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“Excellent! (With some room for improvements)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas and Spa

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Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas and Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   69/13, Moo 4, Nai Wok beach, Ko Phangan 84280 , Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 92 Hotels in Ko Phangan
Wettingen, Switzerland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent! (With some room for improvements)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We stayed in April for some 10 nights in the resort and left totally relaxed!

The villas are nice with a small private pool and have everything you need. For a resort with that pricing I would have expected a more modern approach to the shower head but the rest was just fine.
The breakfast was ok - I think there is some room for improvement and I would offer some buffet instead of having single plates.
The restaurant in the evening was very good and we have eaten there more often if the pricing would have been competitive with the other restaurants around or in the city.

The service was very eager but you realized that most of the staff lacked proper training (a new manager from Bali arrived in the last week of our stay and I think he will work on this). I think here is the biggest room for improvement.

On one of our last stays we were offered a spa treatment for free which was very good but as with the restaurant we wouldnt have done it as the pricing in the resort is not competitive.

All in all a very nice stay as the location is amazing and it has great potential...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

This is a good option if you only care about the physical aspects of the accommodation you are staying in and not the finer details of the service you receive. All local staff, from housekeeping to reception, had good intentions however they simply had not had enough adequate training. This is not their fault. A bit more modeling and coaching from the management team might help to turn this resort into something special. At the moment it is not but the potential is there and I hope they are able to iron out a few of their teething problems.

As you can probably tell from my opening, we did have a few moments of sheer frustration and a bit of bad luck during our 7night stay. Nevertheless, the female manager was always willing to listen to feedback from us and she did her best to rectify any problems that occurred to make our stay a good one. She had the attitude that feedback/complaints were opportunities to improve and we appreciate this and congratulate her on taking this approach. She also moved us to a better villa without a fuss when we requested a more private setting.

Transfer:
To be fair, we didn’t get off to a great start. Our transfer didn’t turn up to Koh Samui Airport despite pre-arranging this a month and a half in advance. My initial emails about transfers were answered and we arranged for the hotel to pick us up but then when we tried to confirm this (3 weeks out and then again 4 days prior to arrival) we received no response from the resort’s email address. We could’ve made our own way to the ferry terminal as it is all pretty straight forward in Koh Samui but after a phone call to the resort, we were assured that our taxi would be there in 10 minutes. After an hour of waiting someone turned up to get us but didn’t have our name or the name of the hotel so we had to wait even longer before finally figuring out by elimination that he must be our transfer. Not the best start and this sort of situation could be quite unnerving for elderly travellers or those setting foot in SE Asia for the first time. The manager was apologetic and said that there had been a few issues with staff leaving without giving proper hand-overs.

Check in:
Was average. We received no explanation about our lack of transfer. The receptionist asked us twice for a credit card while we were trying to look rifle through our bags for a wallet. We were shown to our room with no explanation of where anything in the resort was i.e. breakfast restaurant. We had no explanation of how the room worked (obvious to some perhaps) but the safe was slightly different and it would have been nice to have an explanation of how to lock the door etc. Note that you only receive one key attached to the electricity card so to secure you villa at night, you have to remove the key from the key-ring to lock your door from the inside.

Villas:
Very nice and have a traditional minimalist feel. They are extremely spacious with good air conditioning, comfortable furniture and a walk-in shower. There is a handy mosquito net above the bed and there was bug spray in the wardrobe to use after having the doors open. Villas are cleaned daily and bottled water is replenished. House-keeping team did not empty our rubbish bins on several occasions and did not check to see if the brown information folders had everything inside that they should i.e. service directory, spa menu, dining menu, notepaper. A simple checklist provided by management to the house-keeping team could easily fix these minor oversights. Choose your villa carefully. We initially had villa 25 and asked to be moved because the lobby over-looked our deck and private pool and wasn’t as private as we’d hoped. Also villas on the south side of the resort had construction going on behind them. I could see and hear this when walking along the beach. This may cause annoyance to some guests.

Staff:
Were very friendly, welcoming and always had good intentions. The language barrier proved more difficult than we’d experienced on our previous holidays in Thailand and at times it was impossible. After the third day, we took to writing down our requests and queries on paper and walking them up to reception. Questions such as “How do I make an international phone call”; “I want some laundry done…what is you system?” or “our room has no menu/service directory” ended up being a 20 minute debacle. Our room was missing its service directory and it took me two days, 4 conversations with reception and one conversation with the manager to get one. Make sure that you have one in your villa as it answers all these simple questions and makes it easier to communicate with staff as you can just point to the section you need help with. If you are someone who checks in and doesn’t need to use any of the hotel services, then you won’t have a problem.

Resort Facilities/Services:
Each villa has its own plunge pool. Ours was cleaned each morning and was very clean - very nice to sit in with a cold drink on a hot afternoon. The main pool was excellent, especially if you like to swim a few laps while on holiday. It is long and narrow with approximately 3 metres of its length as shallow knee-depth water at one end. This would be suitable for young children. Some steps lead down into the main swimming section. This section is approximately 20 meters in length. The food at the resort is very good. We felt that it was fairly priced considering that it is inside the resort. Thai fusion main meals were priced at approx. £8 and Thai dishes were priced at approx. £5. A small Chang beer was priced at approx. £1.80 and cocktails were Approx £5. The wine list is very good and again fairly priced for SE Asia. The spa was good. I had a pedicure and a massage and the staff were very professional with good English. Wifi was free and reliable with good coverage throughout the resort.

Location & Beach:
Great sunsets. Swimming was only possible at high-tide and was only just over waist-deep. When the tide is out, it is possible to walk into Thong Sala (approx. 20 minutes). There are some great, cheap bars and restaurants adjacent to the resort along the beach. If you turn right, the Chocolate Bar is good for watching the sunset and the adjoining family-run restaurant has excellent thai home-cooking for around 100THB per meal. The famous Amsterdam Bar is right across the road from the resort (a bit of a climb but worth it for the views). 100THB taxi to Thong Sala and 400THB taxi north to Haad Yao Beach.

