We stayed at two villas at S B V in late Feb 2013. Both overall were excellent.
I’ll start with some general comments/info on S B V
• Local Thai staff were all excellent and could not do enough for us
• The pools were cleaned and the garden area’s swept for fallen leaves every morning. The house keeping staff were fantastic (so friendly) and three or four of them turned up each morning to blitz the villas. This was great as it meant that if you were in the villa the cleaning was completed in less than 30 minutes with minimal inconvenience.
• Our deal had breakfast included and it was overall pretty good. Its buffet style and includes Egg/omelet chef on hand, passable bacon, fairly good sausages (pork not Chicken!), fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, toast and more.
• The local staff fell over backwards to get our villa ready for us even though we arrived a couple of hours before check in. Much appreciated after a long set of flights!
• We used the taxi service extensively and whilst you pay a higher price than you can negotiate with local taxis the cars always arrived, were clean and the local drivers didn’t drive like locals.
• The club house restaurant/bar is good (though you will soon tire of the menu if you go regularly) The beer is cold and the food of good quality. Again local staff are excellent and we had no issues with wrong orders/late food as some other reviewers have commented on in the past.
• The Thai cooking night was fantastic and the lady who walked us through the dishes was great
• I didn’t partake but my brother and sister in law both said that the massages were fantastic
• The beach is less than 100 meters from even the furthest of the villas
Things that can be improved/stuff to be aware of
• As I understand it, the villas are all privately owned and for a number of days work was being carried out on two villas close to the ones that we were renting. It wasn’t too bad when the work was inside, but when the workmen started to work on the outside the noise and worse the dust caused considerable annoyance (dust from an angle grinder covered our pool area for most of a day). When I complained to the reception staff we were told that as it was the villa’s owner managing the work and not S B V staff they couldn’t do anything about it.
• This one is going to be controversial, and I guess it can happen at any “complex”…..However whoever said that Hell is other people was right – In our case, several villas were rented to a wedding party of 20+. Other than being slightly intimidating they were mostly OK during the day (providing you got to the omelet bar before the morning rush). However at night things often seemed to be less calm. I would personally like to thank the two older ladies in the wedding party (I think mothers of the groom and bride) for the fantastic northern fish wives show that they put on for everyone on the beach one night. It was like a bad episode of Corrie swearing at each other for some perceived insult. Anyhow, my point is that you may want to ask if any large groups are booked for the same time that you are thinking of staying. If the answer is yes then as a precaution stay away.
• The English owners/managers – How do I put this…..They were abroad for most of our stay but on the few days that we did see them they tended to ignore the guests to concentrate on talking loudly in the bar area to various suppliers/agents (more on this under value for money below). I guess if they are the owners then they can run their business any way they like but…….
• Minor thing. our per-ordered shopping didn’t arrive. When we queried it we were told that the email attachment with the list was corrupted. That’s fine, it happens but wouldn’t it have been a reasonable idea to query with us when we checked in what was in the corrupted attachment and not leave it to us to chase.
• I saw a clean-up crew on the beach once whilst we were on site. They may have come more than the once that I saw them but however often they come it’s not enough. There is a fair amount of junk washed up on to the beach every day, it needs to be cleaned every day in the same way as the pools and gardens are tended every day. Also loads of oil on the beach (think 70' and 80's UK beaches). We ruined several sets of the baby's swim kit. I suspect that this is not an issue local to the S B V beach and probably affects the whole island but be warned.
• No shade on the beach – Some is needed. Loungers are available but why no umbrellas?
Beach Village House
During our first week we booked a four bed villa (Beach Village House) along with my wife’s sister & husband plus my mother in law. The villa was clean and well maintained (though it’s not too far off needing refurbishment). The pool area is wonderfully shady and the pool well maintained. The house is gorgeous and looks stunning day and night.
My only criticisms would be:
• The air conditioning works brilliantly but is very noisy particularly at night
• According to my sister in law the shower in the extension bedroom ceased to work if someone in the main house turned on a tap.
• Only book this one if you like a firm mattress!
Ban Chan C h a i (sorry if the spelling is incorrect)
Once my brother, sister and mother in laws had departed we rented this two bed villa. I would judge that it has very recently been re-furbished and is decorated in a slightly more modern style (white tile floor & kitchen rather than wood) than the Beach Village house though is equally stunning. The design of the outside is less secluded/sheltered so if you burn easily this is probably not the house for you. However it’s perfect for sun worshipers. The only other thing that springs to mind is that none of the wash basins have hot water. Not an issue in 30c heat unless you need to shave.
Value for money……
This is a tough one. I would recommend either of the two villas that we stayed but not at the price you will be quoted upon first contact. I can however furnish readers with an interesting piece of info that should help you negotiate. On the morning of 27th or 28th of Feb 2013 one of the English owners/managers (I don’t know which as he never introduced himself) was conducting one of his breakfast meetings with a couple of travel people. He told his breakfast guests that despite the current deal of 20% off plus all meals included the complex has particularly low occupancy in the coming months and that he is keen to get more bookings. I would suggest that you haggle hard ;-)
Occupancy is low - Haggle hard
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.