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“Terrible Management” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Chez Carole Cua Can

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Chez Carole Cua Can
3.5 of 5 Specialty Resort   |   Ward 1, Hamlet 4, Cua Can Village, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam   |  
Hotel amenities
London
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Terrible Management”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

I hate to write a really bad review but unfortunately I am compelled to do so after a stay at Chez Carole.

On first impressions the hotel has huge potential. Yes the rooms are dark, a little dirty, the toilet door doesn't close and is not enclosed (hope you're comfortable taking a dump with you girl/boyfriend in the room) but the setting and the awesome swimming pool allayed my initial worries.

A walk down the very picturesque beach filled me with confidence. I turned a blind eye to the trail of rubbish a little further down the beach and tried to ignore the member of hotel staff dumping a bag full of trash just beyond the boundaries of the hotel. This is Vietnam after all.

"Geck-OOO" I heard, so loud it left a ringing in my ears as I lay in bed at 2AM on the first night, "GECKOOO" it went again. I explained to my girlfriend that we were near the jungle and that these things happen, we'd let the hotel know in the morning and they could hopefully clear it out so we could sleep.

So began a three day battle with the local wild life, who it seemed, were very keen on sharing our room with us.

Three large geckos (about 30 cm in length) were caught and killed inside our room. Two lost their tails in the bloody hunt to capture them. It turned out they were living on top of the air conditioning unit.

If we weren't being woken by the lizards mating cries above our heads it was the gentle pitter patter of a family of mice scuttling backwards and forward across the roof all the way through the night. We thought that they might be birds but a member of staff assured us they were in fact mice. Terrific!

Of course no room would be complete without Jurassic Park sized cockroaches flying around at night.

We slept very little those first three/four nights.

We booked a beach side room but were given a room next to the entrance (a 'seaview' - if using a series of mirrors and step ladders to see a smidgen of water). A number of other residents complained that they too had booked different rooms to the ones they got. I believe some were moved but overall it felt very disorganised. In fact the hotel has no beach side rooms. It has one room directly on the sea, one very close to the sea and then a number of other rooms further back which have a view of the sea. Whilst we were there they were in the middle of building more rooms behind the rooms with the sea view.

Most of the staff were polite but their lack of English makes communication difficult. Those that did speak English, such as the French assistant manager, were actually less help than those that didn't. No apology was offered about our situation and after three sleepless nights and no solution offered the assistant manager put me on the phone to the owner (a vietnamese lady who lives locally). He explained before hand that she "wouldn't care about our problems," and that we should have seen how bad it was when he started there 3 months ago. All very bizarre.

She claimed she couldn't help us with our situation without her Mother's permission. Completely mind boggling to be passed up the chain of command to find out that we needed the permission of the mother of the owner before we could be moved from the mouse/lizard den.

We ultimately negotiated a discount getting our room for $80 per night. Once the hotel emptied we were told we could move from our room to a room with less animals. The Assistant Manager explained to us that he would put Asians in the room we were in originally as they didn't mind the animals as much. Again, completely bizarre and completely unacceptable.

On the plus side the assistant manager felt happy enough to come and knock back a bottle of wine with us whilst we sat in the bar. As it got late the bar lady decided to go to sleep under the bar. Undeterred the assistant manager continued to pour himself large glasses of wine.

Here are some of the other 'highlights':

The beach does not have enough loungers for all of the guests. Whilst we were there people came to the hotel beach who were not staying in the hotel filling up the few loungers that were there. Quite frustrating that members of the public can use the facilities when the biggest sell of the hotel is its private location!

Food at the hotel is acceptable (though not as good as Mango Bay down the road). However, do not be surprised if the food you order is not what ends up on the table. Also be careful to check the price that you pay for food. The menus they hand out have different prices on them. Bizarre.

If you read the material they have about the hotel in the lobby it says they offer a free shuttle to the airport. This is not true. Other reports online suggest that they offer a bus into town each evening (a 30-40 minute drive). This however is not the case. Nobody at the hotel could explain why they have changed the policy but now they charge for the shuttle to town. Again, bizarrely, the price you pay for the hotel taxi/shuttle is not shared with other guests. It's a flat fee of $25 regardless of whether you take the taxi on your own or if it is filled with guests. This meant there was no reason for us to ever try to sensibly organise a group of us going in to town at the same time.

There were some plus points. The location is stunning and the potential for the hotel to become a stunning boutique resort is definitely there. The shallow sea was calm and clear, there are a number of free kayaks and we also enjoyed wind surfing which was all free. They also offer reasonably cheap scooters to rent (about $10). We had a great day driving around the island.

