We came during the soft opening in Sept 2013. Construction is still underway until the grand opening in December but that did not deter us from having a WONDERFUL time. This review will be a bit longer than usual because the resort is new and we learned things during our visit which couldn't be easily understood through official booking websites.
What we LOVED about this resort:
+ The management-level staff have come from other 5 star hotels in the area, have experience and are prepared to deliver great service. Miss Daeng at the front desk is exceptional. When we had a problem with a neighborhood dog which came up onto the property she insisted on treating us a dinner in the cafe. Unexpected and very gracious service! We were also impressed with Mr. Sak in the Pakarang cafe who had excellent ideas for the buffet service.
+ Landscaping is gorgeous! Each of the twelve main room blocks has it's own pool with deck, deck chairs and showers.
+ Location, location, location. Bangsak beach is pristine, white sand for kilometers. NOTE: Sentido sits at the farthest point north on the beach, about 1km past Haadson resort. If you're looking for party action stay somewhere in town, or take the free shuttle van.
+ Free internet in all the rooms.
+ Gigantic lobby with many separate areas for guests to relax and enjoy the view. The lobby wall is actually a sliding glass door so you can sit in a large chair and look out over nearby coconut groves (see pic)
+ Helpful room amenities included an umbrella, easy to find flashlight, an electric mosquito mat,
and flip flops in two sizes. Very useful.
Things to UNDERSTAND BEFORE BOOKING A ROOM (which you can't learn from looking at a booking website):
+ DELUXE ROOMS do NOT have a bathtub, only a rainshower.
+ COMFORT ROOMS are closer to the beach, but we see little advantage since no room is really that far. The hotel website says comfort rooms have their own color coded loungers by the pool, but how will Thai staff enforce that? The Thai are not a confrontational culture.
+POOL ACCESS ROOMS are very nice at this resort because each block of rooms has it's own pool. (Note: Blocks 21-23 have one large connected pool which is a bit less private than blocks 11-16).
+ SUITE ROOMS have a bathtub outside on the porch. The website says "take a bath under the stars" but that would be difficult because the roof of the porch is all you will see over your head! You will also have to take your bath in FULL VIEW of everyone else because there is no curtain or door between the bathtub and the pool in front of your room.
+ FAMILY ROOMS- the website says Deluxe pool views are great family rooms. Maybe. Unless your children are under 8 years old this room will not be big enough for a family. Get a suite or two connecting rooms.
+ VILLAS- the websites say that villas are private. Depends on the villa, and what you understand to be "private".
GARDEN VILLAS are 100% private with a wall around the entire villa. If we had the money that would be our choice- you have a private sitting room, bedroom AND an outdoor jacuzzi bathtub all in your own little world.
OCEAN HEAVEN villas are on stilts but they are set facing one another in a circle. You will be looking across a small pond into the living room of someone else's villas. Not as private as you might want.
WATERPOOL VILLAS didn't appear private at all. In fact, all of them directly face the main resort pool. During high season every guest will be walking right in front of your room. I wouldn't pay the extra price for this type of room.
BEACH FRONT POOL VILLAS were out of this world (two bedrooms, sitting room, large private pool, two jacuzzi bathtubs). They face the beach but don't actually connect-you have to go out the back of your gate, cross a bridge and then you're on the beach.
A FEW MORE THINGS TO KNOW:
+ There are local Thai place to eat just outside the resort. A dozen or so private families have set up restaurants and bars on the beach just north of the resort. Some plan to be open year round.
+ buffet breakfasts should be quite nice during high season with 20 entree options, egg station, pancakes made to order (with choc chips, almonds, etc), salad, two types of muesli, five different local juices, and homemade baked goods. We were impressed with the baker- he produced very nice multigrain bread and fluffy, light donuts.
+ The hotel has taken a long time to construct, so some of the bedding is a bit musty. You can ask the housekeeping staff to put your pillows in the drier for an hour to freshen them up. Beds are not feather soft, nor are they hard- would call them medium firm.
+ Room amenities DON'T include conditioner, only a bottle that reads "shampoo + conditioner". This did not condition our hair very well after all the salt water so bring your own conditioner.
+ The beach has lots of coral; if you have surf shoes bring them.
+ Right now the rooms only have ONE and ONLY ONE hook in the bathroom. We mentioned this to the staff but it's unclear if this oversight will be fixed anytime soon. If you have a clothes line bring it- otherwise you'll have no place to hang your wet swim things.
+ you can rent bikes for 250 baht an hour, bowl for 100 baht a game.
+ while swimming in the main pool of the resort you can hear but not see the ocean because the hotel was built with a canal between the main property and the beach.
+ The resort's "Morgan" theme is a reference to the local Mogen ethnic group who are also called "sea gypsies" in other place. The Mogen people live in the village next to the resort and are found throughout southern Thailand.
Overall this is a very lovely resort. We were impressed with the sincere service of the staff, although some of them are still rudimentary in English skills. No matter, Sentido will be serious competition for the other five stars in the area, especially since it is located on such a lovely section of beach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- SENTIDO Graceland Khao Lak, a destination that offers luxurious experience and 5-star service, a destination enables you to witness the beauty of Andaman Sea and Thai hospitality. Opening in September 2012, the sprawling resort will offer spacious villas, suites and pool-view rooms equipped with luxurious facilities and amenities. ... more less
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