My husband and I stayed 5 nights in the Sea-View Pool Villa, in Chen Sea Resort at the beginning of April after a two week trip around Vietnam.
The villa is extremely spacious, well laid out and more than comfortable for two people. The villas provide a fast internet connection (but it did drop out regularly), extremely comfortable beds, a nice drinks selection from the mini-bar fridge (although I thought the snacks variation was limited) and the TV channels are reasonable for those rainy days. The resort is nicely laid out. The only time we heard other residents was during the middle of the day when they were jumping in and out of their pool. All in all, the atmosphere is pleasant.
Unfortunately staff aren’t quite as inconspicuous as the other guests. We stayed in villa 401, which has a small field to one side of the villa. Upon arrival, my husband questioned the privacy of the villa (given you can see right through the fencing) and we were advised that “no one goes in there”. Quite untrue; we saw various staff members walking through on different days, it appears it’s actually a shortcut for the maintenance staff to get to the back of the villas. Disappointing considering this was something we specifically asked about.
We did have an incident with the pool where a “plague” of flea type bugs ended up in our pool (I found out later it happened in all the pools – and obviously, totally out of the resorts control). We called reception to advise them, the maintenance staff were here within 15 minutes and spent approximately 2 hours “vacuuming” out the bugs from the pool. Their attention to detail was excellent and is genuinely appreciated. But unfortunately the next morning when the maintenance staff came to check the pool again - which we appreciated - the staff just walked in via the back garden entrance (from the open field we were told no one goes into) no knocking to check if it was convenient or if we were even decent. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but privacy is what we’ve requested (with the DND on the front fence), what we paid for and what we should be granted. For that, there is no excuse.
One evening we called reception for a taxi in an hours time. We were then called back 15mins later saying our taxi had arrived, after advising them they had the incorrect time, we were told we would get the taxi cheaper if we took it now – fine, we said we’ll be there in 5mins. We rushed to reception, only to be told that our taxi has left and there will be another one in a minute. 20 minutes later, it arrived and took us to the town… It wasn’t discounted.
Our first morning we went to breakfast at 9am (breakfast is served until 10am). The selection is acceptable, when it’s stocked. The fruit, juices, pastries, condiments and breads were either dreggs of the bowl or non-existent and after looking around, it appeared they weren’t going to be restocked anytime in the near future. The coffee was served lukewarm 3 out of the 5 days. However, the jam’s are delicious!! The omelette’s from the omelette station were lovely and when the pastries were there the following days, they were tasty as well.
We had dinner in the restaurant one evening and let me preface by saying; the food was lovely! Very tasty, decent portion sizes and we had a lovely thunderstorm dinner time show. Unfortunately, the service seriously lacks. We ordered 3 starters, 2 of which came out at the same time, the other came out 15 minutes later. We ordered dessert and I was told mine wasn’t available only after they brought out the wrong item. We ordered some beers and they were brought out separately. All frustrating little things, but when you are paying £75 for a meal, I expect better.
Overall, if the price were lower or the service better I would recommend Chen Sea. Unfortunately that's not the case...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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God your review gave us so much work…
The main issue is the staff not walking through the little pathways between the Pool Villas, but crossing to the privacy of the Guests. We did the needful on that (a word on that to the Management while in the Resort would have helped us even more to stop this) and we are going to redo all the fencing of the Pool Villas.
For this I ask you to accept my most sincere apologies as it is unacceptable.
The story of the bugs. Well being in the forest, 3 or 4 times a year according to seasons and changes of weather (you came early April which is the beginning of the Monsoon) some bugs invade the property, usually for 12 hours. This was a water bug, and last week it was the flying ants. There is nothing that we can do, just try asap to rectify without putting too much chlorine in the water. But with 13 pools or jacuzzis at once it has been impossible to tackle all.
I am sorry for the taxi, but there is very little choice in Phu Quoc and we favor the largest company as this is the one giving us the less negative feedback from the Guests.
Little remark on the pastries at the Buffet Breakfast: we change them daily and we have 7 different sets.
Your comments on your meal have been taken into consideration, mostly linked to the service, and this will help us to improve. How did you spend 75 Pounds, which is around 100$, for a meal??? It is impossible, especially with beer. I am sorry, but this does not exist at the Chen Sea. Even the Romantic Dinner on the beach, wine included is not at 100$ per person. This is not a correct information to the readers of this Forum. I have just said to a previous answer, and I did it a couple of month ago, on a Year To Date basis, our Average Check for Dinner is at 35$, Tax, Service Charge and beverage included, and I can prove it.
For the Internet connection I have explained myself many times on this Forum, the issue is not us but the only ISP of the Island and their satellite connection to mainland, especially during the Monsoon or when their power is cut of.
Mini-Bar we are working on it as I promised that this would be part of our second year improvement program. We are even going to have some fresh milk to please our British Guests and improve the Snack corner.
Thank you so much for your suggestions and remarks and my renewed apologies for our little mistakes.
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.”
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.