The location is amazing but the management is without doubt the worst I have ever experienced.

Unless you are a holiday masochist do yourself a favour and avoid!

Room Tip: Do not pay for the beach side room and only get a sea view room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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72 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Stayed here with my partner for 2 nights after staying at Chen sea spa for 1 week as Chen were fully booked. I was not so keen at the cleanliness of the rooms as there was dust and what looked like small insects on the ceiling nets in the bathroom (which is open) and rooms were dark sometimes I needed my phone light to see in my bag!. However the view was amazing and with some changes this could be a great place. I thought the staff were absolutely great and very attentive and tried very hard with us, some knew little English but that doesn't bother me or my partner as we like to speak the language of the country we are in or at least try! They had 2 staff which spoke English well and the manager is always around. Food was also good with good choices. The beach is somewhat small but if cleaned up could be made better.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Wiesbaden, Germany
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

stayed there directly 2 days after re-opening.
NOT EVERYTHING worked well from the begining.
we had trouble with hot water and tv, sometimes bad service.
BUT.
WE WOULD ALWAYS GO THERE AGAIN.
new managers (marie and ben) are totally engaged to repair everything and offer european service.
waiters got better.
the place is one of the nicest and calmest all over the island.
bath on veranda with seaview. pure nature. pure elements (wood, stone, glas).
only 12 rooms. not crowded. flowers everywhere.
shuttle service to city for free every day.
out of our point of view the best choice in phu quoc to relax.
we stayed there for ten days.
much cheaper than other hotels that offer a comparable nice place.
WE ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH AND CAN ONLY RECOMMNEND IT.

Room Tip: invest 20% more and book a seaview bungalow.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Rooms are great overlooking a lovely bay and river estuary and far away from the crowds and pollution of the main town. We stayed at the end of January 2013 and had a wonderful 3 days. We arrived to friendly greetings and drinks and found it easy to communicate. This was our first hotel in Vietnam and we thought the food was a litle expensive until we went to other hotels and found them to be more expensive and not as good. The fish soup that you kind of cook at the table was amazing once we figured it out! The highlight was the trip along the river in the (free) kayak waving to the locals and really getting away from the tourist traps. Beautiful. The furniture and fixtures were really high class (and this is compared to 6 senses 5 star resort we went to after that) lovely carved tables and chairs with mother of pearl inlay. The swimming pool was such a lovely dark green and cocktails were very good. Only downside was some rubbish washing under the jetty from the sea they were cleaning that and it wasn't where you would swim on the private empty beach.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Found this really quiet, elegant beach hotel (separate beach huts) spot Cua Can, Phu Quoc.
Fabulous location on river estuary with beach.Great atmosphere. Lovely staff, great welcome, very relaxed and not expensive. Huts were luxurious and very pleasant. Nice artistic furniture, Free kayaks to paddle up the river, see the local fishermen and families living on the river then kayak across the bay?
Then swim in the infinity pool with cocktails til sunset.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

The location of the ressort is great, close to a quiet beach with a very nice swimming pool. The room are quite good also. But as it is in a middle of nowhere (14 km from the city) we expect to find some free shuttle transferts as we had seen in other ressort in Vietnam or in Balli. There was no, so the only way is to take a taxi, count $17 for a way to the city, quite a budget after a few days. The other black spots were the slow... very slow service + communications issues, and the noisy electric generator which was running every nights.
It seems that the owner of the ressort had some ambitious plan when he starts the project but gets stuck in middle which is a pity as there is definitely a great potential there.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights on Jan 18-19, it was a nice, cozy and intresting place. The pool was great for the kids and the food. The food was a little pricey, but breakfast is included. The resort is quite a distance froma the city. We are a family of 5 and I dont drive a motorbike so we were here for the 2 days. You really need a motorbike when staying this far from the city. Also, the hotel prefers to be paid in VND, but they quote you a US price. When it is time for check out they round up the the Dong, so you end up losing a bit irounded up n the exchange ( I had US$ changed it to VND, to pay in VND and then they rounded up the US exchange) . Just pay with a credit card and save your self the few VND and a trip to the bank which is 30 mins away.
The English spoken by the Vietnamese staff is not that great, thank god we speak Vietnamese.
Everything here is on a generator, so conserve your electricity use. The activities were not that great, cycling on the red dirt road is difficult and kayaking isnt suitable for children.
On the upside the included breakfast was very good.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chez Carole Cua Can

Address: Ward 1, Hamlet 4, Cua Can Village, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Kien Giang Province > Phu Quoc Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Phu Quoc Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chez Carole Cua Can 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
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