Other:
If you want to go diving, most of the dive centres are based in Haad Yao or Chaloklum. Most dive boats depart from the pier at Chaloklum and the resort is about 25 minutes transfer from here. We used Haad Yao divers (excellent).

My partner was bitten by a stray dog at the resort. This could have serious consequences for travellers who are not up-to-date with their vaccinations. The same dog roamed freely around the breakfast restaurant on our first two days and drank the water from our villa’s pool. Be aware that as the resort is open to the beach, this is very difficult for the staff to control.

To conclude, this resort looks great and could be brilliant but has a long way to go. The female manager we spoke to was very willing to listen and took immediate action to resolve any issues. I hope they can turn this resort around.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Beautiful setting and Kupu Kupu have made the most of the place - very relaxing.

Upside:
- lovely bungalow and plunge pool (although you are overlooked - and the beach isn't private, so we had groups of people sitting just below our deck on several occasions)
- stunning bath in the bathroom, although when we went there was no hot water. To the credit of the hotel, if you let them know in the morning, they would carry buckets of hot water down in the evening for a bath, but in reality we didn't want to ask too often so we only had one soak in the stunning bath
- generally v good food - expensive though. And good wine list.

Downside:
- the French girl on reception was bordering on useless: no local knowledge, no suggestions for the area, no help getting in to town (we later found out they do drive you somewhere to rent bikes, but we walked 40 mins into twon as we weren't told about this when we asked how to get into town)
- the manager is an egomaniac: when we tried to point out some of the issues at the end he talked about himself for an hour and had no interest whatsoever in what we had to say
- when we went the staff basically didn't speak any English, so ordering food was a complete lottery (and didn't get our order right once during the entire trip) - that said, they have the typical Thai charm and clearly want to be helpful, so you can't help but laugh and forgive them....but it would have been nice to get the right meal too
- not great swimming from the beach - shallow-ish water, with stones in the sand, and weeds which weren't nice to swim over. Nothing to see while snorkelling.
- too many teething proplems, but hopefully these are being fixed

Would I go back? If I found myself on Koh Phangan I would definitely stay here, but would I travel to Koh Phangan to go to this hotel: no.

Room Tip: Chose a room on the front by the beach - stunning
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

We had a beautiful beach villa and loved the wonderful views and the sound of the ocean. The resort is decorated in good style, the service is nice, the massage is good and the place is peaceful. But the small, extra details are lacking; the breakfast is boaring (same two fruits all 4 mornings, 1 slice of bacon per portion) and the staff is friendly but not at same level as experienced in Thailand.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Quiet, serene location: tranquility!
Friendly, service minded staff.
Clean, spacious villas, we stayed in Villa 21. Great with own pool.
European owners influenced aesthetic, very nice.
Great food, pricey by Thai standards.

Downside: Location offers little else, great for quiet getaway. Some restaurants are further up the beach around the bend, recommended.
Ongoing refurbishment at the time of our stay detracted a little on the general overall impression.

Tip: Amsterdam Bar, vis a vis main entrance. Best sunset and drinks on Koh Phangan!

Overall we had a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ubud, Indonesia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Very enjoyable holiday in Koh Phangan Kupu Kupu, Beautiful sunset from the beach. Enjoyed a boat tour on offer is very challenging. Beautiful scenery, a touch of the arrangement of rooms and environments are unique and charming. Friendly service. Will definitely come again. want to share to all colleagues for a vacation in Kupu Kupu Phangan

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moskova, Rusya
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We booked a beach villa for 10 nights with my wife. First Night we stayed at villa 28- but could not sleep all night because of the bad smell of toilet, also the voice of the air-con!! Morning i talked to management, they changed our villa to oher side, villa : 14, it was better, but all same! shower with electricity water heater! toilet is also like a 3 star hotel- no ventilation, shover gel, shampoo like dish-soap! You pay like 5 star, but service and room quality is only 3 star!

Prices included with breakfast, but there are only 3 type breaksfast, what you can choose, Thai, European and American, after 3 days, you can be bored, what you should eat!!! The prices is 3-5 times expensive than town restaurants, Evening, if you want to eat hotel, you have to pay around 1000-1500 Baht for a dinner for a person, and that time there was a French Chef, only French Meals, or you should go to town, but it is not easy, you should find a taxi, or rent a bike!! If you are not a good moto-bike driver, it can be risky, we had a small accident :( In town, there are local restaurant, open air food seller, what you can choose, yes maybe not very hygenic, but tasty.

Hotel is nice, slient, place, you can relax, but not ideal sea for swim, only knee level, maybe it can be good family with children. you can relax at your villa and your private pool, but be careful, i had an ear infection from the private pool, although they disinfect the private pool regularly.

Also be careful, the hotel management charge 3% extra, if you wish to pay with credit card. it was a bag surprise for us.

Looks like paradise, but after 1 night, you woke up from dream

Room Tip: Looks like paradise, but after 1 night, you woke up from dream
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas and Spa

Address: 69/13, Moo 4, Nai Wok beach, Ko Phangan 84280 , Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Phangan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 92 Hotels in Ko Phangan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Absolute Facing West, the resort offers an amazing sunset on the Gulf of Thailand. Kupu Kupu Phangan is a stylish retreat designed to take the island holiday experience to the next level. It celebrates the healthy attributes of the tropics with a collection of 20 villas and 2 suites designed to unite Thai artistry with modern comforts and conveniences. The resort is a place to be at one with nature in a restful setting by the sea.  ... more   less 
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