality training to grasp what really matters. The food thing is key - I read another review where raw chicken was served to another guest. This can NOT happen in a resort. Too many food issues left us feeling like we were being served low quality food prepped by students but at resort prices and it is a shame.
BR tries to do what the W Hotel does but it falls far short Although obviously this is cheaper than the W chain. Rather than posting a defensive response, I do hope some of these issues are finally addressed ie- make the spa experience more professional, train staff to not serve raw eggs, and so forth.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relax in your choice of deluxe one, two or four bedroom villas, stunning penthouses, and spacious suites. The villas and the penthouses have private chemical and salt water-free pools and all units are afforded the comforts of home with kitchens, coffee and tea making facilities, iPod docks, and free WiFi in every room. Guests enjoy privileged access to Samui's premier beach destination - the Beach Republic Ocean Club featuring fine dining, superb wines, fitness room, and the Asian Fusion Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beach Republic The Residences Hotel Lamai Beach
- Beach Republic The Residences Ko Samui/Lamai Beach